Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Not feeling well, Headed back to Baltimore

Not feeling well, Headed back to Baltimore.

The last couple of days have not been good ones.

My headaches at times have seemed to ramp up but something else is going on.

I noticed very suddenly a sharp pain in my neck (the side where the shunt is) and then excruciating pain set in and has not let up.

My neck has become very stiff, tender, and sore. It is swollen in places and feels liked knots have developed within the shunt tubing. To turn my head to the right is impossible. I am not able to raise my arms without tears coming to my eyes. The reservoir in my head where the shunt is feels “different” I cannot explain it very well but it does not seem as large and protruding.

I am also running a low grade fever. This is not a good thing. Being that I just had brain surgery less than a month ago this is very concerning even if it is low grade.

I have redness that almost looks like a rash down my neck, over the collarbone and down my chest. This is not good at all. This is a sign of an infection.

I have been told on numerous occasions that any fever and redness along the shunt track is sign of infection and needs to be taken care of ASAP.

After being in contact with my Neurosurgeon, she prescribed a heavy duty muscle relaxer, which did nothing, and ordered some test. The first series of test were X-rays of the abdomen, cervical and skull. In these series of test they were looking to see if any of the “hardware” had dislodged or moved. It has not. The second set of test was a CT scan. I do not know the results of these yet.

After much phone tag and debate, Dr. D feels it is best if I come in to her office to let her examine me, because lets face it you can’t examine someone over the phone. What concerns her is the fever, swelling and redness as these are all classic signs of a shunt infection. In my conversation with her she did mention possible hospitalization for I.V. therapy but we will cross that bridge when we get there.

I thought the headaches were bad, but couple those with this neck pain and WOW! It has begun to hurt when I walk and go up and down a step as that seems to jostle everything. Now, trying to lay down in a bed….well lets just say that thank God Wes is here.

So that is the latest. Wes and I will leave tomorrow at 6:00 a.m. We have found that this time avoids the traffic congestion in Richmond, Fredericksburg, and D.C. I am not looking forward to the car ride because every bump is going to be so painful.

Just when I think I have reached my threshold of pain, it gets upped again.

I am hoping and praying that the shunt is not infected and that a hospitalization or surgery is not going to be required.

Hope is sometimes all we have left, but it is something very grand to hold onto.

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