Brain angiogram

Dear diary,

I recently wrote about how this year I aimed to be active every day and was working so well with getting long walks, runs, the gym, cycles and even a swim in, but then on Friday 12th, I had a scheduled brain angiogram so all exercise stopped for a whole week afterwards. Crryyy.

In order to get a very clear image, they needed to put contrasting agent in just before they CT scan. In order to get this contrasting liquid exactly where they want, they go in the artery in the groin and feed a tube up through the body to the bottom of the brain. Very clever. I had to lie flat for 5 hours afterwards whilst the artery healed and then was told I could only walk but no running or anything strenuous for a week afterwards.

Here’s a TikTok I made that morning:


Having a brain angiogram today! It’s a detailed scan to see how my brain arteriovenous malformation is doing. #avm #brain #hospital #brainavm #angiogram #brainangiogram #johnradcliffehospital #oxford

♬ Stories 2 – Danilo Stankovic

The footage of the angiogram taking place was recorded a decade ago.  The stars aligned that day.  I was determined to bring my camera as I wanted to record myself and it just happened.  I recall that since my treatment at John Radcliffe began, filming and photography is usually a no-no.  It was painful even getting the shot below last week.

Friday 12th January:

Starting on Thursday evening, I got the train from Nottingham to Oxford with a change at Leicester and then Birmingham New Street.  I got there, but running slightly late.  I planned on walking from the railway station to my accommodation but this was about a 40 minute walk and with check in was due to end in 50 minutes time it was tight.  I was delighted to be reminded that Oxford had VOI scooters. 

After my recent horror at what Superpedestrian did in Nottingham [they pulled out without notice, see below), being able to glide relatively cheaply towards my destination lessened the stress until the parking came up.  Oxford have a different parking situation with VOI than in the place I had previously used VOI, Wellingborough.  In Wellingborough, you can park where you like as long as it is not blocking access.  In Oxford, you have to park in bays which are more restrictive that the Nottingham ones.

They do not want the pavement blocked, but are ok with it being partially blocked.  I think they should be allowed to park in the road. 

I had booked to stay at a guest house on London Road, not far from John Radcliffe Hospital.  I couldn’t see sense in getting a chain hotel 3 or 4 miles from my destination to have to undergo the stress in the morning of a taxi or bus.  Oxford traffic in the mornings is notorious.  I just walked the twelve minutes in the morning.  I did not know what to expect.  It was cute, cosy and warm.  

Approaching the hospital the next morning was the west wing.  Memories of me sitting looking at of the window on the right when I was in the hospital about 16 years ago came flooding back.

I got my own room!  Ensuite as well.

I had to wait a few hours and then I was taken down.  The procedure I guess lasted about an hour.  Straight away, I asked the Doctor how things were looking up there and she said that it had reduced significantly.  I then had to lie flat pushing down on the insertion point in case I coughed or sneezed.

Here is the scan taken 4 years ago.

And here is the scan taken last week:

I had asked my sister Tiff if she would pick me up.  The procedure letter stated that someone must pick you up and you cannot use public transport.  I don’t think they are public transport phobes, more so that someone should constantly be with you soon after in case anything did happen to that arterty.   Tiff drove down my Manchester.  It was really lovely as she came into my room.  We soon left and she drove me back.  We went to Pizza Pilgrams, which was very nice and then spent the evening back at mine harking back to the past and reliving some memories.  I really appreciated her doing this.  It was a really lovely visit.

I let a week and a day pass, and then yesterday, being Saturday 20th, it was Parkrun. My second of the year and 5 one ever. I ran it in 28:06. This is 1 minute and 5 seconds slower than the week before last but considering I had not moved whatsoever, I was pleased. That evening there was a bit to cycling too. On on Sunday, well over 10,000 steps were taken. Exercise starts back up!

What is a brain arteriovenous malformation?

I was born with a brain arteriovenous malformation which burst in 2007 and again in 2019. Between I had had treatments but they had not worked. The second brain haemorrhage in 2019, spurred on another batch off stereotactic radiosurgery. I had had one in 2010 which was unsuccessful. The Doctor who I am under at John Radcliffe, liaised with Sheffield to create a combination treatment plan of both stereotactic radiosurgery and embolisation.

The results are above.  Great outcome!  The next stage is to have another scan in 1 year’s time to see if there is any more movement.

Here’s the video about stereotactic radiosurgery from 14 ish years ago.

Speak soon,

Samuel x

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