A new theory

So in Intro to Essential Sciences (which I've affectionately nicknamed A&P, even though it's technically not), we're covering the central nervous system. If you know anything at all about me, you'll know that I'm in hog heaven!

It's amazing how the different parts of the brain connect and correlate and affect different aspects of bodily function. It truly is. When we were going over the basic building blocks of the body, I marveled at the intricacy found in function, and during the section on pain I was astounded by the efficiency and grace of our body's reigning systems. Fabulous. That's what we are. Every single one of us. Just by virtue of the way our cells work.

So anyway, I developed this hypothesis/theory during class last night. There are three major divisions of the brain; the cerebrum, which is the largest and what you typically think of when you hear the word "brain", the cerebellum, which is the second-largest and looks kind of like a low-hanging addition off the back, and the brain stem, considered to be the "ancient brain" and is in control of the centers for vital survival functions and reflexes.

The brain stem houses a few interesting little segments, such as the thalamus, the hypothalamus, and the pineal body. The hypothalamus is what I'm most concerned with at this point. This part of the brain does stuff like regulate blood pressure, peristalsis (you know, the muscle contractions that move your food all the way from your esophagus to your anal sphincter, the thing that I have so much trouble with!), appetite/satiety, pleasure, temperature, etc. In addition to all that, the hypothalamus is also the "crossover" to the endocrine system, meaning that it is in direct communication with the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland, in turn, controls the adrenals, the thyroid, the ovaries, the testes, etc.

So! Here's my theory. I've been wondering about onset, and I've been wondering about the difficulties that I have that I'm not sure can be ascribed to simple hypothyroidism or food allergies, etc. I've especially been wondering about onset, and why I got so sick so fast for no apparent reason. What if, in the accident of 2006 (see photo at the bottom of the post), when I got my head banged around so much and got that concussion (which always damages the brain, even if it's slight), I somehow damaged my brain stem/hypothalamus and that in turn caused my pituitary gland/endocrine system to go haywire, inducing hypothyroidism and adrenal insufficiency, in turn causing my body to attack itself (because, as an abuse survivor I'm already predisposed to autoimmune diseases) and thus making me very sick a year, year and a half later?

Seriously. I think it makes sense. Brain damage may also help to explain my vision and balance problems.

I know it sounds a little extreme... brain damage. Hah. I sound like a hypochondriac.

But, really, I think it's a viable hypothesis. The way to tell would be to get thee to a neurologist, I think... but I don't have the money for that at this point! When I find a good doctor, though, I'll be sure to bring this up.

Anything for an answer, right? :)

Here's a couple of pics of the accident. You be the judge. I mean, after all... it did cause me to go blind for a while.

Mom, picking our belongings out of the van a week or so later... 

BJ, helping to collect our belongings

The back of my head, where it was the worst-- the morning after (it was all squooshy and stuff, like a pocket of warm jello. Pretty cool)

 A few days into the hospital rigamarole, my head and neck started swelling. Probably not good.

Swollen head! Can you tell?

So anyway, we'll be celebrating our "anniversary" next month. I just wonder if I escaped as unscathed as I had previously thought?

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