Change in plans

Just when I thought I had a plan for the next few months, it all changed. I went to the neurosurgeon today or what I thought would be setting things up for decompression surgery. Turns out he got new information at a recent symposium he attended a couple of weeks ago and he changed his opinion. He would rather try treating me with meds first to control the symptoms before going right into surgery. The new consensus at this meeting was that surgery did not work with a symptomatic miminal herniation with normal csf flow. I am only a bit off from this scenario. I am symptomatic with a larger herniation, but only minimal csf flow blockage. So I am in the gray area. I may or may not benefit from surgery. So for now we will try and work with medications. I am now on Topomax and he added Fioricet for breakthrough pain control. He will keep up with me and see how I am doing. He said he will be the first one to tell me that I need surgery if the medications do not work for me. He does not want to risk surgery on me if we don’t have to. He has been treating Chiari for over 30 years and I trust him completely.
The other issue has been the carpal tunnel. My right arm is horrible. I can’t do much of anything without the numbness and pain. It is starting to drive me crazy at times. I’ve bee dealing with it for so very long, I am just tired of it. So next week he will be operating on that arm. I am very happy about that.
The last thing I talked to him about was my working. I just graduated from nursing school and wanted to start my career but I am an LPN. This means I get the grunt work. My only option is in a doctors office. He told me I am to be very careful with what I do. I can not do any straining or lifting of any kind that could make the Chiari worse. I told him I was working towards my RN and he said that would be the best. My husband and I talked and decided I would find a part time doctors office job and work on my studies… in between headaches that is. :wink:


Hi Jenny:

I am so happy that you have a NS that is educated in Chiari!! That is great…I think he sounds like he has your best interests at heart…not ‘knife happy’…the ‘wait and see approach’ is not a bad thing in your case…IMHO…

Are the meds helping???

You are smart to switch jobs…nursing is BULL WORK!!! Tough on the entire body and mind, right?? I went to nursing school…but never finished…wish i had…anyway…good luck on the job search…I am sure you will get something more suitable.

keep us updated!!!

God Bless,

Thank you Abby. I am very lucky to have an experienced surgeon and one that cares very much about his patients.

Thanks Lori. I took the fioricet yesterday for the first time. It didn’t help much, but I actually think it may be because it was more of a sinus headache this time than a chiari headache. I don’t know. I need to give it some time. We’ll see this week. I get headaches a lot. I am glad I have a good doctor.

Hi Jenny, I just wanted to tell you that I am an RN and lift/strain. It is a tough profession but a good one. Good luck to you. I wish you the best.

I do not have a syrinx. He is going to check me every 2 months for now. He’ll be seeing me a lot in between over the next 2 months though due to him operating on my carpal tunnel on both hands. My right hand is the end of this week. We’ll go as long as he or I am willing to before surgery comes back on the table. He said if meds are not working and we’ve tried everything, he’ll be the first to tell me when it’s time for surgery. I’ll know how much my body can handle too and when it’s time.