- Age 35-54
- 160 lbs
- 5' 5"
- Injury Status Recovering
- Do you have syringomyelia No
- Chronicity 18+ Months
- Number of Surgeries 3
- How much did pain interfere with your day-to-day activities in the past week? Quite a bit
- How much did pain interfere with your enjoyment of life in the past week? Quite a bit
- What best describes your pain level on average in the past week? Distressing
- Doctor/Care Giver Dr.Daniel Gaudin
- headaches Several times a month
- Neck pain Often
- difficulty swallowing Sometimes
- dizziness Not at all
- Numbness and tingling All the time
- bladder and bowel dysfunction No
Hello! I have been diagnosed with Arnold Chiari type 1 and Hydrocephalus(but my new neurosurgeon says that I have Benign intracranial hypertension),as well as POTS,Kyphosis, nystagmas (as a result of chiari), Ehler Danlos, and a Vit. E and Vit. D deficiency. I was diagnosed in 2009 at age 34 with chiari (after YEARS of being mis-diagnosed with Migraines and depression/anxiety),then with hydro a few months later after a "failed" decompression( I had MAJOR headaches that showed up months later,so the doc ordered an MRI with flow
study.)That's when he found the hydro (or at least he said it was hydrocephalus). The decompression only worked for the headaches for a little while,so he thought that there must be something else. So after he discovered the hydro,he placed my first shunt. 3 years after the shunt placement I had the SECOND decompression. Scar tissue and a cyst,as well as "not enough bone removed" the NS said .My FIRST shunt was the Torkildson,and was put in due to my having very small ventricles....But,then, I got a CSF leak,(spinal fluid leak)so they put in a LP to try and stop it,then I got the first bout of MRSA so they removed the LP,and for some strange reason,doc was not sure why,my ventricles OPENED UP and they put in my first ventricular peritoneal shunt... I have had 17 surgeries since being diagnosed and I am currently on my 7th shunt (which is only an internal shunt,there is no valve ).I have had 2 lumbar peritoneal shunts,4 Ventricular peritoneal shunts and a torkildson shunt,and an ETV(endoscopic third Ventriculostomy). I have had MRSA twice,meningitis once,another rare infection in Jan.2013,and the most recent shunt infection was in Jan,2015. I have also had 2 cranial decompression's and the number 1 and 2 vertebrae shaved,as well as duraplasty . During recovery after the second decompression surgery,I was very "drugged" and pulled out the arterial line (IV) that the NS had put in.
I have had to have the dura patch fixed (the previous NS said that he put "mesh" in ),due to a CSF leak. After the surgery in Jan. 2013.I spent a total of TWO months in the hospital,prior to this surgery. I have also had a cyst removed from the brain,and a torkildlson shunt removed due to scar tissue. I have 2 "tubes" (the internal shunt),to help with drainage. I have had a total of TWO CSF leaks,each after both the decompression's.I have had 3 external drains,2 in my head and the most recent one being in my back.That one hurt the most!!! I have also had 8 spinal taps,4 were done by intervention medicine(they put the image of they spine on a screen so they can see what they were doing) After 1 of my MANY hosp. stays I was sent to a rehab place(AKA nursing home ) where I was heavily medicated and left unsupervised so I fell out of bed,SMOKED my head and was sent to the ER via ambulance! I received 8 stitches there, and the hospital freaked and thought I was having a "stroke" (I WAS NOT,THANK GOODNESS!) and sent me via ambulance to yet ANOTHER hosp. It took my husband 5 hours to figure out where I was at because the rehab. place would NOT RELEASE MY INFO!!! SEVEN shunts later,and I have an Lumbar peritoneal shunt.again! I was put on a BETA BLOCKER,due to a rapid heartbeat,and the doc said it was from POTS. UGH! I also have been suffering from muscle "twitches" lately,sometimes they wake the hubby,(poor guy) and others have mentioned that it could be EDS (Ehler Danlos), but I have not,(and am afraid to honestly,)had the genetic testing done that is needed to diagnose it.After one of my trips to the ER .which resulted in admission,I found out,that once AGAIN,my shunt was changing settings on it's own.This time it was the lumbar shunt. I was told by my NS that he didn't know what to do for me anymore,so I sought second opinion. This new doc,discovered that my shunt had been over-draining! And that this may have in fact caused me to have slit ventricle syndrome.When,in reality,my previous NS had stated that I has VERY SMALL SLIT- LIKE ventricles in the very BEGINNING,before my FIRST decompression surgery! I just recently saw another N/S and he had determined that my chiari herniation has indeed returned,and a THIRD decompression may be needed in the future.My lumbar shunt is malfunctioning,and may also need to be removed.The doc said he would determine if another shunt is needed at a later date. The new NS also found that I have a curve in my spine (not scoliosis) and that I have vertical nystagmus, caused by my chiari. He said that mine was the first one that he has seen in 20 years that was caused by chiari!!!! He recently referred me to the Cleveland Clinic,as he does not know what else to do for me.
I saw Dr. Luciano,a chiari specialist,and he said the following: 1. he is going to "clamp" off my lumbar shunt.2. He is then going to "drill a hole" in my noggin to do ICP monitoring (check the pressures in my head) ,on a Friday,then again on a Sunday,to determine if i actually need a shunt.3. If I do need a shu