Thursday, April 23, 2009

April 10, 2009 : Initial Diagnosis

Jodi drove herself to McKay-Dee Hospital for the MRI nice and early Friday morning, April 10, 2009. She anticipated the MRI would be simply a "Step" in figuring out what was going on inside her head.

The MRI process was not pleasant, but went fairly well. Afterwards, the MRI tech said , "Thanks, you'll be hearing from your doctor in a few days". That message did not linger long. Within minutes, the tech tracked Jodi down with more news. "The radiologist is looking at your scans and he sees a little something. Would you be able to stay and do another scan so he can get a better look?" She pulled Jodi back into the room and pulled up the computer images. "Here is what he is looking at, a little "spot" outside the right auditory canal." Clearly, something was there.

An IV was started and contrast dye was inserted into her veins, which would help illuminate the "spot" on future scans. 30 more minutes in the waiting room and Jodi was back in the MRI. This time, she knew something was really there. Jodi says there is part of her that wasn't surprised at all. She was actually calm during the MRI, even knowing they had found something. Her initial thoughts were, "Of course they found something. I knew something was wrong. Now we can fix it."

Upon exiting the MRI for the 2nd time, the process was much different. The tech, Kim, told Jodi immediately, "There is definitely something there. Go home and call your doctor immediately."

A long drive home alone.

When Jodi arrived home, Tolan poked his head into the garage, getting ready to leave to go to work, after having stayed home with the kids during Jodi's appointment. A simple "How did it go" quickly turned more serious. Jodi explained to Tolan that a spot had been found. One spot. That was all they knew, but it didn't sound good.

Emotions began to roll and life changed in an instant.

Calls to the doctor resulted in futile hours of waiting. The initial call from the doctor was one of those moments frozen in time, "Mrs. Brown, I just don't know what to say..." followed by the "facts" that it appeared to be a tumor of some sort, growing near her brain stem and right auditory canal, close to the 7th and 8th cranial nerves. Jodi jotted down all the medical lingo as best she could then waited again for the office to call back with the "what now"?

Jodi called one friend just to have someone to talk to while she waited. But it still seemed so unreal. How do you wake up one day and find out you have a brain tumor? What do you do with yourself? How can you even try to be normal? What is normal? What do you do? How do you act? Can you even walk outside your house again? What does it all mean? What does this mean for the rest of life?

The emotional rollercoaster started to set in after the initial shock wore off. Words cannot suffice.

By the end of the day, the next step was set for an appointment with a neurosurgeon the following Monday, and the rest of the Easter weekend would be spent waiting.

No comments: