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Photo: Agonising! Meet the Woman Whose Brain is Slipping Into Her Spine

Kimberlee Provan
A woman has been left in excruciating pain after she was diagnosed with a rare disorder which makes her feel like having her head trapped in a vice and her brain slipping out of her skull into her spine. 
A rare disorder has left a mother in so much pain and distress which makes her feel like having her head trapped in a vice and her brain slipping out of her skull into her spine.
According to a Dailymail report, Kimberlee Provan, 44, struggles to do everyday tasks such as walking, eating, and even talking because of her neurological condition, which is causing her brain to push on her spinal cord.
The report states that the mother-of-two can only sit upright for four hours a day since being diagnosed with the life-limiting illness which almost paralyzed her. She was diagnosed with Chiari malformation, which causes the brain to slip, leaving part of it below the skull, in December 2013.
It affects just one in every 1,500 people, and causes severe neck pain, balance problems, muscle weakness, and hearing loss.
'It's like having your head in a vice and it's being crushed. 
'It goes through your neck and head and behind your eyes,' she said.
'It first started about five or six years ago. It was intermittent to start with and then it was constant, every day.
'Eventually I asked for an MRI scan because I just couldn't bare with the pain any longer.'
She was shocked by doctors who had initially believed the pain was a side effect of a hip operation but the scan revealed something far more sinister and shocking. It revealed that the lower half of her brain was slowly sinking into her spine.
Speaking about the excruciating experience she had to endure after a major surgery at Salford Royal Hospital in Greater Manchester a month later, Provan said:
'They cut into the back of the head and removed a piece of my skull and vertebrae to make more room for the spinal fluid to flow.
'I was told if I hadn't had the surgery I would have been paralyzed within the next few weeks.
'I was absolutely terrified that I wasn't going to wake up, and if I did wake up, that I wouldn't be able to move.'
The disorder has forced her to relinquish her job as a successful legal aid and also drop out of a business degree course.
'I have pins and needles in both arms and legs all the time, it never stops, and I can't lift anything heavier than a cup of tea.
'I can only walk a few metres with a stick - and all other times I need a wheelchair.
'Because I can walk a few steps I don't qualify for a power chair with the NHS, but because I have no strength I can't push myself in my wheelchair and so I can't go out on my own any more.
'I get up every morning and I try to hard to have a shower but it takes so long. The things I used to take for granted have become my whole day.'
She reveals that her sudden loss of independence had left her feeling like a burden to her two children Alexander, 19, and Olivia, 18.
'At their age they should be having the time of their lives. They should be off enjoying themselves, not staying at home helping me in and out of the shower and making dinner.'
Her family and friends have come together to raise money to buy an electric wheelchair and reclining bed to give her a much-desired taste of freedom. They have also opened a JustGiving page.


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