Life force

Living with a chronic illness is a reductionist endeavor. As pieces of us slip away and our lives diminish, we can lose sight of what it means to be a human. We are wired for connection to others, joy, love, pleasure, beauty, adventure, mystery, and more. Over time, a benevolent form of amnesia has allowed … Continue reading Life force

Six month post-tethered cord release update

Time for a six-month update on my spinal cord surgery on August 18, 2021! I'll try to keep it brief (haha). TL; DR - it's mixed. Bladder: I had high hopes for bladder improvement, which rapidly vanished in the initial weeks after my spinal cord surgery (called sectioning of the filum terminale, SFT). My bladder … Continue reading Six month post-tethered cord release update

When will I get better?

The Nevada Independent published an op-ed I wrote to address a question on the minds of many - when will I get better from COVID-19? One of the most painful aspects of the pandemic as a chronically-ill person is seeing the unfolding of one of the most significant mass disabling events the world has seen, … Continue reading When will I get better?

I needed that like a hole in the head: what my invasive cervical traction and ICP bolt tests revealed

This is a slightly more technical piece with a lot of jargon - my apologies. It is geared toward people on the path to determining if they have cranial cervical instability and have some knowledge of this topic. I am happy to answer any questions readers may have. My neurosurgeon offered two "appetizers" to go … Continue reading I needed that like a hole in the head: what my invasive cervical traction and ICP bolt tests revealed

Six weeks post-SFT

A glass half empty "Two steps forward, three steps back" has been my mantra these past three weeks (week 3-6 post-SFT surgery). My brain feels as if it has been suspended in an opaque, viscous fluid that mutes and confuses my days. Since my last update, it's as if I have been inside a cocoon … Continue reading Six weeks post-SFT

Post-surgery updates

This blog will chronicle my progress after detethering surgery (SFT) on 8/19/2021. I expect my healing to be non-linear but hope for an overall upward trajectory. You can read more here and here for background on my surgery and why I decided to go forward with it. Check back here for future updates. THREE WEEKS … Continue reading Post-surgery updates

A survival guide to Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital (MSSN)

I had invasive cervical traction (ICT), the intracranial pressure bolt test (ICP bolt) on August 17th, and sectioning of the filum terminale (SFT) surgery with Dr. Bolognese on August 18th, 2021. In this blog, I share some tips that helped me survive Mount Sinai Nassau Hospital, where Dr. Bolognese does his surgeries. I start with … Continue reading A survival guide to Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital (MSSN)

Flying for surgery during the pandemic

Like most with ME, I have worked pretty hard not to get COVID. My goal was to keep my family and me safe until the vaccines arrived, knowing the pandemic is not over, and we are still at some risk while vaccinated. Even with my doomsday mentality, I never could have guessed I would be … Continue reading Flying for surgery during the pandemic

Surgical clearance

After deciding to have surgery, I felt a sense of relief because I finally could put down all of my what-ifs and relax into the decision. Everything seemed to be falling into place. I looked forward to turning over a new leaf of feeling less intense about life and my illness. Such lofty feelings gave … Continue reading Surgical clearance

How I decided on surgery for occult tethered cord syndrome

As some of you know, I decided to move forward with tethered cord surgery (SFT) this August with Dr. Paulo Bolognese. I will be blogging about my surgery journey in case it helps others walking this path. Of course, my story is only one of many, but I have certainly benefitted from hearing about a … Continue reading How I decided on surgery for occult tethered cord syndrome