Saturday, December 1, 2012

All things me.

Since this blog is solely for me, and solely about me I'm going to try my best to introduce you to the girl that is Hanna. I was born on March 29th, on Good Friday at 12:46am. I have a best friend who religiously calls me at 12:46am every year on my birthday and that is just one reason why she is the best friend I could have ever found. I had a wonderful childhood with 2 younger brothers who I still to this day love with all my heart and want the best for in all aspects of their life.  I started playing violin at the age of 3 and a half, and studied under the Suzuki method until I graduated from high school 15 years later. I had moments where I hated it. I felt like I was forced to do it. When it finally became my choice to continue or not I chose to love it and have loved it ever since.

When I was 13, I started in an orchestra which meant more playing and practicing per week. I started to have a lot of neck and back pain but just attributed it to the fact that I was playing more, took some ibuprofen and moved on with my life. I also started playing alto saxophone in the band when I was in 7th grade. My junior year of high schoo, the band took their trip to Disney world. They go every 3 years.  We had a great time, and I really loved being in the band.  We drove all night back home, and the minute we got home, my nana picked me up and we drove to Charlotte so I could audition for the Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra. My parents would have took me, but they went to Disney too and were driving home during the day.  Turns out I made the symphony, which meant adding a 3 hour rehearsal to my already busy week.  My neck pain got worse and worse, so I started going to a chiropractor. It seemed to help, or I tried to tell myself it did.  This was into my senior year and I started trying to find a massage therapist. That helped more than anything I had tried before so I got massages twice a week. I did 12 sessions of physical therapy starting on Christmas Eve of my senior year, and started trying to find a spine doctor. I finally found one who believed there was something wrong and this wasn't just in my head. I had a spine MRI and then based on something they saw at the top of my spine, a brain MRI. They found a stage one chiari malformation. I was told most of America has one, it just never presents problems for them. Basically, whenever I play a lot of violin, it just gets pissed off.  The sure fix of it is surgery, but the cons or surgery outweigh the pros in my case. I have shots whenever I need them, but I haven't had any in about 2 years.

I've learned to adjust my life around neck pain, headaches, and hand numbness.  I learned a long time ago that I have to rule it, and try not to let it rule me. There are a lot of times when I could totally just quit living and let the pain win, but at 21, my life has barely started.  If it gets much worse, I will consider surgery, but at this point my choice is to not have a very risky surgery to possibly relieve some headaches no one is even sure is coming from my malformation.

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