I have been so busy restarting my life that I have failed to update my MedHelp friends of how I am after surgery.
I am 8 months out and I am very happy with the results thus far. My brain is where it belongs and my head is whole -- well getting whole.
The sugery I had included a reconstruction of my skull with a sythetic absorbable plastic plate screwed into my skull. That was covered with Hydroxy Apetite, a special amino acid made to generate bone growth, so technically I am under construction - growing a skull as we speak.
Pros- I can do things I thought I would never get to do again. I have ridden my horse (walking only for now - and with a helmet), gone swimming with my kids, and practice softball with my daughter.
Cons- Until the skull is fully grown, I have to content with a plate in my head that expands and contracts with weather changes. That makes it feel almost as bad as before on occasion with pain and unsteadiness, particularly in the winter. (I'm thinkin of moving to Tahiti, where it's always warm).
All in all I am discovering this: Chiari doesn't have to be a life sentence. There is life after surgery. I know that there are some cases where there is so much damage that the recovery never ends. And there are some surgeons who do their very best, but still not the best that is out there.
Truthfully, my faith has carried me further than any doctor could. I still have the same challenges as most of us, with my neck and shoulder muscles sensitive to temperature, and the tightness we all get after surgery. But when I feel something that bothers me, I stop what I am doing and say a prayer for all Chiarians, that they will find warm moments of comfort. Funny, it happens less often now.
I haven't fallen since surgery. I have been able to laugh and cry without losing my abilities afterward. This life is good, and according to the doc, it will only get better with time. I am experiencing that.
I hope this message encourages any of you who are walking through this with me. It's a road we travel on, but not a hole we live in. We press on, and together, we make it one step more each day toward and fuller more whole life.
I'll be thinking about you -