Hi Everyone, I hope all is good.
I'm Sally, decompressed 2001 at age 55. I had just gotten my B.A. degree from the San Francisco Academy of Art in Computer Arts specializing in Visual Effects and Maya 3D modeling was also certified in Discreet. I am a fine artist. More than anything I wanted to go to New Zealand to work on Lord of the Rings. The chiari awoke after a work comp neck and back injury and I had a choice of brain decompression or death. I didn't bounce after the surgery and lost everything. Mine was the first chiari work comp case in California. SS had a 41 year work history on me starting at age 14. I was placed on SS disability.
My chiari journey has been horrible--I won't pull any punches for newbies. Each of you will be attacked differently as your body valiantly fights the chiari monster. Hopefully, you have the lightest of symptoms and a good life. I've posted about exercises I thot would help you. Swimming with a snorkel so you don't hyperextend your head; and what worked for me was walking and running thru the swim lane using sponge weights at the same time for my arms. I can walk well holding onto a grocery cart. The manager of the store still hasn't figured out I am doing laps in the grocery store with the cart to strengthen my legs. It is hard for me to walk without vomiting so I use my bicycle and my friends do not want me on a bicycle. Stationery bike doesn't work for me.
I am trying to live on my own as long as I can.
However, on July 1, 2016, I was jumped from behind by an older well dressed man in broad daylight at a business in front of others 30 ft. away but were oblivious to what was happening. I really didn't know I was in danger until it was over. He ripped my shoulder rotators, whipped me forward then back which should have killed me, and ended with a sexual act. One of the very weird things I have with chiari is I don't feel pain, i.e., if I break my ribs I only know because it is hard to breathe. It is a blessing and a curse. My arm just hung without pain. When I got to the doc he immediately went into action ordering orthopedics, neurology, counseling and p.t.-- not because of my arm but because I said I was having trouble holding up my head--the first chiari symptom I had felt 15 years earlier.
I knew I was hurt bad but didn't know how bad because of the chiari covering up the pain. To shorten this story, I had rejected all surgeons. A new neurologist came onboard and referred me to a neurosurgeon (and neurologist), Dr. Westra in Ventura CA, outside the Kaiser system. The MRI showed my spinal cord nearly severed at C4/C5 from the attack. I had bone spurs and arthritis in addition. Surgery was Feb. 23rd. To get to C4/C5, my throat was cut. I ran into a complication of hematomas at the throat slice and could not swallow and it was an emergency. A few days later I encountered pain in my jaw which I could not handle. The pain went up to both ears. A dentist said a cracked abscessed molar was causing the extreme pain. Paramedics were called as I was stroking from the intensity of the pain.
My doctors' and my game plan with chiari was always to keep the pain level down as much as possible so I wouldn't stroke.
The hospital released me--not smart since I was turning to the pain cycle again and stroke danger. The other treatment would have been to keep me hospitalized pumping morphine into me. My son researched chiari and solved what was happening. When C4-C6 is messed with, chiari attacks the jaw and other areas. News to me. I had neglected to tell my doctor in August that I had become hoarse, another symptom of chiari/C4 and the attack.
So I am asking for help if any chiarian has info about chiari and C4-C6. Is it possible to stay this condition? Why does the chiari attack the jaw? I am stable this moment but still in danger. Kaiser has me quiet--I am to do nothing--while muscle relaxants and pain killers are pushed into me. I know watermelon is the only melon whose sugar relaxes muscles and that will be my quest today to help open my throat.
It turned out the dentist was wrong, there was no abscessed molar.