Chiari Malformation: Amy’s Story

Beauties With Beasts

Chiari what??? 15 years ago I got that phone call from my doctor and I was so confused as to what he was saying. I couldn’t even pronounce it! Now it’s common lingo in my house, but for those of you that don’t know how to pronounce it, it’s key-r-e.

So what is chiari? Chiari malformation (kee-AH-ree mal-for-MAY-shun) is a condition in which brain tissue extends into your spinal canal. It occurs when part of your skull is abnormally small or misshapen, pressing on your brain and forcing it downward.

Chiari malformation type I develops as the skull and brain are growing. As a result, signs and symptoms may not occur until late childhood or adulthood. The pediatric forms, Chiari malformation type II and type III, are present at birth (congenital).

I have chiari type I. Mine didn’t present until I was 30 years old. It was the scariest time…

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