Questions for your first consultation with the doctor…

Here is a list of questions that I am compiling in preparation for my first consultation with my neurosurgeon.

  • What type of tumor do I have?
  • I’ve been told the tumor is probably benign, do you agree?
  • What is the natural course of my condition if not addressed?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • What are the treatment goals?
  • Do I need additional tests before we can decide on treatment options?
  • Which treatment option do you recommend?
  • Will the treatment eliminate the current symptoms?
  • What are the risks/side effects?
  • What are the pros/cons of beginning treatment sooner rather than waiting?
  • What should I do to prepare for treatment? Can I continue my current exercise routine? Should I add/subtract anything?
  • How long will the treatment/recovery take?
  • How long is the hospital stay?
  • How long will I be out of work?
  • If I need surgery, do you perform the whole procedure? Will students/other surgeons be doing any parts of the operation? If yes, who are they and what are their qualifications? 
  • Who else will assist you in the operation? What are their background and qualifications?
  • How long would I need to stay in Houston?
  • What is the success rate for this treatment?
  • What is the long-term outlook/prognosis for my condition?
  • What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?
  • I am thinking about going for a second opinion. Is there someone there you would recommend?
  • Can I talk to any other patients who have undergone similar treatment?

If I do need surgery:

  • What kind of pain should I expect post-op? And for how long?
  • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • Will I need to have inpatient PT/rehab following the surgery? If yes, for how long?
  • Will I be able to get adequate PT follow up when I get back home?
  • Will I need any special equipment after surgery (i.e. a back brace, a walker)?
  • How often will I need to come to Houston for follow-up care after the surgery?
  • Do you have any previously existing ties with neurosurgeons/neurologists in my area?
  • What will I do (who do I call) if I have problems after I am back home post-surgery?
  • What kind of assistance will I need during the recovery period?
  • When will I be able to drive?
  • If I have surgery to remove the tumor, what is the likelihood that I will develop another one in the future?

Can you think of anything I missed?

Here are some relate links:

https://www.spine-health.com/blog/40-questions-ask-your-surgeon-back-surgery

https://www.spine-health.com/treatment/spine-specialists/specific-questions-ask-your-spine-surgeon

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/surgical_care/questions_to_ask_before_surgery_85,p01409

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The Return of the Jabberwocky

I am back, and you have probably guessed that means the Jabberwocky has made a comeback – only this time it has decided to take a new form. Officially, it is called a Schwannoma, but you might just call it a spinal tumor.

When my doctor gave me the results from my MRI, I expected to hear that I had a pinched nerve. It never occurred to me for a minute that I might have a tumor. Of course, any time a doctor uses that word, it is going to shake a person’s world. But to be honest, it didn’t hit me the way you might think that it would. I didn’t feel the floor fall out from under me. There was no strange out of body experience where you hear the person talking to you, but you are some other place very far away. It was just me wanting answers and my doctor not really being able to give me any.

A couple of weeks have passed, and I have been doing my own research to make sense of my new reality. Although there is a chance that this is all going to turn out alright, there is also a very real chance that it will not. So from this point forward, this blog is going to explore my journey into the depths of uncertainty as I battle the Jabberwocky once again.

schwannoma-spine-mri-images

Images are not my own. I will post those later. If you, like me about a month ago, have no idea what I am talking about when I say Schwannoma… give this a try http://schwannomasurvivorsandfighters.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/schwannomas-story-of-discounted-tumors.html

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