Sunday, June 23, 2013

Where Do You Put Down Roots?

Wish I had seen this magnificent tree in person ~ a friend of mine has allowed me to share this image of courage and determination. It's clear to me that this wise old tree is firmly rooted. It began it's life as a sapling  on the banks of a lake and that's where it's stayed. No doubt, this tree has endured torrential downpours and floods, threatening it's life over and over again and yet it's proven to be resilient ~ but at what cost?

Resilience, determination, courage ~ these are all close cousins of one another. When they join hands and work together survival becomes a reality.  How does this relate to me and my life? I've never felt like a physically "rooted" person ~ ever. I've embraced the wonder and adventure of change. But, something I've learned that's essential to survival is knowing yourself and what you are deeply rooted in.

For most people, they are rooted in family, a job, a town or a house. For me, it's been my faith and intuition that have grounded me to the planet.  The aftermath of brain surgery has been a potentially catastrophic uprooting event for me. I've felt like my roots have been ripped out of the ground. Many times I've felt awash at sea, not knowing if I even had any roots left to dig in and hold onto solid ground again. The image above is a gentle reminder that, yes, I still have roots, strong roots that can grip and take hold of solid ground even in the most unlikely circumstances. How do you find your footing again and do you dare to take hold of something you believe in?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Outside the Box

A picture says a thousand words, right? I've made the photo above my screen saver at work. It's a constant reminder to think outside the box and to look up every once in a while. So many times a day I find myself a victim of brain farts ~ ooo shiny! What was I just thinking about? I had a thought and just like that, poof! It's completely evaporated.

So, like I was saying, I've been thinking way outside the box ~ looking for a unicorn or a zebra in a herd of horses. I saw my most favorite endocrinologist in the world last week and after listening to me rattle off my numerous growing neurological chiari/cranial settling related symptoms, he emphatically told me that I was skating on thin ice. That's always a wake up call when you hear that from someone that you trust in the medical community. ~ sigh ~

After digesting my doctors concerns for my health, I took a deep breath and shared this bizarre, outside of the box idea with him to help validate that my idea wasn't completely off the reservation. I've been thinking lately, most of my symptoms lately: migraines, vertigo, trouble breathing, insomnia... are all related to cranial settling. After seeing my Chiari friends go through fusion surgery only to have the fusion rods re-done just a few years later, I really want no part of that routine. With that said, I vividly remember my Invasive Cervical Traction procedure that I had the day before my brain surgery.

At one point during the procedure, even through the twilight haze, I remember Dr. M discovering that when they lifted my head up and over and then down there was a remarkable change in symptoms and CSF flow. He was very intrigued since he had not seen a positive result before with that set of motions. So, I was thinking, if this procedure helped me to feel pretty good for a few years, why can't I go in for this type of surgical procedure again? Sure, I would miss a few days of work, but it's an outpatient procedure with no recovery time. How crazy would it be to at least start a dialogue with my doctors to see if this is a possibility.

Shockingly enough, my doctor totally was on board with my idea and didn't think it was crazy at all.

I feel like I keep buying time ~ waiting for technology to advance, looking for a less invasive more long lasting solution. I know there's no cure for Chiari ~ but this girl is still searching for a silver lining ~ a sliver of hope....