Tuesday, November 24, 2015

VPL Shunt put back in, hard recovery, so happy!

**It appears there may be 5 incisions not the 4 I was thinking from last wks surgery, have to ask Dr.Bragg about this. But.. it seems like there are 2 under breast area, 2 along neck/area and 1 at the back of my head, where the proximal (tip) of the shunt goes in. Odd but wow and if so crazy (but grateful they do what's needed to get a good placement, as weird as that probably sounds)...
Sorry for no update after last weeks surgery - Dr.Bragg worked w the Peds General Surgeon and Anesthesia was able to (apparently if I am remembering right) do the whole surgery with just an LMA to secure airway. That admittedly floored me and made me (at the same time) a little nervous heading back to surgery. I know she was going to use some fixation device during surgery to get a good catheter placement in the ventricle at the back of my skull so maybe that helped and is why they where able to use LMA despite having to (I would think) reposition during.
All seemed to get well in surgery, though this one definitely kicked my butt as far as recovery time after! I have a bit of a difficult time as it is recovering from some of these surgeries but this one was something altogether! Per Dr.Bragg she was super happy with the placement of the catheter in the ventricle and had (If I am remembering right) really good CSF flow this time which I can believe given the noticeable difference in symptoms. =) Initially we reset the 1 shunt to drain at a high #/less CSF and apparently from what Dr.Bragg said today the new shunt must also have been set higher (drain less) than we normally go. Initially this was definitely needed and as this past wk wore on my shunt setting on the new shunt was set back down to the lowest (drains the most). The LP Shunt is apparently still got room to go down on it so that is actually a good thing (that we have room to adjust) to!
In total there are 4 incisions, 2 on my neck, 1 on my upper chest and 1 at the back of my skull where they tunnel the shunt catheter in to the ventricle. Typically we've been able to get a shunt placed with just 3 incisions but Dr.Bragg said my skin was so tough and hard to get the shunt catheter through so they needed to do more indepth access while tunneling the catheter.
Discomfort wise is actually still quite a bit, it is much improved from a week ago, when surgery was but definitely still a degree of soreness I'm not quite used to! I'd say the worst area(s) are where the shunt was tunneled in to pleural space (below R breast) and otherwise the other 3 are improved but variable, ie more discomfort than I would say is my normal (saying a lot). This all said I'd do it again in a heartbear, not even over this surgery pain but if needed this seems to be the best working shunt we've had in a long, long time! I don't feel 100% and have virtually no appetite (not sure I ate any full meals this wk and even fairly minimal snacking) but I do feel better - not 100% but sure is better than leading up to this surgery! We've had 2 shunts before in place and working but this appears to be the best! Yay!!
I actually don't know how long surgery took but however long it was, was totally worth it and even with the discomfort I am sooo, soooo glad we put the 2nd one back in AND that it seems to be working so well!
This surgery definitely played with my mind a bit, what a week (lol) for odd things or instances I would fine myself in but to feel probably 70% better all I can say is ALELUIJAH! (sorry sp)! I told my Mom today if this shunt lasted like this for 6mo I'd celebrate (and I rarely ever (if ever) do the 'maybe this will be the last time we see you/maybe this time is it' thing!
I see Dr.Bragg Thurs next wk so we'll decide then if we're going to adjust the setting on the other shunt then.

Otherwise I see Cardiology for 3mo f/up, 6mo Echo on Tues so hopefully that goes well! Thanks for stopping by,
Erica >< div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">

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