A woman claims that her brain tumor diagnosis was delayed because her doctor was convinced that her cold, headache and loss of appetite were symptoms of pregnancy.
In four months, Deeanna Carrera, 26, from Pomona, California, lost 30 pounds, suffered headaches, ringing in her ears for days, and began to confuse her words.
To her grief, her symptoms were routinely relieved and her doctors told her she was rude because she did not look into the eyes – before her diagnosis was confirmed, a benign tumor treated with surgery.
It's a complicated problem: brain tumor symptoms can be vague and occur as other conditions, and in case of doubt, doctors first exclude the easiest conditions to be tested – including stress and pregnancy, which are much more common than brain tumors. .
But Carrera says the ordeal made her feel judged and rejected and prolonged her fear of death – although her doctor apologized for rejecting her.
Deeanna Carrera, 26, from Pomona, California pictured (left) after surgery to remove her benign brain tumor, and (right) before her symptoms occur
Deeanna was left with facial paralysis after her brain surgery
& # 39; I was confused, & # 39; said Carrera.
& # 39; I kept telling myself that I was fine, but as things got worse, I started to notice that something was seriously wrong with me, but nobody believed me.
& # 39; I felt like I was alone and people made me feel like it was all in my mind when I knew it wasn't. & # 39;
Carrera, a physiotherapist, went to the hospital for the first time in October 2017 with ringing in the ears and relentless sneezing.
Her doctor said she had a cold and needed to rest. Carrera took off her eye twitching, which occurred days later, and the headache and weight loss that followed.
But in January 2018 she was pushed to the limit by a four-day unbearable headache, a 30-pound weight loss in just a few weeks, and confusion that confused her words.
Then the sleepless nights came, kept awake by her headache, and finally she went back to the doctor.
A flu test was negative, but doctors said she seemed to be under the weather, and possibly in the early stages. They gave her medicine for nausea.
Light began to burn her eyes, she could not see it, and Deeanna experienced dizzy spells, falls and had trouble walking and her nausea got worse.
Back at the hospital, doctors finally thought it might not be a flu: they told her she might be pregnant.
Deeanna, pictured for her brain cousin with her cousin, said she was suffering from fissuring headaches and ringing in the ears, but doctors said she had the flu
In desperation, Carrera went to the hospital for the last time on 5 February 2018 where she was told that she was not coping well with stress. To prove that there was nothing wrong with her, doctors sent her for a CT scan – and it showed she had a brain tumor
& # 39; I was angry and irritated because I knew I wasn't pregnant, & # 39; said Carrera.
She went for a test and an ultrasound that showed she wasn't.
Again, Carrera says, doctors said she should have the flu. At this point, she claims, she could barely move for the pain, and her mother, Andrea, took care of her.
& # 39; I was angry and thought I was going crazy because they kept telling me that I was fine, & # 39; said Carrera.
& # 39; I was particularly scared because I didn't know what to do and my pain got worse.
& # 39; I knew something was wrong with me, but I didn't give up. & # 39;
In desperation, Carrera went to the hospital for the last time on 5 February 2018 where she was told that she was not coping well with stress.
To prove that there was nothing wrong with her, doctors sent her for a CT scan – and it showed she had a brain tumor.
Within a few moments, she was rushed to an alternative hospital where she was treated for a non-cancerous acoustic neuroma tumor that grew on the nerve used for hearing and balance.
Carrera had her tumor removed on 12 February 2018 and was hospitalized for a month. Here she is depicted for her brain tumor
WHAT IS AN ACOUSTIC NEUROMA?
An acoustic neuroma or vestibular schwannoma is a benign (non-cancerous) tumor in the brain.
It grows on the vestibulocochlear nerve, which helps control hearing and balance.
This nerve runs along the facial nerve, which transports information from the brain to the facial muscles.
Acoustic neuromas tend to grow slowly and do not spread to other parts of the brain.
WHO IS RISK?
There is only one known risk factor: having a parent who has the rare neurofibromatosis type 2 disorder.
However, that is only 5 percent of the cases.
For the rest it is a kind of lottery
The symptoms of an acoustic neuroma tend to develop gradually and may vary in severity. This can make the condition difficult to diagnose.
A small acoustic neuroma can lead to problems with hearing loss or tinnitus.
A large acoustic neuroma can cause a number of symptoms, including headache and blurred vision, numbness, and a problem with coordination on one side of the body.
Occasionally, large neuromas can also cause muscle weakness on one side of the face.
In rare cases it can also cause voice changes or swallowing problems (dysphagia).
& # 39; The doctor who saw me said that I was rude and had bad manners because I couldn't look at him or talk to him directly, & # 39; said Carrera.
& # 39; A few moments later the doctor came back and apologized to me and I was rushed to another hospital where they treated my brain tumor.
& # 39; After transferring me to another hospital that could perform brain surgery on me, they explained to me that all the symptoms I had were all the symptoms of the tumor I had. I felt relieved that I wasn't going crazy. & # 39;
Carrera had her tumor removed on February 12, 2018 and was hospitalized for a month and got a facial paralysis on the right side of her face for which she had surgery.
After surgery to remove her brain tumor, Carrera had to learn to speak, eat, swallow, walk and talk again.
After waking up to her surgery, the right side of her face was paralyzed and she had to go through electrotherapy to stimulate her facial nervous muscles, an operation to gain an eye weight to help her close her eye, a nasal transplant to her to help open nostril so that she could breathe again and get a nerve transplant to help her move her lips.
& # 39; I was scared and confused. Why did this happen to me and why did someone not contract my tumor before? I was angry with the world, & Carrera said.
& # 39; It was annoying that I couldn't do anything and when I did my speech therapy and facial treatment, I always cried and couldn't sleep because I couldn't move my face. & # 39;
Deeanna's family has been by her side throughout her journey and has supported her by being viewed in public because of her facial paralysis. She wants to encourage others not to take their lives for granted.
& # 39; The way people stare at me and make me feel that something is wrong with me has been the worst thing about my trip. "I couldn't go out in public because people would stare or go out to eat because food would fall out of my mouth," she said.
& # 39; My family has been by my side all the time. My mother was usually there for me through everything and my mood changes.
& # 39; I don't need to be monitored, but I go to the doctor weekly or monthly depending on my pain. I am better now than before, but I am working. I now work full time, so I can be outside much better.
& # 39; Don't take your life for granted, because anything can happen at any time. Live life and don't let anyone feel awful because you do what is best for yourself or what makes you happy.
& # 39; I am enough and I am a hunter! Do not give up! & # 39;
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