Tinnitus Following Craniotomy

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by VictorDedalus, Aug 22, 2017.

    1. VictorDedalus

      VictorDedalus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I've spent the past few months referencing this site and figured it was time I introduce myself. I'm 37 and have suffered from bilateral acoustic trauma-related tinnitus since my early twenties when I began playing in bands. I quickly adjusted to this relatively mild annoyance, and though I could always hear it, it never caused significance distress.

      In December of 2016, my life changed. I awoke one night with sharp pains behind my left eye and a deep ache in my neck. I concluded that I must be experiencing my first migraine. The pain eventually subsided, allowing me to resume sleep. But two days later I encountered the pain again, once more in the middle of the night. I also began to notice other troubling symptoms, including dizziness and pulsatile tinnitus in my right ear. I thought I might have an ear infection, so I scheduled an appointment with an ENT.

      The ENT conducted a hearing test, which revealed no hearing loss. He then recommended I get a CT scan immediately, as my symptoms indicated an aneurysm. After three hours of waiting for the results, the ENT gave me the results via a phone call to the patient waiting room. I had a brain tumor.

      The next day I had an MRI and a consultation with a neurosurgeon who informed me that the tumor was a benign meningioma about the size of a large egg. It was growing in the tissue of the tentorium, the dura matter separating the two hemispheres of the cerebrum from the cerebellum below. It had grown large enough to displace the brain tissue and cause the symptoms I was experiencing. In his opinion, the tumor was too large to resort to radiation treatment, so he scheduled a craniotomy for five days later.

      My skilled surgeon was able to completely resection - or remove - the entire tumor without serious complications. After the eight-hour procedure, I awoke with double vision and partial paralysis of my left hand. The tumor had engulfed the IV cranial nerve which abducts the eyes, and though my surgeon had salvaged the nerve, it was damaged as he scraped it free of tumor. The numbness in my left arm and hand was caused by improper positioning during the lengthy surgery, which restricted blood flow and injured the median nerve. Fortunately, both issues have partially resolved with the passage of time. The double vision passed within a week or so, and my left hand has regained about 60% function. At my four month follow-up in April, the tumor showed no signs of recurrence and my brain had returned to a normal state free of hydrocephalus or indications of stroke. I did suffer from horrible pulsatile tinnitus for a few weeks of recovery, but that too passed. I was ready to resume my life.

      In June, about seven months after my surgery, I was sitting on my sofa watching television when a very loud, very high-pitched tone (~15k, I believe) spontaneously activated in my left ear (the same side of my head as the tumor). As I mentioned above, I've had acoustic trauma-related tinnitus for over a decade, but this new tone was qualitatively distinctive and of an intensity beyond anything I had experienced. I immediately bolted to my feet and panicked. I knew at once that this new tone was unlikely to subside - it was too loud to be a passing phenomenon. Sure enough, it has remained constant over the past 10 weeks, never varying in volume.

      As many of you can relate, tinnitus now dominates my waking hours, consuming every moment of my mental and emotional life. I was already in a bad state before the onset of this new tinnitus, as I was coping with a devastating divorce and the reduction of my cognitive abilities following brain surgery (I am a writer by profession and value intellectual endeavors above all other pursuits, having spent four years in graduate school). This new source of stress has crippled me, and my hopes for the future are shattered. I persevere, for what other choice do we have? But my quality of life is ruined.

      I returned to my ENT in June to re-check my hearing, but there were no discernible changes from my examination in December. I am finally scheduled to see a neurologist tomorrow, but I have no expectation of receiving a diagnosis. I suspect that my VIII cranial nerve is somehow involved, but even if an MRI were to confirm my suspicion nothing could be done about it.

      I tell my story in case someone else develops tinnitus following a similar operation. To everyone coping with this condition, you have my condolences and respect. As with so much else in life, we are impotent to change our fate, but we can influence our response to the calamity. To quote Camus: "There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn." May righteous rebellion lend you strength.
       
      • Hug Hug x 18
      • Like Like x 3
    2. fishbone
      Shitfaced

      fishbone Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud noise and very bad sickness
      You are a strong soul! I am very happy that your tumor was removed and you made it out ok. That is a true blessing my friend. Tinnitus can make life very difficult. My tinnitus has gotten way louder due to my martial arts and I am in the process of finding a new school, that is not super loud. Tinnitus changes our lives and make it harder. Mine is VERY loud and it is just horrible.

      You just have to move forward buddy, this is one of those deals in life that makes you stronger and earn a stronger character badge :)

      Keep moving forward and this board is always here for you...
       
      • Like Like x 4
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    3. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      I agree with Fishbone you are very strong indeed to overcome your health challenges and yet can make such a wise conclusion as quoted above. That speaks volume to the stamina of your character. Perhaps try masking your T if it has caused much stress to your body. Give it time as your T is new and can be quite traumatic. Hope things will improve over time for you. I understand your struggle with very high pitch T. I have ultra high pitch T and severe hyperacusis, and so initially I had to depend on meds to survive plus constant masking. My nerves were weakened due to prior condition of PTSD and anxiety/panic disorder for decades. So the sudden arrival of T & H just triggered relentless anxiety and panic attacks on auto mode everyday when my loud screaming T woke me up (if I could sleep at all). So I used heavy rain, waterfall, cicadas, shower, even squeaky faucet sounds just to help mask my high pitch T, even if partially. But as time goes by, the need for masking is less and less. Today my brain is hardened to the ringing and doesn't even give a dime with T high or low. The body finds its way to accept and deal with this repeated stimulus if we give it enough time and try to live our life. It will take some time though. Take good care. God bless.
       
      • Like Like x 4
    4. Bobbie7
      Wishful

      Bobbie7 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Extreme stress, sinus infection
      @VictorDedalus -

      Thank you for sharing your story with us.

      You are to be admired and greatly respected for the way you have bravely handled your health challenges and for your positive philosophy in dealing with adversity as well as the resultant tinnitus. It is obvious you possess tremendous inner strength and wisdom after all you have endured. You can serve as a role model in courage @VictorDedalus and I have no doubt you will succeed at all you wish to accomplish with time and patience.

      Here's hoping you have continued, steady improvement and much happiness in your future which you certainly deserve.

      Best wishes,
      Barbara
       
      • Like Like x 1
    5. ABakos
      Wishful

      ABakos Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ? neck injury/unknown
      @VictorDedalus Thank you for sharing your story. You sound very strong, God Bless You.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    6. Anima

      Anima Member

      Location:
      Mallorca (Illes Balears) EU
      Tinnitus Since:
      Feb/2004(Serious aggravation)April 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Antibiotics. Anaesthetic.

      I’m sorry about all the missery that has come to your life.
      I feel admiration and respect for you. I believe you are a brave human being.
      Also quoting Camus (Perfectly applicable to your inner strength) : “In the depths of winter I finally learned that in my interior lived an invincible summer.”

      I wish you all the luck in the world, Victor, and that the future brigs you the happiness and peace that you deserve.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    7. Marlino
      Cowboy

      Marlino Member

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      Who know what is really the reason for your new T. The operation seems to be the logical cause at first glimpse. But on the other hand almost everybody with bad T told me about some bad emotional stress just before T kicked in. It seems more than a coincidence to me. Maybe your T will settle down again when you are emotionally better.

      I'm very sorry for your fate. I hope for you it gets better.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    8. Cape crusader
      Cool

      Cape crusader Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/18/18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction ear wax removal
      I got tinnitus 3 weeks after a craniotomy to clip and unruptured brain aneurysm. The surgery went well and maybe saved my life, but now I live with constant tinnitus & hyperacusis... miserable...

      Sometimes I wish I never had the surgery done.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
      • Like Like x 1
    9. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Your profile states "Microsuction ear wax removal" as cause for your T. Did the micro suction happen before or after your craniotomy?
       
    10. Cape crusader
      Cool

      Cape crusader Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/18/18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction ear wax removal
      After the surgery I had slight ringing in my right ear for 3 weeks. The ENT said it may be wax. After he did the microsuction procedure was when I felt fullness in both ears, elevated tinnitus in both ears and developed hyperacusis. So I’m not sure if the surgery had anything to do with it and the microsuction just set everything off into a tail spin.

      I wish I had the answers. Now just suffering.
       

Share This Page

Loading...