Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Hi spark community! I wanted to share with you one of the reasons I lost control of my health and weight.
Over three years ago, I was suffering with debilitating headaches that led to paralysis and the inability to speak. My twin sister had suffered with the same headaches. After seeing a number of specialists, I was told that I had Chiari Malformation 1. It appeared that my brain was too big for my skull causing my brain to squeeze into my spine. It was about 13mm in. This was causing my CSF(cerebral spinal fluids) flow to go slower than it should. With these headaches I also dealt with only being able to laugh or cry a little at a time due to the pain it would cause my head. Anything strenuous would cause me severe pain and I'd feel liquid rushing in my head. My paralysis and the headache "episodes" became more frequent and I was sent to a Neurosurgeon.
I showed him all of my lab work,x-rays, mri ,etc. He then explained that I would need decompression brain surgery. He said in detail that he would have to remove a piece of my skull (craniectomy), remove the first vertabrae from my spin, C1 (laminectomy) and cover the hole in my skull with my own tissue from my brain (duraplasty). I was shocked by the diagnosis and more shocked about the proposed solution. I had never heard of anything like that.
After speaking to all of my doctors and my family, we agreed I'd give it a shot.
Here I am almost three years post surgery. I am sorry to say that I did not get any better and in fact, I became more ill after the surgery. I was diagnosed with a number of different conditions post surgery. I am now considered disabled and all of these stresses and the inability to do most physical activities without feeling pain lasting for many days later.
I MUST say that I have learned so much from sp that this St. Patrick's Day I am very proud of all of the mental progress I have made. Many of these small changes are helping me get healthier overall. I have managed to lower my cholesterol 40 numbers in about a month and I eat much healthier than before sp. I now see a team of headache specialists and am really following up with all of my check-ups.
I wanted to thank all of my sp friends and sp staff for all of the love, encouragement, support and resources provided to me on a daily basis. I am truly blessed.
Below I have some pictures that I wanted to share with you. I hope they don't freak anyone out and I hope you will be able to see them (provided sp allows it). If you cannot see them please send me sparkmail and i will send it to you via mail.
The first pic is the day after my surgery.
The second one is about a two weeks later.
I had to get hospitalized again to re suture my surgery site.
This St. Patrick's Day I will rejoice for how far I have come and how far I have to go!!