-- In His Strength: Shunt Valve Replacement www.superfluousbanter.org

In His Strength

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength --- Philippians 4:13

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Shunt Valve Replacement

So my last dr. appointment I had an interesting development. My parents are downright convinced my shunt is causing all these problems. What with the headaches, nausea, vomioting I've been experiencing. I on the other hand, don't quite know WHAT to think anymore. I am quickly losing faith in anything we try. It only seems to be a temporary fix.

My neurosurgeon made a slight adjustment to the setting of my shunt (using a small magnet). The valve in my shunt controls how much cerebral spinal fluid is flowing in the brain. The MRI machine, because it uses a magnet, could mess with the setting just a bit, but the last time they did one the tech didn't think it necessary to do an xray to double-check (I should have said something, dang NOW I think of it!). My neurosurgeon made a slight adjustment anyway, even though it was only off by a tenth, but the slightest adjustment COULD make a difference with me, you just never know.

Three x-rays later as it took a bit to get my HEAD adjusted correctly so they could see the valve, aaaaand he has me in x-ray once again..... this time he is in there with me and the x-ray tech to make sure it is done exactly how he wants it, so that he can see the valve in question. After the final x-ray I look over as he is walking back into the room. He has a dumbfounded look on his face, and my jaw drops. He couldn't believe it, but the valve was broken. HOW that happened is a mystery to all of us. (I've bumped my head on occassion, but I didnt think anything that hard). I prayed the night before that we would find something, but don't think I was quite ready for the answer just yet.

A second appointment on 7-29-10 confirmed surgery. Unfortunately, a date not be set until a few weeks later. It seems that calling surgery scheduling they could only gurantee it woould be in the next six to eight weeks! WHAT?! No Way!!!!! Nuh-uh, NOT waiting that long, sorry! They said I could be placed on the cancellation list, if somoen's surgery just happened to be cancelled for any reason I could be up for that date. Whew! I did just that. Then it was a phonecall to my neurosurgeons office asking if he could do something to bump up the date. I didn't hear for two days. Another phonecall, and I left a voicemail. The next day I get a call from surgery scheduling. They could schedule my surgery for August 16th. Yes, I'll take it! HO but the two-week wait to get it done was going to be excruciating. I SO want to be done with the headaches already! ("I want it done...yesterday!")

What was originally going to be a 45 minute procedure under local anesthetic turned into a two-hour suergery under general anesthetic due to positioning me just right and I am sure other things too (My back and hiops just don't like to cooperate sometimes).

They gave me the sedative....aaaand thats the last thing I remember. No wheeling into the OR, getting me on the table, putting me underrr... nuthin'. They shot the sedative into the I.V and the room slowly started to spin. I'm smiling, LOL! Annnnd she OUT!
I remember waking up in recovery. I did not want to wake up. It felt good to sleep. I vaguely remeber being wheeled into my room.

Food was just mediocre, nuthin special. One of the reasons I couldn't wait to get out of there! Would you honestly feed your family that crap?! I immediately missed my cousins cooking.

The nurses were borderline annoying. Why did I bother giving the hospital a medication list? The nurses almost never got it right. Oh the right medications yes, but the wrong doses or times to be given. One nurse tried to refuse to give my heart meds. She said my bloodpressure was too low for me to take them. It took me four times to convince her they were not for my bloodpressure, they were for my tachycardia. And yes, my bloodpressure is a bit on the low side becasue of it, this we already knew. It is well monitored. (I think my bloodpressure was goinG UP at this point) When I was discharged later I foudn teh list, at home on my desk along with another paper I was supposed to give the hospital. Haha, Oops. Maybe I filled out another one for them. Shoot, I can't remeber.

Only took pain meds once while in the hospital, and after that it was 2 Ibuprofen before going to bed the night after surgery.

It has now been three days since surgery, and I have not been woken up by a headache.


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