Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Defective Brains

One day last week, when I picked Ruby and Zane up after school, they were both playing on the playground. When Ruby saw me, she ran toward me with a little girl in tow, very excited to introduce me to her new friend. They had just met because Miranda had just started her school year. She had a pretty good excuse for missing the first 6 weeks. She was having brain surgery.

Miranda is a beautiful little girl with big blue eyes and a bald spot on the top of her head. She was wearing a bandanna but I could see gauze poking out from underneath. When Ruby told me that Miranda was recovering from brain surgery, I started babbling nervously about how horrible MRIs could be, how it's cool to see a picture of your brain, and other stuff I don't remember. I think it was because I felt an instant kinship with Miranda and I was trying to explain that. I wanted to let her know that I had a defective brain, too.

Her very nice parents arrived to pick up Miranda. After some chit chat and more babbling, I finally asked why Miranda had brain surgery. Her parents told me that she had a potentially fatal defect on her brain that was only found when she volunteered for an MRI study. She was part of the healthy control group to compare with the MRIs of children with diagnosed depression. After the MRI, though, they learned about the defect and that the treatment involved brain surgery.

Miranda volunteered for an MRI and ended up with a venal defect in her brain and surgery on the horizon.

I went to the doctor with what I thought was pink eye and ended up with MS and a whole lot of uncertainty about my future with a progressive neurological disease.

We are both very, very lucky.


  1. Surprisingly, Miranda was not out of school for 6 weeks. She had a half day on Oct 3 and then was out the next week. She was at tap/jazz class this evening!

  2. That's a wonderful turn of events. Surgery's no fun, but to detect and repair a brain defect just through volunteering for a clinical study. Wow.
    Sometimes opportunities come to us for a reason.

  3. Sometimes it only takes a child to make seemingly complicated matters simplified.

    Linda D. in Seattle

  4. I came here via your comment at
    re not being a jerk on Facebook. I can learn from you! (All else aside, I have MS in the family.)

  5. Wow, indeed. And nice of your girls to befriend a new girl with gauze sticking out of her bandana.

  6. Bonnie,
    It's so weird that you KNOW Miranda! I assumed she was out of school for weeks because Ruby said she just met her and...well, hell...she had BRAIN SURGERY!!!!! :-)

    Thanks everyone else for reading and commenting. I love knowing I'm not just talking to my keyboard.

    Lazy Julie