For those of you who have been around awhile, some of this is old news. However, some folks may not know my history, so I thought I would give a little history. Reintroduce myself, if you will…
I was born with hydrocephalus (excess fluid on the brain). When I was 28 days old I had my 1st shunt implanted. The shunt drains the excess fluid from the brain, thus, relieving the pressure. I was fine for several years, however, when I was young I had my first shunt malfunction and had my 2nd brain surgery to repair it. (Shunt malfunctions are not uncommon with hydrocephalus.) Several years later, before we moved to Alaska, I had another surgery to lengthen my shunt tubing to accommodate my future growth. (The doctor said I had enough excess tubing to grow 6′ tall, which I think is hilarious, considering I have been 4’9″ since the 6th grade. Now I am just carrying around a bunch of extra tubing in my abdomen. LOL)
Skip forward a few years and the doctors told us I had outgrown (no pun intended) my condition. So, from that point forward, any symptoms I had were never really even considered as potential hydrocephalus related issues. I spent years dealing with headaches, neck pain, and back pain that no one could attribute to any underlying condition and I just dealt with by managing the pain.
During these years I often found myself explaining to people “I was born with hydrocephalus (and then explain what it is), but I have outgrown the condition. However, I still have this cool tubing inside me. You can actually see it on my neck. Wanna touch it??” That has always been met with a mixture of responses. Some people are intrigued and are willing to touch it. Others are a bit freaked out. LOL Either way, it has always been fun at parties. 😉
So, that is the back story. However, it does not explain where things stand now. We will cover that in the next blog post!
Everyone loves a good cliff hanger, right? LOL
Meanwhile, did you know that Tim Conway had hydrocephalus? There are several other (less notable) historical figures who also had the rare condition.
You can also check out this website (Hydrocephalus Association) to learn more about this condition.