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My Intro-

I am not entirely NEW to SH- I've lurked a lot- but I am new to becoming an active participant, and I am super excited!! I see the friendships that have formed, and the genuine care, and I want in on it!

A little about me. My name is Tish, I'm 36, and I live in the Phoenix, AZ area. I am married with 4 kids, ages 15, 13, 12, and 5. We have a dog, 2cats, and a turtle. My life is somewhat hectic, although not near as bad as others I have seen or read about. I only have my 12 year old son in an extra-curricular activity right now.

My medical conditions are as follows, in the order I was diagnosed, and any treatments I had for them:

2005- dx'd with RA, OA, DDD, 3 herniated discs, all in lumbar spine. I was put on various meds and started PT.

2007- dx'd with Chiari Malformation w/Syrinx. Chiari is a congenital birth defect that causes the brain to protrude through the base of the skull, causing pressure on the brain stem, and -in my case- also interrupted CSF flow, which caused a block in my spinal cord (syrinx). The following day, I was dx'd pregnant. O.o Spent most of the year on bedrest, while the syrinx caused more nerve damage. Had my daughter in September, and began the whole head to toe MRI process again.

2008- Had my Chiari decompression surgery, consisting of a craniectomy, cervical laminectomy, and a dura graph. Also MRI's showed severe progression of RA, DDD, and OA in my lumbar spine. Started PM, and re-started PT.

2008-2011- Went through all the injections, blocks, RFA's that I could safely do- all done yearly.

2012-current- Was informed by my surgeon that I was no longer a surgical candidate, due to the amount of damage done to the muscles around my lumbar spine. He said that it was caused by the amount of procedures I had done. I still am in PM, do PT 3 times a week (or try to- sometimes only 2), and get weekly massages. I am also currently on OxyContin 30mg BID, Oxycodone 30mg TID, Mobic 15mg once daily, and Neurontin 800mg QID.

So that's me in a nutshell... Hopefully that wasn't too much jabber, and made some sense! I look forward to being a part of this community, and hope I can help others as you guys have already helped me! Thanks for reading!



  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 1,033
    Wow Tish!
    Anyone reading this intro will be amazed on what you have gone through at a young age and continue to be so strong. Sounds like PM has you on some heavy duty meds, hope that is working for you. I am bothered by the statement "was informed by my surgeon that I was no longer a surgical candidate, due to the amount of damage done to the muscles around my lumbar spine." Not saying you want surgery as it should be a last resort but it sounds so final. Don't be afraid to seek other opinions from other Dr's. Your Dr will not be offended if you do, I found that out with my own issues.
    Anyway I think you have and will help others here just by reading what a positive attitude you have and still are being a productive wife, mom, and homemaker. You are an inspiration to others, keep up the good work!
  • Thank you Ranger! I am not looking to have surgery anytime soon, my meds and other treatments are working great right now, but it's scary to think that I don't have that as a last resort option. I don't want to climb the pill-ladder to the very top if I don't have to! As for a new surgeon- This has been the 2nd I have seen that has said the same thing, as well as my chiro. Also, having already been operated on for Chiari, has made most surgeons not willing to touch me. There are only 3 doctors in this area familiar with Chiari/syrinx, and 2 won't touch me- the other is the one who did my surgery, and the first to tell me that he won't fuse me because of the damage. My goal is to strengthen my core, and every other muscle in my body, in hopes that if it comes down to me needing to be fused, it won't be near as bad. My uncle went through a 5 level fusion a number of years back, and has had AMAZING results. He went from bed-ridden to now being able to shovel snow with little difficulty! I suppose I am a little jealous! ;P

    But as for now, I am happy with what I AM able to do. I occasionally find myself pouting about what I can't do, but remind myself that there is very little point wishing for something that will never be. Acceptance isn't easy, but it is better than hopelessness!

    Thanks again for your kind words! I look forward to 'hanging out' with everyone here!
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  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 1,033
    edited 04/10/2013 - 4:53 PM
    You have a great attitude and obviously you've done your homework.
    Keep in touch,
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