2nd Annual Yogi's ASAP Walk & Roll for a Cure
Raising funds for research, education and awareness. Providing support and programs for the cm/sm community since 1988.
|My name is Michael “Yogi” Borys and I suffer from two chronic disorders, syringomyelia and Chiari malformation. I was diagnosed with these two disorders in 2001. My life changed forever.|
My issues started manifesting at a young age, I really can't pinpoint exactly when. The ambulance trips to the emergency room began in the 3rd grade. I would experience different symptoms, headaches, dizziness, loss of sensation, tingling, numbness, loss of consciousness. temporary blindness etc. Each trip to the hospital brought more of the same tests over and over again; xrays, ct scans, and others. This pattern, ambulance rides, hospital stays and testing went on for many years.
In 2001, I was fulfilling my life long dream. I had enrolled and was sponsored for The Finger Lakes Law Enforcement Academy in Hopewell, NY. We were outside on a cold day in March during physical training doing indian sprints. On our way back towards the Academy, I passed out. I remember seeing two cadets looking down at me and asking if I was okay. I tried to get up, but was unable to. I was scared. The next thing I know, I am on a stretcher in the back of an ambulance, on the way to the hospital, again.
We pulled into FF Thompson Hospital in Canandaigua, and I was brought to the ER. After getting settled into a room, the nurse told me that they would be doing a series of tests on me to make sure that I did not have any problems with my brain, heart, and lungs. Another nurse came in the room and administered the EKG, which turned out positive, no problems. I was then given a CT scan of my head, which also resulted in no problems. They took x-rays of my chest and listened to my heart and lungs, everything seemed okay.
A short time later, the ER doctor came in and said that the tests seemed fine but he wanted me to have an MRI. I had never had one before so the nurses prepared me for the MRI and in I went. Several minutes after I was finished, the doctor came into my room and sat down next to me with a huge envelope full of scans from the MRI. He said, “You see this right here, this is what we call a syrinx (ser-inks). Your two prongs from your cerebellum have grown onto the top of your spinal cord, causing the spinal fluid to pool right here. (top of 1st vertebrae).” He then moved his finger, pointing to the syrinx cavity and said, “The spinal fluid is eating away your spinal cord, which is causing your nerves to surface on your skin. This can cause paralysis if it is not treated.” I was laying there in disbelief, unable to make a comment and numerous things running through my head. He went on to tell me that the two medical terms or chronic disorders that I have are syringomyelia and Chiari malformation.
I met with a neurosurgeon at Strong Hospital in Rochester N.Y. He informed me the only way to help prevent it from getting any worse was to do surgery. The first surgery would be a decompression of the first vertebrae to give the syrinx more room to expand and shrink. If the first surgery did not work, then a second surgery would be needed. The second surgery would consist of a shunt catheter being placed in my spinal cord in order to drain the accumulating fluid.
The decompression surgery was done a week or two after the meeting with the neurosurgeon. The 1st surgery did not work, so the second surgery was done in February 2002.
I can not begin to explain the pains and aches that I wake up with each and every morning. Every day and night brings a different pain, numbness, ache, tingling, etc. I never realized how nice it was before all of this ever happened, to be able to wake up in the morning and to be pain (symptoms) free. One of my quotes for this is, “I have gone through more pain in the past few years, than what a hockey player goes through during his entire career.”
I have tried to look away from my two surgeries and pursue a part of the life that I wanted. At first, not being able to be a Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff, shattered my lifetime dreams. Though, I have been able to work in the Criminal Justice field as a Dispatcher. I worked at the Seneca Falls Police Department for just a little less than 5 years. On May 1st 2006, I transferred to the Seneca County E-911 Center. I have also been a volunteer Fire Police with the Red Jacket Fire Department in the town of Seneca Falls, since September of 2001.
“I may look like I am okay from the outside, but try being me on the inside.”
Yogi Berra’s quote that I live by is, “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.”
Thanks again, Yogi and Bridget