- CASE FILE
Past 15 years I’ve suffered with spinal tumors. First tumor paralyzed me 1 week after giving birth. 6 more tumors have grown. They’re benign
ABOUT THIS CASE FILE
I had extreme rib and back pain when I was pregnant with my first child. Doctor thought it was normal pregnancy pains. Was put on bed rest at 6 months for hypertension. Went into labor 4 weeks early. My epidural didn’t work and they didn’t understand why. After I gave birth to my daughter, the medical assistant tried to help me walk to the restroom. I fell because I lost the feeling in my legs. The pain in my back was excruciating at this point! The doctor thought I might have pulled a muscle while giving birth and kept me in the hospital a few more days. When I was discharged home I kept collapsing and losing the feeling in my legs. I went to the ER after two days at home. They did a CT and thought I had an infection from the epidural. They admitted me and started me on IV antibiotics and steroids. The hospitalist decided to order an MRI to see what was really going on. The MRI came back showing a tumor in my T9 disc. A neurosurgeon came in and told me I had a spinal tumor that was probably cancer. I was 21 years old. The neurosurgeon decided to do a biopsy but after two attempts it kept coming back as bloody tissue. He decided to do exploratory surgery that was only supposed to last an hour or two. It took him 5 hours. The neurosurgeon told my parents that he thought it was a cavernous hemangioma and that he had never seen one in the spine like mine. At this point the neurosurgeon didn’t know what he was going to do and had just closed me up. 24 hours later while watching tv, lying flat in my hospital bed I lost the complete feeling of both of my legs. My mother ran to the nurses desk and within an hour I was air lifted to another hospital. I had two more surgeries. They could only remove 99% of the tumor. It protruded into my stomach so I had to have a rib removed, a fusion from T7-T11 with a cage and a synthetic disc where T9 used to be. I was in the hospital for another two months including a month of rehabilitation to learn to walk again. Since 2004 I have had 6 more hemangiomas grow on my spine causing severe pain, weakness, numbness and anxiety and depression. Doctors do not know what is causing them and do not want to remove them for fear of causing more permanent damage. They had a theory that my hypertension while pregnant is what caused the original tumor to grow, but I have not had high blood pressure since so why would 6 more grow? No one in my family has had them and they are completely benign. It is scary feeling like you have ticking time bombs in your body just waiting to go off! These tumors caused spinal cord compression and they didn’t think I was ever going to walk again. I’m scared that I might be causing these tumors to grow. What if it’s something that I eat or medication? How do I know that I didn’t pass this disease onto my children? Know one knows.