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.