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....

Friday, April 5, 2019

And then the doctor said...

My neurologist said my shunt is working. I had concerns about it misbehaving for three weeks and had inquired about having CT and or a shunt series done. She had told me this wasn't needed unless it was absolutely necessary. Unless my shunt is obstructed and I'm incapacitated and vomiting on the floor, then a CT scan and shunt series is needed for obvious reasons. Otherwise, I wasn't getting one.

I had an epiphany while visiting my neurologist.

I realized the reason (besides the one mentioned above) scans aren't necessary right now is because these doctors know my shunt is working and it's on the correct side of my brain. I've come to this conclusion because with my former neurosurgeon (we'll call Dr. X) who I fired and animated in one of my films...Prior to my injuries in 2014, I was having a MRI every six months.

I'm surprised I didn't glow pink from all of the scans...

Dr. X, I believe was ordering the tests because he knew my shunt was in the wrong way and why he was monitoring it so closely. Now that my shunt's been returned to the correct location, there's no need to be 'zapped' so frequently. The medical professionals around me know what happened to me in 2014 and why. They also realize my medical device is working as it should be.

My neurologist did note during my appointment there is weakness on one side of my body. Something she hadn't seen since I started seeing her in 2015.  For the next six months, I'll have physical therapy until I see her again in October.

She was happy to hear my shunt and head pain had stopped for the first time in three weeks. I'm also convinced these doctors know programmable shunt valves are temperamental and react to just about everything between the weather, stress, other magnets and various amounts of csf fluid.

The shunt and scalp pain has been minimal this week. Not sure yet when the top left corner of my scalp throbbing will go away yet. Sometimes it's there and sometimes it isn' we'll see.

My medical device can be as temperamental as it wants as long as it means I don't have to have surgery again.