What’s Really Going on Inside My Head?
Let’s admit it. Many who saw the title of this page, “Is it all in my head? may have thought of my illness being “in my head” or another words made up or conjured up. The sad truth is that often times friends and family think someone living with a debilitating illness or injury is not trying hard enough, not positive enough, is exaggerating or even faking, because they cannot “see” the illness or injury. Therefore, I created this page to take a little look inside my body, where you can “see” what is going on in a few parts of my body.
For example, many people do not understand the affects of brain injury and dysfunctions. Often loved ones misinterpret the symptoms as a poor attitude, lack of a positive attitude or faith. Also, many see memory loss or poor focus as laziness or failing to pay attention. This can be extremely hard on the person living with the brain disorder(s) when others assume their symptoms are a fault in their personality, outlook or intention, versus the brain’s individual and synergistic malfunctions. Because friends and family can’t see what is going on inside, they often say things such as, “Just be positive,” “Quit worrying about it,” “It’s not that hard.” Thus, I thought I would share what is really going on inside my head!
1) Multiple Sclerosis: Lesions in My Brain
|Sherri’s MRI showing the MS lesions. Top photo: (red arrows) in her brain that cause extreme, bone-crushing fatigue, flu-like symptoms, pain, cognitive dysfunctions, paralysis, migraines, weakness, exhaustion, insomnia, depression, anxiety, stress, incoordination, neuropathy, dizziness, blurred vision and more.
Left Photo: Close up of lesion in Brain Center that control stress, anxiety, depression, etc.
2) Brain Damage from MS, Lyme Disease and Toxic Chemicals
SPECT Scans by Brain Matters (now CereScan). 1: Normal Brain. 2: Sherri’s Brain. Lack of blue due to Severe Hypoperfusion (oxygen deprivation) = cognitive dysfunctions, fatigue and damaged “brakes.” The brakes control the emotional centers (worry, anxiety, stress, depression). Red and white patches = overactive centers due to brain damage. 3: Normal Brain. 4: Sherri’s Traumatic Brain Injury.
1) Significantly abnormal hypoperfusion in the bilateral anterior temporal, bilateral anterior frontal, bilateral fronto-parietal and right posterolateral frontal areas. A portion of these findings may represent focal elements of a more diffuse process.
2) Consistent with traumatic brain injury is significantly abnormal hypoperfusion in areas in #1 and the paradoxical decrease in cortical activity with executive challenge test.
3) Diffuse decreased patch cortical activity is consistent with probable diffuse neuronal injury/dysfunction which might include toxic exposure, hypoxic exposure or neuro-immunological processes. Consistent with depressive disorders.
4) Moderately increased symmetric perfusion of the thalamolimbic area which becomes asymmetrical with test.
5) Moderately increased perfusion in the anterior cingulate gyri, caudate and prefrontal poles which decreases with test.
6) Significantly decreased activity in the orbital frontal area, prefrontal poles and temporal lobes with test.
7) Moderately increased perfusion in the basal ganglia.
8) Significantly decreased activity in the cerebellum and temporal lobes.
Brain Function Key:
Hypoperfusion: Significantly abnormal hypoperfusion and significantly decreased activity. Decreased blood flow through an organ; if prolonged, may result in permanent cellular dysfunction and death.
Temporal Lobes: Significantly abnormal hypoperfusion and significantly decreased activity. Memory, word recall, anxiety, sensory perception, confusion, fight or flight, learning, moodiness, anger, suicidal tendencies.
Frontal Lobes: Significantly abnormal hypoperfusion and significantly decreased activity. Focus, attention, making decisions, dampening out external stimuli, putting breaks on emotions.
Thalamolimbic: Moderately increased symmetric perfusion. Cycling mood disorders, memory, negativity, guilt, anger, emotional “meltdowns,” fight or flight, difficulty calming down, racing thoughts, insomnia, irritability.
Anterior Cingulate Gyrus: Moderately increased perfusion. Worry, obsession, inability to shift attention, difficulty “letting go” of things, “going with the flow.”
Parietal Lobes: Significantly abnormal hypoperfusion. Difficulty with directions, mathematics, disorientation, bumping into things, constructing things, sensory and spatial cues.
Basal Ganglia: Moderately increased perfusion. Irritability, anxiety, tension, obsessive, compulsive, lack of motor movement control.
Cerebellum: Significantly decreased activity. Coordination, confused easily, slowed thinking, organizing, sensitivity to light, noise, touch or clothing, trouble learning new information, routines, keeping up with conversations and attention change.
3) Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI)
Photo Above from fMRI by Hubbard Foundation.
1) Blood does not flow from brain correctly. Imbalanced, dysfunctional.
2) Blood does not flow from spinal cord correctly. Imbalanced, dysfunctional.