Waiting Game

Through this entire process, a lot of it has merely been a waiting game. You get a test done, you wait to hear the results. You go to a doctor, you wait a week for them to do research and see what the next step is. Or — what it was for a very long time — you simply wait to find the right doctor to go to. With the call from MAYO ensuring me that I am on the waiting list, it seems that the wait for adequate doctors has finally come to a close–at least for the pain in my abdomen. And now, it seems that the search has also concluded for my head as well.

For quite a while now, my parents have been doing extensive research trying to get a grip on what exactly the cyst in my brain is and what doctors have successfully dealt with it. With all the technology that the medical area is blessed with today and all the research that has been done, it turns out that they still don’t know much about the pineal gland. It truly is the golden age of neuroscience, and many doctors are still trying to determine precisely what effects it can have on the body when a cyst is found there. For most people, cysts in the pineal gland are asymptomatic and can actually be there their whole life and never cause any problems. These cysts are usually 0.5 centimeters or less. The one that they discovered in my brain is a little bit bigger than one centimeter, and it seems to be causing me some definite problems. Nausea, persistent headaches, dizziness, and increasingly blurred vision have made my life more than a bit difficult at times.

The blurred vision goes in and out all day, so there are times when I can’t see the work that is in front of me or who is saying hi to me in the hallway. (I apologize now to anyone I may have looked at funny or ignored.) The dizziness can make me feel as if the world is tilting or the floor is moving underneath my feet. I can’t drive because of the blurred vision, and stairs can become a bit precarious and seem more like a treacherous mountain awaiting my unsteady feet then a couple flights of stairs.

As you can see, these factors implicate the way I live my life, and after some digging it seems they have done the same to others as well, and thankfully, some of these people have found answers. The Skull Base Institute, the world’s premier institute for minimally invasive endoscopic techniques and pioneering endoscopic brain surgeries, have dealt with thousands of cases similar to mine and either fixed the problem or lead them to the right place that will. Last week we sent in all my information and MRI, and this week, actually at 1:00 P.M. today, I will be consulting with them via skype (they are located in Los Angeles, California).

These guys are the best of the best in what they do, and they genuinely know what they are talking about and aren’t hesitant to act on it. It seems that in these past two weeks we have received the news we have been waiting for for over two months, and I cannot begin to describe how grateful I am. While the thought of brain surgery is intimidating, the thought of being rid of these nagging symptoms outweighs my fear. And if surgery isn’t the answer, and it comes down just to a simple medication that I have to take everyday, I will certainly welcome that with great pleasure. For me though, it seems that the doctors I have seen really don’t know much about what it is in my head, and I’ve come to learn that knowing is much better than not knowing. Surgery or no surgery, I am confident that this team of doctors will have an answer that is reliable and valid, for as I said earlier, they truly are the best in the world at what they do, went to some of the top schools in the country, and have immense experience. Put all those components together, and they are quite a force to be reckoned with.

As for me, I’ll have the answers I’ve been looking for by the end of the day. Unfortunately, all you fellow readers will have to play the waiting game I have been for months now, and find out the results in my next blog. One week compared to five months is a vast difference, so I’m confident all of you will get through it.

Until then, readers. Don’t get hung up waiting.