September is national hydrocephalus awareness month,which was helped passed in 2009 by the pediatric hydrocephalus foundation.Although I'm not doing as much as I want to or even as much as I did last year,I'm still taking some part in it.I changed my facebook cover photo and profile picture to hydrocephalus related pictures.Also I've been writing status updates and posting pictures.I'm also trying to use this month to start talking about my condition more publicly,instead of just online.The reason for that is to let people know why I act differently,what I really deal with,and that there might be a point where I'll need brain surgery again,and it might be very sudden.
Awareness is important for any medical conditions,and even more for conditions that are invisible.A "invisible" condition is one where you can't tell someone has it by looking at them.You can't see my scars and the only time someone could notice that I've had brain surgery was right after I had it as a toddler.You can see my shunt on my neck and collar bone,but it could be missed or mistaken for something else like a vein.The ways that it effects me are usually mistaken for normal problems,or even just not caring.
Another important reason for awareness is for people who are uneducated or just ignorant about medical conditions.Other than hydrocephalus some of these include down syndrome,and lupus.A common misconception about hydrocephalus that's it's been cured because of how well the treatment can work when it comes to being mentally function able.Also because the treatment usually shrinks the skull back to the normal size or close to it.It's something that's usually seen and made fun of because people think of hydrocephalus the way you would see it on google images.The majority of pictures on google that is tagged with hydrocephalus are other children and some adults with extreme hydrocephalus.Then most of them were from before sixty years ago when the first effective shunt was first invented,and in third world countries.That's what causes people to believe it's cured,and they wouldn't be able to spot someone with hydrocephalus because that's the only thing that comes to mind.Extreme hydrocephalus is also commonly joked about as "waterheads" or involved in urban legends.A well known comedian who has made a joke about "waterheads" is Larry the cable guy,who also helped give a lot of the impression that people with hydrocephalus are mentally retarded.
A personal and important reason for awareness for me is to make people connect my name with hydrocephalus,and I don't mean only think of me for that.So that when they meet someone else with it,or may have it,or if someone else that they known is dx'd with it they will know who will come to for questions and support.I don't mean coming to me and asking questions that they should ask a nsg.Instead having someone to talk to that knows what it's like to have the condition,on top of asking the doctor questions as well.
Thanks for reading,and I'm hoping to post more on a regular basis instead of skipping weeks because the melon season should be coming to a close in about a month.