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 My treatment is about to change

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PostSubject: My treatment is about to change   Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:56 pm


Recently I had a cerebral angiogram at the Mayo Clinic. They
found that the side of the venous sinus that appeared to not have any blood
flow actually did have blood flow. That vessel is abnormally congenitally
small. The surgeon said that he feared that stenting would tear the vessel and
even if it didn't it probably wouldn't have much benefit. The doctors at Shands
and at Mayo feel that a shunt is my only option other than the status quo of
constant unbearable pain. I expect to hear from Mayo to schedule the VP shunt
surgery next week.

I have had many surgical procedures (orthopedic, abdominal,
etc.) and have never been so scared in all of my life. You would think that a
fifty year old man wouldn't be so scared. Now that I am resolved that this is
going to happen; I am ready to get it over with. With the exception of the time
that my mother was dying I never prayed very much but I am praying that this
shunt will relieve my pain and never malfunction. I read about revisions on
this site all of the time. Doesn't anyone get a VP shunt that lasts forever?


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PostSubject: Re: My treatment is about to change   Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:14 pm

Mark I am so pleased to hear from you! I very much understand your fear of having a shunt surgery, especially when you have read stories of problems that have arisen for those of us who have shunts.

My first shunt was an LP shunt which I had for 5 years and completely did what it was meant to do, however I was unable to tolerate it in my back and so it was revised to a VP shunt. I will be honest, I have had several of these because of unforeseen problems, and the one I have now has been in for 4 years.

Like you I was scared to death of having a shunt, but in the end I was prepared to go through anything to get rid of the constant pain in my head, and not have to be afraid to open my eyes in the morning in case that was the day my sight failed.

I know you never get to read many success stories, and it isn't because there aren't any, it is because once a sufferers treatment is successful and they reach remission, they don't feel the need to use a support group anymore, but to just get on with living a normal life once again.

It is possible to be shunted and have no problems whatsoever, and you could be one of those. Think of all the surgeries you've had, and the risks they told you about at the time, but yet you still had the surgery because you knew there was a very good chance that it would improve your health.

How you feel is totally natural and you aren't alone with feeling like this because we all know and understand, especially the ones who have been through the surgery and complications of infections and blockages.

Please keep asking as many questions as you need to and remember we are all here for you Mark. Give yourself time to take in what they have told you about this surgery because it is hard to get to grips with straightaway. Discuss it with your family so you can benefit fully from their support, and they understand what you're feeling and going through.

Feel free to PM.


Last edited by Heidi on Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: My treatment is about to change   Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:16 am

Hi Mark,
I too understand your feelings. I opted for a lp shunt because I was afraid of getting the vp shunt. I have read about the terrible failure rates too, but I keep hoping that mine will be one of the good ones. Mine was installed Nov. 1st, and so far so good. I hope that you too will have a problem free experience. But being aware that there can be failures prepares us for the worse as we rejoice in the good times.
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