It’s Groundhog Day!

2016-02-15 09.21.03

Alex seems to have a knack of requiring medical attention on significant days – My birthday, Jenny’s birthday, New years eve, Christmas eve, Christmas day etc etc. Well, we just had Valentines day didn’t we. Guess where we ended up.
Alex woke up on Saturday morning and his behaviour and symptoms were an almost perfect copy of Christmas eve morning. Slurred speech, disorientation and distress. A few quick calls to the Neurosurgery registrar and the Michael Rice center confirmed what we already knew – head in to hospital.

Phil did the hard yards this time, taking Alex in and calming him through ED, admission, X-rays and another MRI. The X-ray showed the shunt itself was intact and undamaged – a good first step since it reduced the risk of needing more surgery – then the MRI confirmed there was no blockage in the shunt or the catheters, and that the CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) level was low. The problem, as it was before Christmas, was the shunt was removing to much fluid causing pressure on the brain where it was no longer properly supported.

Upside: no surgery required
Downside: The neurosurgery team had to adjust the shunt and required Alex (and Phil) to stay in hospital a second night for observation.

A relatively big upside and fairly minor downside – though poor Phil got very little sleep two nights running – and Alex came home on Monday, having satisfactorily adjusted to the higher pressure.

Alex’s original shunt was set to 80 (we aren’t sure what units of measurement are used to describe this, we are just hoping it’s not PSI) when the new shunt was put in it was set to 100, and has now been adjusted to 110.

Hopefully this won’t happen again for a while – though it’s probably going to reappear if Alex has a growth spurt – so fingers crossed for an uneventful few months at least until the next MRI in June.

Thankyou all for your messages, love, hospital visits and support, they really do help so much.