First Hospital Visit

Once I was in the emergency room, I told the doctors about my constant headaches and they sent me in for an MRI.

A little bit of backstory…I’ve been healthy all my life. I work out 4 times/week, I eat healthy, never been a smoker or a big drinker and was always athletic and into sports. Other than having to wear glasses when I was young (and now contacts) I’ve never been to the hospital for more than an hour and now the hospital staff was telling me I had to stay overnight so they could observe me. I had no idea what was going on as I’ve never been in a situation like this.

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Then the results of the MRI came back and took me by surprise like I was in a haunted house. The results showed that I had *Hydrocephalus in my brain and that I was born with and had a **Chiari MalformationThe doctor’s then told me that I couldn’t go home and that they would have to do brain surgery on the same week. The doctors were surprised that I had not had any worse side effects and told me that if I went home I had a chance of stroke.
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As you can imagine this was not the news I wanted to hear. I was healthy as can be one day, and then the next they tell you that you need brain surgery.

NIGHT BEFORE MY BRAIN SURGERY

So they told me they would have to take a small piece of my skull to allow the CF fluid to move around without any problems. I didn’t know how to react, was my brain going to be exposed, am I going to be able to play sports like I used to, am I going to be able to play the violin like I do. I hoped for the best and put it in the doctors hands. The doctors then scheduled me for another MRI to get a closer look at my brain because along with the *Hydrocephalous and **Chairi Malformation they also saw another problematic area in my brain that they would need to look at closer.

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The second MRI showed that I had a small tumor in my brain. They told me that they would have to take it out and send it to a lab to see what it could have been. My doctor said that he was surprised to see an brain MRI and see 3 different problematic areas, but he said that I will get through this.

I had one of the best surgical teams at Strong Memorial Hospital . Dr. Silberstein along with his team talked me through the whole procedure and the post-op care. They told me I would have to have a valve placed in my brain after my surgery for 2 days to see if my CF fluid is at a normal rate and then they would be able to take it out. This scared me because they said that if the CF fluid did not drop properly than I would need a permanent valve in my brain. The doctors team told me this would be 50% chance that I would need the valve in my brain. I was just hoping for the best and praying that I would still have the same cognitive and physical abilities I do that I had before.

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*Hydrocephalus is a condition in which there is an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within the brain.[1] This typically causes increased pressure inside the skull.

**Chiari malformation, is a malformation of the skull. It consists of a downward displacement of the cerebellar tonsils through the foramen magnum (the opening at the base of the skull), sometimes causing non-communicating hydrocephalus[1] as a result of obstruction of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) outflow.

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