Chiari Online Support Group

I’m a newbie


Hi. I’m a newbie. After 4 months with the most excruciating headache, dizzy spells, nausea and vomiting, I finally went to my doc. I blamed it all on a dodgy disc and my doc sent me for X-ray, MRI and Ortho assessment. The X-ray and MRI were done within a fortnight (:scream:) and I got a phone call from my doc to say i had Chiari. I’d never heard of this before. I’m now booked in for a full brain and spinal MRI in two weeks. I’ve had neck pain all my life but these headaches and difficulty swallowing, vertigo etc have arrived over the last few years. My short term memory is awful. Should I be worried? Currently in denial. Not told my family, I will when I have the full picture. For now though I’m Chiari Type 1.


Do I need to tell my car insurance?? I’ve read I need to tell the DVLA but am waiting until I have all my results before that.


Hey Jassy,
I’d be talking to my dr before going anywhere near both of these questions regarding both DVLA and your insurance company. I’m unsure of the law in Ireland but here in Australia you must have a level of insurance to even be on the road and you can be pretty sure if the insurer considers you to be ANY risk they will remove your insurance instantly and pretty much the same thing with DVLA. Any concerns and the will void your licence on the spot.
Your self denial is normal. It can all come as a bit of a shock. Searching the net is often what some people do but this is not always a good way to look for medical information, as there can be a few questions regarding relevancy to your specific situation, so again you really need to speak to your dr after having the scans etc. The scans and the radiologists report will give your dr a bit of a clearer idea.
Please do keep us informed on how it all goes and remember we are here if you need to chat.

Merl from the Moderator Support Team


Thanks so much for the reply. Yes, in Ulster we have to have insurance which I do of course lol. I’ll have a word with my GP, just didn’t want to be a pest taking up their time. I’ll hold off till I’ve all the info thank you for the advice. I’m totally isolated with two young children, living in the middle of nowhere, I’m absolutely stuffed if I lose my driving license :see_no_evil:. Sorry if this is a big load of babble, I’m not doing great tonight with headaches and brain fog :exploding_head:


Please do not be apologizing, we all have questions and when we find out we have a brain condition the first thing we do is STRESS!!! (Well, I did) And that is one of the least helpful things possible, but it’s impossible not to stress. Headaches and brain fog can only add to that. I am sure that your GP would understand that you have questions, I mean, who wouldn’t have such questions. I certainly did.

As I say, I’m in Australia with vast distances between places and I need my licence. I’m about 50 km from my GP and 100km from my closest hospital and that hospital doesn’t have a neurology unit, my closest neurology unit is around 800km away, so I know about isolation. After my last surgery they told me they would be cancelling my licence and I begged them not to. My wife assured them that I would not be driving unless absolutely necessary and that she would be my taxi. And it was lucky that they didn’t as not 6months later we had a major bush fire in which we had to evacuate. The dr’s, very reluctantly, allowed me to retain my licence.

If you know that there maybe an issue prior to having surgery, I’d recommend you investigate options now. Do you have friends or family who maybe able to assist if needed? Are there community supports that could be put in place to help? I formally worked for such agencies and it may well be worth investigating these now rather than trying to do it all later. It may well be worth making a ‘What if…’ plan now. We all hope it never comes to needing that plan BUT if it does, it never hurts to have such a plan in place. Ask your GP about such services that may assist if needed. Often dr’s have a network of agencies that offer such services. Use them to your advantage, that’s what they are there for.

Merl from the Moderator Support Team