When I called UVA they said that Dr. Oldfield would be glad to look at my case, especially since I was a fairly early diagnosis. We only waited a week for the call back to find out if he would even see me. When his Nurse Practitioner called and said that I was a surgical candidate and they could schedule surgery over the phone to be done in about 2 weeks I didn’t know what to say. I asked if we could come in and talk first and she advised that would be fine also. So two weeks later we were on another 4 to 5 hour trip to see him.
The Pituitary and Neuro Clinic is a terrific facility that they work out of. Complete with diagnostics like MRI right in the building all seperate from the hospital. The staff is very personable and kind. The Nurse Practitioner that we saw first was terrific. Dr. Oldfield is the bomb. He is head of the Neuro Science Department at University of Virginia and has worked for NINDS as well. Credentials out the ears. He has written on and studied Chiari for years. He is also a very kind southern gentleman that is soft spoken and easy going. Very easy person to get along with as far as being a patient goes. You could tell that his staff respects him very much but they also carry off a homelike, family atmosphere.
He spent 45 minutes with us explainging things and evaluating me. He then pulled up my MRIs and showed me the blockage and explained it. Every time that my heart beat my tonsils were pushed down itno the foramen magnum further and blocking flow 100%. The tonsils would then flow back up and allow a small amount of fluid through but there was some back flow caused by the restriction of flow. This happened to me about 120,000 times a day. My tonsils would go from 4mm to about 6mm with each heart beat. No wonder the brain MRI was slightly fuzzey and only showed about a 4mm herniation. He also found that I had something called Horner’s Syndrome. Eye thing that can go along with Chiari. He was the only person that we had seen that sounded like he knew what he was talking about. Finally a true diagnosis. Arnold Chiari I Malformation.
Yes I was impressed and I still am. I was decompressed at UVA on March 26th, 2009 by Dr. Edward Oldfield and a Resident Neuro Dr. that scrubbed in with him. Follow me in my blog about my surgical journey that will be coming next.