Podcast: David’s Meningioma Story

brain tumour awareness month 2024

Welcome to the Aunty M Brain Tumours Talk Show! In this podcast, Claire Bullimore chats with David about his unexpected journey through a brain tumour. It all started when David’s partner noticed he had a seizure, leading to a rushed trip to the hospital. David shares the shock of seeing his own brain scans for the first time and the tough decision he had to make about surgery.

He takes us through the ups and downs of the recovery process, dealing with memory loss, grumpiness from medications, and the challenge of waiting for surgery. Despite the difficulties, David’s humour shines through as he recalls shouting at cyclists and navigating life post-operation.

The conversation touches on the long-term effects, like constant fatigue, and the adjustments needed in medication. David shares his career changes, legal battles with his previous job, and the triumph of finding a new role in the civil service.

What’s most inspiring is David’s determination not to give up. He emphasizes the brain’s adaptability, how it can rebuild itself, and the importance of sharing stories to raise awareness. The podcast ends with David’s call to action, urging everyone, especially teenagers, to be aware of brain tumours, and Claire thanking him for sharing his remarkable journey.

David And His Brain Tumour Story

Seizure and Discovery:

  • David’s partner noticed a seizure and called 999.
  • An ambulance arrives, and David is taken to Kingston Hospital for an MRI scan.
  • The first realization of the severity of the situation upon seeing MRI images.
  • The surgeon presents two choices: do nothing and likely die in two weeks or undergo surgery after steroids to calm the situation.

Intensive Care and Complications:

  • David undergoes surgery at St. George’s Hospital after a few weeks.
  • Complications arise, and there’s a possibility he might not survive.
  • Bleeding outside the brain is stopped using a novel technique involving injecting gas (likely nitrogen).
  • Two weeks in intensive care, followed by recovery on the ward.
  • David describes the emotional and grumpy state due to steroid use during recovery.

Post-Surgery Challenges:

  • Claire asks about the waiting period before surgery and how David dealt with the effects of steroids.
  • David shares challenges of memory loss, emotional turmoil, and irritability during the recovery phase.

Long-Term Effects and Medication:

  • David discusses the lingering fatigue as the most significant long-term effect.
  • Still on Levetiracetam (Keppra) twice a day as an anti-seizure medication.
  • Seizures occur post-surgery, leading to lifestyle changes, including stopping driving.
  • Detailed account of a severe seizure incident in Bulgaria between Christmas and New Year.

Medication Adjustment:

  • David talks about adjustments to Keppra dosage to manage tiredness.
  • Explains the process of gradually reducing the medication with medical supervision.
  • Transition from St. George’s to the Walton Neurological Centre in Liverpool for ongoing care.

Career Changes and Legal Battles:

  • David opens up about the emotional impact of leaving his job and the unfair treatment he felt from IBM.
  • Legal battles with IBM over unfair dismissal and age discrimination.
  • David’s success in winning the case was due to ACAS acceptance and financial support from insurance.

Raising Awareness and Advocacy:

  • The importance of not giving up and David’s determination to share his story for awareness.
  • Claire and David highlight the underfunding and lack of attention to brain tumour research.
  • David intends to investigate and make a difference in this area now that he’s in government.

Watch on YouTube

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