My Chiari Journey…..

Oh what a journey Chiari is, and not a fun one.  Who in the world has even heard of this before!?  I sure hadn’t.  Leave it to me to get some freak thing!  These things run on my dad’s side of the family.  Thanks, Dad!  😉  (Just a note of caution….at the end of this post an after surgery picture…..scroll carefully if you don’t want to see.)

It was such a fast process and such a whirlwind! I was having awful headaches for a few months, and chalked it up to the stress of it being the beginning of the school year.  They didn’t go away, and after a month I was in for an MRI.

We got the dreaded news a few weeks later that part of my brain was out of my skull, thus causing such bad headaches.  I like to say my brain was just too big! 😉  I’m smart like that.  😉  I saw a neurosurgeon a few weeks later and was scheduled that day for brain surgery a few weeks later.

I honestly can not describe how fearful I was of this surgery.  I had twins in 5th grade, was newly married, and was just terrified.  It was awful.  I literally get choked up now thinking about it all.   I remember being with my friend, Pia at school and totally freaking out with my students within ear shot. I was in full on freak mode. It was just awful.

In preparation for my surgery my parents came to help, THANK GOODNESS!  My birthday was just 2 days before my surgery so it was nice to have them here for that.

After the surgery, my husband stayed at the hospital all day, every day…EVERY DAY…..for a week.  It was such a selfless thing for him to do.  He is such an amazing caretaker.  I’m so lucky to have had him at that time.  Poor guy though!  We had only been married a year before we got this news.

The recovery from this was awful.  I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.  They have to cut through so much muscle, take out part of your skull, take out some part of you vertebrae etc.  I was on prescription pain medication, for years.  I was taking it regularly the second it wore off.  It was pretty depressing.  I was trying to be a good mom, wife, teacher while in chronic pain.  It doesn’t work very well. 😉

This past  summer I started a workout program that I was prettty scared to try, Insanity Max 30.    At this point, I would take pain meds occasionally, and still my activity was a bit limited. I bawled after my first workout.  Straight. Up. BAAAAAAWWWWWWLED.  I was so happy that I was brave enough to try.  So happy I could do it.  So happy that maybe my life with activity was not over.  So happy that I felt strong again.  So happy that I felt like a bad ass again.  I was in a healthy challenge with my friend, Stephanie, and I posted a picture of me crying right after I finished.  I have no idea why! 😉  I was just so happy I wanted to share I guess.

Over the course of the summer, I finished the program and drank Shakeology, and I have not taken a pain pill since I started.  I’m not trying to make this post salesy. Actually that is the last thing I am trying to do.    My point in this is that I found something that for obvious reasons, was a game changer for me.  I feel so much better now, and I’m so thankful.

I know lots of us have limitations of some kind, but don’t let them be an excuse to let yourself be unhealthy.  Keep fighting!  You can do it!  It is so worth it.


I’ve come a long way since these days…………………….



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12 thoughts on “My Chiari Journey…..

  1. Stacy, you are such a courageous Mom, daughter, sister, wife!!! It Was really tuff, but you did it!!!!!!! I am so proud of all that you have accomplished😃😃 you are one determined lady!!! So happy you have found the right formula for a healthy life!! You inspire me! Love, Mom😊

  2. You’ve come a long way in your journey! I had never heard of chiari until I watched you go through this! I have to admit, if I had seen those stitches while visiting you in the hospital, I would have freaked the H— out! I scrolled a little fast through the picture, but still saw them. I had no idea! Omg! You have been brave through the whole process! It has been a valiant fight on your part. I would have completely folded! Thanks for sharing your story!

    1. Thank you Pia! Yes, you would have dropped at the hospital no doubt….and with good reason. 😉 It didn’t look this good at the hospital, trust me. You would not have folded….you would have done what you had to do!

  3. Wow, I had no idea what a Chiari was until I saw your picture and Googled it. Glad you are feeling like a bad ass again. Thanks for the kick in the pants, no exuses, time to return to the gym!

    1. Thank you for reading and responding. Yes, no excuses! If you are interested in working out from home, I can help you get hooked up with a Beachbody workout! 🙂 Thank you for visiting my blog!

    1. Oh thank you for reading and responding. I can’t imagine having children with it….knock on wood! Thanks again for visiting.

  4. OMG Stacy! I did not know you then and throughout our friendship I never wanted to pry when I heard bits and pieces of what you went through. WOW!!! You are such a courageous woman!! So glad you shared this part of your journey cause we all need to hear others’ triumphs and struggles to give us an extra push. XO

  5. You have been brave and courageous. At the time we really did not grasp the scope of this surgery nor the recovery involved. Having been with you In December after the surgery, one would not have known what you were going through. You handled your pain well. I am sure it was very difficult for Jeff and the girls to see you going through this but I am sure their support really helped. Having just been with you a week ago, it is amazing how well you are doing. Your family at home and at school are so lucky to

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