Earache my Eye

So, remember that hearing problem I wrote about? Turns out it’s slightly more serious than I thought. An MRI discovered that I have an acoustic neuroma, which is a benign tumor that can be removed by surgery. At this stage it’s relatively small, but left unchecked it could grow to the point that it presses against my brainsteam – a life-threatening situation. Needless to say, I’m getting the damn thing removed soon.

The procedure is scheduled for September 6, and should last 4-5 hours. I’ll be in the hospital for 3-5 days following the operation, and recovery may take a few weeks due to dizziness caused by a loss of balance that often results from the procedure (I’m not looking forward to that). The good news is that I’ve been instructed to return to my computer as soon as possible, since reading will actually help me recover my balance more quickly. The bad news is that I’ve been told that the hearing loss I’ve been experiencing in my left ear will likely be permanent. While the hearing loss itself isn’t too bad, the tinnitus is getting annoying – it’s like a high-pitched buzzer I can’t turn off.

This isn’t the first operation I’ve had, but I have to admit it’s the first one that has me a little scared (it’s near my brain – that’s scary). Some of the possible side effects – such as facial paralysis and eye problems – are common enough that I can’t simply shrug them off, but I have spoken with a few people who know others who have had the operation, and they’ve all done well in the long term.

Regardless, I look forward to putting this behind me and getting on with my life.

64 thoughts on “Earache my Eye

  1. Best Wishes Nick and a speedy recovery. Re the tinnitus: I too suffer this condition. Luckily (so far) it isn’t too annoying. It is at a level where most times I’m not aware of it, except when it is quiet around me or I’m thinking about it.

  2. I wish you all the best and a fast and complete recovery. Greetings from germany. :)

  3. Good luck! I’ve had a couple of operations done on my ears, and I believe the doctors exaggerate the recovery time. It took me about a week the first time and 4 days the second time. They are right about the reading. Read as much as you possibly can. The last one I had, I read the first 3 harry potter books.
    As for the tinnitus, I’ve had it since I was 3. All I can say is that you get used to it :)

  4. Best of luck and good wishes for a speedy recovery.
    I always find it helps to focus on the nurses when in a hospital – hope you have a cute one!

  5. Hey, Nick. Keep a good attitude and a good outlook on this and stay in high spirits and you’ll come out fine. You’ve got a lot of people pulling for you, and there’s a little spot slated for you in my prayers. Be sure to let us all know when you’re back. :-)

  6. I had a friend that had this condition several years ago. His had gone so far as to actually paralyze half of his face. but his surgury went well and his face actually went back to near normal, although his hearing didn’t improve. Glad they caught it early, im sure you will be fine. Good luck and we will keep you in our prayers.

  7. Hey Nick, my wife got tinnitus and some hearing loss from a loud concert in a small bar a few months back. She was pretty devastated by it at the time, but she’s doing better now with the help of some devices she’s wearing in her ears.
    The devices look like hearing aids and generate white noise sort of like a fan running. They are the “Tranquil” product made by General Instruments http://www.generalhearing.com/ . Her hearing specialist took molds of her ears so they could custom mold the devices. Hopefully yours isn’t as bad as hers, but the devices made a big difference for her.
    I’ve also got tinnitus and have had it for years. For me it’s not as bad. I mostly notice it in very quiet situations and sometimes it just appears if my sinuses are acting up. I wish you the best dealing with it.

  8. I also have tinnitus, and had major ear surgery a decade ago. The paralysis warning’s pretty standard because several important nerve groups exit the skull through the ear canal.
    Any idea where they’re going in? My incision was right behind the ear, and I still have a divot in my skull where they operated.
    Good luck with your operation. If you’ve got a good doctor, the chances of permanent side efficts should be small. (My ENT referred me to another doctor in their practice because he didn’t feel comfortable operating around all those nerves. Fortunately, everything went OK.)

  9. Wow. Sorry to hear that Nick. I’m sure you’ll go through it fine and be back soon enough implementing cool features in FeedDemon :)
    Best of luck!

  10. Good luck, Nick. We will all be praying for you. Come back soon for some more kick-ass products!

  11. I am sure you will be fine but I will be thinking about your in surgery on September 6th (when I am away on my honey moon!).
    All the best. Take it easy over the next few weeks :)

  12. Morgan….please don’t take this the wrong way, but….. trust me. Do NOT think about Nick’s surgery while you’re on your honeymoon. LOL :O

  13. A SHL Story

    A Web Entity that I read often Nick Bradbury was recently affected by Sudden Hearing Loss or SHL for short. In his update today he talks about the cause and his way of dealing with what has happened. You can find the story here

  14. Best wishes, Nick. Good luck and don’t be afraid to put your health ahead of your customers. We’ll be waiting for you once you’re well.

  15. Good luck, hope everything goes well. We’ve seen the effects of you posting while you were on steroids, but now we’ll get to see what you’re like while dizzy.
    Best wishes!

  16. Hey Nick, if your doctor’s anywhere near as good at his job as you are at yours all will be fine! At the risk of starting another flame war in your forums … I’ll be praying for you.

  17. At least the title of the post indicates that you’re keeping your sense of humor… that’s a Cheech & Chong sketch, right?!?
    Best wishes for the operation.

  18. Nick Bradbury, get well wishes

    Nick Bradbury, get well wishes: Nick discovered his earache is a little more serious than he first thought .

  19. Nick Bradbury, get well wishes

    Nick Bradbury, get well wishes: Nick discovered his earache is a little more serious than he first thought .

  20. Hang in there Nick, I’m sure you’ll come out ok (you might ask for some pills to decrease the dizziness, heh?) Remember that your family and your health come first, …. we’ll be here when you’re good and ready. All the best from France!

  21. I’m sure you’ll get another outpouring of support when you go in for the op, so I’ll save my best messages… hope everything goes well until then :)

  22. Damn Nick… You are starting to fall apart! ;)
    Seriously though, good luck with it all. I’m confident it will all go well for you. I know a few people who have had similar surgery.

  23. Nick,
    my most sincere best wishes to you at this difficult time – all the best for a sppedy recovery.
    I look forward to your complete recovery and FeedDemon 2, 3, 4 & 5!!
    Get well soon matey!

  24. Get Well to Nick Bradbury

    Nick Bradbury, creator of FeedDemon, is to undergo surgery next month for a benign tumour. Best wishes, Nick. I hope it all goes smoothly Nick Bradbury: Earache my Eye

  25. Good luck with the operation. I know how you feel, I am having my first operation on the 18th Aug where they will be implanting a brain stimulator – basically a pacemaker for the brain. Its quite weitd that after its done I can return to normal living again after 3 yerasd of hell and lack of funding from the NHS.
    The hospital experience will be strange as its full of sick people :)

  26. Nick,
    Knowing the anxiety you most likely face, my prayers and well wishes (as well as the other 36 comments) are hopefully of comfort to you and your family.
    It sounds silly coming from someone you do not know, but since I am in healthcare and live just down Hillsboro Rd. – if there is anything I can do (answer questions about facilities, surgeons, or just the need to grab a bite to eat outside of the house), please do not hesitate to email me.
    Usually, the surgery is not bad. It’s the post-surgery/recovery when one can get anxious. But worry not! I know that all will be fine and you’ll be back and busier than ever.
    Warmest regards,

  27. Thanks for all the kind thoughts, folks. They’re very much appreciated.
    sqlartist, good luck with your surgery this month. I’m sure that, like me, you’ll be glad to put it behind you.
    John S., I’ve been falling apart for years. Thank goodness for duct tape!
    Rob, yes – the title is the name of a Cheech and Chong song :)

  28. Hey Nick, Get well soon. Best of luck for the operation and have a speedy recovery.

  29. Good luck Nick – I wish you all the best and a very speedy recovery.
    I’ll be thinking of you on the 6th.

  30. Hang in there, Nick! Looking forward to having you back. As a fellow tinnitis sufferer I am very sympathetic, but can give you hope that it will “fade into the background”. I’ve had tinnitis all my life and rarely notice it anymore.
    You are in our thoughts and prayers.

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