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Career and a sense of loss

May 18, 2010 - 2 comments












I never thought myself to define myself by my career. Now that Chiari is making it very hard to come to work, it appears that maybe I have been playing a mugs game with myself. 13 years in the Army has been a defining point in my life. Joined National Guard at 17 and after two years of college, volunteered to go active duty for three years. Enjoyed my active duty time. Left active duty with a husband. We had three lovely children. Back in college in 2006, right after our last baby was born he wanted a divorce. And I went back to work instead of staying home with them while continueing to go to college at night. That was hard. DX with Chiari in 2008 but truly believed it was just a stressful time in my life so kinda blew off that dx. Now it is 2010 and my symptoms are making work almost unbearable. FORCE myself to get out of bed and to make it to work.

The pain pills are hard to take. Alternating between vicodin and muscle relaxers makes me feel like a pill popper. and sometimes my mind feels more like a hypochondriac than someone with a real illness. BUT, that is alleviated by coming to this site and HEARING others tell their stories and knowing that I am not the only one. It was hilarious when my mother diagnosed me with a "nervous breakdown" RIGHT AFTER my dr explained to her about Chiari malformation. It was like she didn't want to hear it. Truth is, neither did I.

Now I am off to a six hour trip every few weeks to see specialists. And have a friend drive me, cause I don't want to worry my parents. No boyfriend means less drama, but that is probably just a protective posture of false bravado. Who knows what will come of me? What is the point of ALLOWING a man to fall in love with me, and then my children? IF I am only going to get sick on him. My burden is my own and someone else shouldn't have to carry my illness. But if it is HIS choice, why do I make it my choice to turn him away?

If I can make it through a war at 19, and lead soldiers into battle at 21 WHY is it so hard to face something as hard as my medical issues. The military has taught me leadership, integrity and honor. But Chiari has brought me to my knees. And not just in prayer when begging God for strength. It has brought me to a point of realizing that I may attempt to run my life, but ultimately God is in charge. And we are only here a moment.

So maybe my career, and all the investments made there, were a time in my life. A defining time for me to grow. To gain the strength to handle this battle. This war on beating my illness or disease. The toughest war my soul will ever face. And that is a good thing.

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759386 tn?1324565724
by Roy902, Oct 29, 2010
Warrior Mom,

  We have several things in common it seems:  I spent a total 24 years in Uncle Sugars army; 4 Regular and  16 AGR years a span fro  1980 to 2004.  I never went to war itself however; for some reason my phone never rang.  

  I was an enlisted soldier and was an Instructor at an RTI for over 11 years instructing PLDC / now called Warrior Leadership School.  The last 5 years I went back into the Supply Field and helped many units in Nebraska's National Guard units deploy.

  The Chiari was discovered soon after retirement; with a tingling on the left side of my face, x rays and other tests showed nothing went clear through the sinus stuff nothing at all.  Being in the early 40's it was thought maybe a light stroke and an MRI was ordered.  Results were Chiari - This was all found out at The VETERANS HOSPITAL in Omaha Nebraska of all places.  Perhaps I was fortunate, I hope not - so to speak; it is always said that the medical staff is terrible at the VA hospitals are terrible, I have had just the opposite experiences at the VA Medical Center in Omaha.

  My  Malformation is now at 3 CM's and really becoming a struggle to go to work every day as you state - the pressure in and behind my left eye is just horrid most of the time.   I am a dispatcher for the Fire Dept. at Offutt Air Force Base working a 12 hour shift. 3 days one week and 4 days the next week.  Some days are better than others, I am yet to have surgery - the doctors feel the risks of the surgery at this point do not out way the possible benefits.  

  I tell them do not treat the MRI's please listen to me, my life is really not all that fun at this time / My Companion and I as I call Chiari are dealing with each other and learing to get along. with each other more and more each day.  IT sounds as if you are at that point in life as well.  I have no tumors or csyts forming no pooling of spinal fluid forming at the base of the mid brain that can be seen at the mid brain. He said that is fairly long herination, but no real reason just because of its lenght.  He said he is very aggressive, but why do the surgery at this time just to do the surgery.  

  I suppose, I could find a surgeon to do the surgery - but I am hesistant at this time as well.  I have a lot of time and establsihed a bond with this team of doctors for over 4 years now.  


I love your Tatoo.

I am married and we have two great almost growed daughters  I wish you luck

I am on face book

Roy Penny

1547116 tn?1315830361
by keepswimming, Dec 30, 2010
WarriorMomma is switching to KeepSwimming. Can't get the old password. Dang that Chiari Monster!

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