The difference btwn a Chiari specialist and a regular NS are this....a Chiari specialist treats nothing but Chiari and related conditions....and does research and consults with other Chiari specialists.
A regular NS treats anything neurological.....they may not know about related conditions and how they may affect recovery should a decompression surgery be done......
If your Dr is aware of ALL related conditions and takes precautions b4, during and after then complications should not be as much of a concern.
Knowing what your related conditions are will help you understand your recovery period.. And lastly do not rush to get back to a "normal" life as that can cause set backs too.Take it slow, but steady and listen to your body.
Best wishes to you this week <3
Thank you Selma, I was literally almost to the point of suicide (had note and plan). I am at the end of my rope, so I need support holding on if I do not notice immediate improvement. If I do not feel better right away, this can be normal right? Basically I don't want to do something stupid if healing was only a few weeks/months away. I want to know what to realistically expect so I do not set myself up for disappointment due to unrealistic ideas.
Yes, it will take some time b4 you see benefits..in fact many think they are 100% better post op but it is the meds..then as the healing begins some symptoms return and they get depressed....but this is ALL normal and to be expected....the nerves can become over stimulated once the obstruction is released.
I will be 8 yrs post op this May....and I am doing better then I had been for yrs b4 surgery....I am happy and would do it all over if it should ever occur to be deemed necessary.
You're definitely in better hands with a chiari specialist not only because he has done so many surgeries but because the hospital he operates out of also is familiar with treating chiari patients and caring for them after surgery. I'm sure they have had patients react badly to medications and know what to do to make it better. You may not even have a problem with any of the drugs.
Before my chiari diagnosis was finally made I had a balloon sinuplasty surgery under general anesthesia and had a horrible reaction when I woke up - vertigo, dizziness, imbalance, heart palpitations, tremors, nausea. All the nurses thought I had a bad reaction to anesthesia when it was really all chiari symptoms that were made worse because my neck was extended and some meds can cause an increase in intracranial pressure. When I woke up from chiari surgery I didn't have any of those horrible symptoms. I felt drugged, but it was like a happy drugged feeling. I didn't even feel much pain, just stiffness. I, too, was very nervous and everything was ok. I hope that is the experience you have.
I wouldn't get down if you don't feel improvement right away. Recovery from this surgery is a long process. I did feel improvement before leaving the hospital, mainly the floor didn't move under my feet anymore and the vertigo and rocking feeling was gone. My nausea was gone as well. When I tapered off the steroids at home I felt a big setback for a few days, then gradually started to improve. Sleep is very important after surgery. In the afternoon all the color would leave my face and I would feel sick and I'd know I had to sleep. I would sleep for up to 3 hours and feel normal again. So, you need to listen to your body and not push too hard. I was feeling pretty good 6 weeks post up and decided to walk 4 miles - big mistake. I felt worse for 2 weeks.
Having surgery was the best thing I could have done. I am functioning now and out of bed all day and doing the household chores. I am not back to things like exercising and I still get dizzy but it's not as bad as before. It's like my head gets a heavy, fuzzy feeling and I need to rest. Whereas before surgery I would be completely incapacitated if I had tried to do all the things I am doing now.
I, too, thought living the way I was before surgery was torture. I used to wish I had cancer, thinking doctors at least know how to treat it and if it didn't get better at least there would be an end. I don't think that way anymore, life has gotten much better and I hope you experience the same result. I'm definitely not the person I was before getting sick but I am well enough to be happy. You will have setbacks, so try not to get discouraged. My doctor said it takes 6-12 months to recover.
Good luck with your surgery on Wednesday.
Thank you for your reply. Lasel, your story is especially encouraging because my story nearly mirrors yours. I feel much better today. I completed a tilt table test which I totally failed confirming brainstem dysfunction. The doctors were all very encouraging and it seems like everything I'm experiencing perfectly lines up with Chiari and the chance of improvement is very high. I was doubting because so many other doctors kept telling me I had fibromyalgia, depression or anxiety and my herniation couldn't be causing problems. I feel more confident now and less nervous. 2 days until the surgery.