Damn Statistics

Well, so much for statistics. I went to meet some friends for lunch today. They brought along a guy who used to work with us, but whom I hadn’t seen in over a year. To my surprise, he’s sporting a scar similar to mine, but over the other ear. It turns out that he also had an acoustic neuroma removed, and was in surgery a few weeks ahead of me. The odds of this are astronomical. There’s a 1 in 100,000 chance of anyone having this, and my friends were sitting at a table with two of us. Amazing.

It turns out that he had a much rougher go of it than me. His tumor was “D” battery sized, and couldn’t be removed in it’s entirety. He also had a lot more difficulty getting a proper diagnosis despite having symptoms of tinnitus, facial paralysis, severe headaches, and vision problems. These were all the things I was trying to avoid by having mine removed early. And suddenly I’m pretty grateful to have been diagnosed accurately and early.

On the plus side, it was good in a way to hear that he was still suffering post-surgical balance issues, tinnitus, and headaches. It means that my recovery is somehow more normal. The doctors keep telling me that I’m doing great, but my family seems concerned that my progress isn’t what it should be. At least now I have another data point to abate their fears. And someone with whom to swap stories, as aspects of the post-surgical experience are pretty hard to relate to if you haven’t experienced it.

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