Thursday, April 23, 2009

Health History Leading to the Discovery of the Tumor

Jodi's battle with a brain tumor started in about November 2008. She began having bad headaches, that at times, would become debilitating. She had never suffered with headaches or migraines and wondered what could be causing these bad spells. After weeks of trying to ignore them or work through the pain, she eventually went to a doctor to get some help. Through a series of in-office exams and routines checks, they felt she was having chronic tension headaches that manifested themselves through a variety of different kinds of headaches. Treatment, at that time, was simply through OTC medicines that could provide temporary relief for the pain.

Within a short period of time, Jodi then started experiencing dizzy spells. At first, these were annoying, but they quickly made life more difficult to manage. Dizziness gave way to vertigo and her whole world started spinning. After talking to a neighbor with similar symptons, she went back to the doctor and came out with a diagnosis of an inner ear infection that was impairing balance and motor function because of the vertigo. A variety of Google searches confirmed this theory, so Jodi had to "wait it out" for the 2-weeks to 3 months it would take for these spells to go away.

Though the symptoms varied a bit from time to time, neither the headaches or the dizziness ever left. On good days, she was still able to function "normally" from the worlds' perspective. Most friends, neighbors and family members didn't even know of her symptoms, but she slowly started changing her habits to accommodate for her new weaknesses. She stopped running as part of her exercise routine because she got too dizzy. She started holding on to walls and rails as she walked down halls, and simply tried to be more protective of herself.

After months of unending symptoms, Tolan convinced Jodi it was time to again visit the doctor. This time, she was would not be content until an answer was found. That visit in March resulted in a variety of family history information, follow-up tests and some blood work.

The previous days and weeks had gotten progressively worse. On a "bad day", she was hardly able to walk down the hall or even think clearly. She didn't feel safe driving her car and had other people drive her around if her head was spinning. She was at the point where she recognized something needed to be done, and fast.

When a nurse from the clinic called to give Jodi the "A-Ok" results from her blood tests, Jodi knew they couldn't stop there. Something was really wrong and they had to find an answer. She pressed the nurse to find out the next step. The doctor recommended an MRI at McKay-Dee Hospital. A routine MRI was scheduled for 2 weeks later.

Within hours, Jodi knew she couldn't wait, not even 2 more weeks for the test. She was having a very bad day and couldn't even walk a straight line. So, she took matters into her own hands and called the hospital. She spoke with "Nancy" in radiology and begged for an earlier appointment for the MRI. Nancy worked her in, for the very next day, April 10, 2009, at 8am.


Heidi said...

Dear Tolan and Jodi,

Thank you so much for sending out this blog. Being down here on the south 40 we never would have known what was happening. We love you guys so much, you are such wonderful friends. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. We DO believe in miracles.

Love, Jeff and Jen Gallacher and family
Koosharem, Utah

Anonymous said...

Dear Jodi,
I want you to know how much I love and admire you. As your home teacher growing up for years, I learned to respect and love you entire family. You are one of our Heavenly Father's "great and noble spirits". Your life's mission is not complete. You have many more spiritual blessings coming your way. This is a difficult trial and obsticle in your life but one that you will be able to endure. I feel strong that you will raise your family and see them "blossom" before your eyes. The Lord loves you and cares about you. Stay strong and have faith in the power of the Priesthood. We are all praying for you and your family. Bonny and I love you Jodi. You have a great father and mother. Their testimonies and faith along with your good husband, will bless your life and cause a miracle that you desire at this time. I believe in miracles because I have had one myself when I was told my life was short term after my heart attack. Miracles are real and the healing power of the Priesthood is real. May the Lord bless you with the desire of your heart.

Bruce Coombs
Orem, Utah

carolynfaldmo said...

Dear Jodi,

We are friends of your dear parents and love them so much. We spent 2 1/2 years at the PCC and serving in your Dad's stake.
Our son Jonathan was good friends with Tammi in High School.

We want you to know that you are in our prayers daily and that your name is in the Newport Beach Temple. We are visiting some other PCC missionaries, Wayland and Barbara Calkins in So. CA and spent the day in the temple with them.

We also know that miracles happen and we pray that you will be the recepient of every blessing possible.

Thanks to whoever sent out the blog. I am so glad you dear mom, Sherry, is there with you.

We look forward to hearing about the miracles that will happen to you and your family.

Our love and prayers are with you.
Carolyn and Norman Faldmo

kathy said...

Dear Jodi,
I thought something was up when we didn't receive one of your much anticipated Christmas cards this year!
Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers daily and that we pray for your strength and faith as well as for the doctors' insight into your care.
May you feel of our support and the Lord's love for you as you face this trial, knowing that all will turn for your good.
Thanks for the blog - it is so good to be able to keep up on your condition.
We love you,
Aunt Kath, Uncle Lynn and family

Anonymous said...

Dear Jodi,Toland and the kids,
I am so glad to get this blog sent to me. I tried to catch your mom to get upto date of your diagnosis while she was down in Orem and huried in and out of the house.
This blog is wonderful to get your daily details. We all are so lost and confused along with you. Hope your doctor can figure something to be done that would help!!
You have a wonderful family to help you through this trial. If there is anything we can do to sheer you up let us know. We want you to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Love, Saras and Sanya Pimsakul