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.