Friday, 22 July 2011


It has now been well over a year of constant headaches for Violet. Over the past 2 weeks, they have started to become unbearable for her. I have been up with Violet at night time with her screaming for hours, not knowing what to do with herself. I have never seen her like it before.

Took her to Kids Hospital Friday and they admitted her for a CT scan and shunt series study. Neurosurgeon wanted to check for shunt dysfunction.

She was as usual very good for her head CT and stayed completely still for it.

Then came the shunt series study. This was a whole different story! Especially when the Doctor was unable to access her rickham's reservoir to inject the isotopes, as the last time they did a shunt series was back in 2007 and seems her bone has grown over some of the resevoir (so they think) I really think she just had no idea! She had the isotopes sitting there ready and by the time she had poked Violet's head with 3 needles unsuccessfully, she decided to get an ultrasound of her rickhams to check where to insert and by that time more isotopes needed to be prepared as they expire after half an hour.

During the poking of needles in the head, Violet was screaming and in pain. She whipped out some "big" swear words all in the correct context and at first I didn't stop her, as I was so annoyed with all their flapping around and their inability to get it in!

Finally a sonographer arrived to do the ultrasound and he found where to insert the needle and did it himself.

They took some CSF samples to be tested and finally inserted the lovely nuclear isotopes into her brain for the study.

At the end of it all, we were met by her Neurosurgeon who told us the great news that her shunt IS functioning and we could be discharged.

With shunt malfunction ruled out for now, her Neurologist is keen to start her on some daily prophylactic meds...i am not keen on adding more meds to her current regime though, especially if she also ends up also needing hormone meds for her thyroid issues later down the track. I found it so hard when I was forced to make the decision to medicate her for her epilepsy 3 years ago, I know this may sound lame of me, but I cried. Even though I knew it would be in her best interests, it was one of the hardest decisions for me to make.


Alison said...

Poor Violet - constant headaches must be awful for her. I don't blame her for swearing when at the hospital - I probably would too.

I can understand your reluctance to medicate, but if it is affecting her quality of life so much then maybe it is worth a try?

The Henrys said...

I don't blame you for allowing Violet to swear in anger. Most of the time, I feel like doing it too, so good for her to be brave enough to do it. She's been through the ringer lately and no one can blame her for being so tired of it that she swears.


Shannon said...

So sorry, Sarah. I have suffered from migraines most of my life and they are unbearable. I simply cannot image a CHILD suffering through constant headaches! I know it's always a struggle to add a new medication when our kiddos already take so many, but I do hope that Violet finds some relief soon.

Josephine said...

Oh dear :( I can't remember if I've ever asked you about the possibility of her shunt overdraining? That was the only time when Avery had persistent headaches for several months. It's not something that would show up in a shunt series or anything though, because her shunt was working just fine, it was just that the flow was too high. Just a thought.