Hey, all! Welcome to the latest edition of "This is Aaron's Life", starring Aaron Kester! We thought it might be easier on Aaron (and our folks), over the next several days or so, to create this site as an informational "hub" for people to stay up to date on his surgical/post-surgical/recovery status without him receiving a million different texts from all the people in his life who care about him.
If you're not quite sure what all is/has been going on, below is a brief synopsis. All your thoughts and prayers are appreciated and we'll keep you all updated periodically as we're able.
Back Story: -High school- Hole in the head to to place a shunt/drain in a cyst. -Last fall- Blasted in the head/face by a large car part at work. Subsequent headaches relieved by migraine medication. -This spring- Severe headaches returned with no relief from medications. Ability to work, greatly diminished. Significant weight-loss, dizziness, and weakness resulting in inability to drive and being virtually home-bound. -July 1- Transported home to live with mom and dad until health concerns are resolved. Impaired vision and hearing occurring as well. -September 4- Scheduled for surgery at 11am
Summary: Since returning to Lincoln, Aaron has seen an Internist, Optometrist, Neurologist, Neuro-opthalmologist, and a Neuro-surgeon. After an MRI, a bunch of lab tests, and two spinal taps, doctors have determined that its, as Aaron puts it, "not a toomah". The culprit is what's called idiopathic intracranial hypertension (which causes all the same symptoms as a tumor...but without an actual tumor).
While this may have been a result of the "head injury" last fall, the diagnosis basically means that he has unexplained, massively increased pressure in his head and spine from his body not being able to either properly reabsorb and/or drain CSF (cerebrospinal fluid). The opening pressure on the two spinal taps he's had these last several weeks were higher than what the meter could register, and significant symptom relief was virtually immediate (albeit temporary).
Unfortunately, having a "tap" every two weeks for the rest of your life is not a feasible long-term treatment plan, so he will be undergoing surgery tomorrow to have a shunt placed to help permanently relieve the pressure and reverse the symptoms that it has caused.
The shunt will be lumbo-peritoneal, which means a tube will be permanently inserted into his spine and will terminate in his abdomen where the excess fluid will be naturally absorbed by the body. The procedure will take somewhere around 90 minutes and is, thankfully, minimally invasive with very little risk for complication.
All your attention and concern has gone a long way in helping Aaron through the constant physical pain and the endless worry about work, health, and the indefinite time frame for resolution and recovery. Both he and our entire family appreciate you all for the role you play in his life. He's a special guy with a lot of special people in his life and we will keep you informed of his status through this avenue until he communicates with you all directly (which will hopefully be soon).