Reviewing and renewing Biblical faith through story and study

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Acoustic Neuroma


8:45 yesterday morning I made a quick phone call, just like the doctor told me to.
“I need to book myself in for an MRI,” I said.
“We can do 12:15 this morning.” 
REALLY? That soon? I thought. I hope it’s nothing, but ... That soon?

1pm I found myself being inserted into the worlds largest pencil sharpener. I never realized how noisy it is inside a pencil sharpener!
The radiologists did a couple of 2 minute tests, a few 4 minute tests and then let me know they needed to do the tests with the contrast. So, I got an injection and a few more scans. They said I did a very good job laying still. It’s one of my strengths — I practice every night.

2pm on the way out of the clinic the receptionist asked, “Did you want to wait for those or come back later?” 
WAIT? My mind raced. They’ll be ready so soon?
I said I’d come back at 4:45 on my way home.

3pm I was sitting at my desk when my mobile buzzed. 
“David, can you come see me?” 
It was the doctor who, the previous afternoon, told me to book an MRI.
I drove to his office, stopping to retrieve the MRI scans — ready so soon.

4:15 my doctor invited me to take a seat. He showed me the report he'd received by fax. A growth, on my auditory nerve. “If I recommend you to a neurologist, you will go on a list and need to wait. Maybe a month. So, I will write you a letter to take to emergency at Box Hill Hospital. They have a neurology department. With my letter and your scans, they will see you tonight.”
“Do I need to go so soon?” I asked.
“It’s the best way. It’s the fastest.” 
Fastest was certainly the word for the day.

6:15 I put 4 dollars into a parking machine in front of the emergency department. That gave me two hours. I went inside, gave them my letter and sat down. There were a lot of people in the waiting room.

8:15 I put 2 dollars into the parking machine. That took me past 9pm which was the time the meter stops counting. 

10:45 a nurse took my blood pressure, temperature, and asked a few questions.

11:30 a doctor called my name and I followed him through a warren of rooms, hallways, beds and curtains. “Your MRI shows a 23mm tumor on your left auditory nerve. How has it been affecting you?” 
I told him about the ringing in my ears that, for five years, I had thought was tinnitus. Then I told him about the facial numbness I’d been experiencing in the past few weeks.
We did lots of interesting tests. And then he said, “This tumour needs to come out of your head soon.”
Yeah, I get it. Soon!
“I’ll just go make some calls.”
I sat on the bed, googling Acoustic Neuroma. Interesting...
“Next Tuesday morning,” he said as he walked into the room, “9am you need to be at St Vincent’s Hospital in the city. The surgeon wants to see you.”
So soon. Wow.

1am I crawled into bed next to the love of my life. She rolled over and groggily said, “You’re finally home! You must be so tired.”
“Sure am,” I answered.
“Me too,” she said. “Let’s talk about it in the morning, ok?”
This woman knows me, I thought. The morning will come all too soon.