Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Adjustments and four paws

Image of my x ray with shunt.
Either my shunt is adjusting itself.... maybe it's just being moody or anticipating the thunderstorm which should be arriving in my area on Thursday....There are a few days (if I'm lucky) where I can get relief from shunt pain and nausea. Then there's the scar tissue pain from what happened to me in 2014.
My cat Stella with her toy mouse.

I was told by my neurologist the nausea from the distal catheter could be from the shunt adjusting. My neurosurgeon had said he didn't use ProGav shunt because they are temperamental and are always adjusting themselves.

At least I had a good day yesterday....I still had some pain issues. I was able to keep busy with exercise and some social interaction. Today I am a little grumpy from the pain and discomfort.  I may try exercise again as a distraction later. I find the endorphins help relieve the pain for a little while. My cat Stella knew I wasn't feeling well last night and early this morning, so she slept outside my door.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Brain on the Hudson

2017 Brain Injury Shirt
Flag from the walkway.
I walked today for the Brain Injury Association, they had an event near me. I had the chance to visit the Walkway Over the Hudson for the first time and got awesome views of the Hudson river and town. So nice to meet and talk to other people affected by brain injury. I look forward to other events in the future and volunteering with other brain injury groups.

Happy accident with my camera where the lens 'split' the image.
My shadow (right)  and an image of the walkway floor (left)

View of bridge from the walkway.

Monday, August 21, 2017


Total Solar Eclipse from tv

View from television 13 minutes before Eclipse starts.

Stella and I are waiting for the eclipse to start
today (August 21, 2017)

Today I've had bad shunt and head pain since this morning. Pain down the distal catheter on the top of my head and stomach. Some forehead pain and shunt pain at different times during the morning and into this afternoon.

The solar eclipse is today so I suspect this has something to do with the ProGav misbehaving.  In anticipation, Stella the cat and I are watching the eclipse on television this afternoon.

Last weekend, I visited the Boscobel Gardens in Garrison, NY. The weather was perfect, as usual, my shunt didn't like the high altitude at all.  Despite the pain, I was
still able to enjoy the visit.

                       My trip to Boscobel Museum August 13, 2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Science behind Barometric Pressure

Finally! An explanation about how barometric pressure affects people in different ways: NY Times

I found out about a brain injury walk event this summer.  Hudson Valley March

This should be interesting....

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Recall and not the movie....

I learned this week from an online hydrocephalus support group, there was a programmable shunt recall as written by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A few months ago, (March 2017)  the Medtronic StrataMR Adjustable Valves and Shunts were recalled due to causing possible severe injuries or death in the people who had them.  The company which makes them, Medtronic, recalled the shunts/valves because they caused under-drainage of csf fluid in the brain. When under-drainage occurs it can cause buildup of fluid in brain cavities causing hydrocephalus.

When I had heard a shunt had been recalled...I secretly hoped it would be mine...then maybe I could get a different one which wasn't so temperamental...

This was not the case, as I know I would've gotten a phone call from my neurologist if the model I have was recalled.

I read another programmable shunt valve, the Codman Certas had been recalled in 2013.  I'm all about advanced technology. I just wish there was a way of knowing what these devices will do inside someone's body.  In my opinion, the programmable shunt valve is like a little robot. Sometimes I hear/feel it, other times I don't. I've learned over the last 3 years with this new device it doesn't like various types of weather (rain, cold, humidity).

It's too bad my shunt doesn't work like Alexa.

Reading about the shunt recall made me think about the film, Total Recall from 1990.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

At least a few

At least I had a few good shunt days were I didn't feel the shunt at all. This all changed a few days ago once it started to rain and get all crazy fall like weather in the 'spring". I didn't volunteer today because I've been feeling nauseous, dizzy, and have had shunt pain throughout yesterday evening and into the early hours of today. Couldn't sleep on my right side (shunt side) too much because of discomfort and throbbing behind my right ear. Since this morning I've had pain from the distal catheter in my abdomen. Maybe the body is producing more csf than usual or my shunt is just being temperamental. Probably both.

Since the weather has been trying to move into "spring" I've started wearing my brain injury and hydrocephalus awareness shirts.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Happy Shunt

Since the weather has been getting warmer, my shunt has been behaving itself.  Since Wednesday, the ProGav hasn't been bothering me, no scalp pain, no shunt noises. One day this week I heard the distal catheter drain csf into my abdomen. Other than that, it's been behaving itself.  As the heat outside get warmer, the humidity bothers my shunt sometimes and I can feel the heat directly from the sun on the magnet inside my head. I have to remember to wear a hat when I'm outside during these summer months.