Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Weirdness Continues

Is this Central Oregon's Summer of Weirdness? First we had the Pregnant Man giving birth to a baby girl, then the Balloon Man flying all

Posted By on Tue, Jul 15, 2008 at 10:08 AM

Is this Central Oregon's Summer of Weirdness? First we had the Pregnant Man giving birth to a baby girl, then the Balloon Man flying all the way from Bend to Idaho in a lawn chair ... and now comes news that doctors have removed a 140-pound tumor from a Redmond woman.

According to KTVZ's report, Linda Rittenbach might have had the rare tumor for 15 to 20 years. All along, she said, doctors kept telling her that she was fat and needed to lose weight.

Doctors even suggested weight-loss surgery, she said. "But something in my head just said, 'No, don't do that.'"

Fortunately, when Rittenbach went to another doctor this spring complaining of flu-like symptoms he discovered the tumor. It took three surgeries over a period of two months in Redmond and at OHSU in Portland to remove the whole growth, and in the process one of Rittenbach's kidneys was destroyed.

You'd think a 140-pound tumor would be pretty easy to detect, but judging from the comments on the KTVZ story, medical screw-ups like this aren't unheard of.

"I had a strange feeling along the left side of my head that started in my late twenties," wrote one. "I went to dr's over and over and around my mid 30's they finally convinced me I was a nutcase, I quit complaining and bugging them. I would ignore the pounding in my head along with dizziness, depression ... On Jan 7, 03 I was diagnosed with brainstem meningioma and after 2 surgeries (30 hrs), radiation and years of medical this and that I am starting to feel better."

How about you, Wandering Eye readers - do you have any personal medical horror stories to share?

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