Brain Things Part 2 (Chiari Malformation)
Hey guys, it’s Mr. Kay Saga. Welcome back to part 2 of my Chiari Malformation story. In case you missed it, don’t forget to check out Brain Things Part 1. Just to catch everyone up, we have talked about me going to many doctors. Now I have officially found out what was going on with me. So now, surgery.
So, the anxiety I felt before the first surgery is unmatched with anything I’ve ever felt in my life. Google is great for a lot of things, like researching what movies are coming out or searching for the new trailer of The Walking Dead. But Google is NOT good for looking up the posterior fossa decompression surgery that you will be having to combat the symptoms of Chiari Malformation. I was scared and so was my entire family! When I checked in the hospital for my procedure, I had a waiting room full of praying, scared, but the most supportive family ever.
As I’m heading into the operating room, I’m thinking, “How?! How did I get here?” And those thoughts were quickly followed by “S___! My head hurts!” and “What time is it?” Now apparently, the usual hour and a half procedure had taken about eight hours to complete. I’d had some complications with unexpected blood vessels, but nothing too serious, but the pain! The pain of having part of your skull removed to make room for your over sized brain is unparalleled. The nurse even told me that the pain during the recovery of this surgery has been said to be 10 times that of the pain experienced during childbirth. Since I will never be able to compare the two, you are still the real MVPs, ladies!
Now, after spending a few days in intensive care unit I was moved to a post-op wing. I was headed home excited and expectant. I was ready to heal and get back to work… But life. So, not only did recovery not go as easy as we’d thought, but it turns out, physical therapy is Satan’s red headed son named “WTF” (pronounced “Watafuh”). I felt like an 80-year-old war veteran. But, like I said, we were determined to tackle it and we did. After about 3 months of therapy, I’d improved a great deal and life seemed to be getting back to normal.
Ok, as life had started to become a little familiar, I begin to look for jobs within the school district. My voice was still really weak, but I’d figured that maybe I should search for positions in administration. My body hadn’t totally healed, but I was terrifyingly (yes, it was that bad) ready to get back to work, because, you know…goals. Christmas arrived, and my wife and I were about to head back home with our family to celebrate.
This is my favorite time of the year! There are many negative connotations about materialism and extreme capitalism during this time. I agree, but I also think that the time between November 26- December 25th is the most joyful that many of us are for the entire year. We should change that by the way; every day on Earth should be a celebration. Anyway, during the break, I was introduced to this technology repair company, in which I could franchise and repair different mobile products in my area. This is my sort of thing! Freedom, technology, fixing “stuff and thangs” are all components I would want in a dream job AND this opportunity would get me out of the frickin’ house. I was through with thoughts of Chiari Malformation.
So, as I’ve started the position and started making money, I realize that I’m not feeling as well as I should. My weakness in my arm has remained, and the headaches are back. My Dr. had noticed a fluid buildup in the back of my head. He decided that a quick fix would be to drain the fluid with the longest needle ever known to man. It’s only freaking January! Unfortunately, this quick fix wasn’t a fix and all and we would have to do surgery again.
During this procedure, the neurosurgeon would have to return to the same surgery site. He would repair any leaks present from the past procedure. The pocket of fluid build up is called a (bare with me) “pseudo meningocele”. This crazy word is caused by a leakage of cerebral spinal fluid as well. Thankfully, this procedure had nowhere near the recovery time of the first surgery. I was back on my feet in about 4-6 weeks, ready to tackle some more real world “stuff and thanks” again. Two brain surgeries in less than 7 months won’t stop me from our house on the lake with a fire pit and my extensive garden in the backyard! Nevertheless, I had to get back to work, and I attempted that by applying for a position with the USPS.