About Me

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Im 41..married to Bob..we have 4 kids..Chris 25, Nick 20, Mitch 18 & Tori 15

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Me Brain

Story continued..

..July 3rd,07 was the day it all began.. unbearable neck pain..so after many dr appointments..I finally was able to see the drs with the answers at The Chiari Institute in Long Island NY..I was dx with Arnold Chiari Malformation,Syringomyelia, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and Tethered Cord Syndrome..I also found I have herniated discs,buldging discs, Degenerative joint disease in my entire neck,cervical lordosis, spinal stenosis, valvular regurgitation in the tricuspid and mitral valves..this all hit me like an impossible nightmare..but it was a life that I had to make a decision to embrace..I want other chiarians to know that although there are not many of us out there..we all need each other to cheer us on.. some of us have great family and friends to support us..but there are still many of us who dont.. I have a supportive husband.. who see's how the headaches stop me in my tracks..or the neck pain that puts me on the couch with the heating pad..numbness..earaches and many other obsticles I have to overcome each day..many of my family and friends dont understand how it is in my shoes..Im here to share MY Story , highs and lows, information I dig up and offer support to people who need it...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The High Road

As you can see..this is not a beaten path. The high road is less traveled for a reason. That being said..its sometimes a lonely one.
Iam feeling a little better this week. My head is not screaming at me..which is a plus. But my neck & back are now beating me over the head. So I have decided to go back to acupuncture. My chiropractor is still out of commision recovering from his own back surgery. Of course I think he should have scheduled his when I had mine so he would be ready for me when I needed him...lol. He really does help me. I know that being adjusted is not good for us Edsers..but it sure does make life more managable.
Iam still awaiting for approvals for my sleep study & an MRI of my shoulder. I know once I get the shoulder mri..it is inevitable that my shoulder will be next. It is bothering me more & more everyday. As my chiropractor said ..a tear is not going to just get better on its own..especially when you are constantly pulling on it everyday. So Iam prepared to face round 4. I would rather get it over with before summer.
Iam also informing all my friends that Iam no longer affiliated with The Chairi's Angels Foundation. If you have any questions for the foundation..you need to contact the founder..Jeff Domenic..at ChiarisAngels@aol.com.
I also want to let everyone know that Iam planning another Chiari Get Together & would like to see who would be interested. Iam looking at April 5th. Please email me with any questions DeeHall1@aol.com .
Be Well

Sunday, February 22, 2009

As The World Turns

These are my girls. When I dont feel good..they are on my lap. Dont they look so cute with their sweaters on.

Well Iam almost 5 months post op from round 3. Iam doing well. I went a month with out a headache,,and then I have had 3 in the last week. Iam on day 3 of #3. Iam not complaining. A whole month of feeling almost "normal" is great.

I spoke to Dr Francomano last week..my geneticist. I wanted her opinion about my shoulder, blood pressure & orthostatic intolerance. She suggested I have another mri done on my shoulder to see if he damage has gotten worse. If so..surgery it is. She said that it could take up to 14 months for my brainstem to get back in the groove of things..so I should wait for a tilt table test. She wants to control my blood pressure with medication. My BP needs to be below 130/90. So this is the new goal.

Iam still waiting for the approval for my sleep study and now the mri for my shoulder. So Iam praying for patients.

I did speak to Dr Kula at TCI. I will be seeing him for my follow up next week , so that he can write my narative medical report for my federal workers compensation case. Of course its costing me a pretty penny for the report..but I really dont have an option in the matter. Im hoping to have new films taken..I anxious to see how everything looks.

The Chiari Mixer was a success. We had a total of 27 people...14 with Chiari. It was nice to meet people face to face. Iam hoping for double the people next time. The nutritionist Ive been seeing has offered to come and speak at the next get together..he said we could even make arrangements to have him meet with a couple people. Im really excited about this. I know he can help people. He has helped me.

I read a quote the other day that just stuck with me.. "Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason" by Jerry Seinfeld. This could be taken in many ways. Some people are scared to take a road that is not shared..Or think what is the reason other people dont want to take this journey "it must not be worth it". I feel that it may be a harder path to follow..but nothing worh working for is ever easy. I think some people want everything to be easy..handed to them..or just luck. Drastic change... takes drastic measures. We choose the roads we travel..sometimes we are faced with road blocks or detours but we are the ones that choose new directions. What road are you on? are you happy with the scenery? and most important..is it taking you where you want to go?

Monday, February 9, 2009

New Beginnings

I feel like a busy bee. This year has started off like a marathon. I cant believe we are already in the middle of February. Its seems as though the last year and a half didnt go fast enough..and now I would like to slow it down. I want to enjoy every day of every minute. Iam looking forward to spring and warm weather. o be able to sit ouside in the sunshine a read...of couse while Im getting a tan..lol.

My husband, Bob, and I have been attending a bible study group since early December. It has been a great experience. We are reading a book called " The Reason for God" by Tim Keller. It is a fanominal book. It is about skepticism in todays society. It is a book that makes you question your questions and your answers. It has put us in contact with some great people. I also found it funny that 3 of us all have chronic rare illnesses..coincidence? I think not.

I was talking with a friend on the phone the other day about chiari..she asked about what it is..how it affects me & if Iam okay now. Its funny how simple questions at different stages in this journey will provoke a totally different response to the same question..2 days, weeks or months earlier. I told her that Iam as good as I want to be...and very Thankful. I wouldnt trade the life lessons I have gained in the last year and a half for anything. I can say this.. anyone who has experienced a life changing health issue.. has gained a whole new perspective on what Life is all about. That is not something I think is embraced the day you are diagnosed. It takes alot of reflecting..to "decide" to embrace the changes in your life. You cant live for today..if your stuck in the past. I chose to leave my past in the past..and move forward to move exciting furture moments and memories.

I'am working on being more of an advocate for Chiari and also helping other fellow chiarians fellowship with each other. Its nice to have people you email & chat on the phone with about the daily grind, but I think its a monumental difference to put a face & a hug with someone you lean on sometimes daily.

I have put together a Chiari get together this Sunday the 15th in Newburgh. I have approximately 25 people coming. Iam so excited I cant stand it. We are going to have food, some educational info & Chiari's Angels Foundation shirts. Iam planning on holding one of these every couple of months. Im hoping it will grow in size.

I have recently joined someone I met online in his start of a new Chiari foundation. The Chiari's Angels Foundation ..http://chiarisangels.org/index.php Jeff Domenic..the founder has been diligently working on the site. It looks great..kudos to Jeff. We also have someone else that has joined us..Brian Murphy. Brian has a support group on the east side of NJ.
This foundation is going to be very different than any other. Our number 1 priority is supporting the people affecting by Chiari & related conditions. We are looking for any idea's for fundraisers. We are planning a comedy club event in June. It will be in Levitstown NY. Iam looking forward to seeing how many people will be able to attend.
Iam feeling better. Still having issues with my blood pressure. Iam on a different medication. I go back t the cardiologist next week. Iam patiently waiting for an approval for another sleep study. Iam still having issues with sleeping, although not as bad. The cardiologist wants me to have it done..because the sleep apnea would affect my heart. I have the occasional aches & pains. My shoulder & hip have been bothering me. So I have decided to see a few more orthopedists for consults for my shoulder. I dont want to wait until Im in complete agony..to make a decision about a doctor. It will be more like.."when can you do it"..not "how many patients have you treated with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome?". I want to find the best option for a physician that is confident he can help me. Not.."Ive done lots of these surgeries".
I did start seeing a nutritionist..it is working wonders for me. I was tested for food allergies.. so I had to cut out dairy, coffee & bakers yeast. He then put me on some supplements. Some of which are just for support, while others are herbal medication. It has definately helped. I still have my medication in case I need it. I have to take my BP medicine. But for now Iam trying the herbal approach..so time will tell. I know my liver is happy..lol.
I hope everyone is having a great day..and I pray for everyone to find relief from any symptoms you many be experiencing. :)
Be Well

Chiari Interview