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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Hydrocephalus awareness month Day 3

Hydrocephalus is not just a birth defect. It can happen. 6,000 children annually develop hydrocephalus. Brain injuries occurs every 15 seconds which some may lead to Hydrocephalus. More than 50% of hydrocephalus cases are congenital.

There are also other types of Hydrocephalus.
Either congenital or acquired.

Congenital is present at birth as Acquired is present at the time of birth or anytime after.

Hydrocephalus also can be communicating or non-communicating.
Communicating happens when the flow of CSF(Cerebrospinal Fluid) is blocked after it exits the ventricle. It is called communicating because CSF can still flow between ventricles.

Non-communicating is also known as obstructive hydrocephalus. This happens when CSF flow is blocked along one or more of the narrow passages also known as Aqueductal Stenosis.

There are other types that occur more in adults. As Hydrocephalus ex-vacuo and Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH). Hydrocephalus ex-vacuo happens when stroke or brain injury occurs and causes damage to the brain. Brain tissue may actually shrink. NPH is an abnormal increase of CSF in the brains ventricles. This maybe caused by a subarachnoid hemorrhage, head trauma, infection, tumor, or complications of surgery. There is about 375,000 older Americans with NPH, often times mistaken for Alzheimer's.

Kadyn has Congenital Hydrocephalus. His is non-communicating and due to aqueductal stenosis. It was never found out as to why Kadyn developed his Hydro other than it just happened. We did the tests and when no answers were found we gave up. The answers will not change Kadyn nor will it help him. Hydrocephalus is incurable.  How do you even begin to try and find a cure for such a brain condition. We need more research for a better way of life. There has been no advancement since the invention of the shunt 50 years ago.

Eventually Kadyn's shunt will fail. We won't know when, where or why, but it will happen and he will need surgery. He will need his shunt replaced as quick as possible to relieve the pressure of the fluid on his brain. It's scary to think that this little device in my child's brain is what gives him the quality of life he has today. It keeps the fluid from building up and causing anymore damage.

Today was Kadyn's first day of school. He goes to a special school for the handicapped. He rides the bus in his wheel chair and loves it! He had a rough first day, since he took the summer off do to surgery. Hopefully he will get used to the schedule again and he will settle down.  We have also been dealing with some behavioral issues since Kyle has been born. Hitting himself, hitting his head off things causing massive bruising on his forehead. Thankfully with him in school the teachers, parapros, and therapy staff can help break Kadyn of this. I think once Kyle is out of his newborn demanding stage things will get easier too.