The Benefits of Mutual Support
Quote – “I always feel encouraged and uplifted to talk to my fellow AN friends.”
I first learned about ANA through the ANA patient information booklet, Acoustic Neuroma Basic Overview provided by my neurotologist, Dr. Jennifer Tirino. I read that first booklet so many times I believe I had it memorized. Once I realized the ANA office was just a few miles from my home, I decided to stop by one day. I remember thinking they MUST have the answers to ALL my questions. I wasn’t wrong. I ended up meeting some great people at ANA. I left as a new ANA member with many of my questions answered.
The knowledge I learned through the ANA booklets, website, and discussion forum really helped me. It helped me to choose a path and to become comfortable with my decisions. Maybe “as comfortable as possible” would be more accurate. Due to timing, I did not have the opportunity to attend a support group meeting before my surgery. I did attend the first meeting held locally once I recovered enough to go and I have not missed a meeting since.
My wife and I have attended each Atlanta support group meeting together because the meetings are so beneficial to both of us. I always feel encouraged and uplifted to talk to my fellow AN friends. It gives me a better understanding of my own situation to learn how our individual circumstances are the same and how they are different. I receive reassurance from those who have already traveled the same path. I try to provide what insight I can to those who might follow my path. My wife receives support from other AN spouses and caregivers and, in turn, provides support to the spouses of the newly diagnosed.
Each guest speaker provides very useful information. Every meeting has been an experience of sharing between pre-treatment, post-treatment, spouses, caregivers, family, and friends. I always leave feeling more encouraged about my situation and my future. I also leave with a sense that I may have helped someone else better understand his or her own situation.
In no case does ANA endorse any commercial product, physician, surgeon, medical procedure, medical institution or its staff.