Happy Halloween everyone. I hope your weekend will be filled with scary movies, amazing costumes, and mouthfuls of teeth-rotting candy. The one day of the year when you can dress up and pretend to be someone or something other than yourself. Well, you can do that any day, but this is the only day you can do it and not get weird looks. You have to laugh at the thought of what aliens would think if the one day they visited to observe us was on Halloween.
More scary than Halloween costumes and movies is the fact that the Nonfiction Writing Challenge starts tomorrow. I’m not sure I am prepared to start, but I am excited and ready to get going on my first book. If you haven’t been following along with my story so far, I’ll give you a preview. When I was 4 or 5 months old, I was adopted by a loving family, but very soon after settling into my new life, I got very sick and was diagnosed with Hydrocephalus. Because of this, brain surgery was required to save my life by installing a shunt to relieve the pressure in my brain from Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) build up. Without this surgery, I would have died from brain damage when my brain was crushed against my skull by the outward force of the pressure.
As you can imagine, just one brain surgery did not fix me for life. Over the years, I had to undergo many shunt revisions, from malfunctioning valves to separated drain tubing, and even shunt replacement at least twice. When I was 20 years old, I had been under the knife a total of 15 times I think and my family was ready for a different solution, one that was more permanent. We learned about a new procedure that could rid me of a shunt altogether, called an ETV (Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy). This procedure is not for everyone with Hydrocephalus and you have to meet certain criteria for it to even be a possibility. Lucky for me, I was a perfect candidate for this surgery, so for the first time in my Hydrocephalus history, I wanted to get surgery.
In December 2000, I went into surgery voluntarily and healthy, to have my shunt removed and the ETV performed. Since I went into the hospital healthy, two surgeries had to be performed. First, they had to remove my shunt and induce Hydrocephalus so that my ventricles filled with CSF and swelled up. They had to do this so that they had the room to perform the ETV. I spent a week in the hospital after the first surgery, just waiting and monitoring my pressure, waiting for the pressure to rise. Once it was high enough, I went back into surgery to get the ETV. My book will have the details of all this, but long story short, the surgery was a success, and I sit here now, 15 years later, shunt free and headache free. The ETV is still working and I am grateful not to have had to get any more surgeries. I’ve been meaning to write this book since the ETV, but now is the time and the story is even better now since I have had 15 years without a problem.
OK, maybe I am prepared to start this book tomorrow. 🙂
Thanks for reading. Hopefully I will have the complete story for you to read in a month or so.