You don't have to pay for any responses if you do not feel the answer was helpful, and don't worry, it does not close your post for follow ups from other specialists. I can't speak for other specialists who may reply, but I will offer only free posts to you. What I would like is to ask for some clarification to see if I can offer you some more insight.
First of all, what kind of head surgery did you have 13 years ago? Was it from a trauma, aneurysm...?
(2) How soon after that surgery did you start to experience the gradual loss of eyesight and numbness? And what kind of treatment was done (if any) after that fall down the stairs?
(3) What was the surgeon's response to your loss of neuro function? Is it possible you suffered a stroke after surgery?
(4) Have you continued regular evaluation and check ups with a neurologist since the initial surgery 13 years ago? How about physical or occupational therapy?
(5) What type of back surgery did you have in 1997? Was it a fusion? Did it help your back pain?
(6) On what part of your body was this MRI done and when was it done? No lesions was the only thing you were told? Who read (or interpreted) the MRI? Try to get the FULL report of the MRI.
When nerve cells die, they do not regenerate. Injured nerve cells, however can gain back some function to varying degrees depending on the patient and the extent of damage; usually with intense physical and/or occupational therapy. So like you said, it is freaky and something doesn't sound right.
If you are not currently seeing a neurologist, I suggest you start right away. Try to get a full report of that MRI. Your neurologist can sort through this, and will have much better luck obtaining your old medical files than you would. Ask for a referral to physical and/or occupational therapy. I know you have regained so much on your own, but now is good time to start therapy to help you regain optimal function and to assure you don't inadvertently cause harm to yourself during this time. Remember, it's been a long time since you've had this functioning back...don't take any chances of losing it.
Please answer the best you can, and I will do my best to give you the best answers I can. I'm so glad you are recovering. Even after 13 years of this hell, you must feel pretty fortunate. Who would have thought...........