I had a chiari decompression on April 1st, of this year, and oh boy it was a lot.
I am 15 years old, and I am currently in online school. Preparation for the surgery was pretty simple: I wasn’t going to try to brush my teeth at the hospital, but brought my tooth brush and toothpaste just in case. I didn’t bring a hair brush, because I didn’t want to have to even worry about brushing my hair connecting around the area. I had packed 2 pairs of pajamas. I made sure both tops were button ups, because YES they are 100% more comfortable than wearing a regular shirt after surgery. I ended up only using one pair, and that was when I was leaving.
So the day of the surgery, my surgery got rescheduled to a later time, just a couple hours later. So this meant I could eat dinner the night before, and drink my water until about 10am, which was very nice. Got there, got all set up, and I didn’t even notice when they gave me the medicine lol. I woke up, I wasn’t actually that sore. Most of my recovery has been bearable pain, when it is there. I also woke up with braids in my hair, (they were in pigtails before) and I thought it was super cute lol.
My surgeon called me an “extreme case”, because instead of the assumed 8mm herniation, it ended up being 14, and my cerebellum was swollen (I guess thats pretty dangerous?). So, my surgery was also lengthened to about four hours total, and I officially woke up around 8pm or 9pm. I surgery was at 2pm I believe, for those of you wondering.
So I woke up, and mainly slept throughout the night fairly well, I was also on a lot of medications lol. The nurses there, (I was in PICU) were very nice. One gave me essential oils in my room, which helped me sleep, and I kept a program on the TV that was just rain sounds. I walked on the next day, with the help of a physical therapist and a occupational therapist.
Walking the first time after surgery was very difficult, personally, my whole body felt very heavy. It was pretty difficult to get up, but eventually I did. I didn’t walk around a whole bunch, but it was enough so I could use the restroom. Blah blah blah, and surprisingly I went home the next day. I thought I would’ve needed to stay in the hospital a little longer, but glad I got to go home.
The ride home was honestly, one of the most painful parts of it, especially hitting bumps. But, at home, I would walk with my grandmas walker, and within a week after surgery, I was walking without a walker. I was still very very very tired, but I could walk to the rooms of my house now and see my dogs.
The first month of recovery (surprisingly) was the easiest to me personally so far, and the second month was the most difficult. The second month, I had that hazy feeling I would get one day at a time, before surgery, but this was the entire month. That was the worst feeling I had from Chiari, so kind of sucked I experienced it for a month, but it slowly started to back off. My allergies also started to kick in, so yeah. May was pretty bad, but now we are onto June. So far, so good.
I have no headaches except when I cry or get upset… Yesterday, I did have a nosebleed, and those are rare for me. That was the second one in my entire life, I’m not worrying too much about it though. I still have nausea, am very dizzy most of the time, and I have joint pain a lot, and back pain. I hope that stuff resolves itself, but I am still getting checked out for other things. I’m considering making a youtube video regarding my situation, but am debating it because of people I know in real life… But, I do wish Chiari had more people representing it, bringing awareness to it.
Some mild concerns as of right now, I had a fairly good nickel sized bump on the left side of my incision, which I think went away, but I am not completely sure… Also, today I noticed a small very small bump ON my incision, but I wont worry about it too much unless it gets bigger.
Other than that, I am on my third month of recovery right now, today is June 6th, 2019. If any of you have questions regarding this post, feel free to ask, I am open to almost anything. If you are reading to get insight for yourself, I hope I could provide you with well information! <3