Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Visit With My Doc

For quite some time, I've had some trouble swallowing. Not just food, but liquids too. In 2003, I was told I had something called cranial settling or cranial instability. I was told that having trouble swallowing is one of the side effects. But I wonder if that's what I have or is it something else.

What is Cranial Settling or cranial instability? Here's what I found: The uppermost bony portion of the neck is called the dens or odontoid process. The skull rests on this process and rotates. Cranial settling occurs when this bone protrudes into the hole in the base of the skull called the foramen magnum. This can be congenital (from birth) or from conditions such as Paget's disease or arthritis. Cranial settling can cause pain in the lower part of the skull and upper neck. It may also cause compression of the spinal cord, which may cause extremity weakness, numbness and symptoms found in chiari malaformation. This condition can be treated by surgical removal of the dens followed by instrumented cervical fusion.

A couple of months ago, I decided to see my family doc about it. I had noticed (quite some time ago) that the right side of my neck was swelling up. Aside from the swelling up, I could also feel a small lump. He ordered a barium swallow. Nothing showed up. Praise The Lord! \o/ But my problem still continues. So I saw him a couple of months after that. He gave me some steroids to see if it would help. I don't like taking steroids. It makes me feel great. But on the flip side, it makes me very moody and it make my temper's ugly head pop out. No matter how I try to be be calm, the ugliness comes out.

Today he gave me some antibiotics. He wants to see if that will take care of it, that's if it's a salivary glad inflammation. I'm taking the med for two weeks. Should it go away, then all is solved. If it doesn't, he's going to order a ct-scan. He's thinking it might be a cyst, lymph node or something else. I can't remember the name. If it is, it has to be removed. I'm not worried about it cause I know who is in control. ;o) What ever it is, it will be good to be able to look sideways and to swallow without having pain. Once again, I have to say, I'm thankful that this is happening to me and not my beloved family. God is good... ALL the time!


Laurie said...

Lady G,
I also have this feeling of "something stuck in my throat". This seem to be commom with those with Crainal-Cervical Instability. I had my tonsils removed in 2004, because I had convinced myself and my doctor that was the cause of my problems. I have updated my blog since my surgery, http://laurieyeh.blogspot.com/
Please take another look at my blog

graham said...

I was diagnosed by a chiropractor as having cranial instability almost two years ago. He suspected that it was something that I'd had since birth and that it was the result of forceps being used in my delivery.

The pubis mirrors the jaw bone, so a small jaw bone = small pubis and in women this means the chances of delivery with the use of forceps is greater.

I've since had my cranial instability stabilised simply through numerous visits to a very skillful chiropractor in the UK. I've been told that it's a condition that will never go, though thrice-yearly visits to help rebalance my spine and neck will ensure it never rears its ugly head again.

I felt compelled to reply to your blog entry as you mentioned something when describing cranial instability that I've never heard anyone say - and it's something I suffer from: a restriction in swallowing.

Back in 2001 I was diagnosed with gastro-esophagus reflux disease (GERD), which essentially means the muscles in my food pipe don't work very well and that I am prone to certain amounts of stomach acid being refluxed into my esophagus. I've had an operation to help things in this area, though do occasionally receive acid reflux and have suffered problems swallowing. While I know this can be attributed to GERD, the fact I additionally have cranial instability has had me thinking.