In the Spring of 2002 I started having problems with vertigo. However, after a month they went away. As the summer progressed, my hearing worsened until by Halloween I could no longer talk on a phone on my right (AN) side. The ringing in my ear was getting louder and louder, sending me to the doctor at Christmas time. In the middle of January 2003, I started getting muscle spasms on the right side of my face, and almost constant twitching of my lip or eyelid. In January I had an extensive hearing test showing significant loss of hearing, approximately 50% speech discrimination (I guessed well) and total loss of certain pitches. Audiology set me up for an MRI and ENT consult. During that time I started searching the net and found out about ANs.
On March 5, 2003 I had an MRI and my AN was discovered at 1.2x1x1.1 cm on the right side and growing significantly toward my facial nerve as opposed toward my brain stem. I then had balance tests which confirmed that my balance function was already destroyed on my AN side. I tried a conventional hearing aid for 6 weeks, but it was useless. We then settled on the Trans-Lab for a surgical approach. I chose the trans-lab since on my AN side my balance was already gone, as was any useful hearing and it gave me the best chance of saving the facial nerve. Because I work with the public and sell high dollar software, it was important to me to do all I could to not have facial problems
I had surgery on July 30, 2003. My tumor was actually 1.5 cm and was wrapping around my facial nerve and was buried deep according to the doctor. He totally removed the tumor.
I came home on Aug. 2, 2003. I have had excellent results. I have no eye or facial problems at all. I have absolutely no balance problems other than a 360 degree turn which feels funny, but everything else is fine. I was able to blink my eye completely the evening of the surgery. I have had no CSF leaks or headaches. I am walking 2 miles a day, I started driving again on Aug. 9. Today is August 17 and I am going to a customer site tomorrow and spend a couple of hours doing software training as I sell, install and train time and attendance software for a living. I plan to return to work full time on August 25.
I know I am very fortunate and have had excellent results. I strongly urge anyone diagnosed with an Acoustic Neuroma to educate themselves fully and be a partner in your treatment. And, YES there is life after AN surgery and it can be good!!!
Rick Everingham <richardeveringham AT cox.net>
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Last Edited: Wednesday, November 19, 2003