I was given a beautiful purple Chiari heart in September of 2016 at the Conquer Chiari Walk. In the Fall of 2014 my life changed forever because I found out that the reason I couldn’t walk, the reason my head was throbbing, the reason why my back was screaming, was because my brain was falling out of my head. Its called Chiari Malformation. You see, my brain is literally too large for my skull, pushing out and sitting on my spine. I needed a decompression. Room for my brain. A duraplasty, laminectomy, craniotomy. All of those words flow so easily now but at the time they made me sob. I had my decompression when I was 38 years old. A year after my diagnosis and when I couldn’t sleep any longer, or read, or walk, or drive, or take care of my children, or be a wife, or JUST BE ME. But I’m better now and I can live a whole life now. I might have residual effects and they might have changed me, all for the better. I have found JOY in each day and I try not to sweat the small stuff. I smile, laugh, and pay it forward. Life is about LIVING.
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