Introducing MS and the Syrinx

Who would have thought that you go to the doctor to receive the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis only to hear the following:

“We do see that you have MS lesions. However, I see something even more mind-blowing. You have a Syrinx that goes from T2 all the way down to your Lumbar region. And I see two bright white spots here in the T3 and T4 region that I don’t like. They could be tumors. Maybe lesions, but they look like tumors. Your Syrinx is so thick and full right there it was hard to get a good picture. But they are an odd shape, indicative of a tumor, and not what we typically see in a lesion. Now, do you have any questions for me?”

Yes. What in the world is a Syrinx?

Apparently, a syrinx is caused by either a traumatic injury or you are born with it (if you are born with the condition, called a Chiari-Malformation, one usually knows about this at birth or early childhood !!!!  and since I am 40-ish, I do think I would have caught on much earlier had this been the case. DUH) So the doctor looks at me and says, “What trauma did you sustain? Yours is very long. In fact, one of the longest I’ve seen which means the trauma happened a looooooong time ago.” Okay. Hmmm. Nothing. I’ve never had a trauma. No back injury aside from the normal tussle when I was a kid with my sister rolling around in our Barbie tent. He said, “Well, it was traumatic whatever the case. And that is neither here nor there because there is nothing you can do now except for BE CAREFUL. No activity that will cause it to get worse. No kayaking. No impact sports such as white water rafting (cancel that summer trip), no backpacking, no lifting weights at the gym. Actually, light weight is okay. Maybe 5 – 8 pounds.” Oh, my gosh. What?? Remember, I have Multiple Sclerosis too and muscle maintenance is very important. So this is a double edge sword, this diagnosis.

The tumors, I believe they are lesions. He is not so sure. But what does it matter if they are inside the spinal cord anyway? There is no option if they are tumors. I’m going with lesions for now.

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