Another Story of Remarkable Irony
After reading A.J. Blum's article, A Remarkable Irony, on the ANA website, I felt we had something in common. It inspired me to finally share my story - also one of remarkable irony.
To begin, I am a very proud father of two deaf children that have cochlear implants. Since I'm "deafinitely left" myself, I have a greater appreciation for the hardships my children faced growing up and how they responded to those challenges. I am so proud of how special they are. Also a remarkable irony - I have a brother that also had acoustic neuroma. His surgery was about nine years ago.
Struggles Led to a Sense of Purpose and Satisfaction
My wife and I have been residing in Florida for 35 years, but I was raised in Wisconsin. Yes, I am a “cheesehead” who still roots for the University of Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers! I grew up in a medical family. My degree in business with a medical focus allowed me to market capital equipment. Through the years, I was fortunate to work for Siemens Medical while culminating and establishing my own company providing services to physician practices.
My AN Journey
A few years before my diagnosis, the only thing that would clue someone to the fact that something was wrong with me was the decreased hearing in my right ear. Otherwise I was fine. When I realized that the hearing in my right ear was almost completely gone, I made an appointment with an ENT. At my appointment an audiologist did a thorough hearing test and the ENT did a physical exam. I was told I had unilateral hearing loss, which, according to the ENT, was uncommon, especially for someone my age (35).
Finding Support in Others and Something “Bigger”
One of the hardest things I ever had to do was tell my two kids about my acoustic neuroma. It was June, 2017. Though I was assured it was benign, non-cancerous, not malignant, the words “I have something I need to tell you” have a frightening history for them.
Those were the same words we used when we told them back in 2006 that my wife had late stage ovarian cancer.
Pleased With My Outcome
My first suspicion that something was wrong was not hearing or dizziness. It was balance. I have solar panels on my roof to heat my swimming pool. Occasionally, it is necessary to repair leaks. While doing so, I felt very uncomfortable walking near the edge of my roof. I subsequently noticed that I was weaving about like a drunken sailor when walking.