Tag Archives: Syringomyelia

ANOTHER BLOW — SYRINGOMYELIA

Good morning, all. I kept the promise to myself on Friday that my post for Celebrate the Small Things would be all positive. I did that. Now, it’s time for me to post the not so great news. It would be an understatement if I said I wasn’t freaking out just a little bit but I’m doing my best.

When I saw my neurologist Dr. G on Friday, he went over my MRIs with me. The brain MRI was as expected. No new aneurysms or anything like that. Yay, for that. I wasn’t so lucky with the cervical spine MRI.

mcdc7_syringoyelia_cyst

Photo from the Mayo Foundation

It seems that I’m one of the few that suffers from syringomyelia. It’s a disorder where cysts (syrinx) forms within the spinal cord. There are two types:

  1. In most cases, it’s related to an abnormality in the brain called Chiari I malformation. This causes the lower part of the cerebellum to protrude from its normal position in the back of the head into the cervical or neck portion of the spinal canal.
  2. The second form occurs as a complication of trauma (like my car accident in 2011), meningitis, hemorrhage, tumor, or arachnoiditis. In these cases, the cysts (syrinx) develops in a segment of the spinal cord damaged by one of these conditions.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), approximately 40,000 people in the US are affected. Couldn’t I have just won the lottery instead? Just sayin’…

Many of the symptoms are similar to the ones I currently have from the bleed, but it could explain why I’ve had a couple of falls lately. Dr. G wants another MRI done in six months to see if it’s grown or expanded. The usual treatment is surgery if the cysts increase or expand, but I’m trying to remain optimistic that I won’t have to go that far. I’ll be monitored by Dr. G and have a follow-up cervical spine MRI in six months to check.

Oh, and I’m back to having to use my cane indefinitely. Blah. Thank goodness he’s got me going to physical therapy soon.

If you’d like more information on this disorder, you can go to the NINDS site.

Like I said, I’m going to try remaining optimistic that the syrinx won’t grow or expand and routine follow-ups will be all that’s required. I love you guys and would appreciate any positive thoughts and prayers you can send my way.

Have a great week. Xoxoxo