My story : A Medical Mystery.

The last 2 and a half years for me have been hellish. I mean from a health and wellness aspect, my life overall is great. The symptoms started to occur in March of 2013. I was actively involved at the gym, training with a trainer 2x a week and hitting the cardio machines for another 3 days. I’d go to the gym, and start doing something easy like stretching, then either going for a few track sprints or doing a quick 500m row to warm up, something I’d done many times before. But on this one particular day I wasn’t feeling right, I figured my body was tired, but tried to push through anyway.Before I could tell my trainer I was dizzy I just collapsed after a warm up sprint. Pushing through had me down on the ground with my trainer panicking because I was as white as a ghost and sweating profusely, like I was suffering a heart attack or stroke. The whole episode lasted about 30 mins from start to finish, by finish I mean able to stand up unassisted by my trainer and walk, I stayed conscious the entire time. My shirt and shorts were soaking wet like I’d just run through a sprinkler a few times or done a killer work out. I haven’t trained since. So began my 2 year (and counting) testing with various doctors from cardiologists to neurologists.

When I went for testing at the heart clinic they said “You’re just a healthy girl who needs to add more salt to your diet!” But prescribed me some bullshit medication to help my body retain salt. I took the medication for 1 year none of the symptoms changed, in fact, they got worse. I went back to the cardiologist who then said,” I’m not sure its your heart, I think its best you go in to see a neurologist”

As I mentioned my symptoms got worse, workouts would trigger dizzy spells. Now just living a normal average day I was plagued with pain all over my body, headaches, foggy vision, hearing loss, numbness in my hands, pain that surged straight up my arm if I picked up anything cold, memory loss, loss of words, speech issues, and weakness in my extremities, the list goes on, but I think this gives a small example of obstacles I’ve been facing. I had a CT Scan and it was requested I have an MRI done. Results came back saying it was Chiari Malformation I. Which a number of people live with from a day-to-day basis with no symptoms. The neurologist said, It’s really not serious enough to have a surgery consult. Great, so I’m supposed to live with these ailments forever? Or when are the symptoms bad enough that a consult is necessary?He also is unconvinced that it is causing my symptoms, is if it’s not that, what is it? Last time I went to see the neurologist he thought it could be a heart condition, so back to the cardiologist, where I was hooked up to a 48 hour heart monitor that came back normal.

I go for another MRI in September and I hope and pray something substantial shows up on the scan. I hope that something that can be treated shows up, I hope that I can get my life back. I’ve become a shell of a person I once was. I went from being active and fit to a person who is exhausted all the time and a simple task of emptying a dishwasher is taxing, or folding laundry requires a power nap. It’s really quite pathetic going from Athlete to this, at least to me. So while I may occasionally complain about my frustrations of living this hell, I want people to understand what it is; I’m not lazy, being a hypochondriac, or attention seeker but someone who is looking to have a normal life again. Someone who doesn’t want to cancel plans because they’re exhausted, someone who wants to live freely and feel alive. Right now, it feels like a slow boat to death.

I pray I get an answer. I’m not sure what else I can do, but for now that is my story.

For more information on Chiari Malformation Click here


About CassieNeil

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4 Responses to My story : A Medical Mystery.

  1. Natalie says:

    I went to college with a gal who has Chiari malformation. She went through all the same stuff as you! Doc saying she was clumsy, needed different shoes and so much more! She found a doctor in the states somewhere who is an expert in Chiari malformation. Let me see if I can find her…we’ve lost touch and hook you two up!

    • CassieNeil says:

      Hi Natalie! I will wait to see what my Neurologist says after the 3rd MRI in September. It may be a matter of getting a second opinion in which case I will need some guidance! Thanks for thinking of me!

  2. Laura says:

    Aww Cassie, you are in my thoughts and iny prayers. Sending you lots of good vibes. You are an amazing woman and you will be fine. Big hug going your way. 🙅🏽

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