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More Medical Tests and No Definitive Answers

Updated on January 9, 2020
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I have been a special education teacher for 20 years and teach in a local school district.

Chiari and it’s comorbid conditions

My new neurologist seemed like the right fit for me. At first, he was very concerned and very thorough in ordering test upon test to rule out anything he could. I spent so much time going to appointments for various tests, including sleep studies, EMG studies, nerve studies, MRIs, etc. Each test would come back yielding little to nothing aside from radiculopathy in my neck. I was told that my nerve was compressed but that’s the extent of where that went. This is when I started questioning whether this doctor truly was helping me or if he was just having me come to be tested so he could milk my insurance. You see, I had excellent health insurance at the time and all of these tests were done in his office with the exception of the MRI. Was he truly trying to help me or was I his cash cow?

That‘s when I decided that this was once again a waste of my time. Several months after I was faced with the devastating loss of my father unexpectedly at the age of 58. His death started making me question many things and my focus turned from trying to get doctors to listen to me to finding out what the effects of agent orange were. I became a research obsessed individual on a mission to determine if there was a correlation between his exposure and my medical issue.

My research started out with determining when my dad served in Vietnam and as I had come to realize the years he served and the places he served were in the highest of exposed areas. In fact, when I was younger my dad was awarded a pension for his exposure to agent orange, which proves that the government recognizes that this chemical caused issues for him.

As I researched more I found that the government recognized the fact that neural tube defects (Chiari being one) was caused by agent orange but only if the mother served in Vietnam. Essentially what they were saying is that males couldn’t possibly suffer effects and pass this defect on to their children. One might wonder why but I quickly realized that by doing so, they would have to compensate so many men (more men served in Vietnam than women) and they didn’t want to acknowledge that due to money.

The more I researched the more I became angry, bitter, frustrated that this could possibly be the reason that I, and so many others are suffering. My research also led me to discover that my dear friend Chiari often brought with it its friends of Ehlers Danlos, Postural Tachycardia Syndrome, and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome.

At the time I didn’t pay much attention to these other diagnosis because my most concerning issue was the dizziness, headaches and nausea. That would all change several years later.

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