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I was recently diagnosed with syringomyelia(cerebral & spinal fluid filled lesions in my spinal cord/brain stem)& my brain is pressing too tightly against the base of my skull. I am scheduled for surgery to remove part of my skull & open my spinal cord to look for obstructions/abnormalities. My surgery will be at Duke on Feb 15, 2011. The goal of surgery is to restore the cerebral/spinal flow and alleviate the lesions which have caused me a great deal of pain & dizziness. Please keep me in your prayers. Thanks! Hannah :)
My Testimony I have been experiencing worsening pain in my back, neck & shoulders for quite some time now. In November, I found a knot in my neck and called my mom to feel it. She became alarmed & called the doctor. After a lot of tests, an MRI showed that I had spinal cord lesions. After more tests, the Doctors discovered I have something called "Syringomyelia"~which is a disorder in which a cyst/lesion forms within the spinal cord. It is basically a problem where the spinal/brain fluid collects in these lesions. These lesions extends down my entire spinal cord. My MRI also showed that the base of my brain is pressing too tightly against my skull. On January 18, my neurosurgeon at Duke told us we really have no choice but to go ahead with surgery. Since my symptoms include losing feeling in my hands and feet as well as loss of temperature control in my hands/feet, surgery is necessary to avoid permanent damage. I have also been extremely dizzy and have experienced severe headaches and pain. On this date my doctor also told me to decrease my physical activity. So that meant quitting dance and cheerleading. As you can imagine, after dancing for 9 years and cheering for 4 years, this is the most difficult part of it all. However, he is allowing me to do part of the halftime routine for Faith Christian School homecoming on Feb 11th (that's why my surgery is the next week)! Even though sitting on the bench and watching my best friends cheer is difficult, I realize God must have a different plan for my life. Even though the surgery sounds very scary, I'm glad were going though with this because that more than likely means I can return to Cheer and Dance next year. Along with feeling much better, less headaches, less dizziness and roller coasters again (because I love roller coasters so much) and I was very relieved to hear all this! I am also glad God gifted the doctors with the desire and ability to help me. My surgery is scheduled for February 15th, 2011 at Duke. The doctor told me in detail (some of which I did not want to know) just what will happen during surgery. He plans to remove part of the base of my skull to allow room for my brain in hopes of restoring my cerebral spinal fluid to a normal flow (and alleviate the lesions in my spinal cord). The doctors think the brain is pressing too tightly against my skull and this should also correct my headaches, pain and dizziness. The surgery will also include opening my spinal cord at the top and checking for any abnormalities/obstructions.The doctor told me recovery "will be tough and that I should plan to be out of school a month". Although no school for a month sounds great, I would rather be healthy and in school! I know that this sounds crazy but I am truly thankful for my hard times James 1:2-4! Often people tell me oh you have such strong faith, or you are just perfect in your walk with God! All this did was to make me believe that I deserved some credit, when actually it's all about God. I sometimes feel sorry for myself but i always know life could be much worse! I always think of a old saying my Dad said to me "I complained that I had no shoes until I met a man with no feet." Throughout all this I have learned to be thankful for what I have and that God is always with me. I also know that God will use all this to strengthen my testimony. Today my life as a Christian is full of joy, peace and purpose. I know that God loves me & has forgiven me. Best of all, I know that I have eternal life with God and besides, I am healthy where it truly matters, my spiritual life. My favorite verse in the whole Bible is: Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective-james 5:16. I believe prayer is a wonderful gift that we all take for granted. I am trusting God in the days ahead and would appreciate your prayers! I will do my best to try and keep everyone updated. Thanks, Hannah :) ~"Faith is not about everything turning out ok, Faith is being ok no matter How things turn out" ~"So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good." -1 Peter 4:19