Tuesday, June 21, 2022

More than 3 days and the rain

The rain and the barometric pressure caused my chronic pain issues.  Last week, there were three days of the following symptoms:

Pain in the back of my head from the chiari malformation.

Pain behind my eyes.

Dizziness and some double vision when turning my head to the right.

Pain on the shunt valve. 

I sometimes take pain medication to better tolerate and or reduce the pain I feel. If I don't have to go anywhere and I feel this way, I don't go out. Last week, I had places I needed to be, and I didn't have the option to stay home.  I took medication during the day, and it didn't relieve my symptoms. 

I didn't feel better until a few days later. Today is a huge improvement from how I was feeling during the weekend and part of last week. 

I do find it comforting to talk to others who also experience pain from the weather and pressure changes. People who have medical devices, medical conditions chronic migraines experience chronic pain from the weather and who knows what else is in the atmosphere, like the phases of the moon and satellites.  It's just nice to know I can talk to others who can relate. 

When I don't have to be anywhere, and I have chronic pain issues there's always time for at least an hour of Nintendo or drawing.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Madness again....

 This week:

Each time I moved my head, I would have pain on the shunt valve because it was making adjustments each time I would move. The type of shunt I have is known to make adjustments constantly. I don't feel it all of the time except on days like this week.

Pain behind my both my eyes and sometimes behind just the right eye. I was told this was not from the surgery I had in 2015, that it was a result of the injuries I had in 2014.

Pressure and pain in my forehead.   

TMJ issues in my jaw and ear.

Headache pain from the chiari malformation in the back of my head.

Right leg crossed over the left leg randomly as I turned - I almost fell,I was able to catch myself before landing on the floor. This happened while I was home.

Since I don't have to go anywhere for now it's time for exercise, watching cartoons and drawing.

That's the thing about resiliency, you just have to do things even if you don't feel well. People of all ages who have to deal with chronic pain and/or an unruly medical device like a cerebral shunt can relate to this.

Every time the weather changes my cerebral shunt decides what if feels like doing on that specific day.

I've tried a variety of natural and other types of pain reliever. 

Pain medication doesn't always work. 

There are people out there who might think we're making this up. Some will be dismissive because they are ignorant or they just don't want to feel your pain because it upsets them. 

In the meantime, while my shunt decides to be unruly I'm just find something to do as a healthy distraction. 

There's always time for Nintendo when you're home.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

In May

 May is stroke awareness month. My shunt is behaving itself today, better than the last week with constant pain from the shunt valve and different parts of my head. No pain from the chiari malformation, or TMJ.  No pain behind my eyes and I haven't had any almost falling on my face incidents with my right leg crossing over my left leg. 

I'm going to enjoy this while it lasts.

For the month of May, I posted my brain injury film online. I'm just one of millions of people young and old who have had a brain injury and a cerebral shunt: Shunt Chronicles Film

Friday, April 22, 2022

Baromeric Pressure Madness?

 Today, I've had pain behind my eyes and on the shunt valve with a side of nausea from the distal catheter in my stomach. My shunt is making adjustments again, while responding to the barometric pressure changes, phases of the moon, satellites, weather and who knows what else is in the atmosphere. 

I know of other people who also have pain and other issues from the weather. It's nice to know there are many others out there who can relate to weather related pain issues. As the weather gets warmer, I just know my unruly shunt will rebel again. As long as it continues to work and I don't have to have surgery again.

That is all I want. 

To never have surgery again. 

 Pain behind my eyes again today (4/22) with a side of dizziness and pain the back of head. Most likely this is from the chiari malformation. The good news is, I'm not nauseous today from the distal catheter...

No Nintendo therapy today because of pain behind my right eye. So, instead I'm listening to music.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

fog and then some

 The ice storm last weekend left me with chronic pain from both my head and cerebral shunt. Today there's pressure in my forehead and pain on the shunt valve. The fog yesterday and earlier today only added to the pain issues. The walking issues have returned briefly this week with my right leg crossing over my left leg. I've become better at paying attention to this, as I can stop myself from falling forward.  

 This afternoon, I feel pain on the shunt valve, pressure in my forehead and pain behind my right eye. 

 The right eye pain is an improvement from last week, when I had pain behind both eyes.  

I managed to get some drawing done today which was a huge improvement from last weekend, where I couldn't do anything because I was uncomfortable. 

I met with my local brain injury recreation group this week. It's always nice to be around others who understand what it's like to have a shunt, chronic pain and other issues associated with living with a brain injury.

Sunday, March 6, 2022


 This week in March marks eight years since surviving multiple brain injuries and being shunt revision surgery free. I wrote about my injuries while in rehab.

I made a film about my injuries to spread awareness about brain injury hydrocephalus. I made a short film about my injuries: www.vjbrockett.com

Of course, as I do every year every brain anniversary, I enjoy a cupcake from Barnes and Noble cafe.

Sunday, February 6, 2022

with pink hair

 The cold weather has been making my shunt and head hurt this weekend and last week during the ice storm. Today, there's been an improvement, the pain medication is working, there were a few days like last weekend when nothing was working on the pain. 

This week, when dealing with chronic pain, I turned two songs in Japanese from Sailor Moon S  and Sailor Moon Super S.

Also, this week I wrote to the board of neurosurgeons inquiring about what things were being done to prevent mistakes in the operating room and ways to monitor when a cerebral shunt will stop working.

I had used my experiences in 2009 and 2014 as examples of what needs to be improved. 

We'll see if and when I hear back from them.... 

Thursday, January 13, 2022

diamond art

 I try each night to make an effort to sleep on my side. As sleeping on my back will lead to irritating the chiari malformation in the back of my head.  I get headaches from this in the back of my head and sometimes on the top of my head on both right and left sides. Through a strange miracle I took pain medication and it worked after a few hours. This was a random miracle because lately, with chronic pain the relievers I've been taking haven't been working at all. 

Besides the occasional Nintendo therapy, drawing, and books, I recently was introduced to Diamond Art: Diamond Painting & Diamond Art . These are time consuming and a good escape from pain issues.  I'm still getting used to the dot/pen technique. It does pass the time. The only downside is it is a little messy. Dots can get everywhere. The one I'm working on is below:

And today, 1/13 - I successfully slept on my side and didn't have any head pain or shunt issues today. I can move my head from side to side and don't feel pain from the shunt valve or distal catheter.