How would you feel if you were given the following list of no-no's? And the list applied for the remainder of your life?
Read on and then we'll talk.
- NO neck stressing activities, such as roller-coasters, 4-wheeler, skateboards, horseback riding, motorcycles, wave pools, backpacking, falling asleep in chairs, extended reading with head bent etc.. Anything that “jars” your head and/or spine is a definite no-no.
- NO neck stressing sports, such as water skiing, snow skiing, snowboarding, sky diving, bungee jumping, diving, playing tennis, basketball, soccer, football etc. (Just trying to cover all the basics – you get the idea.)
- NO contact sports.
- NO Chiropractor! - Especially at the neck for Chiarian’s and for those with a Syrinx, no deep tissue in the area of your Syrinx. (The chiropractor should be well versed on Both CM/SM)
- NO straining which includes straining to reach something, or even straining during a bowel movement. Take a fiber supplement every day if you tend to get blocked up.
- NO moving furniture or heavy objects around by pushing, pulling, lifting, or any other way. Pick up nothing heavier than a gallon of milk. I know – that sounds impossible, but keep that gallon of milk in the back of your mind.
- NO moving around in the dark!
- NO putting yourself into stressful situations or relationships. Try to relax, avoid noise and keep your neck muscles relaxed.
- NO twisting your spine – try to keep a good posture with your spine lined up and straight.
- NO bending over. Lower yourself to the floor by bending your knees – not your back.
- NO sudden spinal/neck movements.
- NO using the hair wash sink at the hair salon. Instead ask for the special tray that most hair salons have that are designed to accommodate people who are unable to bend their head/necks backward.
- NO Lifting more than 15 lbs. when strength training or backpacking. Heavy lifting is generally not recommended especially if you have a Syrinx.
- AVOID sleeping in a head down position.
- AVOID cervical traction.
- AVOID lumbar punctures, spinal taps or epidurals, unless it is a well-informed Chiari doctor....if a LP is drawn too quick it can cause the tonsils(these are not the tonsils in your throat) to herniate even further. Done incorrectly, this can be very dangerous for a Chiarian.
- AVOID doing any kind of activity that causes you to bend your head backwards, such as: bending back to gargle, washing hair in the shower etc.
- AVOID food with too much salt. Especially for woman during their premenstrual period.
- DON'T participate in any physical activity that puts you in jeopardy of falling and or creating trauma of any kind.
- DON’T try to keep commitments when you’re feeling badly. Listen to your body.
Now, pretend that this is your list. Close your eyes and see the activities you love and then realize you can never do those things again.
This is a real list that is given to people who live with Syringomyelia and another condition called Chiari. This is my daughter's list. And it doesn't even include all the scary "do's" and the big questions about what is coming.
There are a lot of other illnesses in this world that limit people's lives. It's not fun. It's not fair. But it is life.
When we look around at the people in the grocery store aisle, at the bus stop, or our work places, and even in our churches we don't know what they live with every day. We don't know their list or their challenges and heartaches.
All we do know is that many of them are suffering. So, in that case maybe we should give each other a break - stop judging, stop assuming, and instead love and pray for one another. Be kind to one another. And patient with one another.
Sadly, our world lacks these qualities that the Bible calls the fruit of the spirit.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
Humanity carries enough burdens in this life without our adding to a person's load. Yet we do it, and in fact, we are encouraged to do so by what we see on television, hear in our music, and see on the big screen.
Perhaps it would be better to help unload another person's burden or help carry it. God asks us to share our burdens. He wants to help us carry them. Simply because He loves us ... unconditionally
Grace and peace to you from God,