U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Health and Wellness
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 05-04-2019, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,351 posts, read 7,501,291 times
Reputation: 15950

Advertisements

I'll turn seventy late this summer-- have been favored with general good health except for a severe scoliosis (spinal curvature) treated very successfully by the "heavy duty" spinal fusion favored at the time (1960).

But about two years ago, problems began to crop up; it began with a sciatica which diminished without treatment after a few months. My gait slowly changed into a "shuffle" and my driving ability deteriorated with two fender-bender accidents. The second of the two sent me to a hospital overnight, where an MRI revealed a slightly swollen (fourth) ventricle on my brain stem, but no action was immediately recommended.

I stopped driving at that point, and returned to the smaller community where I planned to retire. Senior paratransit met most of my mobility concerns, and further neurological tests were inconclusive.

In February of this year, I took a fall on my basement steps which, followed by one episode of nausea two days later, led to another hospitalization, in the ICU this time. Emphasis shifted from my mobility to the ventricular issue previously noted, and it appears more likely, as time passes, that normal-pressure, adult-onset hydrocephalus is the culprit here.

At this point, It appears increasingly likely that installation of a shunt will be recommended. But it's also been suggested that a temporary shunt, from which cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) could be withdrawn and monitored for a few days, might be in order first. A lumbar puncture* was performed last week, and although it was suggested that the removal of 30cc of CSF might mitigate the symptoms for a short time, this did not materialize.

A family history of auricular fibrillation has also been detected (my mother suffered a fatal stroke in which this was a factor, but not until age 80) but I'm told that the two issues likely aren't related.

So it looks like it's time for another lesson in the wonders of advanced medicine; given the disappointments of the onset of a chronic issue at the time of what should be the prime of my retirement, I'm inclined toward taking an aggressive stance.

* As an aside, toward others of "my age" who might be intimidated by the terms "lumbar puncture" or "spinal tap", I can't emphasize enough that advances such as table fluoroscopes and better local anesthesia have made the process a lot less unpleasant.

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 05-04-2019 at 03:26 PM..
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-04-2019, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
27,093 posts, read 5,882,815 times
Reputation: 30347
Wow...sorry this has cropped up...we never know what's coming our way.

Are you anxious about the shunt?

People can live basically normal lives with them, possibly your negative effects might all dissipate. Be glad you live in an era in which diagnosis/medical treatment for it is available...

Be strong. Best of luck.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-24-2019, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,351 posts, read 7,501,291 times
Reputation: 15950
Progress on this issue is like pouring ketchup out of a bottle ; "nothing comes out -- then a lot'll "

Some of the symptoms had manifested themselves as far back as three years ago; those showed up after a minor auto accident (described in Post #!) and the issue was raised (by another hospital), but it was not until after a couple of other possibilities were eliminated that hydrocephalus again was considered.

Since that time (seven weeks ago) things have moved quickly; I consented to a lumbar puncture, (as previously described) but only after being reassured that fluoroscopes and improved local anesthesia had made the process a lot less painful (and that turned out to be true).

Was your spinal tap helpful ?

But two separate departments (neurology and neurosurgery) were involved, and the surgeons didn't get all the desired data.

So it looked like more testing and indecision were in order -- until the two departments agreed that the lumbar drain (a three-day process whereby cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is constantly withdrawn and evaluated (often part of the usual pre-surgical process) would suffice.

So I'll be going in for that three-day evaluation immediately after the holiday weekend, and if no red flags are raised, shunt surgery the morning after the study ends. Most of my new friends at the hydro support group are in agreement with this choice.

I'll keep the readership informed -- thoughts and prayers appreciated.

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 05-24-2019 at 07:56 PM..
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-25-2019, 01:52 AM
 
Location: colorado springs, CO
4,928 posts, read 2,274,474 times
Reputation: 16585
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
I'll keep the readership informed -- thoughts and prayers appreciated.
Well, I will give you mine! How scary but good for you for keeping up with it; the earlier the treatment, the better the prognosis.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-31-2019, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,351 posts, read 7,501,291 times
Reputation: 15950
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
So I'll be going in for that three-day evaluation immediately after the holiday weekend, and if no red flags are raised, shunt surgery the morning after the study ends. Most of my new friends at the hydro support group are in agreement with this choice.

I'll keep the readership informed -- thoughts and prayers appreciated.
So on the day after Memorial Day, I was admitted to the hospital and another needle, connected to a drainage bag by a spaghetti-sized tube was inserted (as before, the process was completely painless), and for 48 hours, spinal fluid was drawn off at a rate of about 10 cc per hour. At the conclusion, the surgeon came by to explain to me that since neither the "spinal tap", nor the continuous drain provided any relief from the overt symptoms, the shunt probably wouldn't either, so the procedure was "scrubbed". Since this was the same individual to whom I'd vented at the first mention of the tests. my respect for him has gone through the roof.

Unfortunately, this news also means it's a case of "back to the drawing board" as far as what measures can be taken.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coschristi View Post
Well, I will give you mine! How scary but good for you for keeping up with it; the earlier the treatment, the better the prognosis.
I hold to certain spiritual values. but I don't view the Deity as some sort of cosmic favor-dispensing agency along the lines of Boss Tweed or the late Chicago mayor Richard Daley; when somebody wishes me "good luck" in a situation like this one, my usual answer is "Not 'good luck' but 'safe journey' ", because we're all headed to the same place.

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 05-31-2019 at 07:06 PM..
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-25-2019, 06:32 AM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,351 posts, read 7,501,291 times
Reputation: 15950
And the plot thickens,

It will be at least another week before I'll get an update on my condition from a neurologist, but I'm fortunate to share my living quarters with an EMT and licensed massage therapist, and with some help from the local Home Health Association, I've been put on a regimen of daily exercise -- and held to it.

And it appears to be paying off; yesterday, I was able to rise unassisted (not even a chair to grab onto) for the first time since the condition intensified four months ago.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-25-2019, 08:42 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,744 posts, read 7,025,154 times
Reputation: 14219
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
And the plot thickens,

It will be at least another week before I'll get an update on my condition from a neurologist, but I'm fortunate to share my living quarters with an EMT and licensed massage therapist, and with some help from the local Home Health Association, I've been put on a regimen of daily exercise -- and held to it.

And it appears to be paying off; yesterday, I was able to rise unassisted (not even a chair to grab onto) for the first time since the condition intensified four months ago.
That's great news!

Here's hoping you continue to improve.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-25-2019, 12:51 PM
 
3,997 posts, read 2,602,979 times
Reputation: 8641
Glad things are getting better. Hopefully they will continue to improve.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-25-2019, 10:47 PM
 
321 posts, read 106,486 times
Reputation: 593
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
And the plot thickens,

It will be at least another week before I'll get an update on my condition from a neurologist, but I'm fortunate to share my living quarters with an EMT and licensed massage therapist, and with some help from the local Home Health Association, I've been put on a regimen of daily exercise -- and held to it.

And it appears to be paying off; yesterday, I was able to rise unassisted (not even a chair to grab onto) for the first time since the condition intensified four months ago.
My wife has hydrocephalus, since birth. I work in a hospital, on all the floors, including neuro ICU, emergency. It’s been an interesting marriage. We’ve been married 8 years and are in our 30’s. She’s had several surgeries since we’ve been married, mainly due to shunt infections. Shunts have drained to the heart, stomach, and lung cavity. Long hospital stays. It’s been hard, healthcare is not cheap, we even lived with my parents awhile to pay off medical bills. That backfired. While we lived there, the house flooded twice in 6 months, lost possessions, lost my brother tragically and grandparents. When it rains it pours, literally and figuratively. Wife doesn’t drive, she works part time, and is doing ok. We’re hanging in there.

Your doctor did the right thing. If the external drain didn’t help, neither would the shunt. The external ventricular drains provide relief in a short time frame, it’s fairly black and white if a shunt is needed. Since decreasing intracranial pressure via continuous drain didn’t help, perhaps you were born with the brain abnormality shown on the MRI, and actually have an auto immune-like disease, such as Parkinson’s. Which features a very classic shuffle walk, mobility issues, and onset in someone’s 60’s. Just a thought. Has the neurologist ruled that out? Do you have tremors? Loss of smell? Did they do a CT scan to confirm what the MRI showed? Neuro is challenging, signs and symptoms can be so subtle and subjective. Hope you get to feeling better.

Last edited by Matthew_MI; 06-26-2019 at 12:15 AM..
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-26-2019, 05:21 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
2,777 posts, read 1,056,129 times
Reputation: 5981
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post

But about two years ago, problems began to crop up; it began with a sciatica which diminished without treatment after a few months. My gait slowly changed into a "shuffle" and my driving ability deteriorated with two fender-bender accidents. The second of the two sent me to a hospital overnight, where an MRI revealed a slightly swollen (fourth) ventricle on my brain stem, but no action was immediately recommended.




.

In the full-blown, classic case of NPH, gait abnormalities, urinary incontinence and progressive dementia are present with CT/MRI findings of enlarged lateral (1st & 2nd) and 3rd ventricles of the brain. The enlarged ventricles define it as "hydrocephalus" while the pressure measured as a spinal tap is done is found to be normal (as opposed to high pressure found when something like a tumor blocking flow of CSF is the cause.) https://radiopaedia.org/articles/nor...-hydrocephalus


You have only one of the symptoms in the classic triad (one very common in many other conditions, including normal aging) and a CT not typical of NPH. Time to consider another diagnosis?
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 

Quick Reply
Message:
Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Health and Wellness
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top