I have needed to have a few neurosurgical procedures including a craniotomy. I have two shunts (basically a drain) in my skull, one is functioning the other is fractured and does not drain. After the first surgery I recovered quite well, I had friends come and visit me in hospital and this lady cracked a joke about the row of staples looking like a zipper in my skull. I cracked up laughing and heard this sound like someone blowing through a straw into a milkshake. It shocked the hell out of me, but nobody else could hear it. So it had to be in my head (no pun intended). I spoke to the surgeon about it the following day and he told me it was probably the CSF being forced out through the burr holes as I exerted myself laughing. He advised me that as the skull heals those holes would close and the fluid would not be forced out.
After the 2nd operation the recovery was not so good. As part of my recovery I used to take my wife’s dogs for a walk and whilst walking I’d get this ‘whoosh whoosh’ sound in both ears. It had an awful effect on my balance, some people thought I was drunk. Our hearing plays a large part in our balance and only small changes within our ears can have huge repercussions. But for me eventually these all settled.
My eyes have always had issues, but the opticians I had seen over the years as a child thought I was making my visual issues up, so they were ignored for many years. My headaches seem to radiate out through my eyes. I explain it as ‘someone shooting a bolt from the back of my skull out through my eyeballs’ and as for intensity, absolutely off the scale. I’ve recently seen an ophthalmologist and in real basic terms, he said “It’s all connected”.
Since my last operations in 2013 things have ranged from bad to very bad. My eye pain is daily, my headaches are constant and as for my balance it fluctuates something terrible. I can stand from sitting and find myself on the floor. I can stand, brace myself, normalise my balance (with a bit of a wobble) and be OK or fall over backwards. I can never tell. I have spoken to the dr’s about all of this and the response I get is “…ohh don’t worry, it’s all in your head…” as if I didn’t know that already. But none of them have any great answers.
So, I’m sorry to say, I don’t have any real answers but I can assure you, you are not the only one to have such issues. All I can say is that I have learnt to manage the best way I can. Some days that’s easy, some days I’m lucky to be able to crawl out of bed. I can never tell.
Merl from the Moderator Support Team