When One Door Closes Another
Opens but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door
that we do not see the one which has opened for us
Alexander Graham Bell
A Little Bit Of History I had a normal,
healthy childhood. Then in September of 1986, I turned 15 years old.
My symptoms came on rather suddenly- I was nauseous and vomiting
violently, extremely dizzy, unsteady gait, blurred vision, and
sweating profusely. I was immediately admitted to my local hospital
for a week where they ran tests but couldn't figure out what was
wrong. The local doctor decided it was psychological and discharged
me feeling worse than I did on the way in. After countless doctors
and specialists, I happened to be seen by a Neurosurgeon who
recommended an MRI. Finally I was properly diagnosed! I was told
that I hadArnold Chiari Malformation , Basilar Invagination, Hydrocephalus,
I needed to have brain surgery.
I was quite fortunate that I had no residual effects
from surgery and I was able to get on with my life. I graduated from
high school on time, went to college, graduate school, and started
on my career.
Two In 1997, I was involved in a car accident
that would once again change my life. After the accident, I was
taken to the ER with severe neck pain and the worse headache of my life. The doctors in the emergency
room took some x rays and sent me on my way with the diagnosis of a
cervical sprain. I was told to see my doctor if the pain did not go
away. It didn't go away.
Despite seeing 13 different doctors and
specialists and reluctantly taking countless medications that didn't
work, my symptoms continued to get worse and some new symptoms
developed. I tried physical therapy, massage therapy, pain
management, acupuncture, but nothing seemed to help. After 2 1/2
years of frustration and pain, I finally found a doctor who could
properly diagnose me. It turns out that I have an Atlanto-Axial Subluxation and a very serious brain stem compression. I found
myself once again facing brain surgery.
I live in New York and will fly out to Iowa in order to have
surgery on October 26th 1999. I was told that because of my previous
surgery, medical history, and poor condition of my spine, this
surgery will be much more difficult to perform. Prior to surgery, I
will be placed into a Halo and be in traction for five days.
Still More My surgery in 1999, although difficult and 11 1/2 hours long, seemed to go smoothly. However, I have developed some complications. I have lost strength and functioning in my right hand. An MRI confirmed a Syrinx I have also experienced sinus and voice problems as a result of the surgery. There is a space left in the Soft Palate of my mouth because part of my surgery was done Transorally This was diagnosed asVelophyrangeal Insufficiency. I will once again have surgery August 29, 2000.
Are You Kidding? The surgery in 2000 was not enough I'm continuing to have other problems. My brain has had some settling and is now resting on my C2 vertebrae. I will once again have surgery April 10,2001 to remove the C2 vertebrae and relieve the pressure. This will require anotherTransoral surgery.
The past couple of years
have been a very difficult time in my life. As my symptoms
progressed I lost my job, my apartment, my independence, my social
life, and just the general sense of feeling normal. Despite it all I
feel that I am quite fortunate. When all is said and done I get a
fresh start on life. How many people get to say that? Looks like
another door just opened...
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