Updated: Jan 24, 2022
I had brain surgery yesterday (Dec 6th).
Yes, that’s right. I am already home, resting and regrouping on what just happened.
I had symptoms for many months but not obvious enough to merit concern.
The one that took me to the endocrinologist was the feeling of being very cold most of the time with interspersed short hot flashes in-between.
He attributed this to my speedy weight loss of nearly 60 pounds and told me it usually takes a couple of years for the body to adjust.
Before leaving his office he said, “I have an intuition, let’s go ahead and have an MRI just to be sure.” Early the next morning after the scan he calls, “Well, I am surprised, you have a growth on your pituitary gland. I am sending you to a neurosurgeon.”
The neurosurgeon confirmed it was a benign pituitary adenoma - about 1.25” in size and the usual option was surgery. Then he asked if I was having other symptoms, forgetfulness, suddenly being very tired, loss of peripheral vision, and more.
Well yes, I did. I had all of those to some degree.
After talking to the surgeon and his teammate, the ENT doctor, my wife and I were still left feeling a little unsettled.
I said to her, “I want to get a second opinion at the Cleveland Clinic.”
Here we met Dr. Recinos, a young, vibrant man who exuded immense confidence. He works at the Brain Tumor Center.
He and his colleague painted a very different scenario. He had performed this surgery over 500 times using the latest laparoscopic technology, allowing me to keep the inside of my nose intact, keep my pituitary gland and likely send me home in a day or two.
The decision was a no-brainer (haha)!
The surgery started at 1pm and I came out of recovery at 10:30 at night feeling terrible and much drugged, begging for a piece of ice! I vaguely heard my wife tell me the doctor said it was 100 percent success, removing all the tumor while leaving the pituitary and optic nerve intact.
The next morning I was feeling much better when around 10am Dr. Recinos and the team came to see me, all with gleeful looks on their faces. They put me through all the paces, “Follow my fingers with your eyes, touch my fingers then your nose, push against my hands and pull back hard, etc.”
Then his assistant checked my peripheral vision by holding his fingers up a couple of feet to the side of my sight range, “How many fingers? Two. How Many? One. When do you see me wiggle my fingers? Instantly.
All perfect responses.
I then offered a few observations of my own. I said that everything was brighter and the room looked bigger. My thinking was clearer too. They were pleased.
I joked about how I loved before and after pictures as they handed me my before and after MRI. The result was stunning. His team members looked at the Doc with so much pride and honor to be working with him.
Dr. Recincos had a confident smile, not prideful but happy that once again he could excel in his chosen field which he obviously loved so much, and bring yet another person back to health and happiness.
Tears of gratitude flowed as I thanked him profusely and are again flowing as I write this now in gratitude for being guided to the right person for the job.
There are many big lessons to learn but the ones that remind us of the importance of the small things in life are the biggest.
We can’t take anything for granted. Even our existence.
This is why it is so important to develop one's own character - humility, gratitude, and thankfulness needs to be a daily part of life.
I often talk about the qualities of a craftsman…
No matter what job a person has or what their financial status is if they are an artist, daycare worker, baker, IT specialist, or brain surgeon. There is one group that stands out above all others: the craftsman.
A craftsman is one who takes the greatest care in their chosen field, they work because they love their work, they never settle for less than the best they can do, even if no one sees what it is! A craftsman is not worried about tomorrow, they work in the only place where impeccability is possible - now.
A craftsman works towards their own perfection, not to please anyone else. It’s an attitude, a conviction, and it takes perseverance and patient practice.
My surgeon was a craftsman and I try to live my own life that way.
This way at our conclusion when we face the big unknown we won’t regret the way we lived our life.
We prepared for the biggest lesson of all.