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Neurosurgeon appointment

Hiya been to see my Neuro surgeon Mr Chakraborty at Southampton university hospital and explained how on the 2 setting my shunt gave me high pressure problems and when it was put on the 1.5 setting im on now to drain more im now having low pressure problems and lots of falls due to balance issues. Hes offered to put a whole new system in that has finer settings.

Pros of doing it, could improve balance and falls, coukd reduce headaches.

Cons long recovery, risk of infection ( caught encephalitis last op) not driving for a year, could cause further brain injury, reduce cognitive and memory functioning, could make headaches worse and no guarantee it will improve balance or falls. Hes given me three months to think about it as its such a big decision, apart from the balance dizziness and falls after being stood up for a few minutes im in the best shape ive been since the brain injury. Im independent, pain is low, im driving, just passed cognitive and memory tests, life is good right now, im scared to risk it all but im more disabled as im having to do less rest more, cant stand or walk for more than a few minutes before i have to sit or lay down, and the falls are starting to cause damage, I currently have a ruptured ligament in my leg and the knee surgeon says if i keep falling im going to need knee surgery. What to do! Argghhh. I hate making big decisions. What are your thoughts please? Xx

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Looks like a mental minefield Lisa-Marie, but sadly one that only you can negotiate. Just remember that the 'Cons' are possibilities which any consultant/surgeon has a duty to point out, and not inevitable.

Does Mr C. put a percentage on the chances of complications ? x

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Take those 3 months. Spend some time living in each of your options in your head - so for a couple of weeks say 'I have decided to have the procedure' and see what thoughts and concerns pop into your head over the intervening period. Then switch. There will be one option you feel more comfortable with.

Practice worst case scenario too. The reality is that if it happened, you would somehow learn to cope with it, but again that can throw a different light on the potential options.

Keep a live list of pros and cons for each - you will think of thngs as you go along and sometimes a seemingly insurmountable obstacle when you start will seem less so after a couple of weeks of living in that headspace - but something else may seem more difficult to cope with.

I know I have made suggestions on how to decide rather than what to do -but you know youtself best. You know what you can cope with and adapt to. If you take your time you will make the right decision - for you.

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Ultimately it is of course your decision. I trust my instinctive gut feelings, you can of course score pros vs. cons if that helps you decide. On a positive, it is nice to have options, which many poorly people never possess.

Decisions torment my heart....can’t remember what song that’s from? Good luck with your!! x

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I think its suspicion by Elvis. Decisions torment my heart-decisions tear us apart-decisions don't torture me.

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I think you’re spot on mate, thanks for your education, I need it😄

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I've just reread my answer DTBI, thinking it should be suspicion where I wrote decision, a great song either way.

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Re balance, if you go to the TBI Coach on YouTube she has a useful video where a neuropsychologist Dr Carla Hannaford demonstrates how to rebalance your brain using pressure points, I had excellent results using the techniques.

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