Three years ago today, my five year old was recovering from anesthesia introduced during his preop MRI for a non specific brain tumor. The "mass" was resected in May of 2011,in a 12 hour procedure and he was paralyzed postop on his left side. After a brief stay at the Hospital for Special Care, he made a "nothing short of a miracle" recovery and was home in time to be pushed in his wheelchair at the Memorial Day parade. Matthew is now a typical eight year old boy, walking and running and talking and learning.
About two years ago I started feeling some numbness in my cheek. I told my primary care doctor about it and he dismissed it as some kind of sinus thing. I had suffered from headaches most of my adult life and mentioned it to him but it did not seem to connect. Last November I started having bouts of dizzyness and issues with hearing in one ear. After falling a few times and having sensations similar to panic attacks, I decided to go to the Emergency Room. The doctors listened to my symptoms, still not taking it serously and ordered a CT scan. I left the hospital with a diagnosis of anxeity and vertigo and a prescription of valium. The next day I was called back in to the hospital because the radiologist saw something suspicious. An MRI was performed (December 23, 2013) and a large vestibular schwannoma was identified- so large it was pushing into my brainstem. I was in a panic and what was worse, no one was responding to me because of the impending holiday. On a whim I reached out to Matthew's neurosurgeon (Dr. Duncan at Yale) who replied to my frantic email the same evening, 12/23 at 11:30 pm) who referred me to Dr. Joseph Piepmier (and copied him in his response). Within a month I was admitted to remove a "bigger than a Buick" Schwannoma in a 9 hour surgery. I lost my hearing in the involved ear, and have balance and fatigue issues but I am one of the lucky ones. I am about to fight to retrain and begin a couch to 5K program this month.
- Submitted by Lorie Boveroux