Today I had appointments with a nurse, neurologist, and neurosurgeon. I felt like I was giving my life story to the nurse. I answered questions about my headaches, my past medical history, and my family medical history. Dr.Mora, the neurologist showed me the images from all my testing yesterday and performed a whole slew of neurological tests such as pricking my skin with a needle and making me do silly coordination things. I think I passed most of those tests except for some that were testing the nerves in my arms. Aparently I have some nerve damage in my arms. When it came time to see Dr.B, I was tired and in quite a bit of pain. I tried my hardest to stay focused and its a good thing I did, because he told me alot of information. The good news is that my first surgery was a success in that it did decompress my cerebellar tonsils to an acceptable degree. The bad news is that there are other issues one must consider when treating a Chiari Malformation. Dr.B thinks that I have Cervical Spine Instability, High CSF (spinal fluid) pressure, and a soft spot. The soft spot is where the bone was removed from my skull. The fix for this is to add some sturcture in there which I think would be a titanium plate. The high CSF pressure could be causing my headaches and will require a lumbar puncture for final diagnosis. If indeed i do have the high pressure and a lumbar puncture helps, then a shunt would be placed in to drain the excess fluid out of the spinal canal. The treatment for the instability would be to fuse some of the top vertebrae. The test for this would be traction. When I return home, I will get a traction device for home use. I will have to sit with my head in traction (hanging from a sling) for 45 minutes per day for a month. If this seems to help, I will have invasive traction. If that sounds scary, don't be to alarmed...I just will spare you the details now. So, it looks like I'll be making another trip to New York. I'll call schedule all these things when I return home. It sounds like it won't all take place until sometime in March. Looks like its going to be a long winter for me, but at least I have some answers.
Wednesday, 23 November, 2005