Emergency Walk…

Three years ago this month…I had brain surgery for Chiari I Malformation…it had been an usual winter in the south…and…we had a large snow that wouldn’t go away…school was closed the entire week before my surgery…thankfully…the roads were clear enough for me to make it to Birmingham for the operation…I didn’t want it to be canceled due to weather

This week…a freakish snow and ice storm hit Birmingham…pretty much paralyzing the entire city…motorist were stranded for hours…many overnight…children spent the night at schools because their parents couldn’t reach them…neighbors helped neighbor…strangers helped strangers…

And…

My neurosurgeon…Dr. Zenko Hrynkiw…walked six miles…to preform emergency brain surgery…

Although…I already had total respect for him…how can you not respect someone who held your brain in his hands…I am blown out of the water by his dedication and determination…

Jane

PS…Here’s the link to the article…

http://blog.al.com/wire/2014/01/doctor_walks_six_miles_in_snow.html

Happy Anniversary…Chiari…

Some of you already know…that I have a condition called…Chiari I Malformation…for those who don’t…it’s a congenital condition…where simply stated…my brain didn’t fit into my skull…and…my cerebellar tonsils…were pushed down into my neck…

And…no…it didn’t mean that I had an unusually…large…brain…although I attempted that argument…the neurosurgeon…assured me…it just wasn’t so…

There are a lot of symptoms with Chiari…pretty much caused by the crowding and resultant nerve damage…and…most of them…could be from a lot of things…headaches…dizziness…numbness…balance problems…ringing in the ears…to name only a few…so…while it is relatively easy to identify…can usually be seen on an MRI…it isn’t easily diagnosed…and…most doctors aren’t looking for it…

Personally…I had mild symptoms for a period of about twenty years…before it was diagnosed…

So…why am I telling you all of this today…well…it’s the third anniversary of my surgery…and…anniversaries always make me a little nostalgic…the other reason…is because…there isn’t a lot of information out there…for people who are diagnosed with Chiari…I know…I Googled…a lot…both before and after the surgery…I wanted to know…needed to know…what to expect…

But…the thing is…there’s no…normal…recovery or progression…everyone is different…depending on how much nerve damage has been done…and…if there are other conditions present…

According to my neurosurgeon…I have made an excellent recovery…he’s the same guy who said my brain wasn’t large…but…in this case…I believe him…

My recovery wasn’t quick…and…it isn’t complete…it took me at least eighteen months to feel…almost like a normal human being…of course there are those who say…I’ve never been normal…my main symptoms post op were what I call brain fog…numbness…headaches…and…neck issues…

Honestly…now that I look at the list…I still have them…they just get better as time passes…and…I learn to deal with them…

Okay…Bertha…says I’m getting long winded…so…I’ll conclude with…

If you are having any symptoms of Chiari…please…see your doctor…go out on a limb…mention it if he doesn’t…

If you are diagnosed with Chiari…find a neurosurgeon with Chiari experience…

If you have had surgery for Chiari…treat yourself kindly…everyone recovers at a different rate…in a different way…how sick you were before surgery will affect your recovery…

If you need someone to talk to…drop me a line…

Jane

Click here… http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chiari-malformation/basics/definition/con-20031115  for information on Chiari…