Wednesday, January 27, 2010

. . . . . . . Tumor & Medical Update

Today I had an appointment with Dr. William Couldwell, my neurosurgeon extraordinare. This man is amazing in so many ways. I continue to feel blessed that I am under his care throughout my brain tumor challenges.

As I waited for my appointment, I read some literature about the Clinical Neurosciences Dept. It reads:

"William T. Couldweel, MD, PhD serves as Professor and Chair of the Dept of Neurosurgery at the University of Utah. He also serves as Director for the American Board of Neurological Surgery and Secretary for the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Dr. Couldwell has over 230 peer-reviews publications..."

This man is literally one of the best in the WORLD at what he does. Yet, he is humble, kind, patient, warm and loving. I am truly grateful for him!

As he came in to talk to us, he had MRI scans from pre and post-surgery. He brought them up side by side on the computer and showed us the small tumor in my brain that caused so many problems, followed by the current scan without any sign of a tumor. The only thing he sees now are pools of blood, which are OK at this stage. That one small mass had smashed my nerves and was responsible for so many terrible, debilitating symptoms. Now it is gone.

My emotions were so strong as I heard him talk. My scans look "great" with no concerns at this time. He recommends yearly MRIs to keep things in check, as tumors can be "Chronic" and recur at later times.

Next he looked at the scans which showed the inside of my ear and noted that there is no fluid in the ear canal, which means my spinal fluid leak has stopped!!! Even a few months ago when I visited Dr. Shelton, he could still "hear" fluid, meaning it was still leaking inside my brain, but there was no way for the fluid to leak out, as it did through my nose and throat when I was in the hospital.

Again, my emotions nearly overpowered me. Why am I so blessed?

With the CSF leak "gone", I will continue to regain some hearing in my right ear. This will actually cause symptoms, such as tinnitus, or ringing in the ear. I have been experiencing this for months, and it will continue as there are still changes and improvements within my ear.

As for my facial paralysis, Dr. Couldwell says most of my facial "tone" has returned. Again, those who have seen me know this, because it is visible. I am not as "Crooked" as I once was. :) The mouth, eye, forehead nerves and such may still take quite some time to repair, but we are definitely going in the right direction.

As he left the room, Dr. Couldwell looked at me and shook my hand, then reassured me that I am doing "very well" and that he will continue to be "here" for me whenever a need arises.

I truly believe God blesses us with specific gifts and talents. I am so grateful that this man used the gifts he was given and has pushed himself to become a person who can truly help save lives.

I am still reeling with emotion. Thought I am not totally "healed", I know I am blessed. I will still need appointments, rest, down time and medication, but it is truly miraculous to be where I am today!


Rachel said...

That is wonderful news Jodi! The Lord has been truly mindful of you! We love you so much and are so grateful that you are recovering so well.

Michelle said...

Wow, Jodi! You have truly been blessed. There is no doubt. You are living right and bless so many people's lives. This is such great news. A real miracle. You are a woman of great faith and endurance. You are amazing. I'm so glad you found the best doctor. Again, another blessing, as you said. Congratulations. We love you!

Cluff Chronicles said...

I am so happy to hear everything is as good as it is for you! You are an incredible person, I can not tell you how much reading your experience has helped me re-focus my life back to what really matters. Thank you for being so willing to share your experience.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy for you! It's great to hear that your doctor is pleased with the progress. And remember, it was with reason. Look at all the people that have looked at them selves, after reading your blog. ANd re- evaluate their current standings in life. I sure have. I am not whining nearly as much with a headache...ha ha...! Thanks for teaching me...

Anonymous said...

Celebrate!!! Go out on the town. You deserve it. Love, Annette

Perla said...

i am so happy to receive such wonderful news, jodi! hurray! and how great to have a dr who seems to truly have the gift of healing. amazing!!! :)

britt said...

what fantastic news to hear! I am so happy for you and am grateful your recovery is continuing in the right direction!!

Nichole Giles said...

Great news! I'm so happy your appointment went well and that you're improving. It must feel like healing is taking forever--i can only imagine. But you are living proof that true miracles happen.

Thanks for the update. We need to have a family get-together soon.


Anonymous said...

Jodi - I'm so happy!!!! That is great and reassuring news and I am sure that you are relieved. I hope your visit in Hawaii did you and Tolan and your little family a world of good. You are blessed and you deserve to be! You are one of the sweetest and most inspirational people I know - so positive, upbeat, spiritual and wonderful. Keep us updated, and keep in touch!! Love, Noellee