Archive for July, 2013

The Mayo Clinic is in the midst of sponsoring a scholarship for their Social Media Conference in October. I am one of the entrants and as far as I can tell the only one representing brain injury. If you would like to see me win please click on the link and vote for me by hitting the like button next to facebook. If you are not on facebook you can also vote by posting a comment. Spread the word on your web sites. Many thanks.

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Most often when individuals have VP shunts to remove fluid from their brain, malfunction is indicated by cognitive deficits. CAT scans are used to determine this malfunction.

In Michelle’s case, however, she experienced a year of physical regression. CAT scans indicated that her shunt was functioning fine. Health-care professionals allocated her deficits to a progression of her initial brain injury. They treated the symptoms but were not searching for the cause. I was not satisfied with that explanation and continued to prod trying to discover what was causing her regression. She had been walking with a walker and now she could do no weight bearing. Her transfers were maximal assist and in many cases two people were needed to transfer her. If she went down on the floor it was almost impossible to get her up because she was dead weight.

Out of frustration I took her into NYC to see a neurosurgeon who specializes in shunts. There we discovered that her shunt was fractured in her pelvic area. It was repaired in May. Since surgery she is doing weight bearing again although she still has a long way to go to get back to where she was. It took us a year to have her condition properly diagnosed and I can’t help but wonder what condition she would be in now if her shunt had been repaired much earlier. I also wonder how much discrimination played a role in her care. The underlying attitude on the part of health-care professionals was, she’s brain injured what do you expect. I expect the same level of care that anyone else would receive.

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