Thursday, July 10, 2008

Aseptic Meningitis! (Thank God!)

Well, I have had a slight complication from the surgery. I started getting my old headaches back. I have been trying to control them using a combo of Motrin, Axert, Percocet, and Darvacet. It worked for a couple of days with only a mild shadow of the ache lingering. Then a couple of days ago it kicked back up again and I haven't been able to alleviate it since. I was a little depressed that I was back taking all my old pain killers and I was really bummed about the migraine med because I was sure the migraines were really the Chiari. My husband kept trying to remind me that it was too early to tell the full effectiveness of the surgery. Logically I knew that was true but darn it I had seen such a vast improvement on all my other pre-op symptoms it was hard not to feel disappointed. The nausea had returned with the headaches and I was unable to eat much more than plain bread again (had a lot of problem eating for the last ten years, everything made me want to barf). I lost 4 lbs in the course of a few days.

Anyway, I started to think something was odd about this particular headache when nothing seemed to alleviate it. With all those drugs, I should have been able to kill it, but all I did was just dull it a little.

I decided to call the Cleveland Clinic just to make sure it wasn't something I should be concerned about. Dr. Di's nurse told me that they needed to rule out a few things but it sounded like a classic case of Aseptic Meningitis which apparently is pretty common with the Posterior Fossa Decompression. It is different from the other forms of Meningitis in that it is rarely dangerous, just uncomfortable. The main symptoms are Chiari-type headaches (lots of pressure in the back of head and face), nausea, sore throat, low grade fever, muscle aches and more. She wanted me to come in but we live 3 hours away so she said to go and get a CT scan of my head to ensure it wasn't infection or bleeders. If the scan came back negative Dr. Di would call in a script for steroids to reduce the swelling. The scan did come back negative. I had to wait until this morning, but my hubby is now in town grabbing the script Di's office called in to our pharmacy.

Last night, I said a little prayer thanking God for the wonderful complication. Sounds weird to be thankful for a set back, but I really started thinking that I would have to live with the headaches for the rest of my life. The surgery had been a success in every other way so I wasn't sorry I did it but pain meds the rest of my life would have been a downer. Now, all I have to do is take a series of steroids and, according to the nurse, I should be pain free and hungry as hell! (Blessing for me. ;)

I am so so so blessed by God! Yeah I suffered for ten years undiagnosed and depressed from all the rejection and torment from the medical community, but I could have just as easily had MS or something incurable. I also learned a lot from my experience that perhaps I never would have had I not gone through the trial of illness. After He felt I had learned what I needed to, God gave me the gift of diagnosis and delivered me from my disease. Then, just when I thought that maybe I would have to find a way to accept the pain and all the pills that it involves until the day I die, He delivered me again with a simple explanation and a definite cure. A few days of pills and no more pain. Forever.

I love the poem "Footprints in the Sand". I hung onto that idea and it helped me get through the dark times of Chiari suffering. God has carried me most of my life and I am so thankful He is strong enough for the both of us.


marla said...

I was given the link to your blog about chiari I had my 1st appointment with Dr.Di and I was wondering how your surgery went and your thoughts on Dr.Di and if you have had any improvemnt since your surgery. please email me at

Natilia said...


Nicknamed, "The Iron Man", Mike LaForgia; not only battled and survived

meningitis within six months; he then went on to run (with prosthetic) to

raise awareness. It is often, common place to celebrate the survivor (as

well as it should be), but forget the ones who made it possible.

Organizations, such as yourself, who have conducted extensive research and

established events to raise awareness, are the catalyst for survivors such

as, Mike LaForgia. (a non-profit, website dedicated to the

preventions and treatments for disease), would like to join your fight

against Meningitis. Using our disease profiles, we have worked with

several elite organizations to fight the cure for disease. If you could,

please list us as a resource or host our social book mark button, it would

be much appreciated. Together, let's give the meningitis world many more

iron men and women.
If you need more information please email me back with subject line as

your URL.

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