Chiari Malformation Leaves Alisia in Agony

“She broke down and cried uncontrollably from the pain”

Alisia started complaining of persistent headaches in middle school. As they increased in severity, doctors suggested various treatments for Alisia to try. She was instructed to get more rest, change her diet, and keep a running log of her headaches. After an entire year, Alisia was still in severe pain. It got to the point where she broke down and cried uncontrollably from the agony. Alisia was finally referred to a neurologist. They tried vitamin therapy and did a sleep study before giving her an MRI. Tests results confirmed that Alisia suffers from Chiari malformation, a condition in which brain tissue extends into the spinal canal and obstructs the flow of cerebral spinal fluid. It occurs when part of the skull is abnormally small or misshapen, pressing on the brain and forcing it downward.

Alisia underwent decompression surgery to remove the bone at the back of her skull and spine. The goals of surgery were to stop or control the progression of symptoms, to relieve compression of her brainstem and spinal cord, and to restore the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid. At first, the surgery seemed to be successful, and Alisia was headache-free for two whole months. However, her symptoms slowly started to return, and she was given physical therapy to strengthen the muscles in her neck. On a scale of one to ten, Alisia’s pain levels normally range between a four and a five on a daily basis.

Alisia is a strong, compassionate, and loyal teenager with a bubbly personality. Her hobbies include spending time with her family watching Nicholas Sparks movies and playing cards, a recommended activity to sharpen her critical thinking skills. Alisia is also actress and singer Zendaya’s number one fan. She loves her style and that she isn’t afraid to speak her mind.

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