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2nd Opinion

Upon the suggestion of a couple of friends (and based upon the recommendation of some others), I scheduled an appointment with another Ears/Nose/Throat doctor here in town to get another opinion. 

His believes without a doubt, I will see relief from headaches (he can’t guarantee 100%) by opting to go ahead and have surgery.  Not only are there numerous cysts in one sinus cavity, I also have a “horribly” deviated septum and what appears to be chronic sinusitis in the cavity opposite the cysts.  He said that it wasn’t any wonder why I was having headaches in response to weather changes.

This appointment made me question whether the first doctor even looked at the MRI images or just read the radiology report as it never mentioned anything other than a single cyst.

Right now, I’m set for surgery on September 16th.   I’m beginning to feel like I should apply for a frequent flyer discount.  😉

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New Year, New Baby

Another beautiful baby girl joined our family just after midnight on January 1st, making her the official New Year’s baby for the area.

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Comparing

In the last couple of weeks I’ve continuously found myself comparing “today” (i.e. whatever day it was) to a year ago.  I’m not sure if it’s a good thing to do or not because the situations are so completely different but it’s a habit I just can’t break.

It amazes me how far I’ve come in a year.  A year ago we were delicately navigating our way through recovery — facing encounters such as H1N1 — and watching my progress day to day for signs of improvement.  Today we are hurdling towards the arrival of a new baby and the start of yet another new chapter in our lives.

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Celebrating Success

A few months into what we considered to be a wonderfully successful recovery, we made a decision to take the leap and expand.  😉

Baby #2 is expected January 11, 2011.


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On July 20, 2009 I went to my NP to get the results from my MRI.  As I drove across town I had fears and anxiety about what I’d hear.  With the symptoms I was presenting his concern, although unlikely in his opinion, was multiple sclerosis.  Since I have familial history it wasn’t a complete shot in the dark.

There was no way I was prepared for what I heard.  It was that appointment where he told me about the chiari malformation.  He also said that he knew very little about what it was, what it meant and what the prognosis was.  All he knew is that someone who got “paid more money”, i.e. a neurosurgeon, needed to talk to me about it.

After leaving the office that day, I sat in the parking lot stunned before starting my vehicle.  I had been preparing myself for something I was familiar with.  Not something that I’d never heard of.  Worse yet, not something that my doctor couldn’t even tell me much about.

When I looked at the calendar yesterday, I could hardly believe it has been a year since that appointment.  What an amazing year it has been!

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A Measure of Success

Some days, I think it’s hard for me to be grateful about how successful the surgery was. Don’t get me wrong. I am beyond thankful but in my day to day life I forget how far I’ve come in almost 5 months.

Certain instances are what bring everything to light and remind me how lucky I am.  Instances like this:

I made this dress yesterday for Kate.  Six months ago there’s no way I could have sat at the sewing machine to even attempt such a project.  I would have felt horrible during, immediately after and probably the following day as well.  Yesterday I felt perfectly fine as I worked; I felt perfectly fine after I finished the project; this morning I woke up feeling normal.

To me, that’s a huge example of how amazing my recovery has been and the epitome of why I wanted to go ahead with the surgery.  It feels fantastic to be able to do the things I love.

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Getting Back to Life

When the headaches, insomnia and depression hit hard early this summer, I turned inward.  I shut out friends, family and even my husband.

I quit making phone calls just to chat and/or check in with people.

I quit making plans with friends.

I let the physical and emotional pain darken my days and rule my world.

Weeks of therapy and anti-depressants helped me get to a point where I could open myself up, if only a little.  The chiari diagnosis forced me to open myself up a little more as people reached out to offer support and ask questions.

As surgery came and faded into the past, I took a step backward.  I found myself closing up again.  Our mandated quarantine shut me off from seeing friends.  I made far few phone calls than I should have.  I used my low energy as a crutch.

I work now on transitioning from “patient to Amanda” (as my therapist says).  It means repairing the relationships I so horribly neglected and navigating through life again.  It means not shutting doors and letting myself use my life as an excuse.

It means living my life.

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