Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Ball Is In My Court

The past several days have been a whirlwind and I apologize for not blogging sooner. Last Saturday we drove down to Brooklyn to celebrate my nephew's first birthday. After a long day of fun we drove back home and then packed bags and headed back to Brooklyn on Sunday afternoon.

Monday morning began with an hour spent in a MRI machine to get a look at my brain tail. We had seven hours to kill until my neurologist appointment at TCI, so we looked on the map and found a state park nearby. The sun was shining and it was a good day to spend some time outside. We picked up some sandwiches for lunch and headed over to the park. After a little hike in the woods and a brief encounter with a ribbon snake we ate lunch and enjoyed the day for a while.

Then we headed over to TCI and waited and waited for our appointment. So the verdict on my health ~ I am healing up nicely from the tethered cord surgery. I can expect about a year until my back feels 100% again. As far as my MRI films go, my herniation now is about at 12mm ~ which according to my calculation is 2 mm more than it was last April. I am still shocked when I look at the MRI scans of my chiari ~ there is brain matter stuffed into my spinal column like a tightly fitting cork ~ it's just not right ~ it shouldn't be there! My brain stem measurements had decreased a bit which is great news and probably the reason why a lot of my symptoms, especially vertigo, have vanished.

So what's the prognosis for a decompression surgery? Well, basically the ball is in my court. I am definitely a candidate for surgery, but it's my decision when to have it done. (Is there ever a 'good' time to have brain surgery???) I should feel tremendous relief, but I don't. Why? I am still experiencing crushing Chiari headaches, blurred vision, my neck is still popping and cracking when I look from side to side. So I guess I have resolved myself to waiting ~ wait and see what happens. I don't understand why I have come this far with my struggle to have it fizzle out at the end. I am completely prepared for brain surgery but for reasons beyond my comprehension it's not in God's plans for my life right now. ~sigh~


Anonymous said...

what news you have just gotten.
Do you "feel" like you will have more relief if you go ahead with the decompression?
Keep us update on what you think you are going to do with this new information.
God bless you,

Caroline said...

Hey Lace,

I'm glad your trip went well to NY. The decision for surgery is never an easy one is it? And only you can decide at what point the potential benefits will outweigh the potential risks. I am kinda stunned your herniation is so long still too. I thought it would have floated back up some but I guess your brainstem measurement decreasing is what happened when the constant traction was eased.

I'm sorry to hear that you are still suffering with so many chiari symptoms. You are in my prayers as you make these difficult decisions.

hugs to you,