Because the tonsils of the brain are herniating into the spine, below the base of the skull, they must be made to be kept within the skull so that they no longer "dangle" below the skull. It is when they get too low, or fall beneath the skull line that you can have horrific symptoms. It does not matter whether they have herniated just a couple of millimeters, or several, each individual will experience different degrees of symptoms.
Symptoms that are common amongst those with a Chiari are:
- Balance issues
- Problems swallowing
- Muscle weakness/Tingling
Other problems I deal with are:
- Vision disturbances
- Audio disturbances
- Sleep disturbances
- Restless leg syndrome
- Sleepiness at odd times
- Muscle twitching
Maybe one day I will decide I've grown tired enough of living the way I do, to where I want to have the surgery. Maybe one day I won't have a choice, but to have the surgery. I do not know what my future holds, but whatever it holds, I just hope that I will at least be able to live life with some sort of quality. I hope that I live well enough that I am able to enjoy my two boys, watch them finish growing up, and am well enough to be able to be an active part of their lives.
So, until then, it is a question of, "To Decompress, or Not to Decompress?" Everyone has to make the best decision for themself at the time, and as of yet, I have no decision. I do not know what is best for me, and until there are substantial guarantees that I would walk away from such a major surgery feeling better and doing better than before I went in....I will probably stay just as I am.