I never thought I would become hydrocephalic. Never even dreamed of it. To me, hydrocephalus only happens to babies, i.e. congenital hydrocephalus. The fateful day I was diagnosed with acquired hydrocephalus saw my whole world came crashing down on me like a tsunami. That fateful day was 25 April 2006.
I was in the final semester of my Master degree studies, in the midst of writing the final project paper. Actually, the disturbing symptoms and signs began to appear the year before, i.e. in 2005. However, I did not take these symptoms and signs seriously. I thought they were due to the stress I had experienced while studying for the Master degree.
It all began with the symptoms of migrain-like pains and excessive sleepiness. The migrain-like pains came and went, consistent with the usual onset of migrain. However, I could not put a finger on to the fact why I was sleepy most of the time; even though I had sufficient sleep the night before coupled with naps during the day. In other words, I lacked energy and found it difficult to go through my daily rountine.
I couldn't understand what was happening to my health because the signs and symptoms I was experiencing could also be found in common illnesses. I thought I just had to live with all the pain, suffering and inconvenience associated with these signs and symptoms. However, as time passed by, the signs and symptoms became more intense and disturbing.
One of the first major disturbing signs was I tend to stumble when I walk. My legs felt very heavy and my left foot tend "get stuck" on the ground for no apparent reason. When my left foot had gotten "stuck", I would stumble and fall flat on my face without any prior warning. I also had periods where I would often black out without realising it happening. When these two major disturbing signs happened at the same time, I would find myself sprawled on the ground without remembering it happening. It happened once and I landed myself overnight in the hospital due to a bad fall I had when I was about to do some grocery shopping in town; one night in August 2005.
Lucky for me, I'd only suffered minor injuries and a good Samaritan helped send me to the hospital when it happened. Of course, at the same time I had other people around me staring and gawking as I sprawled on the ground. This incident left me feeling extremely confused as I couldn't understand why these signs were happening.... Three years later looking back at the events leading to the eventual diagnosis of hydrocephalus, I can't help feeling grateful that this diagnosis was made just in the nick of time to save my life.