Friday, January 11, 2013

U-Neek Polish - Chiari Awareness

Good Evening Everyone!!! Today I have a very special polish from Janet of U-Neek Polish! Better late than next week, right? haha Sorry guys, it's been crazy trying to get everything back on track after being sick!! I'm better though, so thanks again for all your well wishes!!

This polish has been created to raise awareness of Chiari Malformation! I actually didn't know about this condition, so I'm glad Janet has brought it to my attention and allowed me to share some information along with her story.

Here is some information about Chiari Malformation from Janet.  It is a lot to take in, but I'm so glad to have read about this so that I can be aware.  I can only hope that passing this information along will reach someone that has been looking for an answer, if they are experiencing these symptoms, and that it will help them get the help they need! 
Chiari Malformation (kee-AHR-ee mal-for-MAY-shun) is a condition in which brain tissue protrudes into your spinal canal. It occurs when part of your skull is abnormally small or misshapen, pressing on your brain and forcing it downward. Chiari malformation is uncommon, but improved imaging tests have led to more frequent diagnoses.
The adult form, called Chiari malformation type I, develops as the skull and brain are growing. As a result, signs and symptoms may not occur until late childhood or adulthood. The most common pediatric form, called Chiari malformation type II, is present at birth (congenital).
In the past, it was estimated that the condition occurs in about one in every 1,000 births. However, the increased use of diagnostic imaging has shown that CM may be much more common. Complicating this estimation is the fact that some children who are born with the condition may not show symptoms until adolescence or adulthood, if at all. CMs occur more often in women than in men and Type II malformations are more prevalent in certain groups, including people of Celtic descent.
Treatment of Chiari malformation depends on the form, severity and associated symptoms. Regular monitoring, medications and surgery are treatment options. In some cases, no treatment is needed.
Chiari malformation occurs when the section of the skull containing the cerebellum is too small or is deformed, thus putting pressure on and crowding the brain. The lowermost portion, or tonsils, of the cerebellum are displaced into the upper spinal canal. The pediatric form, Chiari II malformation, is always associated with a myelomeningocele. The adult form, Chiari I malformation, results primarily from a too small back portion of the skull.
When the cerebellum is pushed into the upper spinal canal, it can interfere with the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that protects your brain and spinal cord. This impaired circulation of CSF can lead to the blockage of signals transmitted from your brain to your body, or to a buildup of spinal fluid in the brain or spinal cord. Alternatively, the pressure from the cerebellum upon the spinal cord or lower brainstem can cause neurological signs or symptoms.
There's some evidence that Chiari malformation runs in some families. However, research into a possible hereditary component is still in its early phase.
In some people, Chiari malformation can become a progressive disorder and lead to serious complications. In others, there may be no associated symptoms, and no intervention is necessary. The complications associated with this condition include:
Hydrocephalus. This accumulation of excess fluid within the brain may require placement of a flexible tube (shunt) to divert and drain the cerebrospinal fluid to another area of the body.
Paralysis. This may occur because of the crowding and pressure on the spinal cord. Paralysis tends to be permanent, even after surgical treatment.
Syringomyelia. Some people with Chiari malformation also develop a condition called syringomyelia, in which a cavity or cyst (syrinx) forms within the spinal column. Although the mechanism connecting Chiari malformation with syringomyelia is unclear, it may be associated with injury or displacement of nerve fibers in the spinal cord. When a cavity forms, it tends to be filled with fluid and can additionally impair the function of the spinal cord.
Death. When a child is born with Chiari malformation type IV, death is common, usually early in infancy.

Reducing pressure by surgery
Surgery is the approach doctors use most often to treat symptomatic Chiari malformation. The goal is to stop the progression of changes in the anatomy of the brain and spinal canal, as well as ease or stabilize symptoms. When successful, surgery can reduce pressure on the cerebellum and the spinal cord, and restore the normal flow of spinal fluid.
In the most common operation for Chiari malformation — called posterior fossa craniectomy or posterior fossa decompression — your surgeon removes a small section of bone in the back of the skull, relieving pressure by giving the brain more room. The covering of the brain, called the dura, is then opened, and a patch is sewn in place to enlarge the covering and provide more room for the brain. This patch may be an artificial material, or it could be tissue harvested from your own leg or neck. The exact technique may vary, depending on whether a fluid-filled cavity is present, or if you have hydrocephalus. The operation takes about two to three hours, and recovery in the hospital usually requires two to four days.

Janet's Story:
I was personally diagnosed with Chiari Malformation Type I at 25. The doctors were trying to figure out why my left arm & shoulder hurt and was numb & tingling. During the many tests we did a MRI of my neck and I remember the people doing the test moving me in further & further. I later found out that was because they saw the Chiari and the syrinx (Syringomyelia) and where getting the images of the syrinx to see how long it is.
This was the hardest news to take and process. Finding out this was something I was born with and that we don’t know of anyone else in my family that has ever had it. Then I had to wrap my head around knowing the next move was brain surgery. At this point in my life I had only had 2 C-sections. I was a wreck, but I scheduled the Chiari Malformation Decompression surgery for March 1, 2006.
The surgery went well and I stayed in ICU for a few days then moved to a regular room. After that I went home.
I was one of the lucky one as I did not have the normal symptoms and did not have to go through the pain or deal with Chiari controlling my life. If I would’ve chosen to wait on the surgery or not do it I would not have the quality of life I have now.
There are some people with Chiari Malformation that aren’t that lucky and don’t get a choice. That is why I created this Chiari Awareness polish. Purple is the color of the Chiari Awareness Ribbon. 15% of each bottle sold will be donated to Chiari & Syringomyelia Foundation.

Chiari Awareness is made of a pearl purple base with black bar, purple rainbow & micro black glitter.  It is so sparkly!!!  This is 2 coats with Wicked Fast top coat by Cult Nails.  It applied extremely well!  I really love this combo, but it's what it stands for that makes me love it more!
Thank you to Janet for sharing about this as well as telling your story too. I can't imagine what that must have been like to go through! I'm so glad you were able to have surgery, even as scary is it had to have been! And I'm so glad to hear that a donation will be made when customers buy this, for those that are suffering and not as fortunate to have surgery.
Eeek - so my kitchen lighting kind of freaked my camera out...the polish color is pretty accurate, but my skin just looks yucky.  But the kitchen lighting is what brings out that HOLO!!  And boy does it sparkle!  The pictures are kind of blurry, but you can see the glitters!
You can purchase this on Etsy - Chiari Awareness for $8.   U-Neek Polish has lots of other goodies to check out!!  Even a few at $5!!  You can keep up on all your U-Neek Polish info with Janet's Facebook Page, her blog -,  and follow her on Instagram - @OneandOnlyJanet.
Close up!! This was in the light box, so unfortunately it isn't as holo-licious as I'd like it to be!! haha  Spell check doesn't think holo-licious is a word, but I swear it is ;-)
Thank you for taking the time to read this post.  I know it means a lot to Janet and I'm glad to be able to help spread the word on this condition.  I'm sure Janet wouldn't mind if anyone had any questions if struggling with Chiari Malformation, her e-mail is  There are so many different (and scary) conditions and diseases, that it's very easy not to know what is out there.  I think it's important to be aware!  I can also be thankful that I haven't had this particular condition within my family or friends.  But now that I am aware, I can hopefully help those around me if faced with it.
I hope you enjoyed the post! Have a fab weekend!!!  I'm working on getting some more posts set up for you guys, so make sure to check back over the weekend!
Much Love,
*This polish was sent to me for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are that of my own.*


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this! My mom and I both have Chiari. Neither of us has had surgery, and it definitely interferes with our lives. I'll be sure to grab one of these!

  2. thank you for sharing this information, and thanks to Janet for sharing her story. I had never heard of this before. Very informative. I'll have to check out that brand of polish :)