Arachnoid Cyst

I forgot to mention that the lesion on Pam’s brain is an arachnoid cyst which she’s had since birth. According to the brain MRI, he doesn’t feel that it’s causing any problems and probably not related to any of the chronic pain.

He will follow her with a yearly brain MRI.



Pam’s Neurosurgery Visit

We’re back from seeing Pam’s neurosurgeon. In contrast to the ophthalmologist we saw yesterday, this Dr. and his staff were outstanding. Friendly, pleasant and approachable. The Dr. himself spent time explaining and asking appropriate questions.

He told us that he sub-specializes in spinal diseases and surgery. He is referring us to another neurosurgeon at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh who sub-specializes in nothing but brain disorders.

She has an arachnoid cyst in the posterior fossa of the brain.

He also wants her to see an orthopedic surgeon for her shoulders and neck as well as a physiatrist. He also thinks that traction on her neck might be helpful.

Pam is obviously distraught and overwhelmed with all the news particularly with the financial side of it. I lost 90% of my salary when I had to retire. Therefore, physical therapy is an impossible option since the copay is $20 for each visit. Going even once/month cuts into our budget let alone going 2-3x/week. She’s worried about how we will pay for all of the Dr.’s visits and further treatment.

I’ve been very supportive and basically told her that her health is more important. If our credit rating drops, then so be it. Credit bureaus try to put the fear of God into us, but they can’t put us in jail or send us to hell! Having a low credit score doesn’t keep us out of going to Heaven. And the Lord only knows how many millions out there who are in the same financial boat with a fixed income.

"My God will use his wonderful riches in Christ Jesus to give you everything you need."   Philippians 4:19

She is frustrated because she thought she would walk in and get it "fixed." I’ve explained to her that life and our bodies are not that simplistic and that this Dr. covered all bases and was thorough and comprehensive.

Chad is off today, so he took her out and about to ‘window shop.’ Hope it helps to keep her mind occupied.


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Brain tumor, MRI and Computer Crash

Crying  GGGRRRWWWW!!! So much has happened. I just gained my computer and Internet access today. It crashed big time over 1 week ago. Fortunately I’ve liked computers and am a geek when it comes to tweaking and ‘suping up’ Vista and browsing speeds. Fortunately, I had my document files backed up including passwords and product keys. I worked at it a little bit day by day………and now…….Voila!

In addition to Pam having her chronic back and neck pain, she has been suffering from headaches more than usual. They now last 24-7 which she describes as a pounding throbbing headache. Two weeks ago she had her usual monthly visit with the pain specialist. He noticed muscle weakness in her upper shoulders and arms. So, he ordered an MRI of the neck. This past Friday, he called her saying that the MRI showed a mass on the back of her brain on the cerebellum. We both felt shock! She immediately thought of her mother’s brain tumor to which she succumbed. I immediately thought of the time when the Dr. told me my first wife and cancer. “Not 2 wives,” I thought.

She now has an MRI of the head scheduled for this Friday and will see a neurosurgeon on December 3.

We’re kind of reeling with the news but are remaining optimistic. Perhaps it’s just an arachnoid cyst which may need fenestration and a shunt. We will see.

Erik, Dr. Char and Dr. Howard………….I’ve been wanting to write you all an email but you can blame the computer crash on my not doing it.

We’re preparing for Pam’s brother, sister-in-law and their 2 children this weekend for the Thanksgiving holiday.

I need to start blogging more. But enough for today. Am still processing all my thoughts which I’ll be able to share later.


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