HealthBoards (
-   Spinal Cord Disorders (
-   -   Recent MRI's,disturbing symptoms possible chiari? (

Jessarina 06-16-2012 10:19 AM

Recent MRI's,disturbing symptoms possible chiari?
Hello to all: I was a former lurker here prior to my ACDF C5-6 three years ago this month. Let me apologize for the length of the post, here, and typos; I'm going to hit 'send' to get a dialog started - I feel that's more important that presentation today! Thanks in advance!
I will preface that I am 48 year old female, avid outdoors-woman, bow-hunter, farmer, gardener, small business owner (custom floral design and custom large scale commercial installations). I am unable to do most of these things, am suffering at work and am likely to have to shut down my business but have little back-up resources and apparantly do not have enough soicl security points to be eligible for disability, should I need to apply. I would never have mentioned disability out loud before, but it is on my mind and I am scared...
Have been trying to read upon issues before posting here as I hate to ask for repeat information but that is proving difficult. I have Lumbar MRI report (diagnosed hernited L5S1 in 2000, now there is much progression, untreated) and also cervical MRI report (progression, as above), and BOTH left and right shoulder MRI's done; Ortho confirmed rotator cuff tears in both. I assume from compensating.
So, I do have the lightning painful shoulder popping (mornings are worse), painful skin-the-cat (love it when boyfriend is here to assist), painful driving, etc but the worst thing of all is I get uncontrollably sleepy/light headed when working on a computer and dizzy/blurred vision when texting (head bent down must be irritating something but I am at a loss) and everyone, including ortho doc I've seen most recently, look at me like I'm crazy. I have been falling asleep at my desk at work frequently (albeit later in the day and easily at night). It's disturbing to wake up at thee in the morning sitting upright in a 100 year old building - all the lights blazing - what do the neighbors think???
I slept part of last night at my desk at work, then went to the restroom thinking I would then try to drive home but woke up at dawn on the toilet - my upper torso had fallen forward and I had been asleep, mouth open, drooling! Scary and painful; I barely got up and laid right down on the bare wood floor of my office, went back to sleep and woke up at 7:30. I am exhausted, irritable, my skin hurts, may face and lips, right side are numb (not a new sensation but is almost 24/7 now).
Quick synopsis is my involved right arm experienced brief relief post the 2009 ACDF but I've been in pain one place or the other ever since; pain immediately in neck radiating left and right at same time or alternating, spasms began in right arm within the first year, left arm numb and painful within 1.5 years; everything progressing and scary:drop items frequently, noticeable reduction fine motor skills (trouble picking up penny for example), and I believe my vision, short term memory and, I hate to type this, cognitive ability is being affected - no confirmation from a medical professional on these last.
Can anyone comment on the possible effects of spinal compression or impingement ABOVE affected levels (I have some cord compression/stenosis, 'mild' at 2 or three levels now, new, I believe I never had central or para-central involvement before - and then the possibly symptoms of Chiari or 'Ectopia' that what I am experiencing?

jennybyc 06-16-2012 12:02 PM

Re: Recent MRI's,disturbing symptoms possible chiari?
A grade 1 Chiari should have been picked up during your MRI for your ACDF. They don't just look at the neck from C3 down but do check the skull base and C1 and 2 as well. And your surgery was no where near the base of the skull so they couldn't have created a Chiari either by removing bone at the base of the skull.

When I looked up the symptoms of Chiari, sleepiness to the extreme that you have it is not a symptom either.

But if I were you, I'd see a doc ASAP. You might fall asleep while driving and could hit someone owe it to others to be checked out.

Something is not right but it doesn't seem to have anything to do with your neck....please be seen ASAP before you kill yourself or someone else. Your brain has a problem...not your neck.

Let me know what they find out, please....I'll be worrying about you until I know you are in good hands. I'd even head to an ER if you could...this is not good. No one should be falling asleep on the toilet for hours on end. Something is WRONG.

gentle hugs..........Jenny

Jessarina 06-16-2012 12:36 PM

Re: Recent MRI's,disturbing symptoms possible chiari?
Jenny thanks so much for the quick response. I am worried, also, and torn constantly with self-doubt. My boyfriend tries to let me off the hook in regards to coming into the city to see him once in a while (70 miles) and the lst time I drove there was months ago; the drive is painful and I have to be careful wht meds I take prior. He ws hping I would come in this afternoon and I know I can't take that kind of chance. He is trying hard to be patient....
Regarding my suspicion of Chiari - I thought I posted that there was an addendum at the end of my new cervical mri, it is as follows:
"Addendum: On the sagittal images there is a 5mm cerebellar tonsillar ectopia with normal size of the fourth ventricle. The finding may or may not be symptomatic. There is no syrinx.
If the above results differ significantly from the clinical impression, further evaluation may be warranted."
I have the entire report typed up and I could copy and paste it. I don't yet have all the lumbar MRI report typed up but I would like to shaare that at some point, also, simply to have a little feedback and help with perspective. (I just don't have anyone to look at these things with me like I did when I had my Mom)
Here's the other big thing contributing to my pin level and my current wackiness - I went almost 2 weeks without most of my meds (believe it or not our pharmacy was struck by lightening and collapsed, I was insanely busy with work,; par for the course especially since I struggle constantly to focus, to be productive, to think and give direction clearly) - - and it really hit me about three days ago; gabapentin, wellbutrin, my hormones - estrogen and prometrium, anti-inflmmatory (mobic generic), etc...BAD MOVE on my part! Emotional wreck and the nerve pain is pretty bd to horrible; nervy ripple-ing feelings from stem to stern in addition to my left arm which hs been for the last three weeks constantly innervated with nerve spasms (I have lost my vocabulary, there's a word for it)
I ran my course with my Ortho doc - there was little more he could do for me, he said and gaave referrals to a shoulder surgeon and a neuro specialist. I haven't had time for my work schedule nd I felt 'doctored out' and thought I could maintain for awhile at the stage I ws at. Not so sure at all now and feel like I'm in trouble. Hoping I get some clarity once I get these meds working, at least.

kenzibenzi 06-16-2012 03:43 PM

Re: Recent MRI's,disturbing symptoms possible chiari?
I think I would ask someone to do a brain scan to rule out MS and find possible answers. I do agree with Jenny, you shouldn't be driving. I do hope you find the answers you're looking for. It sounds like you are having a horrible time! I will be praying for you. Keep us posted. Best of luck, ~Kenzi!

jennybyc 06-16-2012 05:21 PM

Re: Recent MRI's,disturbing symptoms possible chiari?
Jess....Chairi doesn't cause the extreme sleepiness that you describe. If it is Chiari, the type 1 adult form may not have any symptoms at all or are minor. Some of your problems may be form it but they are so nebulous, they could be from anything.

But I worry about you falling asleep at the wheel. My hubby once fell asleep at a red light but was woken up by another driver and his horn. But he was not moving. And he once fell asleep standing in the shower...but for seconds. He was working night shift and did overtime as well. So he had an excuse. If this is meds or lack of meds, it is still worrisome.

Most people, even if they are dead tired don't fall asleep on the toilet and stay there...they fall off. You stayed there and that worries me. It's almost like you are losing consciousness.

Please make that app't with the neurologist before something bad happens...please???????? Rotator cuffs can wait....had mine done and they me... they can wait. Brains cannot.


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:14 PM.