So how does it happen?  A shunt breaking inside your brain, that is…

So how does it happen? A shunt breaking inside your brain, that is…

I honestly don’t have the answer to this question…all I know is, that it has and can happen.

If I thought this condition was scary before, I’m definitely on a different page today.  Travis Shumate was a fellow Hydro warrior who unfortunately had this happen to his shunt.  It was too close to his brain stem, which ended up being risky either way.  My last post questioned the relationship you have with your shunt.  I know I hated mine and can say that with conviction but, more so after what happened to Travis.  These things are not designed to keep us alive forever.  It does not come with a lifetime guarantee, it’s flawed and there are so many things that can go wrong to work against the design.  Sure, there are people who are lucky enough to have closer to the lifetime guarantee-type shunts.  (If there is such a thing).  Luck of the draw?  Who knows…

It breaks my heart to know that decades later things like this can happen.  But, being a Christian, I have to believe that there’s a reason and that Travis is in a better place.  A place without pain and all the uncertainty that encompasses this condition.  I’m human after all and, at this point in time, I cannot find a comfortable place of saying that it’s “OK”.  I find it absolutely unacceptable that people with this condition have to endure situations like this and even poor care from doctors who take chances or not…I suppose this would be one of the reasons why I also asked the question “Do we depend on doctors too much?”.  If anything, this has just emphasized the need for doctors to take their patients symptoms more seriously and not be dismissive, especially if it falls outside the norm.

Sit down, put in the effort and connect the dots, there’s a reason why a person feels the way they do…

We could sit back and “place blame“, we could play the “what if” or “if only” game and/or, we could just accept it as “fate“.  All I know is that today there’s a family, grieving for a loved one and my heart bleeds for them.  I also know that every day, somewhere in the world, someone dies.  I acknowledge the fact that other people have far worse medical conditions and that everyone is going through a challenge of their own but, this is not what this post is about.  We fight each day to be heard, seen and just get through another day.  We live with the constant knowledge of failure (at any given time) and yet we are told things like “Suck it up“, “You don’t look sick to me” or “It could be worse“, the list is endless.

Just because I look fine, does not mean that I am…

If anything, Travis’ death has highlighted just how serious this condition is.  Taking it for granted and “thinking” that your treatment is a cure, is by far the biggest mistake you’ll make in underestimating all that Hydrocephalus encompasses.

Awareness is important and this is why I write…

Rest In Peace Travis…


  • Buffy Fata

    February 13, 2018 at 4:32 pm Reply

    Very sad news. So sorry to hear this. I will pray for you and your family. I will continue to do what I can to help raise awareness and money so we can find a cure. I a truly touched by all your story.

    • Skyewaters

      February 13, 2018 at 7:48 pm Reply

      Thanks for your comment Buffy.
      Even though technically Travis and I aren’t family, we are part of the Hydro family and that’s sometimes better than blood relatives.

  • Tammy

    February 13, 2018 at 1:51 am Reply

    Unbelievably tragic. Thank you for speaking for us so eloquently so very often. I “luckily” do not have a shunt. I had an ETV so will not have to worry about that sort of incident. Yet malfunction still is a concern and being told your etv is working fine even though you feel like garbage with debilitating headaches makes me wonder how many times Travis probably reached out conveying symptoms only to be told he was fine. Prayers to his family and friends. Say hi to my Grandfather and dogs when you arrive Travis…☮❤

    • Skyewaters

      February 13, 2018 at 8:10 am Reply

      You are most welcome Tammy?
      I believe Awareness matters, which is why I blog. The fact that people actually read it, is a bonus. I too have an ETV and am thankful that I don’t have the added worry after what’s happened to Travis. It also doesn’t mean that I worry less about ETV failure. Just knowing it can happen at any time, puts me on constant alert.
      Hopefully this brings greater Awareness to the Hydro community ?

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