Vent from the patient's side of the aisle


I want to preface this by saying that I am in no way looking for medical advise.

That said, I have been having these headaches for years. When I get them, it is either the same headache that lasts for up to 2 weeks, or different headaches every day.

Recently these marathon headaches, which I have always assumed were tension headaches, have gotten worse; more pressure and with some facial paresthesias. So I go back to my doctor. She thinks that perhaps they are atypical migraines and wants to prescribe Imitrex as a trial. Because I have a history of HTN she wants to get an MRI first just to be sure that there isn't something pathological going on

So I go to the MRI, feeling foolish the whole way about what I feel is a wholly unnecessary test. Then I get the call last night. Apparently there is a >2 cm mass that they think might be a Schwanoma or a meningioma in the region of my cerebellum. Oh, and there are signs of a old occipital stroke.

WHAT!!! I am 38 years old!

So the radiologist wants me to go back for another MRI today with contrast, which I did. And the mass, which even I can identify on the study from not there on the contrast study. AND he now thinks that what he identified as an old stroke was just normal variation

The radiologist doesn't know what to say, other than that I need to repeat the study in 3 months to follow up......

So, I still have a headache, am nauseous, lightheaded, and have left sided facial paresthesias. I may have a brain tumor, and these may be symptoms of increased ICP, OR I have a 2.5 week long migraine, OR I have a marathon tension headache.

I am now waiting for my primary care doc to call me back with a plan.

Indy, LPN, LVN

1,444 Posts

Specializes in ICU, telemetry, LTAC. Has 5 years experience.

Holey moley. I'm sure that not knowing doesn't help the headache any.

Specializes in ED, ICU, Heme/Onc.

Patients are always the last to know. I'm a brain tumor survivor too - no one takes a 19 year old girl with headaches seriously either. Even w/double vision. I'm 36 and have obviously lived to tell the tale, despite even my parents thinking I was "dramatic".

Get a good second opinion from a specialist and I hope that you get well soon.



630 Posts

Hmmmm.. not knowing is the worst and I am sure you will be on edge waiting for that three months also!

I agree with a second opinion however.

leslie :-D

11,191 Posts

i was just going to post what blee did...

get a second opinion.

to hell with waiting 3 months.

that's nuts.

keep us updated, and hang in there.


canoehead, BSN, RN

6,837 Posts

Specializes in ER. Has 30 years experience.

Freaking crazy!! So can they send it to another radiologist to verify/deny that there is a tumor? Or get another scan now? It didn't disappear in 24h- someone read one of the scans wrong and they need to figure that out NOW not in 3 months!!


27 Posts

Specializes in Cardiology PAC. Has 20 years experience.

go to the place where you had the mri done and ask for a copy of both mri's on cd. they have to give it to you. you will have to sign a release but that's it.

ask around for a good neurologist in a different location from where you had the scan done. radiologists and neurologists will stick together when they know each other, just like other doctors do.

go see another neurologist, take your cd and don't leave until you get a definative answer.

chevyv, BSN, RN

1,679 Posts

Specializes in Acute Mental Health. Has 15 years experience.

I agree with what everyone is advising you and get another opinion! Will keep you in my prayers.


1,046 Posts

Specializes in Corrections, Cardiac, Hospice. Has 18 years experience.

I agree with the second opinion. And, wanted to give you a cyber (((HUG))) The whole situation just stinks. Please keep us informed.


1,975 Posts

They are out of their flippin' minds if they think I'd wait 3 months to have another study done. Dear Lord.

I agree with the above...get a copy of the MRIs PRONTO and get a second opinion ASAP from a vg neurologist.

I will be praying for good news. Pls keep us posted. Hugs.


144 Posts

Specializes in everywhere. Has 15 years experience.

I agree with the above posters. Get another opinion now, don't wait.

The main reason I responded was to send you HUGS!!!!!!!!

Wishing you the very best.

nrsang97, BSN, RN

2,602 Posts

Specializes in Neuro ICU and Med Surg. Has 22 years experience.

Get those MRI's on CD or heck even the films and get yourself to a neurologist. To heck with waiting 3 months. Sorry you are going through this.

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