Veronica With Four Eyes

Explaining Chiari Malformation in Seven Words or Less


Having an uncommon brain condition called Chiari Malformation, I am used to frequently explaining what it is and how it affects me on a day to day basis. Below, I have written twenty-five different summaries of life with Chiari Malformation, all in seven words or less.

  1. Too much brain to contain
  2. Sneezing feels like getting kicked in head
  3. Brain too big for skull
  4. There’s two of everything- and it’s blurry
  5. Brain is trying to escape
  6. Not all in head- also in spine
  7.  Decension size doesn’t matter, symptoms do
  8. Can do great impression of brain tumor
  9. Constant sharp pain in back of head
  10. Every surface is like walking on ice
  11. Some get migraines every day
  12.  Symptoms can start during puberty- yay teenagers!
  13.  Can be asymptomatic- but also can’t
  14. Yes, it causes neurological problems
  15. Diagnosis comes years after symptoms begin
  16. Affects one in one thousand people
  17. Coughing can trigger a migraine
  18. Comoribity with other chronic illness
  19. Back spasms, all day, every day
  20. Can exist with other conditions- like EDS
  21. Only treatment is surgery, medication doesn’t cure
  22.  Hands and feet randomly vibrate
  23. Lots of neurologists don’t understand it
  24.  MRI doesn’t show a clear picture
  25. Migraine drugs don’t work…especially triptans

Thankfully, Chiari Malformation is not life-threatening, and doesn’t necessarily stop me from doing a lot of things (though it certainly tries to some days). I hope that this post brings some insight into what life is like with Chiari.


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