Woman’s Anxiety Was Actually A Tumor Growing In Her Brain For 10 Years

Emily Bailey was led to believe she was suffering from anxiety but in reality, she had a large tumor growing in the left side of her brain, pressing against the nerves while taking control of her hearing and balance. 

She said:

‘The type of tumour I had was a slow-growing one and doctors told me I’d probably had it for about 10 to 12 years.

‘I was gobsmacked. The consultant said that, for all that time, I hadn’t had anxiety – the tumour had been causing my symptoms.

‘As terrifying as my diagnosis was, in a way, it almost felt like a relief. My symptoms hadn’t been all in my head and there was something that could be done about them.’

After going through a period of prolonged dizziness in November last year, Emily thought she had caught a cold.

She went to her doctor and had a blood test done, as well as an electrocardiogram to take a look at her heart rhythm, but there was no issue to be found there.

After going through the tests, doctors determined that there was nothing serious going on in Emily’s body, and they began suspecting she had a common condition called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).

Image credit: PA Real Life

She tried doing repositioning exercises, which normally work quite well, as per the NHS, as well as some home remedies, like using an ear candle to take out wax – but nothing seemed to work.

And when her balance became even worse and her hearing started deteriorating in her left ear, she was told she had blocked ears. Nevertheless, she decided to look deeper into the matter.

‘I had a couple of other strange symptoms too, like tinnitus – when you hear a near-constant ringing – when I lay down,’ Emily said.

‘I also began to lose my taste and the left side of my tongue almost felt tingly.’

Eventually, a scan revealed that she did, in fact, have a tumor in her brain, and she was officially diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma – a type of tumor that affects around 2 in 100,000 people in the United Kingdom every year, as per the British Acoustic Neuroma Association (BANA).

Symptoms are usually not obvious at first but can include the loss of hearing on one side, vertigo, tinnitus, frequent headaches, difficulty swallowing, blurred or double vision, numbness in the facial area, and issues with limb coordination.

‘By that point, I’d had the dizziness for four months, so I was relieved to finally have an answer,’ Emily said.

‘It was shocking to be told that the anxiety – something that had been a part of my life for a decade – wasn’t anxiety at all, but rather the symptoms of a brain tumour I hadn’t even known was there.’

Image credit: PA Real Life

And because of the tricky position of the tumor, surgery was the only option, which understandably Emily found ‘terrifying.’

She went on saying:

‘I got it into my head that I was going to be put to sleep by doctors and would never wake up.’

Last March, Emily went to Cambridge’s Addenbrookes Hospital for surgery to remove the tumor but was not allowed to have any loved ones with her due to the coronavirus situation.

Emily said:

‘They said the operation would take about eight hours, but it ended up taking 12, as it was more complicated than they’d thought,.’

‘My poor family were beside themselves thinking something had gone wrong.’

Image credit: PA Real Life

A couple of months after the operation, Emily says she is finally anxiety-free and is gradually getting off anti-depressants. 

She added:

‘I have started running again. I’m even going to do Brighton Marathon next year to raise money for BANA.

‘Doing all of this during a nationwide lockdown has been quite surreal.

‘At first, as I was home isolating and recovering in silence, the hearing loss didn’t bother me, but now I can go out a little more, I’m getting a feel for what it will actually be like, so I’m hoping to get a hearing aid.’

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Source: Metro

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