I'm not sure that I have ever shared this story . . .
Back in 1999 my husband needed to get new glasses. He was wearing bifocals and his eyes kept getting progressively worse. We had some pretty crappy vision insurance so we went to Eyeglass World to get his eyes screened. The optometrist did his examine and had some concerns. She said he had some anomalies and thought he should see an neuorologist. Neuorolgist? I thought she was crazy. Why in the world would this optometrist be sugesting that. We ignored it. He got his glasses and we went along with our lives. About a year later his eyes had gotten much worse. It was quite distressing that they had continued to go downhill and he almost didn't pass his vision test at the BMV. He had no peripheral vision. If the line of letters read K O L U M N P he would simply see LUM. I thought it was time to go see my Opthalmolgist. I sent him to see Dr. Kempler and I went with him. Dr. Kempler did some tests and was quite concerned with the findings. We had to go back for a test a couple of days later and we sat in that little eye doctors room and he told us most probably Robert had a tumor in his brain.
TUMOR. The word struck me like a baseball bat to he head. My father had passed away from an agressive cancer hat ate away at his brain. I couldn't deal with this trauma. All I could think about was losing my husband and I freaked out. He sent us to a . . . you guessed it . . . neurologist. I felt so much guilt for not listening to the woman at the other place. We had one hope, the doctor had told us that pituatary tumors were most generally not cancerous. This was little comfort to a woman who lost her father to brain cancer and who is a tremendous worrier.
We had to see a neurologist in Kokomo becasue of our insurance. I was irritated that we livei n the 2nd largest city in Indiana and I had to drive to a po-dunk town to see a doctor. I fought with the insurance company and they wouldn't budge. It turned out being a great thing . . .
He did an MRI and confirmed that Robert had a tumor growing on his pituatary gland that was the size of 2 large walnuts. He sent us to a Neuro-surgeon in Indianapolis since they would not cover one in Fort Wayne. That was the best thing that ever happened to us because this man, "Julius Goodman" pioneered the non-invasive surgery to remove just this kind of tumor. And what do you know? Robert was one of his last patinents before he retired. We also had the privledge of having his prodigy be in the operation, this man was taking over his practice. All the insurance hassles were a blessing in disguise. . . we got the best doctor in the country for this surgery!
Robert endured a 4 hour surgery where they broke nose and drilled a hole in the bone behind his nasal pasage. They went in and "sucked" the tumor out of his brain. They had to pack the remaining hole with fat from his stomach since we learned that you cannot have void in your head. They did not cut any other protion of his skull. He has a nose packed full of gunk for days and a very big head-ache. He went home in 2 days. The tumor was not cancerous. And the "crappy insurance" paid off. We ended up paying $150 of a $30,000 surgery. A miracle all around.
We received 2 other miracles from this operation. You see, we had being trying to have a baby. Robert had never had children and wanted them so badly. I can still remember sitting in the doctor's room in Indianapolis after the tumor was confirmed and the doctor asking if we had children. We had said no, but that we were trying. He said that the pituatary tumor had been there for probably 20+ years and it had affected Robert's ability to produce viable sperm since it was limiting his testerone. He said, "If this is the only reason you haven't gotten pregnant, you will be pregnant by Christmas". I will never forget that sentence. It was hope summed up in one phrase.
And by the way . . . I was pregnant by August.
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