Sunday, December 03, 2006

Recap - Part 1

Recap of how we found out about the tumor, the timeline of things and the surgery:
(Since all the information is distributed in the earlier blogs)

I started feeling that my right eye was seeing a less contrast version of things and was a little blurry since the last 2 months. I went to my optometrist sometime in september and because of his lack of action and seriousness about the issue, I finally went to a General practitioner at Virginia Mason. After a ton of pro-active pushing by me, my optometrist got me an appointment with some eye surgeon a month later!. huh!. I took copies of my eye test results from the optometrist and sent them to my ophthalmologitst in Nagpur(my home town in India). My ophthalmologist advised me to go see a neurologist immediately. After this information i had to take things in my own hand and hence saw the General practitioner, since usually you can't see a neurologist without a referral. The GP got me to see an ophthalmologist immediately and got some tests done. The ophthalmologist at VM did some 4 hours of tests to eliminate all problems wih the eye and finally concluded that there was something outside the eye which was pushing on the right optic nerve. So there i am sent for an mri.

We had a bad experience with the closed mri, so we decided to have an open one. We got those results on 12th Oct. My GP called up and told me that I have an appointment sceduled with a neurosurgeon on Monday, 16th and that i should start on steroids to reduce the inflammation around the mass in my head. Ofcourse I started off with questions but he told me that i will get answers only from the neurosurgeon. So we had to wait till monday. But anyway it was kinda clear that there is something in the brain. That evening was probably the only evening i felt bad and vivek and me both just sat there and hugging each other. It passed in a couple of minutes.

The next day it was viveks surprise birthday party, which i had already planned earlier, in the night. We stayed home and did random shopping and had a great party in the night. That helped with taking our minds off of the serious stuff.

We got the radiologists written report on saturday and we tried to understand it. It was an amazing report, coz we couldnt understand every 3rd word in it. After some googling and reading the report some number of times, it got clear that most probably it was a meningioma, which is usually benign. There were some other options too, but in either case it basically was some kind of a tumor. I think I wasn't shocked by that since somehow internally I had already accepted it.

On 16th, we met with our neurosurgeon at VM. He was a really nice doc and he explained a lot of the details which helped us understand and make the right decisions about the surgery. At that time of course we thought that this is just too much information which is just meant to scare us :)

After this for a day or two we were kinda lost on what to do, so we started talking to some people who have undergone similar surgeries. We realized the need for research and search for the right neuro-surgeon.

We met 3 neurosurgeons and decided on Dr Sekhar. He was very confident and positive about saving my right eye. I think he was the most confident among all about the surgery in general and about saving everything around the tumor. You can read here about the complexity of the surgery.


  1. Get well soon. Had stumbled upon your blog a few weeks back(via orkut) and came back to see how you are doing. Our best wishes with you.
    Health care is so much better in India and doctors have far more experience. To think about it, I still get my glasses done in nagpur :)

  2. thanks for the wishes. i havent had any surgery in india so wouldnt know. I am sure the health care has become much better. atleast they wont create problems for the patients coz of privacy issues. its pretty stupid that here they dont allow family members to accompany patients for tests etc coz of privacy issues. it can get irritating and scary sometimes. i mean why would a family member who is so worried about the patient look at other patients data.