Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Radoactive Headphones

A shunt series is when I have a few x-rays done of my head, neck and abdomen area to make sure the shunt system is still in the same place as it's been. Today, I had that plus my yearly Rapid Brain MRI with no contrast. It's a good thing I'm not claustrophobic...The experience is similar to being inside a very loud video game except your head is surrounded by what appears to be a large hockey mask and then you're entered inside an even larger tunnel. Afterwards while you're wearing headphones, you hear loud bangs, zips and twangs all around you. They make you wear headphones to protect your ears. Usually these Brain MRI's last between 20-25 minutes although it feels longer while you're in there. Now all summer since July I've been feeling throbbing sensations along the side of my neck where the catheter is and at the top of my head I feel occasional sharp pain ( about four times this summer ) where the shunt valve is. This sensation lasts for 3 seconds. Most of the time I've been feeling pulsing sensations all over my head which I find unusual. However, today my MRI looked good and so did the x-rays. I explained to my surgeon my concerns and the physical issues I've been having all summer. My doctor feels I should come back again to see him in three months. I've been keeping a shunt log since the beginning of July when the shunt decided it wanted to rebel again. However my doctor thinks that if I continue to have these issues through to December, then an intervention is needed. It's been two and a half years since my last vp shunt revision. It will be exactly three years on February 16, 2014.

Back in 2009 exactly less than a month before I finished graduate school at the College of New Rochelle, I had to have emergency surgery at New York Presbyterian.  A year and half later on February 16, 2011, I had to have another revision and later found out my shunt had been put in backwards by the previous surgeon.....I'm not enthused about possibly having surgery again and having to deal with the recovery process.....

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