Monday, August 8, 2011

David Hurst's Opening Statement

Good afternoon Everyone,

My mother-in-law has a plate on her wall that says a "Nagging wife will save your life!"  I never knew how true that would be!

My wife notice some peculiar behavior in me during the past few months and really began to pester me about getting in to see a doctor.  She said I was having these 2-3 minute spells when I would seem out of it, sometimes I would cuss (f-bombs) a few times and then say "i just don't know".  To me it was nothing but after her persistent pestering, I called my neurologist neighbor friend and told him I needed to come in and see him for an official office clinical visit.  He said whenever worked in my schedule, he would make it fit.

Dana and I went to see him last Thursday July 28th and we had a lengthy discussion where I sat there with my mouth mostly shut and listened as my wife talked about something I had no clue about.  The doctor performed a complete neurological exam and found it to be completely normal, of course!!

However, we all know that all neurologists order an EEG and MRI's on every patient.  In fact the nurse getting me in the room, asked when my last MRI was.   Why should I be any different.  So, mine was scheduled a week later, Thursday August 4.

I was confident my EEG and MRI would be normal because I was normal.  Much more normal than all the wacky patients we see in the ED with wacked out complaints that are off the wall and totally normal complete work-ups.

Maybe that should have been my clue.  Bad things happen to good normal people.

When I walked out of the MRI dressing room, the radiologist, both a dear friend & colleague was waiting for me outside the dressing room door.  I laughed and told him that it is rare for a radiologist to be waiting outside the dressing room door to tell the patient their MRI is normal.  I then jokingly commented, my MRI is normal, right?  He gave me the look of "No"  

We walked down the hall to the Interventional reading room, very private, and the first image on the screen was the one included here, my brain with a great big tumor in my left frontal lobe.  
It is suspected to be a Level 3 Anaplastic Glioma  (better than a level 4 but worse than a level 2)  These are rarely of metastatic origin and usually amenable to surgery with often very good outcomes.  I asked if I could be back to work in 1-2 weeks, the neurologist laughed said more like 6-8 weeks.  Brain tumors are graded different than other cancers, level and stage is entirely different.  But I will undergo all the usual body scan testing.

I have an appointment with the Scott and White Neurosurgery department Monday August 8 at 2:30 to discuss the plan of action and the timeline.  I have been told that once you have the MRI the next step is to take it out.  I am all in favor of taking it out but not so much the cutting my head open part. 

As ED clinicians it is good to get the perspective of how such a big tumor could be in your head and have a normal life without any symptoms.  I did have a few episodes where I would just go blank, I was awake but my mind struggled to get the next thought out.  It has happened a dozen times during the past several months but I attributed it to acute distraction or being a little flustered.  It only lasted about 30-60-120 seconds and I was awake and aware of everything during the entire spell.  (and no I didn't lose urinary continence)  I actually had a spell on Wednesday, the day before the MRI and my scribe Alysa actually asked me what was that?  I brushed it off at the time and stated I just got temporarily off track and it took me a second to get back on track.  Hard to explain. 

The MRI is impressive and I have shared it with a few people,  I hope you will use discretion, it does not have my name on it but I would rather not see my brain scan scattered around the hospital or you tube.

I did tell everyone that I want my job back as soon as possible!!!   Also, I am sure I have left a few people off the email list, please feel free to use your discretion and tell them what you are comfortable with, obviously if it is in the here you can tell it.

As for any specific needs, Dana and I have been very blessed and truly the only needs we have are for all of your prayers and well wishes.  

Thank you very much and God Bless everyone, just think!