Diagnosis

I haven’t really blogged about this (not sure why, it has consumed some of my thoughts) but my Gram had shoulder surgery last week.  She had this surgery scheduled for the fall, but the week before, she fell.  (Back story: she fell, hit her head, was in ICU with brain trauma, and spent some time in a rehab home and now lives with my mom). Well, since the surgery, she hasn’t been right.  She has been super confused, weak, unable to recall all her words, and she lost her bodily control (no bowel/urine control). We were so worried. The doctor’s kept telling us it was from the anesthesia, but we knew it was something else.
The Little Lady- my Gram.  Her name is Gloria.
They ran a bunch of tests that kept coming back fine.  They did an MRI yesterday, and finally saw something.  They saw Normal Pressure Hydocephalus.  Basically, WebMD said it is basically extra fluid on the brain caused from a brain injury, and normally in people over 60.  It explains 100% of her symptoms. And here is the crazy part….we have seen symptoms for MONTHS, but symptoms mirror regular dementia (which they said she had after the fall) so we had no idea.
Because the surgery rapidly progressed it, we were able to diagnose it.
So what now?  There are basically two options: either she is a surgical candidate and can have a shunt placed in her brain and her symptoms will 100% improve.  Or she isn’t and we have no chance of improvement.  Those are very dramatically different options. We are praying for her to be a surgical candidate. This diagnosis has no “cure” but it can be controlled with the surgery. It is a progressive condition, so even with surgery, we aren’t looking at rainbows and sunshine.  But they say surgery enables most patients to live independently for a while.
This week they will do a lumbar puncture test (spinal tap), and also inject some dye and watch it travel around her brain.  There are many factors at stake for her to be a surgical candidate.  We should know something Friday.
If she can’t have surgery, she will have to be put in full-time care.  She isn’t able to feed herself, she must be diapered and changed, and she can hardly communicate.  I haven’t been home yet, but I saw her like this post-fall and it is heartbreaking.  But I am so thankful to know what it is, and that it isn’t just “normal dementia” like we have been told for months.  We thought her falling, confusion, difficultly walking, mood swings, and weakness were “normal.”  Instead, they are all symptoms of NPH. 
Will you please pray for my Gram that she will be a surgical candidate?  We hate the thought of there being no other treatment and having to just put her away.  But that is the reality, because she will need intensive 24 hour care.  Please pray.  I’ll keep you updated.

Comments

  1. Praying for you and your family.

  2. Will be praying for her and your family!

  3. your gram looks super sweet! i hope shes a candidate and can get on the mend soon! :-/

  4. Praying for you family. I lost my Nanny a year and a half ago due to dementia. It is an awful disease that affects the whole family. I’m glad that there may be treatment options for you grandma!

    • Thanks Aimee! She is actually getting her surgery today (they decided to proceed instead of continue testing), so we are praying this brings treatment and BIG miracles!

  5. Praying for your family.

  6. Oh Brittney, I will be praying so hard! God knows the situation and has your family in His hands!

    Please keep us posted!

    • Thank you Cristi! The doctors decided her case was “textbook” and wanted to get the surgery going as soon as possible. She goes in at 1 p.m. today! Keep praying! Our God is a healer and I think he is using this situation and surgery to show out in a BIG way!

    • I will set aside 1 pm today as a special prayer time for your Gram and family! I believe God will show up and show out, for sure! We will give Him all the Glory!

      Prayers of healing, peace, and love for y’all! And praying for wisdom and skilled hands for the surgeons! God’s got this!

  7. Praying for your Gram!!

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