Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Tale of Shunts and Screams

Elisabeth feels like this lately:


She screams and screams and screams some more.

And oh, you should have seen her at the hospital yesterday! She put on quite the show for them! (And I'm quite sure every patient in every corner of the hospital could hear her loud and clear)

First we went and saw Dr. G - Elisabeth's neurosurgeon. He had a little smirk on his face when he saw [heard] Elisabeth come in - a totally different girl than the one he saw last month. That little girl was in severe pain. This little girl is full of life - too much life. Her screams are not ones of pain or anger. She just screams. It's a little bit comical if you can get past the ringing in your ears. 

Anyways, when Dr. G checked her shunt, the setting was off. Again! He was shocked. 

"Do you know how much force it takes to bump the setting on one of these?" he asked. 

Which shows you just how hard Elisabeth bangs her head.  

"I know one thing I'm not going to do - I'm not going to put in a fixed pressure shunt," Dr. G said with a smile - because we all remember how well that went over. 

So Elisabeth got her shunt reprogrammed back to where it's supposed to be and we discussed medicating her with something - anything - to calm her down. At least until her prozac kicks in. 

Then I went over to the neurologist and explained to him about the shunt and the screaming and he decided to start Elisabeth on Risperdal, which is an antipsychotic medication. Let's hope it works. a) Because it's just not safe for Elisabeth's shunt setting to be changing. And b) because I have been awake since 2AM with a screaming, head banging, 4 year old. (and I am a teensy bit tired) 

When I got home from Spokane yesterday afternoon I said to Alexandra and Lorelai,  

"Elisabeth's shunt setting was off again. I just can't believe it." 

"I can," said Alexandra. "She bangs her head all day, it's obvious." 

I guess she's right about that...
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