At age 22 while living in Mongolia I developed a severe chronic pain condition that effects every aspect of my life. Continuing this blog reminds me that life's challenges are stepping stones meant to lift us, not roadblocks meant to defeat us.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Hey I found out that the thing they saw on my back is just a small cyst, and after further examination they don't think that is the source of my pain. We don't know why the cyst is there, but it is small and doesn't need to be removed surgically. This is actually okay news, we still don't know exactly why I am in so much pain but I really didn't want to have anything wrong with my spinal cord, so I am pretty relieved. I am trying a normal diet with gluten now because I hadn't noticed any benefits from following the diet the past several months, so we will see if eating gluten makes me worse. I had pizza hut stuffed crust pizza this week and it was even better than I remembered it ;) Thanks for the support!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Another health finding, maybe the real cause.

Over christmas break I went to see a neurology specialist at the University of San Francisco, and after examination he noticed I have an area of skin that goes from my back on the right side and wraps around my right ribs that has sensory abnormalities, and he suggested a targeted MRI scan of that area of my spine. I heard the results yesterday, and they found a mass on the right side of my spinal cord at T9 and T10.
We don't know if it is a cyst or a tumor yet, it is a little smaller than a centimeter and luckily it isn't pushing into the spinal cord. It is at the base of some of my nerve roots, so that explains the severe right side pain I've been having the past year. We are talking with neuro surgeons on Monday to discuss options. This is actually good news, as we now know the source of the pain. It is also a good sign that I have been sick for a year and the tumor is still pretty small. They think it might have been too small to be noticed on MRIs I had done months ago, I'm very grateful that we decided to check for this. This also probably means that I don't have celiac disease, so I'm pretty excited about maybe getting to eat normal pizza again ;) I'll keep you posted.