Just a short note about this blog.

For timeline purposes, posts from 2008-2014 are summaries of significant happenings in those years. Please use the Blog Archive links to start at the beginning.

Past tense/Present tense language may change within a post, but those variances should not impact the overall telling of my experiences. I am Canadian, therefore, the spelling of some words (tumor/tumour, color/colour) may vary depending on if it's my wording or quoted text. I have tried to include both key words in the labels of relevant posts.

The blog contains medical terminology. I have tried to provide explanations or definitions when they occur. Occasionally medical images (nothing too graphic) are included to further explain or demonstrate.

Explanations and graphics link to original sources wherever possible with the exception of my personal photos.

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May 01, 2008

First Post

Arnold Schwarzenegger Kindergarten Cop

My spouse, Robert has been encouraging me to attempt this for a while now, and when I realize how many times I've shared my story, whether it's strangers on IIH message boards, medical students, interns, residents and nurses, family and friends, I find myself hoping that by sharing this information I might be able to help another sufferer find a way to deal with the pain they experience, or to better understand what their spouse/patient/friend is experiencing on a daily basis.

A little about me.

I was born in 1970 and grew up in Sault Ste Marie, ON. 


In 1986, my mother and I relocated to Kitchener Ontario. 

In 1987, I was involved in a car accident resulting in some reasonably minor injuries.. broken ribs, banged up a knee that had previously been operated on for cartilage damage, broke a tooth and an ankle, over all I was pretty lucky.  Shortly after my accident, my mother remarried, in fact, my cast was placed on my ankle the day of her wedding as the break wasn't immediately spotted during the post accident examinations.

In July 1988, my sister Tara was born, In December, I welcomed the arrival of my daughter, Krystal. and in June of 1989, I welcomed not 1 but 3 new siblings.  My step-brother, Carl and step-sister, Randi arrived in Kitchener on the same day my youngest sister Mandee (Amanda) was born. 
In 1998 I got married and moved from Kitchener to Renfrew (little town in Eastern Ontario, approximate population of 5200).

In March 2001, I separated from my spouse due to alcoholism (his) and a few other reasons. I moved temporarily into a Y residence in Ottawa to complete a contract position I had with the Ministry of Labour.  I escaped into on-line gaming during my off hours thanks to a popular MMORPG (Massively Multi-player, On-line Role Playing Game), Everquest. After the completion of my contract I relocated back to Kitchener to join my daughter who had returned in March to stay with her grandparents.


2004 I made the decision to return to school. Applied and was accepted into Computer Programming at Conestoga College in Kitchener.  Part of the inspiration for this was a period of time spent working at a call centre providing some technical support for US users of MSN internet services.  An interesting job, but I wanted to know more than what was provided in the technical support scripts while avoiding the unintentional but abusive nature of frustrated customers. 

Robert and I had gotten to know one another playing Everquest around 2003/2004 and started dating in 2005. In May 2006, I graduated from my program and immediately expanded my knowledge in the computer field by enrolling in the Information Technology Support Services Program also at Conestoga College.

Inspired by my return to school and following an accident at work (fortunately nothing more than a small piece lost from the side of his index finger), Robert decided to also return to school and was accepted into Software Engineering Technology at Conestoga College, leaving behind his career in the Sign industry. Late 2007, he moved to Kitchener and began school.

2008 saw the completion of school for me and the start of my medical issues as detailed in my 2008 post. Initially, I put off the daily headache as stress related, finals were coming up, followed by graduation, then finding and beginning a job in my newly chosen career, but as I will share in following posts, I learned just how wrong I was.

First off, what is it?  
Intracranial hypertension is a neurological disorder in which the increased cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure has generally arisen and remains elevated over a sustained period of time. It can either occur without a detectable cause (idiopathic intracranial hypertension) or be triggered by an identifiable cause such as an underlying disease or disorder, injury, drug or cerebral blood clot (secondary intracranial hypertension). It is frequently a life-long illness with significant physical, financial and emotional impact.
Other names for this condition include Benign Intracranial Hypertension and Pseudotumor Cerebri, however there are efforts to change these references to the condition as there is nothing truly "benign" about it, with the exception of being non-cancerous.  Pseudotumor literally translates to "Fake tumour" - the body reacts as if there is a tumour present, but as Arnold said in the above clip "it's not a tumour"

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