Yesterday was 4 weeks

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Yesterday was 4 weeks

Postby joshhearne » Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:49 pm

Since I had my decompression surgery.

Was diagnosed with a 20mm Chiari Malformation and a Syrinx from my C2 through C6 vertebrae. Met with 2 Neurosurgeons but knew going in what they'd say about surgery since I had the cyst and a decent amount of herniation. First I met with Dr. Stig Peitersen of Lufkin, a local, but really good NS, his downside, he only does 3-4 Chiari Decompressions a year. I met with Dr. Robert Jackson of Dallas Neurosurgical, he does 5 times more yearly and seemed to know a bit more than my local NS on Chiari and how to treat it. He wasn't a Chiari specialist, but Chiari was one of his focuses.

I had the surgery on 10/21, Dr. Jackson of Dallas, TX performed it. To anyone in East Texas or has the ability to get to Dallas easily reading this, I recommend checking him out at least. I have to say that in 4 weeks, I haven't taken pain meds for a pressure headache, only sinus issues from the weather here. That's a first in a VERY LONG time....longer than I can remember. Can't say yet that the surgery was a complete success, in 2 months I go in for my 3 month MRI to see how the Syrinx looks. I had the Crainiotomy, Laminectomy (C1) and Duraplasty with my own tissue. Had 32 staples on an incision that goes from the crown of the back of my head, to the base of my hairline. I was in ICU from Wednesday afternoon to Friday morning at 1230am when I was transferred to my own room. I was able to walk virtually unassisted on my own on Thursday around the ICU wing twice. I was in my own room from Friday morning to Sunday morning when I was released to go home.

I stayed in bed mainly for the first couple of days, but tried to walk around outside to get some fresh air in when it wasn't raining. After the first week I was able to start fending for myself around the house, fixing lunch, dinner, drinks. Took my pain meds mainly as a preventative measure but stopped after the first 5 days as the pain I would rate below a 3 or 4. It would spike at night if I slept wrong, and I would sweat a lot at night too. On week 2 we went to get my staples removed, that was a relief. They prevented my movement and I immediately noticed I could move my neck a little more freely after that Dr. visit. 3 weeks after surgery I went in to see my NS for my follow up and to see about driving and working. He wanted to see my movement and asked about pain. He liked what he saw and cleared me to drive and go back to work. 1 week of half days, all on light duty, no more than 10 lbs of lifting. After that I can increase the weight and go back full time. He was just concerned about my energy levels since I was on bed rest for 3 weeks. I took naps on the next couple of days after work and lunch, mainly because of a Sinus Headache I was trying to get rid of. Today was my first day back full time, no problems to report.

I read some people have trouble swallowing food after surgery for weeks or months or longer even. I never really had trouble once I left the hospital, in the hospital I did, but it wasn't bad at all. I don't have the same headaches or neck pains when I cough or laugh. I had twitchy muscles getting more and more frequent as the surgery date closed, I have only had one or two sporadic ones a week since surgery. They are more like a few years ago when they would only twitch if the muscles were in the right positions, once you moved them, it stopped. Even looking down at my shoulder to see it would be enough to stop the twitch. Was weird. The only real side-effect of the surgery I can think of is that once home, when I laid down one night, I could feel a muscle in my back, below my shoulder blade on my left side, more in my ribcage, feel like it was stuck. Not twitching, not a spasm, just felt like the muscle contracted, but not effecting anything. It would go away over time, and sitting in the car would set it off, laying down, lots of things I can't remember right now lol. But it's since stopped and I haven't noticed it in about a week or so. Other than that one thing that was more an annoyance, there was just a little pain in the neck every now and then.

I'm very optimistic about the surgery, my treatment and recovery. Can't wait to see what the cyst has done and see what the surgery site looks like. I feel great, have a better outlook on things, and am still not used to not having to take any pain meds every 4-6 hours. My incision isn't 100% healed yet, I have two spots on the bottom that are sorta scabbed over, but healing. The rest is pretty good, hair is starting to grow back sporadically and all the hair they shaved off is grown back. About time for a hair cut, will wait until the incision is healed a bit more, going to cut it short one last time and grow it out some and see how it covers. Being a guy, I'm not too worried about it's looks, I wear a hat most the time anyways so I rarely fix it. If the hair fully grows back, great, if not, oh well. It's a scar, my story to tell to those who ask about it. Things are about back to normal for me here. Don't have to go back and see my NS until the MRI 3 months post op. He was very pleased with my results and healing. I'm very happy with it as well. Can't call it a success just yet, but so far so good.

DX'd 9/23/09
PFD Surgery on 10/21/09, Craniotomy, C-1 Laminectomy and Duraplasty (own tissue)
24mm Herniation (CSF now good/normal)
C2-C6 Syrinx (Collapsed :))
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:58 pm
Location: Diboll, TX

Re: Yesterday was 4 weeks

Postby grammytra » Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:26 am

Congratulation Josh! I meet with the Dr Benzel tomorrow (Dec 8). I have 3 syrinx and Chiair 4mm and 6mm. My symptoms just started on Sept 1, 2009 after a 3 mile run. I have good days and bad. Alot of mental set backs. We will see what Dr. Benzel at Cleveland Clinic has to say. You give me hope!!! THANKS
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:03 pm

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