Months of being told I was just overly stressed because my ex husband was deployed on a ship, I was working as a substitute teacher, and working on my Master's Degree. My doctor FINALLY admitted that I should see a neurologist, who sent me for an MRI! Meningioma brain tumor - utter PANIC - my grandma died from a glioblastoma. The first neurosurgeon that I saw told me that it was much worse than I thought; it was wrapped around the artery that connects the brain to the brain stem, and that he didn't feel comfortable touching it,but he knew an AMAZING neurovascular surgeon, and he referred me to him. Dr. Gavin Britz, saved my life!
Part 2 - my first craniotomy was September 10, 2010, and did NOT go as planned AT ALL. I went in for a procedure on the 9th, where the plan was to cut off any blood supply to the meningioma - FAIL! It just felt like my brain was on fire. So, the next day, I went in for my first craniotomy. They made burr holes, and cut a circle out of my skull, but when my neurosurgeon went to pull it off, I had a serious bleed. So, on to plan B, which entailed A LOT of testing, and more risks - which I happily accepted, so I could be alive for my Sam Stearns
Part 3 - LET THE TESTING BEGIN! First thing first, my neurosurgeon had to come up with a new plan - through my right ear canal. The "damage": I would be permanently deaf on the right side. Possible risk? The nerve that controls half of my face is extremely sensitive, and I could lose function. My question: do I get to watch my daughter grow up? The answer was yes, so I was all in. The tests took all day, and they were interesting, to say the least. They put water in my ear, & put me in a weird chair to test my equilibrium - yuck! Then they tested my hearing, we've all had that done... Then we waited for surgery to be approved, and schedules to be put together.
[ ] Surgery #2 - October 12, 2010. FINALLY! My neurosurgeon told me that he would NOT be removing any tumor from my cavernous sinus because it would give me "googly eyes." Very technical term. Lol. After I woke up, he was very upset because my right eye had turned all the way towards my nose. This was nothing, compared to the balance issues I had.
[ ] Part 4 - physical therapy
I found an amazing physical therapist about 20 minutes from where I was living in Wilmington, NC. Her name is Anne, and she taught me how to walk, and balance so well, that she, basically, had to make me leave. Not having an inner ear, on my right side, took A LOT of getting used to!