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AVM Survivors Network

Hi, I'm Carmen


#1

Hello. My name is Carmen and I am currently going through working diagnostics for an AVM. I am going to graduate school out of state from my primary care physician so getting information is pretty aggravating at the moment. So basically everything I have learned about AVMs is from Dr. Google.

During the summer, I was seeing an ENT that suspected a venous hum because I was complaining of hearing my heartbeat during headaches. I have had a CTA that came back abnormal, so I had an MRA and then another CTA. I believe the area of concern is my left carotid. I will have a four vessel cerebral angiogram on October 18th. I had to schedule it that day because of my busy school schedule. I am a second year veterinary student and even though my school has been very nice about trying to make accommodates for me, I am worried about falling behind.

My doctor let me know that they suspected an AVM during my third week of classes and since then that is all that I can think about. I know how lucky I am to be on this end of the diagnosis but school is just so stressful. I am struggling with trying to find balance. When I get overwhelmed with school I just have to stop because I am afraid of having something rupture.

I guess I am just wondering what other people do when it comes to stress. I am glad to finally have an answer to my headaches but I am scared of it stopping my future.

I also have a very random question. If anyone has worse symptoms when it comes to pressure changes, such as barometric changes and whatnot? There is a pressurized room at my school (for our parasitology and infectious diseases courses) and I get so sick every time I am in that room. I feel like it literally drains me. I am just curious if anyone has any similar issues.

Thanks for listening.


#2

Welcome Carmen! I think you’ll find this group a great source of information and support. I think we all start out any new process, journey or adventure as a google expert. The medical folks I have dealt with were really appreciative I did the research. I always said to them I was going to let my google searches interfere with their education and experience! Its great your going for the angio, that will sort out what is going on, it is the “test” for these things. In respect to pressure I would certainly ask your MD and particularly neuro. I know there is some risk associated to pressure but it may be minimal. The example I sued was wondering about flying, I was told the pressure at 40k feet was about the same as living in Denver, providing the cabin didn’t de-pressurize…in which case I would probably have bigger worries! Make sure you have all your questions ready to go when you get the chance. Good luck with school, you’ll do fine. Take Care, John.