After noticing his vision was deteriorating in late 2018, Mr. M went to the ophthalmologist, thinking that he might have a cataract. He was then told that he had a large tumor, around the size of a ping-pong ball, on his pituitary gland. An endocrinologist in Hickory, NC told him that for this surgery, he needed to either be in Chapel Hill, NC or Charlottesville, Virginia. After settling on UNC Hospital as the location for his surgery, Mr. M had his tumor successfully removed on June 17, 2019 by Dr. Carolyn Quinsey.
Prior to the operation, he had not fully realized how bad his vision was getting. Determined to drive himself from Hickory to Chapel Hill, he noticed by the end of the trip that he was seeing double. Almost instantly after the operation, he began to regain his vision. Around a week later, however, he grew very ill. He was admitted to the Neuro ICU for extremely low sodium levels and was placed in a “room” concealed with shower curtains. He quickly felt better and was moved to his own room on the third day, which he said was “delightful.”
“I appreciate things more nowadays. I appreciate what I almost lost. I might look a little closer at nature and am grateful for the ability to do so.”
Mr. M said that every nurse and staff member that he encountered was absolutely wonderful—from those who came in daily to empty the trash, to those who brought him his dinner each night. He remarked that he was incredibly impressed by his surgeon’s bedside manner and their ability to relate to their patients. He said that he could not think of one negative thing to say about his time at UNC hospital.
Regaining his vision has been the most impactful aspect of Mr. M’s experience. He stated, “I appreciate things more nowadays. I appreciate what I almost lost. I might look a little closer at nature and am grateful for the ability to do so.” He also stated that at his most recent six-month checkup, his ophthalmologists said that he sees few pituitary tumors each year and very few have as positive of an outcome.
Overall, he looks back on these months as a positive experience—as an almost “getaway” for he and his wife. He stated that he had the easy role during the procedure and recovery, knowing that the surgeons and hospital staff were doing all that they could to care for him. The coordination and courtesy that he noticed across the entire hospital are what made the experience so positive and are what drive him to recommend UNC Health to all of his friends and loved ones.