Vanessa Ross was an aspiring young actress living in Los Angeles when she had her first seizure. 在接下来的六年里, her condition slowly destroyed her independence, 她的控制感和她的事业. It wasn't until she was examined by doctors at UCSF that she learned what was causing her seizures.
Customized Brain Surgery Gets Actress Back on Set
I was having trouble keeping track of details on set. Then I noticed that I was forgetting my lines more often. I couldn't remember the names of people I had just met.
I couldn't put my finger on what it was, but I knew something wasn't right.
我坐飞机去看我妈妈. I remember boarding and waiting for takeoff. The next thing I knew, I was being carried off on a stretcher. 我很困惑. The paramedics kept asking me basic questions like "What's your birthday?我回答不出来.
这是令人沮丧的部分. The doctors didn't know why I'd had a seizure. They did a bunch of tests, and then they told me everything was fine. 但它不是.
一年后，我又一次癫痫发作. I was driving and the seizure caused me to roll my car off the freeway. Thankfully, I didn't hurt myself or anyone else. But no one could tell me what was wrong. As the years passed, the seizures became more and more regular. 我筋疲力尽. 我不知道该怎么办.
The seizures were coming so often that I couldn't live on my own. I moved back to Northern California to live with my mom. 她在医疗保健行业工作, and she knew that UCSF was one of the best hospitals in the country for neurology. She encouraged me to make an appointment.
Going to UCSF was a turning point for me. The doctors took one look at my MRI and saw the problem. I had a hole in my skull, behind my left eye. A little nugget of brain tissue was pressing into the hole, and the pressure around the hole caused "sparks" that triggered my seizures.
I was amazed that they figured it out so quickly. The doctors at UCSF knew exactly what they were doing.
我的神经外科利来登录, Dr. 爱德华常, said I needed brain surgery to remove the brain tissue that had grown into the hole. Unless he removed it, the pressure would continue to cause seizures, and they might get worse. He told me I could end up with a serious mental disability.
The prospect of brain damage was terrifying. 幸运的是,博士. 张很关心人. He calmed me down and made me understand the pros and cons of the surgery. It helped that I had tremendous faith in him and in UCSF. Already, the experts there had found the problem when no one else could see it.
我还认识. 常 did a lot of brain surgeries, so he must know what he was doing! Besides being very smart, he was very compassionate, which helped a lot.
While I was going through various tests and procedures, the seizures were getting more and more frequent. 我每周都会癫痫发作. They always came in pairs, so after the first one, I'd brace for the second. My UCSF doctors helped me figure out how to prevent the second seizure. 这是巨大的. 在他们的帮助下, I reduced the number of seizures I was having by 50 percent, 甚至在手术之前!
During my hospital stay everyone was so nice and attentive. I was really nervous going into the operation because there was a chance it wouldn't go well, 但我觉得我得到了很好的照顾.
As an actress, you were concerned about how brain surgery would affect your appearance. How did your doctors respond to your concerns?
For the surgery, they usually shave half your head. I was freaked out about that – my appearance is important for my job. The doctors worked hard to shave the minimum amount of hair. They also figured out how to minimize the scarring. 这是伟大的. To look at me, you'd never know I had brain surgery!
我做的很好. I feel like I'm finally getting my life back. I've gone longer without a seizure than I have in four years. I'm working again and beginning to exercise like I used to. My friends have noticed that I'm talking faster and able to respond more quickly to questions.
但进展缓慢. I need to relearn some basic things like how to drive and how to balance a checkbook. 好像又回到了16岁! As soon as I pass my driver's test I'm moving back to Los Angeles, and I hope to pick up where I left off.