Friday, December 22, 2017

Dear Shunt, I hate you, Part II

Waking up this morning was a good thing. My shunt besides reacting to the weather outside, also adjusts to whenever my head moves.  When moving up and down whether its from the floor to standing up or walking up and down a flight of stairs, I can feel the shunt adjusting pressure inside my head. This is not fun and results in me feeling more grumpy and irritable. I almost collapsed yesterday when brought groceries up the stairs. Upon entering my kitchen, I felt dizzy and pressure inside my head.  I held onto a wall to keep myself steady. This was around 7pm last night. I went to bed after and at 1am, as usual, there was pain on the shunt valve.  I do find putting my head down to be helpful even if momentarily.

There have been days when I've felt nausea in my stomach, most likely from the programmable shunt. These artificial devices although helpful, sometimes aren't compatible with our bodies. Not saying my shunt is not working, it is, which I am grateful. I'm convinced because it is a magnet and temperamental, that my body still (four years later) is adjusting to the device. Surgeons don't know how your body is going to react to an artificial device until it's been implanted.  Some people respond well, others don't.

I've found music and exercise like Pilate's has helped with some of my pain management. Listening to music helps me focus on something other than the pain with a combination of exercise to focus my attention on something else.

Friday, December 15, 2017


Plant in office waiting room.
I found this week that my neurosurgeon will be going to another hospital. This also means I'll be assigned to another neurosurgeon. The neurosurgeon I had from 2015 to 2017, I had only seen him once for a consultation, as he didn't want to see me unless I was having surgery. 2014 again and I'm sure my neurologist will make sure that doesn't happen.

I've been seeing the neurologist for the last three years who would then report how I was feeling to the neurosurgeon. Instead of doing research on the 'new' doctors who I may be assigned to, I've decided on something else. For me, it makes more sense to ask my neurologist to recommend a neurosurgeon whom I should see and ask her to advocate for me. I'm not going through what happened in 2009 and 2014 and My neurologist will make sure this doesn't happen.