As many close friends and family may know, Dan has had chronic headaches for a while now. A long while now....As a professional WedMD'ers we realized that headaches 'are rarely a sign of something more serious'. His headaches were diagnosed as a pinched nerve, muscle tightness, a spine that was out of alignment, and the list goes on. When his headaches joined other symptoms like dizziness - that was attributed to low blood sugar. However, late last year when headaches joined a family of other symptoms like tinnitus, lack of balance, and nausea we realized it was time for some real professionals.
After consulting a neurologist, Dan was put on some medication that should have alleviated his chronic tension headaches. After a few really severe migranes, the neurologist recommended we get an MRI to rule out anything serious. We scheduled the MRI for the Monday Dan returned from New York a few weeks ago. The MRI was at 9am. By 9:30 we realized that Dan's headaches had been a sign of something more serious. In fact, something very serious. Dan was diagnosed with a 'swollen mass of tissue in the brain'. A tumor.
Within 24 hours of being diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma, Dan and I were consulting with a neurosurgeon to find out how to get that thing out of there.
An acoustic neuroma is a slow-growing, benign tumor that originates in the vestibular, or balance nerve, connecting the inner ear to the brain. The balance nerve runs beside the nerve of hearing and the facial nerve which controls movement of the facial muscles. These three nerves travel through a bony canal known as the internal auditory canal.
Here's a diagram to show you what I mean.
Fortunately, these types of tumors are benign (non-cancerous) and cannot spread to other parts of the body. However, unless radiated to stop growth or removed - they can cause a lot of damage. Since Dan's tumor is already 5 cm in size and compressing his brain stem, surgery was now the most important thing to cross off our list. And ASAP.
We have an amazing doctor who will be performing the surgery on February 6th at Scripps Green in La Jolla. The surgery is long and complex - about 8-12 hours. I will relate the details of the surgery on a separate post. But until then this blog will serve as a way for me to keep all of our amazing friends and family in the loop. We love all of you so much and appreciate the many phone calls, texts & prayers!
Dan, we ALL wish you wellness!
Psalms 112:7 He will not be afraid even of bad news.
His heart is steadfast, made reliant upon Jehovah.