Thursday, October 25, 2012

this week..

This week 25 years ago,I was recently diagnosed with hydrocephalus and was having my shunt placed.I was diagnosed at 17 months and my parents were told multiple times that I didn't have it because of my lack of symptoms.A volunteer nurse ended up diagnosing me,and refereed us to a neurosurgeon.At the time my parents were told that I would probably need a revision every 2 or 3 years,and that it that my shunt *will* malfunction within about a 10 year period of time.He said if it didn't happen that it would mean that my hydrocephalus would have fixed itself and my shunt would have malfunctioned but I wouldn't have needed it anyway at that point.I made it past the 10 year point and this week I've had the same shunt for a quarter century.

I've found out since that both of those statements were wrong.50% of shunts malfunction or become infected within the first two years,so I had about twice the chance of my shunt malfunctioning as what they told us.70% of shunts malfunction within the first 10 years so although the risk is higher it's not impossible for it to keep on working.Also I know for a fact that my shunt still works because of a couple CT scans from a few years ago.At the point my shunt was working the same way it was 14 years earlier when I had my last CT scan done. I've had few problems with it until a few years ago,and the only time I really remembered thought of it was when I had to turn down playing contact sports as a kid.

I understand how blessed I am,and I doubt that it will be many more years before I need to finally get it replaced.No matter what happens in the future,I'll always be thankful for a "pain free" childhood and a normal life for several years out of high school.Thanks for reading..

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