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Basilio Martínez. Chiari I Syndrome

Published by at 7 June, 2006

Date of intervention: June 2006


Ever since I have reason for use, I remember the strange sensations and annoyances, which in that time, came up to a medical conclusion. I also have coming back to my mind the abstention of action sports; the dizziness in the gym classes as I made determined movements. I had difficulties in paying attention and memory; these became more evident during the sudden weather changes like autumn and winter time and unjustified periods of anxiety. My head goes over these things and understands that these things and more have always been present and although there were moments with some improvement, they remained latent, watching, and insidious with a “coming and going”.

Now I am 48 years old. Three to four years ago, having those sensations, which kept on increasing with the years. I started to perceive in a very evident way; tiredness and physical exhaustion that were not justified by my activities. My neck felt rigid and had pain in my shoulders and the bottom part of my back. My psychic capacities were decreasing, kind of like a “cloud” when it came to thinking, considering and reasoning. Many daily activities turned out to be harsh uphill.

In summer 2004, after having felt even more this intense fatigue and an inappropriate psychophysical reduction, I had my first syncope (fainting), that followed a few more during six months, without any vital fact that provoked it. They appeared anywhere (an automatic cashier, a coffee shop, a store, getting milk from the fridge) and more than once I received an impact against the floor when I fell. I understood that some Syncopes happened with determined sudden neck movements or walking fast although not always. I could perceive them because I had time in a sequence of slow motion.

I used my domination in the relaxation techniques (mental and muscular) and my “cold blood”. I achieved to block some of them and prevent them from reaching until the end (it is not an experience for people with weak hearts). Finally, they went disappearing as well as I was very careful with any fast movements with my neck.

Being a professional in mental health, I discarded the explanations that my diverse colleagues gave me (anxiety crisis, anguish or general anxiety disorder, etc…). My wife and I started a research for a differential cardiologic and/or neurologist explanation. While the tests were done for the diagnosis in a very conscientious way in both specialties, I felt worse every time, increasing the list of symptoms, the presence of a “knot in my throat” very uncomfortable, hearing loss, entotic sounds and difficulty in the visual accommodation in my right eye.

If this wasn´t enough, I had severe alterations in my sleep (that were manifested in the cold months of winter).

While the cardiologists did not find anything relevant (apart from a magnificent heart from any functional and structural point of view), the Neurologist and traumatologs pointed out the presence of an Arnold Chiari I (up till C1), the 5th cervical vertebrate partially plugged and signs of dorsal-lumbar Scoliosis together with a discal protrusion in L5-S1.

The following months were of a progressive worsening, with some brief periods of symptomatic “relief”. No one offered me a solution or alleviation in a short period of time, apart from the “conservative” proposal to wait until the symptoms would become much more evident and/or would produce themselves in a more severe way to interfere with the “classic” technique in Chiari I. It wasn´t enough for me (who suffers cannot wait to suffer more every day), so I found in the scientific publications the technique of the section of the filum terminale as a possible alternative

I decided that I should go through this surgery for a few reasons: there is an empiric fundament, it is a simple technique with minimum risks and I could expect an improvement as well as stopping the evolution of my illness

Almost two weeks have gone by and the benefits are very clear in an objective way in diverse aspects. In a way my vision has gotten better, with any difficulty in the visual accommodation and without the sensation of pressure in the eye. My hearing has gotten much better, discriminating perfectly any sound and the uncomfortable “noises” have decreased (almost inexistent in the left ear and very rare and not continuous in the right ear). My column maintains itself naturally in a straight position horizontally and vertically (I used to walk with my shoulders tilted and curved in), now my movements are more harmonious and almost all the discomfort in my column have disappeared

On the other hand, the sensation of physical tiredness and heaviness has decreased significantly. My mental ability is also significantly better from all points of view (attention, memory, reasoning, concentration, etc…). My sleep is now much more repairing, I sleep more hours and more soundly (I will have to wait for the winter to come to see the total result, since with cold weather the alterations accentuate)

There are other small aspects (that are at the same time big) that one understands, after, that had to do with my case with this illness and which had been losing almost without noticing it. I have recovered “chromatic health”, the color blends, the veins in my eyes that were always red have been very alleviated and it even seems that the tension in my eyes has decreased to normal limits (that were unbalanced in both eyes). I also observed now my pupils are practically the same size

In my opinion, apart from the diverse explanations of the Chiari I, the consequent therapeutic interventions and the established arguments on the matter of the section of the filum terminale can bring up immediate benefits and must be considered a technique of first preference with a minimal risk comparing to the “classical” technique

Basilio Martínez

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