At first, the headaches were easy for David Lindner to brush off. He’d just returned to work after a vacation, and suspected that the travel and time change were responsible for his aching head. But when the headaches continued and his vision began to blur that weekend, he realized he might have a bigger problem than jet lag.
“I thought, ‘There’s something wrong,’” says Dave, a Sparta, Wisconsin, resident who works in construction. “I knew I couldn’t be driving a lift like that.”
A surprising discovery
So that Monday morning, instead of going to work, Dave went to the Sparta Eye Clinic, part of Mayo Clinic Health System. After examining him, a provider told Dave he’d need an MRI and called his primary care provider, Marc Tumerman, M.D., to schedule the test for him at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse.
“My son took me over and after the MRI, they told us it would be a little while before they had the results,” Dave says.
He and his son were having lunch when Dave received a call.
“They wanted me back at the hospital,” he says.
There, Dave was told the MRI had revealed a meningioma — a type of brain tumor.
“Most meningiomas are benign, slow-growing tumors,” says Shelly Lwu, M.D., a neurosurgeon at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse. “If the meningioma is small and not causing any symptoms, we would most likely follow with repeat imaging. For the ones that are large, causing symptoms, and/or growing faster, surgical removal usually is recommended.”
A textbook brain surgery
Since Dave’s tumor was large and causing symptoms, he was admitted to the hospital and scheduled for surgery two days later. Testing revealed that the tumor was noncancerous, as Dr. Lwu had predicted.
“It all went textbook,” Dave says. “I was walking the day after surgery and went home Friday at noon. It was pretty incredible.”
Dr. Lwu says that the ability to help people quickly when they need it is one of the strengths of the Spine & Neurological Surgery Department at Mayo Clinic Health System.
“We were able to provide David with good care in a timely fashion, which then allowed him to get back to his regular life quickly,” she says. “We will be following David in the future with repeat MRIs, as there is a very small chance of recurrence. But, most likely, the surgery is all the treatment he will ever need.”
A grateful man
Dave says he’s grateful for the care he received.
“Dr. Lwu and her assistant were so nice and explained everything so well,” Dave says. “I was totally confident going in to surgery. Everyone at the hospital was so concerned and so nice. I can’t say enough good things about them.”
Dr. Lwu says that’s another strength of her department.
“I work with a really great group of people — genuine and kind,” she says. “We all have the same goal of providing excellent patient care.”