Julia Lavington, mother of two from Ashford talks to us about her brain tumour story. From what was a frightening diagnosis, she feels she has been very lucky with no side effects or disabilities from her surgery. She considers herself ‘One of the lucky ones’.
Here is Julia’s Story
(This Recording was held at Croydon Radio as a part of the Brain Tumour Thursday Show, Dates between 2013 and 2016)
In 2011 I started feeling very dizzy and actually thought I had a sinus infection, so I kept going back to the local doctor’s and he would try me on different antibiotics and then it got so bad that I was being sick. I was holding onto walls, I couldn’t walk in a straight line, I would bump into people.
I was then diagnosed with my local doctor with labyrinthitis, which is an inner ear infection, I had treatment for that which didn’t help at all and it just went on and on, I got sicker and sicker.
I booked myself in for a private consultation because I wasn’t getting anywhere with my local doctor’s. I didn’t get to the appointment as I got so poorly I ended up in A&E. They gave me a brain scan and diagnosed me with a brain tumour.
It was terrible for my husband as my children were with us. I was thinking, I would be okay, and it was just an infection but he could tell it was more than that. It was hard to explain what was going on. I have two children and they were 7 and 10 at the time. It was hard explaining what was happening.
My 7-year old daughter thought it was an adventure and quite exciting that mum was in the hospital. My 10-year old son, he understood a bit more and was more open with how he felt.
The NHS were brilliant with my children, they were absolutely fantastic from the moment I was diagnosed. I was at Maidstone Hospital and they were great with my children and myself.
They wanted me to be transferred to Kings Hospital but there were no beds available. The nurses were persistent and I was then transferred to Kings. My husband was able to stay with me at the hospital all night which I was grateful for.
I didn’t need any help post-surgery and I am grateful for that. I bounced back very fast.
MRI TIPS TO HELP
My surgery was successful and I am now 5-years post-surgery. I still have MRI’s every year. They have a new feature where there is a mirror in the MRI which means you can see back into the room. It makes a huge difference. It used to feel very claustrophobic and panicky when you could see anything except the white coffin-like feeling.
I listen out for the music and count 5 or 10 songs which means it will be over.