A Slight Bump in the Road

8 and a half years ago (tomorrow) I gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl.  See, I'm sure you agree!
This post has absolutely nothing to do with her, but she's cute, anyhow.

Four months after she was born, on my birthday, I had my first migraine.  Eric and I had gone to Disney World and had to return to our hotel room early every day we were there.  After we returned home I saw my doctor, and he sent me to a neurologist.  After an MRI it was decided that I was having mixed tension migraines and was given medication to deal with them as much as possible.

At first, the medication was like a wonder drug.  It was great, but over time the migraines got worse and harder to get rid of.  Here we are 8 years later.

For the last month or so my migraines have been nearly constant.  It seemed that even if I got them to ease, they would never quite go away.  Finally I went to the Dr, and she gave me some new medicine (that works fairly well) and set me up with a new neurologist.  He decided that something was indeed was going on because the migraines were so different.  He ordered an MRI and MRA of my brain and blood vessels, an EEG and three rounds of nerve blocks in my head.  Fun!

We did the first round of blocks and then it was time for the MRI/MRA.  Have I mentioned I'm claustrophobic?  I took some meds and tried to relax and the lady gave me a pillow to cover my eyes, and that seemed to help.  Then it was just time to wait.

I couldn't sleep after I dropped the kids off at school the next morning, I kept waiting for a call, sure that there was something there.  That call never came.  About 4 that afternoon the phone rang and it was the dr's office.  They were calling to remind me about my appt Monday for my second round of nerve blocks.  I kindly asked if they had received the results of the MRI and she told me that someone would call me back.  

Deep breath.

About ten minutes later the nurse called and said very quickly and matter-of-factly that what they found was called Arnold Chiari Malformation and that they were scheduling me for a second MRI, this time of my neck/spine.  That was pretty much all of the conversation that I remember.  I hung up the phone and smiled, simply because Eric had been right, they found a congenital defect that somehow wasn't picked up on the first MRI.  Also, THEY FOUND SOMETHING!  I was terrified they would find nothing and I'd just have to keep dealing with the headaches with no answers.  Not fun.

I know you never should, but I started researching on the internet, and so far, I'm okay with what I'm reading.  The opening that allows the spinal cord to come up and connect with my brain is too small, and the pressure is pushing part of my cerebellum down into the spinal column, potentially cutting off the flow of cerebral spinal fluid to my brain and vice versa.  The symptoms rang so true with me that all we could do was laugh.  It causes balance and coordination issues, hearing/sight issues (I'm half deaf, for real), memory issues, headaches, and a few other things that are totally me.

I have my appt Monday for the shots and I'm assuming we'll discuss the diagnosis, and then the MRI is Tuesday at 11.  I ask that you guys pray with me. I'm not even sure what to pray for other than peace.  The only treatment (other than pain management) is surgery, which kinda scares the heck out of me.  I've decided to update as much as possible, because, hey why not?  Maybe this is the path to getting better.

Here's prayin'.
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  • I'm a wife. I'm a mom. I'm a photographer. I'm a lover of Jesus. My house is a mess, my kids are dirty, we eat take out more often than not. My life is loud, busy and crazy. And that's okay with me.
    This is Eric, the man you've been praying for. He's a paramedic. He quilts in his spare time. No, I couldn't make that up :) He has NASH (a form of liver disease, non-alcoholic) and diabetes, but those things don't define him. He's a man of God, an insanely wonderful husband, and the best daddy in the world.. Just ask these guys..
    Our daughter Ali, she's 9. She's fiercely opinionated and strong willed. She's a Daddy's girl, but the umbilical cord hasn't but cut from me, either. She's a gymnast, and proud of it. She spends more time upside down or turning flips than she does walking. She's crazy smart, and absolutely sure of it. She is my insufferable little know it all.
    Our son Dylan, 7. We lovingly refer to him as Chubs. Or Chubby. Or fat boy. Ahem. He is all boy, as you can see by his crazy wild energy. He has the highest pain tolerance of any child I have ever met. He plays soccer and does gymnastics, but truly he is a gamer, a nerd. He is an avid reader and loves to climb. Not to be outdone by his sister, he's a drama king, but to him, I'm the best mommy in the world.