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Medical care viewed from the other side

by Bill Osler / December 9, 2008 6:54 AM PST

Over the last few weeks my wife has been experiencing a number of progressive symptoms. It turns out that she has hydrocephalus. It isn't common in people our age but never-the-less she has it.
She will be having surgery tomorrow (Wednesday).

I'm constantly amazed at the changes in neurosurgery since I did my training. One thing hasn't changed, though. Nobody likes the thought of having somebody grubbing around inside their head.

The modern ventriculostomy procedure is safer than neurosurgery used to be, but there is nothing absolutely safe about the procedure.

We are hoping and praying all goes well.

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I had to look up hydrocephalus
by critic411 / December 9, 2008 7:19 AM PST

What does it really mean for your wife?

Good luck to her !!

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I've a brother who started having blackouts
by Steven Haninger / December 9, 2008 8:08 AM PST

and other strange symptoms that was eventually diagnosed as hydrocephalus but a rather mild case. I believe he was in his late '40s or early '50s. I know he had a shunt and is perfectly fine as far as we all know. I believe his biggest worry was possible lose of his driver's license. I really can't say if he's still receiving treatment. Perhaps this thing has resolved itself but there's been no family discussion in quite some time. I suppose that's good. Hopefully your wife fare as well as my kid brother.

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(NT) I wish her well.
by JP Bill / December 9, 2008 8:55 AM PST
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Sign of our limitations: "Wife of Doctor Gets Sick."
by drpruner / December 9, 2008 12:51 PM PST

Tell her all the usual stuff, plus that lots of us wish her well, too.

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Best wishes to your wife and yourself.
by Ziks511 / December 9, 2008 1:23 PM PST

You already know how far the surgery has progressed so I don't have to
tell you. But I looked it up all the same.


We're all thinking of you and your wife Dr. Bill.

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(NT) All the best to your family
by Willy / December 9, 2008 9:16 PM PST
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My thoughts are with you....
by EdHannigan / December 9, 2008 9:25 PM PST

Best hopes for a good outcome.

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Good thought and prayers on their way !
by Angeline Booher / December 9, 2008 11:20 PM PST

I was amazed when it became necessary for my husband to have a shunt paced several months after the hemorrhagic stroke with resulting surgery. Frankly, I was not aware of the procedure, which in his case included the tube that drained into the abdomen. This was 10 years ago, and no doubt the procedure has moved to another level today.

The improvement that resulted was gratifying, as well. No doubt your wife's experience will be the same, and her health and spirits will return to normal, even before Christmas.

Speakeasy Moderator

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(NT) Thoughts and prayers go out to you. good luck
by grimgraphix / December 9, 2008 11:58 PM PST
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(NT) got my fingers crossed Dr Bill!
by jonah jones / December 10, 2008 12:36 AM PST
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i guess you heard the one about....
by jonah jones / December 10, 2008 12:39 AM PST

Q. What's the best thing for water on the brain?

A. A tap on the head....

jonah "believes that humour is a great medicine" jones


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Best wishes to you and her,
by Roger NC / December 10, 2008 7:08 AM PST

Hoping surgery is quick and exactly as planned. And that results are as perfect as possible.


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(NT) Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your wife.
by Diana Forum moderator / December 10, 2008 7:55 AM PST
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Re: Surgery
by Cindi Haynes / December 10, 2008 12:11 PM PST

Prayers offered for you and your wife Dr. Bill, for a successful outcome and a quick recovery.


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(NT) Thanks for the prayers and thoughts.
by Bill Osler / December 11, 2008 9:31 AM PST
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A bright-side note:
by drpruner / December 12, 2008 11:28 PM PST

"there is nothing absolutely safe about the procedure" is true for any invasive procedure, as you know. But ...
Can you imagine the real Dr. Osler or Semmelweiss or another giant observing some of today's procedures? "What on earth is a stent?! It does what?! Wish I had had that!"

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