My name is Shelley Keys. I am Kristie Blackman's sister. I have started this page to try to assist her with the many bills she has piling up and hopefully minimize at least one area of stress that seems to be affecting her life lately.
Her journey began with back surgery in October of 2011. Since then she has continued to suffer unbearable back pain and has been in continuous physical therapy as well as seeing many doctors of many specialties and getting spinal injections and other treatments to try to figure out the cause of the continued pain. More recently, she began having other strange symptoms that included random numbness and tingling in her extremities, dizziness, nausea, memory issues, worsening pain that now included her neck and head, fatigue, severe visual disturbances and many more. While her doctors wanted to brush these symptoms aside, she knew there was something wrong and decided to go see a Neurologist on her own. The Neurologist ordered a brain MRI and that was when she got the devastating diagnosis of Chiari Malfomation type I (ACMI). She has since learned through other imaging studies that the flow of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) in the back of her head is significantly reduced which may be the cause of some of her symptoms. Unfortunately, there is NO CURE and no real treatment for CMI. This will be a lifelong battle she will have to fight. She is waiting to see a specialist, but will likely have to travel two hours to UVA in order to do so. Due to the decreased CSF flow, she will most likely need to have traumatic brain surgery to restore the flow. This surgery will not necessarily make any change in her current symptoms, but will hopefully put a temporary hold on new symptoms developing and will keep further complications at bay. Most Chiari patients have to undergo multiple surgeries in their lifetime as it is only a temporary measure to slow the progression. She will also have to see several other specialists to deal with her vision issues and to investigate the other issues that usually come hand and hand with ACMI.
Any little bit you can spare to help her through this difficult journey would be greatly appreciated. There is no such thing as a donation that is "too small".Even if you are unable to make a donation, please leave a comment, send her an email or reach out on Facebook. Notes of encouragement are sometimes needed!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read her story and please let me know if you have any questions!
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