I was a first time mother at the age of 39 and taking care of my nine month old twins. I suddenly started experiencing excrutiating headaches…Really blinding, searing headaches.
I thought perhaps I was experiencing nervous exhaustion. I also thought perhaps these headaches were migraines, as I had done a little research on the internet.
It seemed like this horrible pain was similar to what I had seen described as migraines. I made an appointment to see my GP.
When I met with my Doctor, he was skeptical about my migraine theory, as he said he treated a lot of women with migraines, and that they always got relief from their migraines while the were pregnant or breast feeding…it seems that hormones play a big role in migraines…I was breast feeding my twins. He wrote an order for a CT Scan, and said he would call me when he got the results. I had the CT scan of my brain done, and he called, to tell me the results were back, and could my husband and I come to see him?
At the appointment in the Doctor’s office, my Doctor put the “film” of my CT scan up on a light board, and pointed at a dark area, in the middle of my brain. He said that Dark area is the ventricles, and should be completely dark…but mine had a white ball inside the dark area, on what looked like a long thread. My Doctor said that should not be there…and we need to find out what it is. He said we needed to make an appointment to see a Neuro surgeon.
That is when time sort of stood still…It was just not possible that this sort of thing could happen to me…
My husband, being a man of action, started making phone calls as soon as we got home. He called a couple of family friends, who are in the medical field, to find out who is the best Neurosurgeon in New York City, as we were living about an hour and a half from NYC at the time. We made appointments to see one Neurosurgeon with a very swish office on The Upper East Side…I don’t remember his name…but he was all “confidence” in his own abilities, and no real seeming concern for me, the patient…His appeal was lost on me…
Then we saw Dr. Harold Varmus …I believe he was head of Neuro-Surgery at Memorial Sloane-Kettering. He gave us the name of a different NeuroSurgeon…Dr. Mark Souweidane…He said if he had to choose a Doctor to do the surgery it would be Dr. Souweidane. Dr. Varmus said that Dr. Souweidane was doing a new type of minimally invasive brain surgery, and that the recovery period and cognitive affects would be much less, if it was possible to do this new type of procedure.
My husband and I made an appointment to see Dr. Souweidane. My insurance did not cover Dr. Souweidane…so that was another hurdle we would have to jump, if we decided on him as the Surgeon…but with my brain on the line, and Dr. Varmus’ emphatic recommendation…we decided to meet this Doctor, and make our own judgement.
The new procedure that Dr. Souweidane was one of, if not THE premier pioneers of this Endoscopic intracranial surgery.
When my husband and I met with Doctor Souweidane, we were both pleasantly surprised to meet a gracious, and genuinely caring man. Doctor Souweidane had cared for many seriously ill patients, and many of his patients were children. He is, as I understand it, one of the top Neuro-surgeons in childhood brain tumor treatment.
Even though my insurance did not cover the procedure with Dr. Souweidane, it would cover one of the two hospitals where he operated.