Hearing the words, “You’ll need a craniotomy.” Is never what anyone anticipates hearing in their whole lifetime but there I was. It was so scary and relieving at the same time because someone finally had an answer to my pain but now I had to have a scary procedure, thousands of miles away from home. I had been diagnosed with a Cholesterol Granuloma in my skull base and having pain for 5 months behind my left eye. It is a rare condition and I live in Alaska and that is not something we have the capabilities to do here.
Several doctors had given me no hope saying it was too dangerous and close to my carotid artery to be able to fix and I had to live with the pain. The amazing Dr. Lorenz here in Alaska refused to give up and referred me to the House Clinic. He had worked with Dr. Wilkinson and Dr. Lekovic in the past and highly recommended them. It was so comforting just to hear that someone had an answer to my weird symptoms. Dr. Wilkinson met with my husband and me over the phone, answered our questions, was patient, knowledgeable, and kind. Especially since my husband and I are both nurses, we had a lot of detailed questions and concerns. He comforted us both and we knew the correct decision was to make the trip to California.
The House clinic was very helpful before and upon arrival to LA. Roya was so sweet to help me in all my anxiety and questions, attended my appointments, and checked in with me every day in the hospital. She helped me get into Seton Hall as a patient housing center next to the hospital until I would be able to return home. I felt comforted when I met with the doctors the day before surgery. They calmed my nerves and for the first time all year I did not feel crazy describing my symptoms to them. They took as much time as I needed to go through the details and Dr. Lekovic even offered to facetime my 11-year-old son in Alaska as he wanted to check the doctor’s credentials who was going to be operating on his mom’s head.
Surgery went well. I woke from surgery with no pain behind my eye for the first time in six months. I was so excited and was up and walking around LA in only a few days. Seton Hall was calm and relaxing after surgery. Everyone there was in a similar situation and some with matching scars. Dr. Wilkinson was very conservative with the hair cut as well. The scar was easy to hide by just parting my hair onto the other side. If you are reading this then you are most likely in a similar situation. Best of luck to you and may God bless you in your journey as well. You are in good hands at the House Clinic!
Heidi, Cholesterol Granuloma, Alaska