A GWYNEDD councillor is urging people to “listen to their body” after being diagnosed with a rare tumour.
Cllr Louise Hughes, who represents Arthog and Llangelynnin ward, told the Cambrian News about her recent diagnosis and the symptoms that prompted her to see a doctor.
The councillor said she has lived with tinnitus all her life. There is no cure for tinnitus, which presents itself as a ringing, roaring, buzzing, hissing, or whistling noise in the ear or ears. Some people are able to distract themselves from the noise, and there are some treatments that can help make symptoms less noticeable, but most people are forced to live with the condition.
Three years ago, Louise started to notice that there was a pulsating within her ear.
She said: “It was around three years ago that my tinnitus began to pulsate in my ear.
“I went to a doctor and was told that there was nothing they could do but the feeling gave me so much grief.
“I wasn’t sleeping and when I walked I felt like I was on a boat, so I went back to the doctor and some months later I saw a consultant.”
When the doctor looked in her right ear, there was an audible gasp, Louise recalls.
The gasp was because of what the doctor could see inside Louise’s ear - a rare tumour, known as a tympanic paraganglioma glomus tumour, or Terry the tumour as Louise has now named it.
Affecting 1 in 1.3 million people, this rare tumour sits behind the eardrum of the patient and causes pulsating tinnitus, hearing loss and, in some cases, an increased heartbeat.
Although concerned about her symptoms, Louise did question whether or not to contact her doctor at first.
She said: “During the pandemic, I didn’t want to drain the resources of the NHS, but had I left this too long it could have been fatal,” Louise said.
“I’ve been put on an urgent surgical list and await the surgery to remove Terry, a procedure which my doctor tells me he has done only one of before, a slightly perturbing fact but I have complete faith in him,” she laughed.
Louise remains in good spirits, and her message to others is one of encouragement.
She said: “There is a certain reluctance amongst people to go to the doctors when they are feeling unwell.
“Like me, much of this comes from a desire to try alleviate pressure from the NHS but you know your body.
“Don’t ignore your symptoms, listen to your body and be persistent because you know when something doesn’t feel right.”
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