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I was born with Congenital Hydrocephalus in 1980, at 4 months old I had my first shunt placed to relieve pressure in my head. I had my first revision in 1985 at 5 years old, and again at 12 and 17. I didn’t have any problems until I was 34 years old.
Now, most of you know this story, but I will tell you all again. On December 15th, 2012, my family (Shannon and Brenden) and I were in an accident. We were hit by a semi truck on I-84 east of The Dalles in Oregon. After that accident, I started having headaches and signs of a shunt malfunction. During our time in Moses Lake area, we went through several doctors and ER visits where they didn’t think or know what was going on. Several times they told me I just had a sinus infection. On January 29th, 2014 I lost vision in both eyes, Shannon took me to the ER the morning of the Superbowl and they sent me home with an appointment to see the neurologist the next morning. That Monday I was sent to the ER and later admitted to the hospital at first for observation, then Tuesday night the neurosurgeon decided surgery was needed and I was placed on the schedule for shunt revision the next day. They went in and found that the shunt was working fine but the tubing flowing from the shunt was kinked. So, he went and replaced that tubing, the problem was that they didn’t have an exact match to the tubing and had to go with the new ones. This caused major problems for me while in the hospital, and on the Monday following the first surgery I had to have the original shunt replaced with a programable one. Since then I have had nothing but problems.
On December 9th, 2014, I had a stomach surgery because the shunt tubing had created a blockage. On January 29th, 2015, I had another revision because the bottom of the tubing was blocked. After that surgery, I had headaches on and off again, but no major problems until March of this year. I started having more and more headaches as well as started seizures. In May of 2018 I was placed in the ER after I fell at home and had a headache that wouldn’t go away. That first night I had surgery and was placed in the Surgical ICU with an External Ventricle Drain. The root of the problem, an infection that had been brewing for 4 years. After 2 more surgeries, I was released with IV antibiotics for a month. And we thought everything was great.
Out of no where, on the morning of October 3rd, 2018, my vision went out in my right eye as well which landed me in the ER again, with another surgery and another longer stint in the Surgical ICU. The infection never fully went away after the first surgeries in May. This time they think everything is okay with my head. So we will see.
This is a journey, and I am thankful that I have the people in my life that I do, especially Shannon, who is taking care of me during this recovery and learning phase of my life.