We have had such a busy week – three doctor’s appointments for the man of the house.
Tuesday, we ventured to his neurologist. He received some changes to his current medications (increasing dosages) and two new additions.
We’ve already discontinued one of those new meds — it wasn’t working, and our appointment today confirmed that it probably wasn’t going to work for Chad’s particular issues.
Today we traveled to Winston-Salem to have Chad’s shunt reset and learn about our next non-surgical options.
The shunt is now set at .5 — which is the final setting this particular shunt can accommodate.
None of us are very optimistic that this last setting will ease any of the pain – and we’re all sure that this particular shunt has been worked to the max.
The issue is drainage from his ventricles.
The left ventricle is draining with the help of the shunt. Normally, the two ventricles flow with each other — divided by a mesh-like membrane that allows for the fluid to flow between the two. They communicate with each other & adjust flow so they flow equally. They should be in sync.
Something is amiss; obviously caused by the tumor resection in March. The anatomy of the ventricles was compromised, and they no longer communicate with each other.
The left one is draining and looks normal.
The right one is not draining & is large, swollen and putting pressure on the right side of his brain. This is believed to be the cause of the intense and constant headache.
And, today we learned that we’ve exhausted all of our medicinal resources. Nothing helps the pain – and nothing is going to. The only option to reduce the frequency and intensity of the headaches is another shunt surgery.
Right now, we have very limited information.
We want to give this final shunt setting a chance to work. We hope it works. We would love to avoid another surgery.
Chad is really weary of surgeries – and I don’t blame him. It’s hard, for everyone.
In the few minutes that we spoke with the surgeon in the clinic today, we learned about two options. As I said, we received extremely limited information. We will learn more when we go back in a couple of weeks.
Basically, the two options are:
1) Add a second shunt to be directly responsible for the right ventricle.
2) Revise the current shunt location. They would move it to the mesh-like area in between the ventricles so it will release fluid from both sides equally.
I am thrilled that Chad is even considering this surgery.
When the PA told us we had exhausted all medicinal therapies, I saw his face change. It’s not what he wanted to hear — he wanted a non-surgical option. We’re both tired of hospitals, and I hate to be a surgery pusher. I just want him to feel better!
So, now we wait. Again.
We’ll know more when we return to Winston-Salem on November 30.
It’s quite possible Chad will have surgery in the next few weeks & feel better by Christmas!
That’s what I”m hoping for.
Tomorrow, we’re off to see Chad’s oncologist in Raleigh. I have no idea what we’re supposed to be discussing – I can’t keep track.
I will keep you posted as we find out more information about everything & anything concerning Chad.
Thank you, as always, for your never-ending support and concern.