Apr 16, 2010

A Means to an End

Today I met for the first time with my neurosurgeon, Dr. Coimbra. I will admit that Brent was unimpressed, but we’ll get to that later. As soon as I knew who I was seeing a couple of weeks ago I began Googling everything I could on him – and to be honest, what I found was 50/50. For everything I read he is incredibly skilled in his profession but his bedside manner is, well, lacking. Despite this fact I made my appointment and decided to give him a go.

Beside manner is definitely an issue – but I can attribute it to two things I noticed about him: he appears to be very shy, but he also is damn good at what he does and he is very upfront and honest. This was Brent’s problem with him, he didn’t think that he was very approachable and he was very cut and dry. For me though, I thought it just fine. Here’s why: I’m not interviewing candidates for best friend here. This is a man who is going to cut into my brain and hopefully eradicate my headaches for good. Who cares if he’s shy, he’s a stud in the operating room and that’s all that matters to me. The man taught at UT Southwestern for almost two decades and has written and/or supervised so many studies on shunts it’s amazing – not to mention the number he puts in on a regular basis. This is the guy I want in my corner, and the rest will work itself out.

So that’s the verdict of today: both Dr. Coimbra and Dr. Herzog believe I’m an excellent candidate for a shunt procedure given my history of unsuccessful lumbar punctures and drug intolerance. More specifically, I’ll be having a VP (ventriculoperitoneal) shunt placed, which will go in just above my right ear with a catheter leading from it down behind my ear and down my right side into my stomach. It sounds scary and it is, a little, but I’ve researched my little heart out and I know the risks involved – but more importantly I KNOW that this is what must be done in order for me to have the chance at a “normal” existence with no more headaches.

Brent hasn’t come to terms with this yet and I don’t blame him, but I know it will come with time and right now he’s just worried sick. Next week I should hear from the surgeon’s office regarding scheduling but I have no clue how soon this will take place – my guess is by the end of April. I do appreciate every single one of you who have said an extra prayer for me and my family, we are truly blessed.

Stay tuned for updates, and in the meantime enjoy this little bit I found on the procedure. Oh, and please, if you or someone you know suffers from this dreadful disease or you'd just like to learn more, check out the IHRFoundation, the only organization in the world dedicated to finding a cure for this disease. http://www.ihrfoundation.org/

Love, KC

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