Friday, July 12, 2019


I had three days this week of bliss without cerebral shunt or chronic pain. A huge improvement from the last few months. Yesterday, this changed, as the shunt began to rebel again.  Today, some of the same pains from before have returned like shunt pain, distal catheter in abdomen pain and dizziness when I move my head from side to side.

New Medical Fashion....
The good news is I received my medical ID bracelet in the mail. I've had a shunt since early childhood and it never occurred to me before to wear one indicating I have a cerebral shunt.

I would think all doctors should suggest to their patients who have internal medical devices to wear something which would indicate they have an internal device. Some do and others don't.

I already have a medical card I carry with me that has my medical, doctor and emergency contact information.

How would an EMT know to check my bag for this information? Like for example in the event of an emergency, if I'm unconscious for whatever reason (accidents, fainting or squirrel attack ) At least someone will know where to find information and contact my doctors and family.

Sunday, July 7, 2019


No chronic pain today. Yesterday I was nervous because all day since the early morning hours  (around 5am) I had pain from my shunt, eye (where I had strabismus surgery in 2015) and nausea I suspect from the distal catheter in my stomach.  I hadn't experienced this type of intense discomfort in a while and it made me worried my shunt might begin failing again soon.

There have been a few days this week where I didn't get as many hours of sleep as I may have wanted due to pain issues.

To my surprise today upon waking up, there was no pain at all.  All of my symptoms from the day before and the last few months where gone.

I've been a little less productive due to chronic pain and lack of energy...

Since today is pain free,  it's time to be creative....

Happy music video  in the background....

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

And then it was the sun?

I was feeling good today until I walked outside this morning. I didn't know today there was a solar eclipse.  Since it's gotten warmer out, I've made a habit of wearing my hat when I go outside because of past experiences with my cerebral shunt not reacting well to the heat.

This morning, I felt an odd sensitivity around my head the moment I walked out of my building.  At different times during the day I've felt the usual dizziness and forehead pressure. When I turned on the news this evening I saw a live stream of the solar eclipse.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Shunt, Pixels and Software

Having chronic pain means I have an excuse to draw.  I’ve illustrated myself in navigating the battle against my shunt:

Friday, May 31, 2019

Summer Flower Fun

Outside with flowers and a cool building. 
Yesterday was better in terms of head/shunt pain issues. Last Saturday specifically was the worst day in a long time, four hours of pain until it finally went away in the afternoon. My medical device gets temperamental depending on the weather and phases of the moon. I was fortunate enough earlier this month to go exploring with a friend and encountered several flowers and architecture.

It's been a while since I completed a book and earlier this month, I finished working on one.  A short post about it can be found here.

6/1/19 - I don't know what it is about Saturdays. Last Saturday was a bad shunt and head pain day. Today is also Saturday and it's another bad chronic pain day. I tried again to take medication in the afternoon, and not much of an improvement even after 6pm. Continuous eye and shunt pain both at the same time.

6/2/19 - Shunt, eye and distal catheter pain in stomach at various time during the night, especially early in the morning like around 2am.  I could go on a profanity laced post about my shunt, I'm not going to though. I have a better idea about expressing my extreme frustration with my medical device.

More on that later...

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Markers and Spring

May is stroke awareness month. This week it's been lots of dizziness, shunt pain and the occasional pain behind my eyes. The eye pain is mostly behind my right eye, where I had double vision for a year and twelve days after my brain injuries. I had surgery to correct my eyesight in 2015. 
Group photo of volunteers Spring Day of Caring

Earlier this month was my local United Way's Spring Day of Caring. As usual, it was a good way to get out and distance myself from chronic pain issues. I received a free shirt and two sandwiches... I saved one sandwich for the following day. 

Additionally, the coloring group at my local library this week helped me distance myself from pain issues. 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Diez años

Cupcake celebrating surviving
botched brain
Earlier this month, I celebrated ten years ( diez años ) since surviving my shunt being moved during a revision surgery in April 2009.  I didn't know at the time my shunt had been moved. At the hospital, I wasn't properly intubated as the tube used was too large for my throat. I stopped breathing after the surgery around 2am while in a hospital room.  When I opened my eyes, my lungs were burning and I couldn't get air down my throat.  I could still feel the sensation of the tube inside even though it had been removed. I was given oxygen and barely started breathing again after what seemed like a very long time.

A month later, I graduated with my first Master's degree.

Then the shunt drama continued....

I'm noticing a pattern when I enter into higher education, I end up having brain surgery. When I was enrolled in my second Master's program, I had brain surgery then too.

I'm not planning on returning to school anytime soon....

Cupcakes are always a joy during survival anniversaries such as this one. Still here and raising awareness....