Thursday, May 3, 2012

Chiari Malformation

Well, time to resurrect this blog to update you all on something going on in our lives right now, and hopefully you will join us in prayer!

About a year ago, Eli noticed that he occasionally got "dizzy" when he used his right peripheral vision. Thought it was vertigo and ignored it. Gradually though it got more and more frequent. He finally paid enough attention to it to realize that it was basically like his eyes were "resetting" whenever he looked to the right. Went to his eye doctor who called it a NYSTAGMUS and referred him to a neuro-optomologist who referred him to get an MRI. At which point we found out it was CHIARI MALFORMATION. (Which though bad was better than our worst fears of it being a brain tumor or something!)

Anyway, CHIARI is basically a condition that some people are born with but doesn't usually cause any problems until 20s or 30s in which the skull is too small for the brain. In Eli's case, his brain is actually pushing through his spinal column because it has no room in his skull. This is causing his vision thing, poor balance, and headaches.

We met with a neurosurgeon, Dr. Camarata, at KU Med who will be doing decompression surgery on Thursday, May 10th. They will remove part of Eli's skull and part of the C1 and C2 vertebrae. Recovery is 6 weeks unless they also have to cut into the dura (the lining between the skull and brain) which would put it at 2.5 months. We won't know if they have to cut into the dura until after they are inside though. It's certainly scary, but we know God will take care of everything!

Surgery next week will be about 3-4 hours long and then require 3-5 days in the hospital.  Then 2 weeks without lifting anything over 5 lbs (Eli & Micah are going to be in severe rough-housing withdrawals!).  Then... we just don't know!  Eli is young and healthy though so we are hoping for a speedy recovery.  Although because his job as a paramedic obviously requires a LOT of lifting, he will probably be off the full 6-12 weeks.  And 12 weeks from now, we are expecting the arrival of our little girl - around July 30th - so it's going to be a crazy few months for us!!!

Thank you in advance for your prayers!


Anonymous said...

Wow, Katie. That's alot all at once. I am so amazed and inspired by your positive attitude. We will definitely be praying for Eli and for your family. I hope the surgery goes well and that he recovers quickly!

Glenda said...

Dear Casey family, praying, praying, praying - and sending you virtual hugs and lots of love. Please let us know if we can help in any way.
Momma Long

Bradford L. Stevens said...

You will have many prayers being lifted up from your brothers and sisters in St. Louis. God bless.

Allison Verdonck said...

Praying for you guys and if you need anything, give us a call!