Chiari Malformation Community
I have 6 months to get surgery and i'm scared.
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I have 6 months to get surgery and i'm scared.

Like many of you I was diagnosed with Chiari accidentally about two months ago, during an MRI my doctor had ordered to find the cause of persistent and awful vertigo. The vertigo went away but i've now seen two doctors, a neurologist and a neurosurgeon, each more than once. Long story short I NEED to get surgery as I have quite a large syrinx in my neck, even though the only real symptom I have is headaches (they are not very bad, even at that). I was taken aback when my neurosurgeon told me I needed surgery. I was planning to wait until I had graduated college. I was hoping that someone could tell me a bit about how it is, should I be very worried? What are the steps? I'm a 19 year old lacrosse player in college. I am aware that I can't play for a while after, but how long? My doctor said there is a 3 month recovery, is that a good estimate? Should I take a quarter off from school? Sorry for all the questions, I would appreciate any answers at all, if you have them. Thank you for reading.
9 Comments Post a Comment
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979826_tn?1389039958
hey! im molly and im 19 also! i was diagnosed when i was 16 because of a soccer injury . not to scare u but i was told by my doctors that i should no longer play contact sports. this killed me, soccer was my life but they told me it was unsafe to do so. i was not able to go to school last year because i got pretty sick with hydrocephalus but i have started this year at a community college. i wish u the best! if u have any other questions (or if i missed any that u already asked lol) please ask! there a soo many wonderful/ helpful people on this forum that can help!
molly
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3060676_tn?1371241540
Hello! I had 2 surgeries. My last one was 9 months ago and I'm now starting to feel so much better. I'm just now being able to slowly add yoga and mild workouts. After my first one when I was 20 years old, I was in bed for 3 months straight and I healed up perfectly. I took off the whole summer. About 3 more months after that, I was more active. After my second surgery at 25 yrs, I only rested 2 weeks and I had complications after- which slowed the healing process. Looking back, had I spent more time resting like I should have been for as long as I possibly could, I may not have had such set-backs. I do not play contact sports, so I cannot give my opinion on that matter.
But I would suggest giving yourself at least 3 months of rest if you have that option. I just think it would be better to have off too much time than to need extra time!
Rhea
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620923_tn?1405964489

  Hi and welcome to the Chiari forum.

Well as the other 2 posters mentioned...some Drs just do not have a clue, FIRST, they can not give u a timeline as we all will respond to this surgery differently,...and those that say u can go back to a contact sport like lacrosse in 3 months is crazy, RUN as fast as u can to a different Dr...and I am not kidding.

Many times post op we feel wonderful almost Euphoric.....but much of that is the drugs used to knock us out and meds...once that all wears off we will slowly begin to feel some of the pain creep back, but much of it is surgical and some is part of the healing process....

We all heal at different rates...know the pain u can handle and how ur body  is with meds and healing and go slow do not rush things as it can cause a set back.

Make sure ur Dr is a true Chiari specialist and has ruled out all related conditions as they can affect how u feel and heal post op too.

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1306714_tn?1327260680
I try to tell people from my experience. Not to set yourself up for disappointment.  I had it all planned out.  Have surgery in June go back to work at a school in Sept.  Well after having 4 surgieries due to complications and it has been 3 yrs.  I can no longer work which is very disappointing.  I am just asking you to get all the info you can, but just take one day at a time ecspecially when it comes to healing.   Listening to your body is a key and not rushing things.  As Selma mentioned some of us that has had surgery felt great and like me was changing sheets and doing laundry 10days after surgery.  Now I have a lot of regrets about this.  I don't know if this caused the problems, but it didn't help any.  Everyone recoveries differently,  So please just take a deep breathe and take one day at a time.
Linda :)
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4687131_tn?1357983812
it seems like what i'm getting is that i need to rest, rest, rest and take really good care of myself. i appreciate your story, thank you for sharing it with me RheaAnn.
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4687131_tn?1357983812
thank you selmaS. i am definitely going to talk to my parents about potentially seeing someone else and getting another opinion because you've made me second guess my doctor. thank you for your comment.
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4687131_tn?1357983812
thank you for your comment, i'm realizing that i may not be able to go back to playing lacrosse.
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4687131_tn?1357983812
thank you linnielou232. i appreciate your comment. i am worried about being able to return to school, though i was planning on actually taking the year off from school and working to earn money so my parents don't have to pay so much. we'll see... i'm still deciding, it's a lot to take in.
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1306714_tn?1327260680
It is a lot to take in, so just take one step at a time and it will all come together for you.  We are here for you.
Linda :)
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