Hydrocephalus and Brain Injury Awareness

Watched the movie, Shaun the Sheep yesterday after borrowing a copy from my library. I didn’t realize until I watched the film that one of the main themes was about brain injury. A character in the film, looses his memory and it shows how his brain injury impacted not only him, but also of the other characters in his life.   It was also animated by one of my favorite studios, Aardman Animation. This summer, Regal Cinemas was having a $1 Summer Movie Express where you could see selected films for $1. I won’t be able to see Shaun the Sheep on the day it will be at Regal Cinemas for $1, and I got a copy from my library.

September is Hydrocephalus Awareness Month.  I found this interesting article explaining the lifetime commitment of a shunt. For example, 
”Having a shunt is a lifetime commitment. Once a shunt is
implanted, it is not a “one time” operation. Life expectancy of a shunt
averages 10 years. However, a shunt can last 5 minutes to many years. It
is wise to always be aware of the warning signs for a “shunt
malfunction.” Retrieved from http://nhfonline.org/what-is-a-shunt.htm

During the last week, I’ve had nothing but discomfort from my Aesculap ProGav shunt.  I’ve come to the realization that it reacts to the weather and other magnets in the area. The last week or two it’s been either severe thunderstorms and extremely hot outside.  Both situations haven’t been good for my shunt. I have pain and throbbing on the shunt valve plus in my abdomen from the distal catheter. There are also pieces of my old shunt (which was falling apart in 2014) behind my right ear and in my abdomen.  This causes pain as well and I can sometimes feel pieces of the old shunt in my abdomen. I’m still trying to figure out to effectively manage the pain.  Not much seems to be known on the medical end about how these programmable valves actually work. I think if more was known about them, they wouldn’t be used as much. My new neurosurgeon even told me when I saw him earlier this summer, that he doesn’t use ProGav shunts because they’re temperamental and it takes a while before you even know the correct setting for the patient.  We need Star Trek level technology when dealing with the hydrocephalus.