Hey there, I really do not like this type of thing. Makes me very uncomfortable. However, it seems a few of you are concerned and would like to have updates on my condition.Spring break is upon most of you... so I thought the caringbridge site would be a good way for you to drop in and check my status. I won't be posting beach pictures on Facebook. I will be chillin' the most at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
For those of you who don't know the full details... here is a brief tale of my woes.
The New Year ushers in hope that the upcoming year may be just a bit better than the last. Resolutions are made. My resolution was to keep on top of my health in 2016. Turning 50 is a time for a tune up. I scheduled a physical for Jan. 4th 2016, the Monday after a weekend of shenanigans and ringing in the New Year with Kid Rock in Louisville KY. The physical went fine. I mentioned to the doctor that I had some tinnitus, decreased hearing in my left ear and dizziness. Pretty much has been going on for about two years. I just chalked it up to old age and one too many Kid Rock concerts. The doctor was not too concerned, but said if it was bothering me I could get my hearing checked. Curious to see what my hearing levels were, I opted for a hearing test. January 12th was my appointment with an ENT. I was fully ready for a conversation about hearing aids. The doctor came in to go over my results. Instead of a hearing aid conversation, I was engaged in a surreal conversation about a benign brain tumor. The type of hearing loss I was experiencing was typical of an acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannomma). Two days later an MRI was scheduled to confirm the diagnosis. January 18th I received full confirmation that I had a 1.5 cm benign tumor on my 8th cranial nerve. Mind you two years ago, when I first had symptoms of tinnitus, being the alarmist that I am, I had diagnosed myself via WebMD with a brain tumor. Somehow,I backed my self down from that ledge. Did not want to be the crazy person.
The next stage in the process was to visit a neuroENT, neurosurgeon and a neuro-radiologist. A benign brain tumor has to be removed because it can grow and press on the brain stem. There are other risk factors if the tumor grows large... facial paralysis and balance issues.
At first, the options were watch and wait, surgery, or radiation. After visiting all three doctors, it became clear that the only option was surgery.
Add to this mess...I will be moving to Yokohama, Japan in August 2016 for a three year work assignment with Nissan (Larry's work). Hence, the urgency to get the surgery done.
In the past several months if I seemed to ignore you...I wasn't. I just didn't hear you. The hearing on my left side is significantly reduced, especially in loud or noisy situations.
Some may describe me as dizzy. Well this is true. I've been walking around dizzy, not drunk.
So here I am, ready to spend my spring break having a translabyrinthine approach craniotomy on Monday March 28th 2016 to remove the little devil living in my head. With this surgical approach, I will lose all of my hearing in my left ear but the risk of facial nerve injury may be reduced.
My surgeons are Dr. George Wanna NeuroENT-Otolaryngologist and Dr. Kyle Weaver Neurosurgeon.
Prayers are welcomed. Prayers for courage and healing. Prayers for the doctors. Prayers for my family.