Left Frontal Lobe Angioma, with Seizures


"Gustavo Rodriguez" olafo60@hotmail.com
Sent: November 14, 2003

My name is Gustavo Rodriguez. I am Colombian. Presently, I live near San Francisco, CA.s just normal, after the operation.... they did not even cut all my hair!

The first time I had an epileptic seizure was four years ago. I am presently 33 years old. After several studies and exams I was informed that I have a cavernous angioma and it is located in the left frontal lobe. After leaving the hospital, I wanted to resume my normal life. I was a bus chauffer. Things were progressing smoothly. I was on a daily regime of four tablets of 200 mg Carbamazepine.

After a few months, I had another epileptic seizure which resulted in another hospital stay. The doctors made their confirmation and they told me I could no longer drive. This meant a radical change of lifestyle. First of all, I could no longer continue my profession. Secondly, my family labeled me an “epileptic.”

During this time, I attempted several jobs. But in Colombia, if you are more than 30 years old, you might as well change country (than change jobs) because you are too old to work. That is why I decided to move to the US and did so at the end of 2001. I found an agency that helps those of low income and they have supplied me with my medication that controls my seizures. However, it is incredible how much life can change. When one thinks that all is well, one is faced with difficult challenges and this is one of them.

UPDATE: August 12, 2004

Six years ago, my life completely changed due to the discovery of a cavernous angioma. I was a bus chauffeur and my family searched for a means by which to control my epileptic attacks which were becoming unbearable. We began with primary doctors, then neurologists and a whole range of referrals to those who might be able to save me.

After several years and an epileptic seizure (grand mal) the Hospital San Ignacio reported that I had a cavernous angioma or a venous malformation, which caused the epileptic seizures. After this diagnosis, a friend in the medical profession advised us that it would be best to come to the United States to consider surgery since in Colombia surgery was not considered due to the risks. After two years of taking carbamazepine 1600 mg daily, I was fortunate to be able to travel to San Francisco, CA. I was able to participate in a program through Martinez County, which helped me obtain my medication. Here began extensive treatment and thousands of studies to find out, with certainty, what the problem was and how to resolve it. Unfortunately, the neurologist had the same response as did the Colombian neurologist.

My best option, then, was to go to University of California San Francisco's epileptic clinic. They decided to review my case. Dr. Heidi Kursh was the first person to tell me that there was a possibility of surgery and that they could perform it. After more studies, Dr. Nicolas Barbaro, chief of neurosurgery at UCSF, demonstrated the procedure that I would undergo. He told me to make my decision and a surgery was scheduled. After four hours of surgery and one week of recuperation, I can say that things are clearer now and I can say that I have been reborn. My wife and family suffered many difficult times but I am here to tell my story and to give greetings and regards to the persons who cared for me at UCSF and Hospital of Martinez County. And, of course, many thanks to my family. I now lead a normal life, with my job. And, even though it will take some time, I know that I will attain the dream I've had since I left my country of Colombia. Life has given me another opportunity…thanks to all the persons who were at my side when I most needed them. Gustavo Rodriguez Walnut Creek, CA Gustavo

Gustavo Rodriguez
Bay Area, CA