This is mostly a copy/paste from another website that I have going. Since I struggle more with the depression than I do with the physical problems, I was trying to find a place where I could blog that was a better fit. I will try to edit this entry so that it is not quite so irrelevant.
Since the background story is a long one, I will try to just give you the "Reader's Digest" version. In May 2002 I started having dizzy spells (feeling like the room was spinning when it wasn't) along with other symptoms. It wasn't until Nov. that I found out that I had a tumor in my left jugular fossa (the place in the skull where the vein goes through). At the time and due to the extreme rarity of this particular tumor, the only options I had were to leave it alone and let it grow or have it surgically removed. I opted to have it removed.
Still, I tried to pick up with some kind of life following and muddled on picking up part-time work here and there. Then, in April of 2007, my primary care physician (PCP) commented that my left ear which "looked different" following the surgery was beginning to look more different. He was not happy with that and sent me back to the ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat doctor) who first worked with me. After an MRI and several hmmmms, I was told that everything was fine.
I waited several months after that diagnosis, and was losing more hearing in the left ear. So, thanks to my employer who had been treated for throat cancer, I went to UNC Chapel Hill for another opinion.
The tumor had regrown. Now I was in the hands of doctors who were familiar with glomus tumors and how to treat them. Due to my previous surgery (which resulted in my mastoid bone being removed), another surgery was not an option. Surgery, also, was not the preferred treatment for this kind of tumor anyway.
In October 2008 I underwent CyberKnife radiation treatments to stop the growth of the tumor. The results so far are "successful". The tumor has not grown any more. I have lost the hearing in my left ear.
So, why am I putting up this website? Because this time around although it has been 1000 times better with the doctors at Chapel Hill and all that – this time around has been more difficult to work through.
I have had a history of depression anyway, and it seems that this particular experience has given that depression an open door. On top of that, the experience with the original surgery has left with late onset PTSD. While I pretty much have to go back to Chapel Hill and be re-evaluated every six months, I never know what medical situation will trigger a PTSD flashback. Not fun.