Saturday, October 23, 2010

Giants vs Rangers!!

So, its offcial, the Giants will be playing the Rangers starting wednesday for the world series title!! I have to say I really hope Texas keeps up what they've been doing and kicks some Giants butt! I am so excited, and I held off on this post to see who we would be playing. I am also relieved that its not the Phillies. Seems like the big names won't be making the talk of the town this year! First time for the Rangers to the world series ever since they've been a ball club! I'm so excited and think its a good time to be a Texan! I was also glad that Josh Hamilton got the AL MVP, his speech was very touching and I've loved him since the first time I heard him play. He just goes out there and gives the game everything he has and then some. He is just an awesome player and glad he got the award. So, sorry if I ahave an Californians reading or any Giants fans here, but I hope Texas kicks the Giants butt all over the place and we come with the World Series under our belt!!

Go Rangers and I can't wait for Wednesday..Cliff Lee will be starting things out right!


Thats all,
Amanda Ellen

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Couch Ponderings and ramblings :)

Well, I titled it that because really I am laying on the couch with a neck pillow in my jacket and PJS. I've reached a state of boredom that is really horrible. I don't like to be bored, and this whole not going out and no one has come to see me business just isn't fun. Oh, you may ask why I am not going out, well a little over a week ago I had surgery to revise my shunt. Oh whats a shunt you may ask well, a shunt is a piece of plastic tubing, or thats what I have been told to think it is, that runs from a valve implanted in my brain down to my stomach to drain my spinal fluid since my brain can't seem to do it properly. Oh, its going to get better, I think I'll take this time to educate everyone on my disease, give me just one sec to hit up google :)
***google time***
Please be patient as all of our operators are currently helping other customers :)
Ok, so according to google this is how you properly spell the disease its called hydrocephalus.
According to the Mayo Clinic, here is the definition:
"Hydrocephalus occurs when excess fluid builds up in your brain, most often because of an obstruction preventing proper fluid drainage. The excess fluid can compress surrounding, fragile brain tissue, causing brain damage. Left untreated,hydrocephalus can be fatal. Once known as "water on the brain," hydrocephalus is sometimes present at birth, although it may develop later. About 1 out of 500 children is born with the disorder. The outlook if you have hydrocephalus depends on how quickly the condition is diagnosed and whether any underlying disorders are present."

The Mayo Clinic's symptoms include:

"The signs and symptoms of hydrocephalus vary by age group and disease progression.

In infants, common signs and symptoms of hydrocephalus include:

■An unusually large head
■A rapid increase in the size of the head
■A bulging "soft spot" on the top of the head
■Eyes fixed downward (sunsetting of the eyes)
■Developmental delay
In older children and adults, common signs and symptoms of hydrocephalus include:

■Headache followed by vomiting
■Blurred or double vision
■Eyes fixed downward (sunsetting of the eyes)
■Problems with balance, coordination or gait
■Sluggishness or lack of energy
■Slowing or regression of development
■Memory loss
■Urinary incontinence
■Changes in personality
■Impaired performance in school or work
Hydrocephalus produces different combinations of these signs and symptoms, depending on its cause, which also varies by age. For example, a condition known as normal pressure hydrocephalus, which mainly affects older people, typically starts with difficulty walking. Urinary incontinence often develops, along with a type of dementia marked by slowness of thinking and information processing.

When to see a doctor
Infants and toddlers require emergency medical care for these signs and symptoms:

■A high-pitched cry
■Problems with sucking or feeding
■Unexplained, recurrent vomiting
■Exhibiting an unwillingness to bend or move the neck or head
■Breathing difficulties
The following signs and symptoms don't constitute an emergency, but they do warrant a call to your child's doctor:

■A rapid increase in the size of the head
■A bulging "soft spot" on the top of the head
■A change in the appearance of the face or eyes
■A decreased level of interest or engagement in social interactions
Older adults need a complete physical and neurological exam if experiencing:

■Walking difficulties
■Impaired thinking
■Urinary incontinence "

Am I scarying anyone yet?
I had headaches, messed up vision, nausea, and vomitting. Not sure about that sunsetting of the eyes thing...but um, I also did and still do have problems with my train of thought, my memory is really fuzzy for most things before surgery the first time around and things now are a bit fuzzy from time to time or I sometimes don't remember things at all. I do have the lack of energy thing still now, it seems I can sleep a lot! I also have a real balance problem, but it was much worse before the first surgery!

Here's what they say are the causes:
"Hydrocephalus is caused by excess fluid buildup in your brain.

Your brain is the consistency of gelatin, and it floats in a bath of cerebrospinal fluid. This fluid also fills large open structures, called ventricles, which lie deep inside your brain. The fluid-filled ventricles help keep the brain buoyant and cushioned.

Cerebrospinal fluid flows through the ventricles by way of interconnecting channels. The fluid eventually flows into spaces around the brain, where it's absorbed into your bloodstream.

Keeping the production, flow and absorption of cerebrospinal fluid in balance is important to maintaining normal pressure inside your skull. Hydrocephalus results when the flow of cerebrospinal fluid is disrupted — for example, when a channel between ventricles becomes narrowed — or when your body doesn't properly absorb this fluid.

Defective absorption of cerebrospinal fluid causes normal pressure hydrocephalus, seen most often in older people. In normal pressure hydrocephalus, excess fluid enlarges the ventricles but does not increase pressure on the brain. Normal pressure hydrocephalus may be the result of injury or illness, but in many cases the cause is unknown."

One of my chambers in my brain are clogged with a big ol' mass of scar tissue at everyone's best guess because its not malignant and its not pressing too hard on anything. How I got the scar tissue will forever remain a mystery, and it will prob stay there forever unless it turns malignant.

Here's somethings that can give you a good chance of getting this disease:
■Lesions or tumors of the brain or spinal cord
■Central nervous system infections
■Bleeding in the brain
■Severe head injury"

The Mayo Clinic has the pretty normal treatment options here:
"Hydrocephalus is usually treated with surgery. Options include:

■Shunt placement. The most common treatment for hydrocephalus is the surgical insertion of a drainage system, called a shunt. It consists of a long flexible tube with a valve that keeps fluid from the brain flowing in the right direction and at the proper rate. One end of the tubing is usually placed in one of the brain's ventricles. The tubing is then tunneled under the skin to another part of the body where the excess cerebrospinal fluid can be more easily absorbed — such as the abdomen or a chamber in the heart.

People who have hydrocephalus usually need a shunt system for the rest of their lives, so additional surgeries may be needed to insert longer tubing to match a child's growth. Revisions to the shunt also may be needed if the tubing becomes blocked or infected.

■Ventriculostomy. This surgical procedure is sometimes used when there's an obstruction of flow between ventricles. In the procedure, your surgeon makes a hole in the bottom of one of the ventricles, to allow the cerebrospinal fluid to flow toward the base of the brain, where normal absorption occurs."

They tried both with me, and only the shunt works.
Ok, so to my most recent surgery, my shunt needing revising, which meant something was broken and it needed fixed. What needed fixin you may ask?
Well the valve in my brain had become covered in brain goo for some reason and the cathedar piece that protrudes from the base of my skull, which isn't noticeable, was broken. With these 2 issues I was having killer headaches that felt like the back of my head was going to blow out, double vision, shaking of the hands, difficulty concentrating, and difficulty processing anything I was abosorbing. Not sure if the mental side of things, not the headches and the sakes part, was because things weren't working right or if thats just a symptom left from the surgery I haven't really encountered before or if its going to stick with me since the levels got so high this time.
But I only spent 2 nights in the hospital, and got a groovy new haircut and 30 stitches. I think I am the only person I know who made a fuss because they gave me stitches this time instead of staples. I now know why I made a fuss because the stitches are painful because they are the kind that goes away on their own and they hurt when they are trying to go away!

Well, hmm...thinking that might be the end of my couch ramblings and thoughts for the night.

Oh, I forgot this disease did cause my blindness because the pressure caused my optic nerves to atrophy which gave me optic neuropathy!
Hmm, if I remember something else I will edit so look for the edit sign in the title!

Night everyone!

Amanda Ellen and Princess Leah