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December 26, 2007
Not So Brief Setback

Alternate title: "Dammit dammit dammit."

The visit to Duke today went about as expected, with a lot of hurry-up-and-wait-ing. Blood work, x-rays, and a cat scan. I forgot to bring Mycah with me, but fortunately, they had their own cats.

The long and the short of it is, the tube that runs from my head down my neck, over my collarbone, down to the area of my liver, and thence into the peritoneal cavity has in fact not stayed inside the peritoneal cavity. The imaging today showed that it retracted out and is neatly coiled above my liver, which accounts for the softball-sized swelling there.

How it did that, I don't know. Maybe they neglected to take into account the fact that I'm way taller than average.

Because the fluid is deposited between the skin and the muscle, it can't be disposed of as effectively as if it were being dumped in the abdomen, so it builds up. The pressure is about the same as in my head, so the cerebro-spinal fluid can't drain out, so my condition is much like it was before the shunt surgery.

The upshot is, they have to crack me open again and place the tubing back inside the peritoneum. My skull is fine, so they ought to be able to do this by unzipping the scar on my stomach.

Which they're doing first thing tomorrow morning.

Egads. I never seem to get a chance to plan ahead for these things.

It's a simple enough procedure that it could be out-patient work, but I'll probably have to spend tomorrow night in the hospital. Ugh. I hate the beds there. At least the nurses are cute.

Posted by Russ at 09:40 PM, December 26, 2007 in Health

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Ditto your alternate title. :(

I'm just glad this is still a temporary and medically simple setback.

It kinda bugs me that they can profit nicely from their mistakes; of course a perfection standard (for the state of the art, or even for the people applying the state of the art) is completely unrealistic given the complexity and difficulty.

Prayers continue.

Posted by: John at December 27, 2007 02:15 PM

Another alternative title could be: Nooooooooooo

I sympathize on the bed, but then part of the time you should be medicated and not caring about the world. And it does give you a great time of sleep - enforced but still out of it. You'll have to sleep instead of doing all those pesky real world activities.

As usual, everyone's thoughts are with you, and I'm glad that this is an easy "fix" so to speak. Once they release that fluid I'm sure you will continue on your excellent course of recovery again.

Posted by: Jasmine at December 27, 2007 04:32 PM

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