Never be the Same
My name is Marsha Nesler, I am 39 years old. I was diagnosed in late January of 2002 with a vestibular shwannoma. It was a little more than 4 cm. The tumor was on the brain stem, on and in the ear nerve and canal, it was on the optical nerve and facial nerves. My symptoms before my surgery were: very severy headaches, dizziness, loss of hearing in my right ear, a feeling of my vision being blurry, right eye sensitive to light, neck ear and jaw pain, fatigue and some memory loss.
I underwent surgery on February 13th 2002 at the University of Washington Hospital. It was a 13 hour surgery and there were two teams of doctors. They had to cut the hearing nerve and I knew that was a possibility, I had previously loss most of the hearing in my left ear due to a major car accident in 1994.
After the surgery the right side of my face was paralyzed and my right eye was experiencing double vision. I couldn't close my eye all of the way. I was given the wrong medication for my eye which caused further complications with my eye, but those complications were not from the surgery. I was experiencing dizziness and my balance was not good at all.
Within about 2 months after the surgery my nerves started to wake up and my face has pretty much come back except for my right eye; the tear duct and nasal passage is still collapsed. I have to put drops in my eye all day long and ointment in at night. I wear a digital bycross hearing aide to hear and I still get very bad headaches that keep me from doing what I want. I get fatigued very easily and also get overwhelmed easily. I have had to accept that my life will never be the same.
I have a wonderful family who have been by my side. My surgeons were great, but the surgery itself was a horrible experience, because the care I received during my hospital stay was horrible. I recommend if possible to make sure you have friends or family around you to question and monitor the care you are receiving after your surgery while you are in the hospital. If I were to do this over I would choose not to be in a learning hospital.
I will be having an MRI to see if the tumor has come back in a few weeks. If I were to do this over again, I would still choose surgery because of all of the symptoms and how the tumor was affecting my ability to function. I wish everyone who is facing this the best of luck and my prayers are with you.
Marsha Nesler <mnesler AT nwi.net>
P.O. Box 133
Pateros, Wa. 98846
Last Edited: Saturday, November 23, 2002