Medical Update

It has been an incredibly difficult week and Naya is in surgery as I type this.

We had a complication yesterday night.  Because of the new bacteria found in her CSF on Monday, NS (Neurosurgery) decided to pull out one of her 2 shunts/EVDs.

Currently she has 2 shunts.  A shunt to drain her ventricle, and a shunt to drain a cyst in her brain.  The shunt in the cyst wasn’t draining fluid since the EVD was installed.  And it was leaking CSF (which is why she got this new infection in the first place).  So rather than risking further infection, the tubing needed to come out.  But when they did that, it caused the ventricle EVD to dislodge and the CSF stopped draining.  

She was up all night with nausea, vomiting and screaming in pain from the pressure in her head.  She couldn’t sleep.  She would moan in pain every couple minutes.  CT at 4am showed enlarged ventricles.  NS debated fixing the EVD in the middle of the night.  Instead she got some Morphine and a couple of hours of sleep.

Emergency surgery – she went in at 4pm.  Still waiting now.

(Side note: Bacteria sticks to rubber and plastic.  So even though she is on IV antibiotics, the meds cant get into the tubing.  So any plastic and tubing that is infected with bacteria could re-infect the brain if it is not remove)

*** if anyone is curious and has any questions, please leave a comment and I will explain.  Some people are incredibly interested in the fine medical details, while others are not.  I am never opposed to answering questions.  =)

2 thoughts on “Medical Update”

  1. If the cyst is the source of the infection, and I understand that Naya will have to endure pressure from undraianable CSF while the infection is managed, I still don’t get where the cyst came from. Blockage from particles and changes in position of the shunt locations I can wrap my head around. She is so young, and things are growing and changing.
    What I don’t get is how the doctors can change this from constant critical intervention to a manageable homeostasis. It makes me frustrated, and I can only imagine how you feel.

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    1. The cyst developed as a result of CSF pressure. We figure sometime last year, her shunt slowly malfunctioned (a partial block as opposed to a full block) and the slow build up of CSF pressure forced the fluid to find an alternative route. It traveled along the shunt tube (path of least resistance ) and started to pool and form a cyst, possibly at a weak point within the brain tissue. And since then it has stayed there. But we don’t know for sure how it happened. Cysts and loculations are not uncommon.

      The use of shunts to treat Hydrocephalus has been around for decades. And aside from an ETV (Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy), there has not been any significant medical breakthroughs to treat Hydrocephalus. Naya is not a candidate for an ETV. So shunts it is. Yes, so incredibly frustrating.

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