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Old 12-04-2015, 03:35 PM   #1
Nursenicole103180
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Default 1st time vp shunt

Hi everyone. I had a vp shunt put in on Nov 25, due to iih. I was in the hospital for 4 days due to BP issues and syncope right after but that has since resolved. I was discharged but wasnt told what was normal vs not normal as far as healing and feelings. So I've been finding myself searching the Web for answers, which are all over the place. I don't feel good. I'm exhausted, my head hurts, it feels like it's full of pressure.. And alot of pressure near my eyes... Almost sinus infection like, but I don't have one. I'm guessing this is normal seeings surgery was only 9 days ago, but I live alone with my 8 year old son and admittedly, I'm afraid. Any advice, suggestions, stories ect would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
Nicole
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:37 PM   #2
Merl1n
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Originally Posted by Nursenicole103180 View Post
Hi everyone. I had a vp shunt put in on Nov 25, due to iih. I was in the hospital for 4 days due to BP issues and syncope right after but that has since resolved. I was discharged but wasnt told what was normal vs not normal as far as healing and feelings. So I've been finding myself searching the Web for answers, which are all over the place. I don't feel good. I'm exhausted, my head hurts, it feels like it's full of pressure.. And alot of pressure near my eyes... Almost sinus infection like, but I don't have one. I'm guessing this is normal seeings surgery was only 9 days ago, but I live alone with my 8 year old son and admittedly, I'm afraid. Any advice, suggestions, stories ect would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
Nicole
Hey Nicole,
Believe me when I say that that fear is normal. At first, every little twinge, every little ache and I was hitting the panic button. But over time you do learn which pains/sensations need attention and which ones do not. I am almost 20yrs since insertion of the initial shunt and 3 yrs post my last incident and revision. My wife will often look at me in agony and ask if I need an ambulance, which I decline, saying "...things will settle..." and they normally do. I think for me the biggest thing is to be aware, not afraid, nor alarmed, just aware.
For me the worst thing is the headaches and the unrelenting pressure in my eyes and face. I've been to see an ENT specialist and been told all is OK, but I can tell you it feels FAR from fine imo. Now as I say it's been 3yrs since my last surgery and still things aren't good, but 9 days ago? things are still healing and I have found that recovery is a long, slow (very slow) road. I tried to push myself to recover and get back to work, ahh don't do that, it seems I may have pushed myself too hard and done myself more harm than good. And now the dr's are telling me it is unlikely I'll ever be able to return to my former employment. Grrrrrrrrr, not happy. So slowly, slowly. Listen to your body, it will tell you when it needs rest. And do not be like me and push yourself too much.

Hope it helps
Merl1n
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Nursenicole103180 (12-05-2015)
Old 12-05-2015, 07:48 AM   #3
Nursenicole103180
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Thank you for your response. It's very much appreciated. I was suppose to return back to work in 2 more days, but it's been extended an additional week. I think the difficult part of recovery is besides the incisions in my head and having no hair, I outwardly look fine! Inward, now that's a different story. Every pain I feel I panic that something is wrong. I don't know what my "new normal" should feel like. The stabbing pains in my abdomen are so alarming but from what I've read in the site, they appear to be typical. I honestly didn't know that I would feel this poor after surgery. My neurosurgeon said I would be in the hospital for 1 overnight, and back to work in 10 days. Neither of which happened.
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Old 12-05-2015, 11:04 PM   #4
Merl1n
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Originally Posted by Nursenicole103180 View Post
Thank you for your response. It's very much appreciated. I was suppose to return back to work in 2 more days, but it's been extended an additional week. I think the difficult part of recovery is besides the incisions in my head and having no hair, I outwardly look fine! Inward, now that's a different story. Every pain I feel I panic that something is wrong. I don't know what my "new normal" should feel like. The stabbing pains in my abdomen are so alarming but from what I've read in the site, they appear to be typical. I honestly didn't know that I would feel this poor after surgery. My neurosurgeon said I would be in the hospital for 1 overnight, and back to work in 10 days. Neither of which happened.
Hey Nicole,
That "...new normal..." is different for everybody, so to be saying "this is how it should be..." is wrong imo. With every surgery I have had a different result to 'normal'. Like you, my surgeon gave me an expectation of weeks, but since my last operation it has been years (2 almost 3 now) and things still are not right. Now I am being told this is the 'new normal' which I'm not happy about 'cos this is FAR, FAR from anything like normal. I was very frustrated with myself as the dr's had given me an expectation of weeks and it hasn't happened. I pushed myself to reach these expectations and done more harm than good. The dr's talk about 'acceptance' but how do I accept that what I had is gone. This has been and still is the hardest part for me. I do not believe any of us actually go through this knowing how awful bad the recovery can be.
Best of luck with it all and keep us informed of your progress

Merl1n
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Old 12-07-2015, 04:44 PM   #5
Nursenicole103180
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Thank you again for your response. Today had been a difficult day. I can't lift my head off of my pillow without being in excruciating pain. Even when my bag is down, the headache is just awful and it's been like this for 15 hrs so far. This is awful. Idk if I should wait it out, or if I need to be seen.
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:17 PM   #6
Merl1n
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Originally Posted by Nursenicole103180 View Post
Thank you again for your response. Today had been a difficult day. I can't lift my head off of my pillow without being in excruciating pain. Even when my bag is down, the headache is just awful and it's been like this for 15 hrs so far. This is awful. Idk if I should wait it out, or if I need to be seen.
Awful?? I use a bit more colourful language personally, but that's me lol.
As for the waiting to see, this is very much a personal decision. For example I was having concerns. I went to my PCP, who told me "...they operated, they fixed. So get back to work..." which I did, but hell, I was unwell. When I went to see the surgeon for a follow up things were BAD. The surgeon got angry with me as I did not go and see him. But to see him I needed a referral from my PCP who said everything was fine. So IMHO, if you have concerns, get it checked out. What's the worst they an say? "There is nothing to worry about..." or leave it and end up with major complications. You, and only you can make this assessment.
Merl1n
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