Dana's Pain - Chiari Malformation

by Dana
(Michigan)

For the past 4 years,since 2007, I had been experiencing severe neck, shoulder and back pain. In september of 2010 I began having debilitating headaches that would last at least 3 days. Tingling down left arm and fingers, muscle weakness. Vision problems, difficulty swallowing, and a numerous amount of other things. Off balance, tripping, etc.....


Finally after being told by numerous drs that there was nothing wrong, I was referred to a orthopedic surgeon who ordered a mri of my neck and head. It was him,in march of 2011, who found the chiari malformation. Relieved, yet scared, I then saw 2 neurologists before being referred to the u of mich to a specialist. It was there they told me I had tonsilar herniation that was about 13 to 14cm. We discussed my options, see a headache specialist or surgery. I went home, thought about it a week, and decided to have the surgery. Sure meds may have helped the headaches, maybe, but I was slowly deteriorating. I didnt understand how meds for headaches would help the rest of my issues, so I had the surgery on aug. 10th 2011.

Its now been 5wks post op and I am still a little swollen, still having headaches, little ones everyday some last the usual 3 days and I cannot function. Still have a lot of the other symptoms I discussed and more. But only time will tell if it gets better as I heal. I know that if I hadnt had the surgery I would have just gotten worse. Now I at least know that the pain may always be here, but shouldn't continue to worsen. My dr is absolutely fabulous and would recommend that any one in this situation look him up. I just hope and pray that everyday is a good day. But I have my good days and my bad days. Its a wait and see game.

That sums up my story. Many things I left out but then again my memory isn't that good nor my concentration skills.

Thanks for listening.

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