The Wonderful World of Hydrocephalus: Part 5, Shunt Malfunctions

John Holter, Wife, and Son

Shall we start with a wee-bit of history. It’s just so interesting. To be brief, a guy had a son. The son was born with hydrocephalus. The father was an engineer and invented the shunt in order to save his son’s life. Unfortunately, his son passed away before they “perfected” the shunt. But his passion to … Continue reading

The Wonderful World of Hydrocephalus: Part 4, How Shunts Work

How Shunts Work

Shunts. One of two ways to control hydrocephalus and the most common. – – – – – – – – – – – – The quick version. A flexible 1/8″ in diameter tube (ventricular catheter)–usually made of Silastic plastic well tolerated by body tissue–is placed into the CSF system via the ventricles, and diverts the flow of … Continue reading

The Wonderful World of Hydrocephalus: Part 3, How Hydrocephalus Works

How Hydrocephalus Works

Let’s begin with your central nervous system. Your brain and spinal cord form your central nervous system. Your central nervous system protects your skull and vertebrae. Between the skull and vertebrae are membranes (meninges) that surround your brain and spinal cord. This space, the subarachnoid space, is where cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flows. CSF is basically salt … Continue reading

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Hydrocephalus: Part 2, The Basics

Ellisa During a Shunt Malfunction

Let’s cover the basics* this week: What is hydrocephalus? Also known as “water in the brain,” hydrocephalus is a medical condition in which there is an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the ventricles, or cavities, of the brain. Is there a treatment for it? Yes, there are two types of treatment, both of which require surgical procedures by a … Continue reading

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Hydrocephalus: Part 1, The Facts

(L) Ellisa's Ventricles as of March 2012 (R) Ellisa's Ventricles Before Her VP Shunt

Wonderful World? No. Wonderfully complex? Yes. And hydrocephalus seems to be a condition worthy of being from another world. In a better effort to educate myself on my daughter’s conditions, I thought I would start with an educational series on hydrocephalus. Please keep in mind, I am not a doctor and merely a mother trying … Continue reading

VP Shunt Malfunction #1

Ellisa's First Shunt Revision

Well, it was inevitable. I just thought it wouldn’t happen so soon. I guess I should be lucky it didn’t happen sooner. Here’s what happened. – – – – – – – – – – – – Monday Morning, April 2nd: First sign of something being wrong Ellisa seemed a bit irritable that night. Waking … Continue reading

Friday Fun Spot: Cancelled

Sorry fans of Friday Fun Spot but unfortunately Charles and I have been in ER since early Friday morning and now in recovery of Dell Children’s due to Ellisa having a shunt malfunction. There will be no FFS this week. I will fill everyone in later, but for now Ellisa is doing great! Surgery went … Continue reading

Ellisa’s Doctor Visits: 18 Months

Ellisa's 18 Month Check-ups

I thought I would  go ahead and simply make one post that goes over all the doctors that Ellisa saw for her 1.5 year check-ups vs doing a post on each visit. Thankfully, there’s nothing too complicated to report or too many doctor’s that she had to see. Here’s a summary of each visit. Dr. … Continue reading

Ellisa’s Neurologist: Visit 2

Tuesday morning was Ellisa’s year check-in with Dr. Kane, her neurologist. He wasn’t reviewing any new MRIs nor was he examining her. It was merely a check-in, so I wasn’t expecting to hear anything new from him. However, I came armed with a slew of questions. And Dr. Kane patiently sat there answering every one of … Continue reading

The consequences of Listeria

Ellisa Purma

In light of the current outbreak of Listeria from cantaloupe in Colorado, I thought I would do a quick reach out to the families dealing with this horrible and unavoidable bacteria. And I stress unavoidable. When myself and my less-than-24-hour-old daughter were diagnosed with Listeria, I didn’t know a thing about it. I quickly learned … Continue reading