I don’t know where to begin.I am 31 y.o,medical student from Greece.Was born with congenital hydrocephalus and a VP shunt was interted when I was 15days old.Since then I never had any problems as a child.Well,when I was 11 I had my first epileptic seizure and since then I’m on medication.As I said,I am a medical student,I attend med school,study as much as I can,had real difficulty in accepting epilepsy but since med school I realized it’s just another condition and I must learn to accept it and live with it.So far so good.In July of 2008 I left for Prague.Czech Republ.as an exchange student.My academic work there was successful.I passed a respected number of courses but a few months before I finish the program I started having enormous headaches that made me unfunctionable although I had to finish my clerkship…..I visited there 3 neurologists and 1 neurosurgeon and the diagnosis was cervical spine syndrome,I was wearing a special neck collar but didn’t do anything.I kept going but nobody could tell me what was wrong.All these after 3 brain CTs and 1 brain MRI.Till today I am not sure if they saw something in there but couldn’t express it in English…Anyway,I came back home.headaches were worse and I already had began to lose my vision of my right eye and when I went to my eye dr he urgently reffered me to the neurosurgeon beacuse the shunt was dead and ICP and IOP was sky high……..resulting in optic disk edema and loss of vision from the right eye.I had the 1st VP shunt replacement in 10/2009.Next thing I remember was March of 2010,waking up at a bed in neurosurgery department with left hemiparesis and strong vertigo episodes.What happened in between?The 2nd shunt worked about 1month and then started malfunctioning because it was defective.I ended up in ICU in coma for 10days,my heart stopped and they had to revive me and use mechanical respiratory support and then 2months and 20days at the neurosurg.department………I don’t remember anything that had happened,I actually have a gap of 1year,I only remember fragments and now and then I have some flashes of memories.The surgeon used another VP shunt but that one didn’t work at all and now I have a hakim-medos vp shunt.A 3rd one which so far is working.I have a constant buzz in my ears,which they say it’s normal.Obviously I haven’t gone to school since 2009.My right eye was too damaged by the pressure to recover,the left eye is working ok but I can’t read without bright light or if the fonts are too small.As for my psychological status?That’s another issue……..I am depressed,miserable,moody,aggressive to my family as if it;s their fault.
I had to go to rehab to make my leg stronger but still walk with a walking aid.My hand is ok,although a little weakened but nothing serious.I feel……I don’t know how to describe it.As if my whole world was taken from me……One min I was happy traveling,studying and the other I am in my house,stuck,not able to go to school,to go out by myself,to read…At the beginning,after I was discharged and returned home I couldn’t sleep.I had nightmares that I was waking up in a blood bath with the shunt hanging out of my head and I was trying to hold it,a couple of times I’ve dreamed that I am vanishing but still in my house and my family and friends can’t see me……I really expect everything now…….I don’t afraid of dying……..No,since I won’t feel it.I am only afraid that something like that might happen again and lose my memory again and that is really painful.I am so eager to go back to school,continue my life from where I left it.The last 2 days I;ve been trying to read a book but the fonts are so little that make me dizzy and tired and make me doubt whether I am ready to go back to school……
I think I said enough for introduction……….As Dr Irvin Yalom(prof.emer.of psychiatry in Stanford and my favorite writer…..If we acknowledge the universality of our condition things are easier…..a bit….since we are not alone,other people might have the same experience,might dealt with the same issues and could help us overcome our issues)
I was also informed what I have a genetical condition called Arnold-Chiary malformation but not the severe type and agenesia of mesollobium
I apologize if my long text tired you.Feel Free to contact me.it would be nice to feel someone really knows what I'm going through
p.s:I too have neck and abdominal pains but after xrays/ct scans nothing is wrong..........but the pain is still there.
medical student 6th yr