I was sitting in my office when north changed to east (literally).

I immediately become disoriented and sick to my stomach. My coworkersnoticed that my eyes were flitching and I had trouble keeping my balance. I called my wife and told her I could not drive home. Being that this was atypical of me, she did not take it seriously and instructed me to drive home on my own. I had to pull over twice to puke, and it became apparent that I had food poisoning; vomiting, dizziness, upset stomach, etc... But this time it was different. I could not speak clearly and I was extremely dizzy.

I spent the night in the spare bedroom (threw up several more times) and then in the morning, I expressed to my wife that I needed to go the hospital. She took me and the admitting nurse asked me if I had nausea and diarrhea and I exclaimed that I had the nausea but no diarrhea. She expressed that it was not food poisoning, and proceeded to collect a blood sample. The results indicated that my white blood cell count was normal and they concluded that it wasn't food poisoning. They took a CAT scan and
shortly thereafter shared the results: I had a mass of tissue in my brain stem, and that thank goodness it was not cancer. What a relief!! Whew...

The only bad thing was that the cyst was squeezing my cerebellum and pinching nerve endings and blood vessels in my brain. I found out later that I may have vestibular neuronitis.

I had a craniotomy 8 days later to remove the cyst and went home. The surgery was painless and all was well...

After three days, I had fluid leaking from my nostrils and the doctor said it would eventually go away. Of course it didn't, and I developed a massive infection. They treated it with antibiotics, and the infection (and pain) went away, but I still had fluid leaking from my nostrils. After another week, the neurosurgeon had me scheduled to go back for more surgery to fix the leak. The morning of my surgery, the leaking stopped; no surgery necessary. Email me if you want more details on this...

Now, 10 months later I have no symptoms, but the neurosurgeon tells me I cannot dive safely. He recommends that I stay at a depth less than 1 atmosphere because they had to penetrate a mastoid air cavity during the surgery and that I may not be able to equalize my ears and sinuses (during a dive) since this portion of my skull was blocked. Again, email me for more info...

I love diving. Through November of 2001 I was an active member of the Woodville Karst Plain Project (www.WKPP.org) in Florida. We obtain permits from the State of Florida to explore underwater caves. Some of them are 300 feet deep; way outside the range of recreational diving, let alone, the range of someone with a craniotomy to remove an Arachnoid Cyst.

I do not expect to return to the deep exploratory diving I enjoyed prior to my surgery, but I would sincerely appreciate any account of an arachnoidcyst removal and scuba diving.

If you have a love for diving, and have safely returned to recreational diving, I would appreciate a response.

Sincerely,

Bill - Central Florida