Patient Comments: Hydrocephalus - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with hydrocephalus.

Comment from: Fred, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: November 24

I received a severe trauma to my brain 7 years ago. I had a severe head ache that a high tech therapist who uses electro crystal therapy along with another high tech bio feedback device called SCENAR and a cranial sacral therapy on me were able to relieve. My head ache didn't bother me for years, then I began getting a head ache that was progressively getting worse. It felt like my skull was being blown up like a balloon. I would put light pressure on my head with my hands and feel the plates in my skull move. So I was certain my head was being blown up like a balloon and at the time I thought this was being caused by all the scar tissue caused from my brain healing so many damaged wiring in my brain. Then I went through the situation of experiencing a problem with one of my teeth that was very painful. I'm not 100 percent sure what was the true cause of the sudden release of the pressure in my head. It could be something else but to the best of my thinking I believe it was the pain from my tooth that relieved the pressure in my head. I was in pain from my tooth and at the same time I felt euphoric because I experienced the sudden release of the pressure in my head that was causing me to experience a very difficult type of headache to tolerate. It took 7 years for me to realize hydrocephalus was the cause of my headache.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: GeeGee1958, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 12

I was born in May 1958. I was diagnosed with hydrocephalus in September of that year. The shunt was implanted but no one knew what to do. My mother barely 20, was told contradictory information like, 'pump the shunt daily', and 'don't touch it'. We moved to Germany when I was a year old. The doctors there knew even less. I had a couple of incidents where the shunt stopped working but no surgery until I was 6 when they inserted an extension to the drainage tube; that was in the superior vena cava but as I grew it came out of that vein and they put the extension down into my right arm. I had no major problems for several years. The last week of my junior year of high school I got a headache. We initially thought it was stress but it was still there after several weeks. The neurosurgeon assured us there as nothing to worry about as I had no other symptoms. Two years and seven doctors later they replaced the original shunt. I had a 'severe' headache (literally hurt to blink for two days) for two weeks. That headache gradually dissipated over the course of three months. That was in June of 1977. I've been fine since. I graduated from junior college and have worked as a physical therapist assistant since 1981.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: kat, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 09

I had the shunt surgery for hydrocephalus in November of 1963 just after turning 1 year old. The doctors told my mom that if I didn't grow fast I shouldn't need a revision and I never did. Other than a spell of headaches when I was about 9 that went away I have had no problems. From reading these posts I am very aware of how fortunate I am and am very grateful. I do wish I could find people my age who were born with this. I have always wondered if it would affect me as I got older. So far so good. I hope for the best for all of you.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Ozcloggie, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: May 14

At 71, I now have to accept that I do have that 'water on the brain' or hydrocephalus. All these years I have recounted how my mother was upset, when she proudly walked with me in the pram and passers-by sympathized. As a primary school teacher (37 years) I had to explain that my head was/is too big for (normal) hats/caps to keep off the sun, while having to make the pupils wear hats. Now I shall be having an operation, after the MRI showed where the problem lies. I have no problems with balance etc., but memory is getting shaky. Even that diagnosis is affected by having moved residence twice recently and feeling a bit lost.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: meghan1991, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: February 24

I was diagnosed at age 22 with obstructive hydrocephalus. During summer break I volunteered for an attention study at our local university, involving an MRI machine. Having been a sophomore in college, I hadn't noticed any physical symptoms, and never got sick or showed any symptoms of anything. After the study, we looked at the images collected, and my ventricles were insanely large. I was immediately referred to my primary care doctor for further investigation. Having been very healthy my whole life, my doctors were in disbelief, and it wasn't until I met with the neurosurgeon that we were able to find any symptoms. The doctor asked me about my previous semester at school, and this was when it hit me. I failed 2 classes. Both of the classes were very challenging, but questioned me in ways I hadn't ever been tested. They required pure regurgitation and memorization. I would study 20 plus hours for a single exam, and would still get a clearly failing score. Having this realization raised a huge red flag for me and my doctor and 4 days after this meeting, I was scheduled for an endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV). The recovery time was short (3 days), and I made it back for fall semester and graduated on time! My memory has not improved, but hasn't gotten any worse!

Was this comment helpful?Yes

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Hydrocephalus - Causes Question: What was the cause of your hydrocephalus?
Hydrocephalus - Signs and Symptoms Question: What were the signs and symptoms associated with hydrocephalus in someone you know?

Patient Comments are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on MedicineNet. The opinions expressed in the comments section are of the author and the author alone. MedicineNet does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Alert If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.