From Diagnosis to Surgery - My AN Experience as a Musician
I was finishing my first semester in a PhD music program in Toronto, when I started getting strange sensations: mild tingling and electrical “zaps” through the left side of my face. I was worried about these symptoms but I figured I had overdone it with playing my instrument, the saxophone, and was suffering from a musculoskeletal disorder in my jaw or neck.
What I Learned About Happiness from Acoustic Neuroma Surgery
Since late November/December 2018, I felt something was seriously wrong with me, but I just couldn’t place it. In March, I told my wife Rebecca that I felt like I was dying. She asked what would make me say that. I told her that I couldn’t medically put my finger on why I would state such a drastic claim, but I just felt like my body was shutting down. She replied that we are all dying, but somehow I knew this was different. – Oh boy, were we about to find out how different!
Getting Back in the Game
While in college, I led an active lifestyle, working out, playing various sports, and participating in a baseball league. I was having some difficulty hearing certain words and a hearing test revealed mild hearing loss in my left ear. The doctor chalked this up to me working in a loud automobile factory — the job that supported me through school, and listening to loud music.
A Chance to "Pay Forward" After Two Surgeries
In 2006, I began having unexplained falls, feeling disoriented, etc. I attributed these to becoming clumsy. My primary care doctor ordered an MRI. Due to a staff error in her office, it was ordered without contrast and the report was negative. The next step was seeing a balance specialist, which resulted in a diagnosis of labyrinthitis, an inflammation of the inner ear or the nerves that connect the inner ear to the brain. Prescription drugs did nothing to change my symptoms.