Sometimes you just need a friendly neurosurgeon

Today was appointment day. I met with my neurosurgeon, Dr. Friedlander, at UPMC Presbyterian hospital. He’s going to be the man who will manhandle my brain. And I couldn’t have asked for a nicer, more awesome doc to do it. If you need brain surgery…go see Dr. Friedlander.

Okay, so he’s not going to manhandle my brain, but he’s the one who will be operating on it.

If you haven’t read any of my previous three posts let me get you up to speed.

Last weekend my PCP (Primary Care physician) sent me for an MRI, just in case. Well, that just in case MRI turned up two shadowy areas in my brain. The first was a 1 cm Pineal Mass, which they all believe is a benign cyst. Good news. The treatment for that is MRI’s once a year to monitor it. The second is Chiari Malformation 1.

What on earth is Chiari Malformation 1?

Let me tell you.

Chiari malformation (kee-AHR-ee mal-for-MAY-shun) is a condition in which brain tissue protrudes into your spinal canal. It occurs when part of your skull is abnormally small or misshapen, pressing on your brain and forcing it downward. Chiari malformation is uncommon, but improved imaging tests have led to more frequent diagnoses.

The adult form, called Chiari malformation type I, develops as the skull and brain are growing.

Essentially…my brain is too big.

I’ve been telling the man since day 1 that my brain was just too big, that’s why I’m so stinkin smart. HAHAHA.

Okay, serious for a moment.

How do they fix my enormous brain?

Get rid of some skull.

Yes, the good doc will remove a part of my skull and make room for the brain tissue that has protruded out and for the CSF fluid to flow the way it’s supposed to. Hence, relieving headaches and hopefully all my other symptoms.

Fun times right?

When do these fun times happen?

April 10. Yes, I have to be at the hospital 5:30 am on April 10 to my have skull cut into and removed.

I’m trying not to freak out. But come on folks…I’M HAVING FREAKIN BRAIN SURGERY!!!!!

Okay, nothing major…okay yeah it’s major. They’re REMOVING PART OF MY SKULL!!!!!!! Dude is going to have his hands on my brain and in it and yeah…never thought this would be me. Nope, not in a million years did I think I would need brain surgery. BRAIN SURGERY.

ME! Not my crazy, cranky neighbor…ME, ME, ME, ME!!!!!!!!!!

Freak out done.

But that’s the news. That’s what’s happening.


5 thoughts on “Sometimes you just need a friendly neurosurgeon

  1. Oh honey. I’m so very very sorry to hear about your upcoming surgery. Even though you don’t know me I want you to know you and your family are in my prayers. I’ve recently started following your words have inspired me. Please feel free to reach out for a hug, prayers, or just someone to talk to you. My prayer is that you will feel peace in your heart and know that God will be with you through this process. Keep your faith strong and your friends and family close for all of their love and support. Stay strong and know that I’m always here for you.

    • Thank you Nancy. It’s good to know that I have all these prayers coming in. That with how amazing my surgeon is, I have no doubts that things will be okay.

  2. Oh honey. I’m so very sorry to hear about your upcoming surgery. I’ve recently started following you and want you to know that I am praying for you and know you are in good hands. God will be with you and your family. Even though you do not know me, please feel free to reach out to me. I’m always here for a hug, prayer, or someone to talk to. Blessings for a successful surgery.

  3. Wow … I can’t imagine all the emotions you’re going through, Heather. But it does sound like you have a great doctor. (Almost wrote “sounds like you’re in good hands” … but thought that sounded too bizarre. 🙂 It seems like he knows what he is doing. That’s what you want in a brain surgeon – someone that makes it seem like he does this sort of thing every day.

    I’m glad you posted an update. I was wondering how your appointment went. Now you’ve got me wanting an MRI ….


    • It’s still a big shocker going through this, but it does make a huge difference having such amazing people doing it.

      If you have concerns about your brain, I would not hesitate to request an MRI. Before all this I would be skeptical, but now… no way.

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