I don’t think I’ve ever talked about my surgery. I try and keep that talk to a minimum because I do not want people to think that I am trying to get attention through my situation. And really and truly, the only reason I’m bringing it up now is because the last 3 weeks have been kind of quietly scary for me. And guess what little blog? You are the first one to know, hence the use of “quietly scary”.
The last 3 weeks my equilibrium has been feeling totally off. Not all the time, but a lot of the time. I’ll be sitting at my desk and all of a sudden feel like I have had more than my allowed 2 glasses of wine; one time I even felt like I was sitting sideways in my chair looking at my computer screen as if I was lying on my side. Welcome to the world of WEIRD FEELING. I’m sure you are saying, “3 weeks of this? Go to the doctor already!” but guess what? I’ve been to him since my surgery about this and it’s just part of the symptoms that were not fixed in surgery. Oh, I guess I should tell you what that surgery was for, huh?
I have a Chiari 1 Malformation. Once upon a time there was life before Extreme House Makeover and none of you would know what I’m talking about, I’m sure you’ve all at least heard of it now though. The best way I have found to describe it to people and to also understand it better for myself is this: my brain sits further down in my skull than most people (I think that is due to a small/underdeveloped skull, actually) therefore, the space in which my spinal cord transports spinal fluid from my brain to my body is a lot smaller than the average human being…it also causes my brain to develop tonsils (most people do have at least small tonsils, but mine are at least 12 cm’s longer than the average person’s.) which also fill up some of that space where my spinal fluid flows. This makes for some really tight space. And if we weren’t talking about brain space, that might be a good thing. My symptoms before surgery [brain surgery!] were major headaches, especially when laughing/coughing/sneezing or doing anything to exert myself, spots that would start at the center and slowly disperse outwards, and occasional dizziness when I would look up or to the sides for too long. The way I see it, I was luckier than some with the condition because those symptoms can get pretty out of control. After surgery, I am usually good with the dizziness now, rare spots, almost never a headache, and now my ears ring (thank you new symptom!). Oh and, I won’t be able to have natural child birth, thanks for asking.
So anyways, the fun part is that they did a laminectomy, craniectomy, and duraplasty. They saved the piece of skull that they removed and until one of my family members mistook it for a piece of trash, I had it in my possession…now the trash company has it. Also, the not so fun part? I can no longer donate blood because I have cow substance in my body…talk about going organic.
It was life changing, and only in good ways [minus the blood donor part]. That surgery, that whole situation at that stage in my life, turned my world around. So sure I don’t like to talk about it, but I think it’s important that if I’m going to end up with any sort of reader base, they know that about me…because that’s that point in my life where I started acting like the person I knew I was supposed to be. I guess you could say that “I found myself”.