Author Topic: Psychologist, Psychiatrist or other?  (Read 4787 times)

Sonia in Sydney

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Psychologist, Psychiatrist or other?
« on: March 05, 2015, 04:35:14 am »
I am 5 weeks out from my acoustic neuroma removal with great success. I had a 4cm tumour completely removed which has left me with a right side facial paralysis and deafness/tinnitus. I have 2 young children and an extremely supportive network of friends and family but still feel I need some support for my emotional well being. I am finding it hard to deal with how my face currently looks and adapting to this new state of appearance. I still nap in the afternoon as i am so tired which makes me so reliant on those around me which is also tough. My husband has been amazing but I feel so unattractive, especially as i can't wear makeup, i don't have a smile and my right eye is not quite the same post tarrosophy. I would like to see someone professional who understands the emotional state of those with facial paralysis. 

Can anyone suggest what type of help I could seek, I have had recommendations of both psychologists and psychiatrists though not sure which would be more suitable. The male psychiatrist has experience in dealing with facial palsy though i do feel speaking to a female would be easier for me personally to relate to.

I would appreciate your views.       
Diagnosed 4cm acoustic neuroma 12/17/14
Tumour Removal 1/27/15
CF Leak repaired. 1/31/15
Right Facial Palsy. (diagnosed as temporary)
Tarsorrhaphy performed.
Right side deafness.
Balance improvement post op.

Kaybo

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Re: Psychologist, Psychiatrist or other?
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2015, 09:04:42 am »
Hi Sonia!
I can't really address your questions about the doctors, but I want you to know that you are not in this alone!!  I had surgery over 19 years ago (I was 25) to remove a "huge" tumor and then had a stroke on the operating table.  I was left with right side facial paralysis (from nerve damage not stroke), SSD and no use what so ever of my right side.  It was quite a journey, but I have worked hard and overcome (or adapted!)!!  My husband was my ROCK and I now have 3 beautiful daughters and have been able to do many things that they told me I would never do again (I'm about to leave for exercise class now!).  It is not always easy and it is especially hard to have a face that doesn't work right anymore BUT I've learned that the people that REALLY care (& IMO the ones you should surround yourself with), truly do not notice the outward appearance - the inner beauty truly shines thru!!
I would love to chat with you more - if there is someway we could iChat or FaceTime (that's kind of funny! ;D ;D), I'd be more than happy to do that!!

LMK!
Kaybo :)

Translab 12/95@Houston Methodist(Baylor College of Medicine)for "HUGE" tumor-no size specified
25 yrs then-14 hour surgery-stroke
12/7 Graft 1/97
Gold Weight x 5
SSD
Facial Paralysis-R(no movement or feelings in face,mouth,eye)
T3-3/08
Great life!

bethtretrault

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Re: Psychologist, Psychiatrist or other?
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2015, 02:34:27 pm »
A psychiatrist can prescribe meds. A psychologist or clinical social worker can do talk therapy. Why not try a practice that has both in case you would benefit from medication. I think therapy is a great place to start. Good luck  :)
beth
12/2013 5mmx4mmx4mm left
tinnitus, w&w
5/2015 7mm-louder tinnitus, occasional dizziness
retro sigmoid 11/2015

Mimispree

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Re: Psychologist, Psychiatrist or other?
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2015, 05:37:10 pm »
Sonia:

It's so good to hear from you.  I have often thought about you and your husband Andrew. 

I have the same right-sided issues as you and I understand how hard it is to look in the mirror.  It does get better as you come to terms with it.  I have written this before, but I have noticed that my husband looks at me with more love since the surgery than before.  He still see me and he's glad I had the willingness and courage to go through the surgery.  I'm sure your husband feels the same way. 

I too miss wearing make-up, but I just haven't been able to figure how to put it on yet.  I'm hoping someone will post some tips.

Perhaps, if your facial nerve wasn't severed it will slowly, that is s-l-o-w-l-y heal.  I have read posts where people says it was 16-months before they noticed a tingle or movement.  Someone said it took two to three years and they were back to their old face. 

The great thing is that your surgeons got all of the tumor out.  Oh, I had the gold eyelid weight and a lower lid stitch and it's great.  I only wish I did it sooner, so I suggest you talk to your team about that.  It can always be removed when your facial nerve heals.

Hang-in there.  Everyone says it will get better and I believe them.

Love,
Michelle
2.8cm Trigeminal Neuralgia tumor removed Translabyrinthine approach on July 31, 2014 at the University of Utah Health Center.
Dr. Clough Shelton and Dr. William Couldwell.
SSD; Right side facial paralysis; Poor right eye sight; Dizzy 24/7; Eyelid implant 02/215; Sense of humor intact.

Mimispree

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Re: Psychologist, Psychiatrist or other?
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2015, 08:11:15 pm »
I saw a Neuropsychiatrist and did talk-therapy for two years in conjunction with anti-anxiety medication when I was first diagnosed.  After two years I felt pretty good so I stopped taking the medication and everything was fine because the therapy worked.

A few weeks ago I started taking my anti-anxiety medication again because I was getting too depressed with my recovery struggles.  I'm glad I did: Getting through the day is easier for me and my husband.  My dark thoughts are not quite so dark.

I'm sure your medical team would like to know how you're feeling and may suggest a good person to help you.

My thoughts are with you.

Love,
Mimi
2.8cm Trigeminal Neuralgia tumor removed Translabyrinthine approach on July 31, 2014 at the University of Utah Health Center.
Dr. Clough Shelton and Dr. William Couldwell.
SSD; Right side facial paralysis; Poor right eye sight; Dizzy 24/7; Eyelid implant 02/215; Sense of humor intact.

Sonia in Sydney

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Re: Psychologist, Psychiatrist or other?
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2015, 11:36:08 pm »
Thanks Kaybo & Michelle. This forum is also an excellent way for me to know that i am not alone. Even with all the wonderful, supportive family & friends around me its a very personal journey and the emotion is very tough to deal with some days.

Michelle, the gold weight was not given to me as an option. I think the tarsorraphy was offered as it was a great temporary fix for the issue though i seem to continue to struggle with dry eye even after the operation. I am hanging on with drops and gel at night but may have to see my doctor again if this continues.

I will also speak to my doctor at my 6 week appointment about my feelings too and like you say, he may have some ideas of support. I am heading to a support group in Sydney tomorrow with my husband in hope of meeting with people also in our situation and have some face to face contact. Im hoping this might connect me with some ideas and people to talk to.

Kaybo, you sound like you have recovered well and learnt to move forward with life which gives me much hope.

Michelle, i believe it will get better too. I know its early days but i guess its all about patience!

Sonia
Diagnosed 4cm acoustic neuroma 12/17/14
Tumour Removal 1/27/15
CF Leak repaired. 1/31/15
Right Facial Palsy. (diagnosed as temporary)
Tarsorrhaphy performed.
Right side deafness.
Balance improvement post op.

Kaybo

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Re: Psychologist, Psychiatrist or other?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2015, 09:50:46 am »
I have had several eye weights over the years and have one now - they are great!!  The most recent one I had placed was BY FAR the best job and you can't even tell - no one knows that I have it unless I tell them! I always ask for the weight that they take out.  We used to joke that we should make a charm bracelet but now that metals (I've have 1 or 2 gold and 1 platinum) are so expensive, I may sell them for cash!!   ;D  I also wear full makeup except mascara on my lower lid on the right side.  You are more than welcome to look me up or friend me on Facebook (Kay Stacy).  I don't spend much time on this Forum anymore but would love to visit with you more about all of this.

Have a GREAT day!
Kaybo :)
Translab 12/95@Houston Methodist(Baylor College of Medicine)for "HUGE" tumor-no size specified
25 yrs then-14 hour surgery-stroke
12/7 Graft 1/97
Gold Weight x 5
SSD
Facial Paralysis-R(no movement or feelings in face,mouth,eye)
T3-3/08
Great life!

 


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