Palette of cerebral fluid

Before this aneurysm happened, I was playing with color palettes.

I’m still seeing in bands of colors. When I look around my ICU room, I even see the variety in the whites and grays, limited palette though they are.

My cerebral fluid, though, is a palette in a bag. And those bands of color are a visible sign of my healing.

cerebral fluid palette

When I arrived at Emory on Sunday night, the doctors put a drain into my head for that fluid. The pressure and pollution of clotted blood and fluid buildup is what kills people who have a brain hemorrhage.

I didn’t know that the brain continuously makes new fluid. So, if the bloody fluid is drained off at a slow rate, the new fluid gets made and replaces it.

The bag that holds the drained fluid is handy because it allows doctors to sample the fluid for antibodies and infection, as well as getting a visual indication of blood levels in the cerebral fluid.

Mine started off pretty red but quickly became just orange, because normal cerebral fluid is yellow. The bag is a visible palette of progress.

I’ve watched this week as the color in my fluid bag separated into gradations of pale red, pink, orange, and yellow-orange. [The featured image misses the mark because it’s not based on my bag, but an educational illustration. It looks more like an autumn colors palette…]

When the color is right – no more red or pink – the drain will come out, and I can go home. They’ve done two CT scans in the past 24 hours, and there will be another one tomorrow.

I had a really rough weekend. It’s very hard to manage the pain.¬† Brain chemistry is quite complicated as it turns out. Despite the fact that I am feeling trashed, the doctors assure me that I am making very good progress in terms of the brain gradually taking over its normal functions.

If all is clear, the drain comes out. Then a day after that, I can go to a regular floor. Then – home.

Just a few more days.