health, personal, rant

Update: Tarlov Cysts

The good news is that I won’t be undergoing surgery any time soon. My nerves are not pinched significantly by my protruding discs and Tarlov cysts. The bad news is that the cysts do need to be monitored regularly. I am set to undergo another MRI in three months’ time to check if the cysts are growing. At 4 cm in diameter each, the cysts manage to be not so problematic, but things could change if they grow even an inch each.

If things go for the worse, I might undergo surgery. Surgery plus hospital accommodations and doctors’ fees will total to approximately 400,000 pesos. The money is a small fortune here in the Philippines. It will also take two weeks for one to recover from the spinal surgery. Also, there is that strong possibility of the most excruciating pain imaginable. We are, after all, taking about a spot where a bundle of nerves lies.

Right now, though, I am still feeling a little lucky. I am set for two weeks’ physical therapy to strengthen my spine and to hopefully correct the protruding discs. I have been prescribed more than three months’ worth of Lyrica, a strong nerve pain reliever. I am also taking care to avoid carbonated drinks that block the absorption of calcium. I am drinking milk twice daily to hopefully correct three decades’ worth of nutritional and lifestyle mistakes. By lifestyle, I don’t mean one that is full of vice because I do not drink, smoke or eat lots of fat. In fact, I choose the meat when the maid and I go grocery shopping. I go for lean meat, fish, and veggies. There are fruits all the time, too. Juices are abundant. Unfortunately, I often shy away from milk and water. Somehow, though, a generally healthy-living medical doctor’s daughter ended up with lots of health problems: tarlov cysts, degenerative scoliosis, protruding discs, asthma, kidney stones, mild fatty liver. My dad and uncle are medical doctors. My brother is a medical intern. I am the sick one.

Still, I have to keep on fighting. I have a young son who is relying on my survival. I pray that this stage of my life is only a reminder of my mortality – that I should take things slowly because I tend to work as if there is no tomorrow. I don’t want to be right – about that tomorrow I mean.

(Image of me as a nineteen year old working at my dad’s clinic as secretary. This was in Dominica before I went back to the Philippines for university.)



5 thoughts on “Update: Tarlov Cysts

  1. Cris says:

    hi bel, ano ba un puedeng gawin para di maggrow un cyst?by the way,i shared your blog with james and eto un sinabi nya :she is good pa naman…dapat sa bad person mangyari yan para hindi makagawa ng masama….hehe…we’re praying for your health. take care always!:)

    • Thanks for the concern Cris and James! Miss you both! Hindi ko alam kung paano maprevent ang paggrow ng cyst basta every 3 months ata kailangan ko magpaMRI to monitor the growth (kung meron man).

  2. Hello! Thank you for your post. I kept on searching for Filipinos who also have Tarlov Cyst. I was diagnosed to have lumbo sacral radiculopathy and mild lumbar scolio with accompanying pain that radiates from my lower back, buttocks and upper thighs including my rectum. There was a point when it affects my urination and bowel movement already. Pain was unbearable before taking pain reliever and muscle relaxant. All I can do is lay on my bed. Slightest movement gives me this nerval pain. Doctor advised me to take therapy since it is mild and l1/s1 level. Like I know what it meant. I’m on my 1st session now. I was worried lang bec therapist said it will just help manage the pain. But then I thought it will not treat my condition. Diba the cyst damages the nerves kaya it’s painful? What’s the cure kaya you think?

    You mentioned also that there was a test needed to check the status of your nerve. Do you know what this test is called? Sorry I kept asking questions.

    Thank you in advance,
    Joa Ayroso

  3. michelle says:

    would like to ask, have you done the surgery, was it successful, where have u done it which doctor and hospital? let me know been searching for treatment options thanks

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