A piece of my mind

Finally got my scanner hooked up, and I promised earlier that I’d put up a couple pictures of the MRI I had done. Little images are clickable and go to bigger ones.

Brain-004.jpg Brain-003.jpg

My neurologist studied every image in the whole pack (pages and pages, WAY too many to print) and concluded that I have a “very nice brain.” Glad to hear it.

Will happily pretend I didn’t hear the “for your age” he dropped in there once while effusing over my gray matter.

Me, I’m just relieved there aren’t any teeth or bits of jaw or floating eyeballs from an unabsorbed twin…

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and indie-publish my new ones.

61 comments… add one
  • Robin Smith Jul 31, 2010 @ 23:07

    Hi Holly,
    I’m elated to hear that you’re doing better. I believe in the power of prayer. I sat in assurance that your diagnosis would not prove life threatening. God Bless, rest easy.Take care of you.

  • Helenee Jul 31, 2010 @ 19:09

    You have endurance and you have courage.
    You’ll get over it.

    How astoundingly great seems life after such worries, huh?
    I know it’s a cliche — still, isn’t the feeling so brand new e-ve-ry time?

    Please, do us this little favor and be kind on yourself.

  • Alice Jul 31, 2010 @ 18:39

    Wonderful news, nothing deadly…Hooray! I do believe an exclamation point is acceptable here given the good news.

    Bah humbug… on the migraines, both the old and new styles…

    as for the floating flakes; repeat after me, “Come home to the
    ear port. Come home to the ear port. Come home already.”

    Then in your best wheedling tones. “I’ll hold a party for you if you just come straight home.” And,” Come on it’s party time.” You can include specific directions in your invitations and exhortations to all floating crystals.

    You never know… bribery might work.

    I’m glad for you , Alice

  • gloria Dooley Jul 31, 2010 @ 18:04

    So wonderful to hear you are not in serious trouble! Prayers will continue for your rapid recovery and an end to those headaches.
    PS – Your brain looks like a walnut!

  • Dawn Jul 31, 2010 @ 17:11

    Hi, Holly:
    I’m very glad to hear that your problem is not a more serious one. Sorry that you have to deal with the pain of migraines, though.

    Just take it easy, and be patient with your recovery. The snow should be falling over Manhattan again in no time. Thanks for letting us know how you’re doing.

    All the best,

  • Katharina Dend Jul 30, 2010 @ 23:53

    That’s great news! it must be such a relief for you and your family to know what’s going on, even if it may take some time to sort itself out.

    Do you plan to use the photos of your nice brain as a map for worldbuilding ? πŸ˜›


  • Danzier Jul 30, 2010 @ 22:48

    Good to hear you’re getting better. πŸ™‚

    If a baby was born with a brain as nice as yours, we’d all be in trouble. And at least the doc didn’t say you have a nice Brian. πŸ˜›

    As for Dr. Crusher, Fictional M.D.’s cylindrical medical thingy: it’s a hypospray, designed to inject the medicine for whatever directly into the bloodstream. It takes little cartridges, and is sort of like those pens that have fifteen different colors in one pen. And I sure hope my doctor gets one of those soon, too. πŸ˜€

    • Danzier Jul 31, 2010 @ 0:15

      My comment is awaiting moderation? Gee, I was trying so hard to keep it clean, too…

  • Ingrid Jul 30, 2010 @ 18:05

    Sounds like a load of calcified ear wax to me. I had agonizing ear ache as well. Now I use Cerumol ear drops to let it all hang out. The muck that people have been telling me over the years, you wouldn’t believe.

  • Deborah Turner Jul 30, 2010 @ 15:40

    Glad to know you have a “good brain” (duh!) and that this will eventually clear up. Hang in there; I know it’s not fun. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

  • LisaM Jul 30, 2010 @ 1:02

    This is great news, Holly and I’m so pleased that it’s all turning out well for you. Hope you have a speedy recovery!

  • Christine Jul 29, 2010 @ 22:34

    So glad to hear that everything is going to be ok after all. Keep on getting better and keep well.

  • Dawn Hall Jul 29, 2010 @ 21:48

    I have had migraines, also! THEY ARE TRULY AWFUL!
    Hope you get better VERY soon!
    Also, thank you for showing us the lovely pics of your
    brain! I am afraid of what they would find if they took
    a look in my head! SCARY!!!

    • Holly Lisle Jul 30, 2010 @ 10:21

      The worst one I’ve had in years tanked me yesterday. Took me out completely for the better part of the day and night, which I spent rolled up in a ball in a dark room. Today I’m still having a hard time with light.

      Migraines are horrible. But not fatal. Sympathy on yours.

    • Gabby Jul 31, 2010 @ 8:53

      ugh.. yuck. I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine. You must be SO frustrated.

      I hope they get reabsorbed (or whatever happens to them) soon

  • Lenon Greson Jul 29, 2010 @ 21:21

    Thanks so much for the Lords blessing, that is the love of God.
    Always thank him for what you are doing.


  • Gale Jul 29, 2010 @ 21:13

    Good news! Thanks for sharing.

  • pat Jul 29, 2010 @ 21:00

    Glad to hear everything is OK. I have the same problem with the ear and it did get better although it acts up every now and again.

  • WandersNowhere Jul 29, 2010 @ 20:26


    Well not awesome, it still sounds like a royal asspain, but at least it’s not something permanent. Maybe it’s just my Aries brain thinking, but I’ll take temporary pain over permanent injury or disability any day. Even if it takes work and time, it’s so good to hear that this thing is going to clear up and you’re going to be back on track. That has to be some enormous relief. Welcome back, sensei πŸ™‚

  • Lisa Jul 29, 2010 @ 19:00

    So glad to hear the good news! I really hope your snow rerouting exercises work.

    Did he tell you anything you can do about the ice pick to the brain part, or is that something a migraine sufferer just has to grit their teeth and get through?

  • Psycho Mantis Jul 29, 2010 @ 18:58

    Congratulations, Holly:


    “MOST new human technology is aimed at destruction (gee, maybe there’s a book in that somewhere)?”

    I don’t think this is true, and destruction’s intrinsically easier than creation (or even repair or reproduction) anyway.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 30, 2010 @ 10:16

      I agree. Most human technology is both creative and aimed at creativity. Destruction is simply loud and ugly and hard to ignore, so it seems like there’s more of it than there really is.

  • Irene Jul 29, 2010 @ 17:50

    Gorgeous brain indeed! Please get better, dear Holly, I know it must be pretty unbearable and I admire your strength!

  • CreativeSerendipity Jul 29, 2010 @ 17:32

    Nice brain! Would you like me to send pictures of my brand new ACL and stitched up meniscus? Ain’t it amazing what technology can do!

  • PolarBear Jul 29, 2010 @ 17:19

    My what a balanced brain. πŸ™‚ So, no matter what the game says, the zombies have not eaten your brain. Such good news!

    Strangely, another friend of our has just gotten the same diagnosis — and I see an NBA basketball player has been dealing with “vertigo issues,” too. Is this an epidemic?

    • Holly Lisle Jul 30, 2010 @ 10:14

      It’s apparently actually pretty common. Who knew?

      It has a correlation with migraines (though as far as I know, there’s no provable causation), and I’ve had migraines since I was in my early twenties.

      It can be caused by a blow to the head, which probably is how the basketball player developed it.

      And once you hit fifty, it’s increasingly common as that part of the ear suffers increasing degradation. I’ll bet you it’s even more common in folks who spent their youth listening to music turned way up. No proof of this personally, though. I could never stand loud noise.

      • PolarBear Jul 30, 2010 @ 18:09

        “And once you hit fifty…” Is that a threat? πŸ˜‰

  • Astropolis Jul 29, 2010 @ 16:35

    That’s great. Hope you feel better soon. I’m so relieved that we didn’t have to call in Space Fleet medical.

  • Michelle Jul 29, 2010 @ 16:34

    Congrats on a good prognosis. Hopefully the snowflakes will be falling on Manhattan soon, and the migraines will disappear for good.

  • Sallie Jul 29, 2010 @ 16:27

    I am so glad to hear that the health issues are resolvable and not terminal or anything really, really horrible! Yay Holly! (OK, a year is a very long time to resolve a vertigo issue when you’re the one living with it, but it’s so much better than unresolvable!)

    Hooray! (Hope the migraines drift away also.)

  • Gibbs Jul 29, 2010 @ 16:14

    That’s super, Holly. Glad to hear you’ll be your old self as soon as your flakes move back home! πŸ˜€

  • ekcarmel Jul 29, 2010 @ 16:03

    So, so happy to hear this hasn’t been a life-threatening disease of some sort. Here’s to hoping it will clear up sooner than the doctors expect it to!

  • Ian Jul 29, 2010 @ 15:51


    Sorry for the mini zombie apocalypse there, it’s good to hear that everything is going to get better for you. May your pen be swift and your recovery be speedy.


  • Betherann Jul 29, 2010 @ 15:20

    “This is your brain on [beneficial and prescribed] drugs.” <~ My first thought when I saw the images of your brain. Happy healing!

  • Laraine Jul 29, 2010 @ 15:13

    Glad to hear you have a diagnosis and I hope it doesn’t take you too long to send that snow back to Manhatten! And we didn’t need a doctor or a scan to tell us what a good brain you have, Holly πŸ˜‰

  • Bobbi Jul 29, 2010 @ 14:55

    I’m so glad to hear that you have a diagnosis! And it’s (relatively) good news at that. =) I hope you continue to recover and are back to feeling better in no time! I read about all these things you go through, and how you manage to push through each setback, and it amazes me. I think I’ve found a new role model. πŸ˜‰

    Best of luck!

  • Eric Jul 29, 2010 @ 14:28

    I’m glade you will be getting better Holly
    as we get older we have some ailments put on us some times, some go away and some stay we have to treat our bodies with much respect after all look what it dose and how long it dose things for us so good nutrition is the best thing we can do for our selfs.
    Get better as soon so you can continue your good works,

    Your friend Eric

  • E. J. Nelson Jul 29, 2010 @ 14:23

    It’s great to know you’re going to be OK. Sorry for you having to endure the headaches. Hope it’s snowing in Manhattan sooner than later.

    As for the pictures of your brain, at least you won’t be singing, “If I Only had a Brain”. As if your writing wasn’t proof enough, now you have pictures. Holly, feel better soon, we need you. – E. J.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 30, 2010 @ 10:09

      That crossed my mind, actually. Pictures. I have proof. πŸ˜€

  • Anthea Jul 29, 2010 @ 14:17

    I’m so glad to hear both parts of the diagnosis are non-lethal and hopefully fixable. Best wishes for further recovery!

  • Glynis Smy Jul 29, 2010 @ 14:04

    Wonderful news, it must be great to learn you have a good brain and you are not dying.
    I hope all goes well.

  • Mark P Jul 29, 2010 @ 14:01

    Dontcha love it that modern day medicine has a name for almost everything and a cure for very little while MOST new human technology is aimed at destruction (gee, maybe there’s a book in that somewhere)? Now when I see doctors I always ask for Dr. Beverly Crusher of the Star Ship Enterprise. All SHE needed to cure ANYTHING from broken limbs to spinal injuries to Migraines (& in 3 seconds no less) was that little round cylinder she carried. Best wishes that the mystic crystals migrate back.

  • JWd Jul 29, 2010 @ 13:56

    Dear Holly,

    I hope your snowglobe ear snow gets back to the proper New York subdivision as soon as possible.


  • Renate Jul 29, 2010 @ 13:35

    Very cool pictures! Thanks for sharing this. At the moment, I am reading an interesting book about brains – specifically neuroplasticity – titled “The Brain That Changes Itself” by Norman Doidge. It’s worth a read, if you haven’t already come across it.

  • H. Renee Jul 29, 2010 @ 13:29

    I’m hoping that you feel better as soon as is possible. :C

  • Tanessa Jul 29, 2010 @ 13:26

    That question mark was not supposed to be there lol. Apparently that is what alt 3 turns into when you hit submit.


  • Tanessa Jul 29, 2010 @ 13:24

    I’m glad you’re going to be fine πŸ™‚

    You’re always so funny, Holly, you make me laugh. “Unabsorbed twin.”


    • Holly Lisle Jul 30, 2010 @ 10:07

      That was a riff on Stephen King’s The Dark Half—a novel I liked a lot, and always worried about subconsciously.

  • Carolyn Jul 29, 2010 @ 13:22

    Sweet! Now they just need to come up with a permanent cure for the migraines, and then you will be all set! Good thing to know we didn’t need to get the duct tape out. πŸ™‚

  • Denise Jul 29, 2010 @ 13:22

    And yes, you do have a very nice brain. πŸ™‚

  • Saranit Vongkiatkajorn Jul 29, 2010 @ 13:17

    Glad to hear that your diagnosis isn’t life threatening. πŸ™‚ I hope the snow returns back to Manhattan soon.


  • Roi R. Czechvala Jul 29, 2010 @ 13:13

    I am certainly glad to hear that your prognosis is not only good, but not life threatening. That is welcome news.

    Also it is a testament to your skills as a writer, that the letter concerning your diagnosis is as entertaining as your stories.

    Glad to hear that you are okay and on the mend.



  • Sophia Jul 29, 2010 @ 13:12

    Dear Holly,

    I’m so, so glad to hear of your good diagnosis. I hope the ear problem clears up sooner rather than later, and that you and your family are feeling calmer for the news.

  • djmills Jul 29, 2010 @ 13:09

    Fantastic news! Glad you have a handle on the problem and can now take steps to control the condition.

  • Aynslie Jul 29, 2010 @ 13:06

    Excellent news, Holly! I love the snow globe analogy. Maybe someday you’ll write a book or story called “Snow in Manhattan.”

  • Craig Jul 29, 2010 @ 13:00

    Why do I feel like quoting ‘Young Frankenstein’ at this point:

    “It’s a GOOD brain, I tell you! It’s a GOOD brain.”

  • Eve Jul 29, 2010 @ 13:00

    Yay! Yay! . I just got your news letter saying that you don’t have some evil disease. The very best to you. I hope the ear-flake thing resolves itself soon and that the migraines come reluctantly and not often.

  • eltonBruce Jul 29, 2010 @ 12:57

    Hi Holly

    Great news, and ‘here’s to you kid’ for a rapid recovery.

    I don’t get to see many brains but yours looks pretty good; the symmetry and the black and blue makes an artful image.

    Best wishes

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