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The waiting is over tomorrow – Shunt revision 5 (brain surgery 6) begins at 7:30 PS

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

The waiting is over tomorrow – Shunt revision 5 (brain surgery 6) begins at 7:30 PST

With everything in life the waiting is the hardest part. This one since it really is brain surgery has been harder than most. At one point I figured maybe, just maybe I might get through my lifetime without needing another one. Shunt 4 made its debut 28 years ago this past December and that’s some sort of record for these devices. Interestingly enough the device is intact – it is the skin that is compromised so that the device is working its way out. If that had happened well the rest of the story would quickly change to include infection and related problems.

Many of you know by now that I am deaf and my hearing journey has been at best a roller coaster ride (not big on roller coasters BTW) My hearing is a moving target. Tomorrow’s surgery will be my 7th in as many years. And every one of these surgeries came to be because of prednisone dosing in an effort to save my natural hearing which it did for 1-1/2 years and then gave another 1-1/2 years (fluctuating).

But steroids aren’t a good thing. Prednisone caused rapid cataract growth on both eyes – so two cataract surgeries. Prednisone caused a more unpredictable ataxic gait (the Charlie Chaplain walk ;-)) so two major falls which tore rotator cuffs. And in the end even with prednisone I lost my hearing – had CI surgeries – original in 2011 and a revision after implant failure in 2012. And now, again, because of the prednisone and the affect it had on my skin, my shunt valve is breaking through the skin on my scalp which is the reason for tomorrow’s surgery.

And with all this is the fact that anesthesia as well as antibiotics and narcotic pain killers are ototoxic so with each new adventure a little more hearing loss with the CI. It’s not what anyone would expect. And yet, to look at me in my most recent photo, I look completely normal…not sure what that means but you can see for yourself. I sound normal and other than stumbling or doing the Charlie Chaplain shuffle I get around by myself. So I really am in great shape for the shape I’m in and a single visit to a teaching hospital serves to remind me of that.

My scheduled check in is 5:30 tomorrow morning with surgery following at 7:30 – hoping for a simple procedure but with the compromised skin and the age of the catheter that attaches to the valve well – all bets are off. With a simple procedure I’ll be home for the weekend. More than that, I’ll be home when I’m discharged so trusting that it will be the surgery behind door #1.

At 7:30 PST think of me and play your favorite piece of music.

Until I’m back Peace


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