I've had persistent tinnitus in my right ear for about a year and a half now, and for the past 8-9 months have been having some extremely bad headaches based on my right temple area as well as decreased hearing in my right ear. Like a typical guy, I had ignored it until my fiance pushed me to see the doctor and explain everything.
After seeing my normal doctor, he referred me to an ENT, Dr. Steven Ho in Melbourne, FL. Well, after a few weeks and an MRI scan I've been diagnosed with AN. My right ear currently only has about 8% of it's hearing left, so it's pretty much a loss. My AN measures 1.4 x 1.7 x 1.2 cm and has pushed out of the IAC and formed a mushroom pressing against the brain stem. This afternoon was my follow-up from the MRI with Dr. Ho.
At this point, I'm past the watch and wait phase. I discussed the options with Dr. Ho, and he felt that a GN might be effective but the swelling post-procedure could have some negative side effects with how my AN has grown. He felt that neurosurgery would be my best option, and I do agree as well. Right now I'm waiting for an appointment with Dr. Jonathan Paine, one of the neurosurgeons at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, FL.
I'm trying to keep my emotions in check, but having a few breakdowns here and there. I've had a few different surgeries from sports-related injuries (knee arthroscope, Achilles rupture & re-attachment, ankle) but this is a whole different level of scary for me at 37. And then on top of that, I'm looking at also needing a BAHA device & possibly repairing a badly deviated septum. It's shaping up to be a LONG year...
I've been finding a lot of GREAT information on the ANA website already, but find that the doctor listings seem to be light. From what I understand, the only doctors listed are ones that support ANA. I'm a little nervous about seeing the neurosurgeon, since I don't really know how to spot a good one from a bad one. I'm planning to go through a lot of the questions on the site with him when we meet, and would prefer to stay locally if possible, but will keep my mind open depending on how the initial consult with Dr. Paine goes.