daddy daily volume 18

June 25, 2008 at 9:48 am 3 comments

Daddy had his third brain surgery yesterday afternoon. The shunt that was surgically installed on May 16th was removed entirely in yesterday’s procedure. After the second surgery Tuesday June 17th, the lines from the shunt were externalized so that the neurosurgeon could actually watch and see the effectiveness (or lack there of) for the shunt. After observing that for a time, the neurosurgeon said that the shunt was not doing Daddy any good, and therefore it was removed in yesterday afternoon’s surgical procedure.


Initially, CT scans (back in mid May) showed that ventricles in Daddy’s brain were enlarged. And, the hope was that perhaps we were dealing with NPH (Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus) which is, basically, a condition in which excess fluid causes pressure on the brain and results in dementia-like symptoms such as interruptions in speech, interrupted gait, loss of some motor skills, memory problems to name a few),  and that the installing of a shunt might remedy the situation as well as alleviate the dementia-like symptoms Daddy has been experiencing increasingly for the last several years. However, since that second surgical procedure, it is now determined that Daddy is not dealing with Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus at all. The enlarged ventricles in his brain were likely due to fluid. But, the reason for that fluid, from what I understand, is that they believe his brain has atrophied through the years, and because the brain is not as supple as it once was, and has experienced some shrinkage, there was more fluid there taking up space his brain itself had earlier inhabited. The shunt did cause the ventricles to return finally to a more normal size. But there does not seem to be excess fluid causing any pressure on his brain. And, therefore, they do not believe that there is any indication now that NPH was ever the problem at all.


Since the initial shunt surgery, Daddy’s condition is certainly worse than it was before the surgery. But, again, the surgery could have been the answer to all these alleviating the symptoms, had NPH truly been the issue.  And, Daddy was very interested in anything that might be a hope for a return to normalcy. So all that to say, we desperately wish he weren’t worse now, however the surgery was an avenue of hope. It just didn’t help him. And now it is determined that the issue is not fluid on the brain causing problems at all. The issue, we’re told, is that the brain has atrophied. And, the symptoms, we’re told, are due to dementia.


Therefore, the neurosurgeon believes that what Daddy is dealing with is a central nervous system issue, (i.e. dementia.)  Daddy’s parents both experienced forms of dementia in their golden years. And from what I understand, Daddy’s maternal grandmother also had this to deal with later in life.  The neurosurgeon does not anticipate any real symptomatic improvement in Daddy. He estimates that we will see continued decline. And, he says Daddy will have to have full time care in a skilled nursing facility.  Sadly, in his current condition there is just not any way my mother can take care of all of Daddy’s needs at home.  She is very simply NOT physically able to manage everything Daddy needs on her own. Some preliminary contacts have been made.  We will be seeking placement for him as soon as possible.


All that said, we remain hopeful and prayerful.

Entry filed under: daddy daily, pray for....

daddy daily volume 17 daddy daily volume 18.5

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. annette clark  |  June 25, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    tracey, our volunteer organization works with what use to be Beverly nursing home off of 51. it has changed names now. Also i have had two aunts that were there and i can’t complain about what i have seen there. it is clean, well kept and the people seem to care. my aunts were in Oxford and Batesville before being moved to Beverly and did not get good care, their families were very safisfied with the care they received at Beverly. Of course what you must remember is that they are not going to get the care they would at home, it’s not possible. You just have to develop a good relationship with the people working with him and pray.


  • 2. Pam  |  June 25, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Still prayin’ like crazy girl. Sometimes just knowing you are closer to the answer (the cause) is helpful. As I’ve read about each day, each episode, each surgery – I just know God has given you all the wisdom for that day. He will continue to do that as you move down this next path. Love you much!


  • 3. Billy McCord  |  June 25, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Thanks for the update. We continue to hope and pray that God will take care of him and his family whatever may happen.


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