About five years ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. After four years, when the medication didn’t seem to be working and my quality of life was suffering, my wife Sharon suggested I see Dr. Witt – a neurologist at Swedish. Dr. Witt determined that I didn’t really have any signs of Parkinson’s, so she ordered an MRI. That’s when the water on the brain showed up. Dr. Witt referred me to Dr. Fouke who runs the Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus program at Swedish.
I met Sarah (Fouke) and her group. They marched me up and down the hallway while timing me with a stop watch and I did some other tests before they told me that I had normal pressure hydrocephalus. Sarah recommended I have surgery to implant a shunt that would drain the water from my brain and keep it from building up again.
My surgery was scheduled for May 1, 2012. I don’t remember anything except being wheeled into the operating room, meeting the anesthesiologist, and then waking up in the ICU. Those ICU nurses were just the best.
When you first find out that you don’t have Parkinson’s but you need brain surgery, you wonder whether it’s going to be ok. I’m just glad I did it! Within just a couple of weeks after surgery I was walking pretty well and now I feel like I’m really back to normal.
My wife agrees that the change is pretty phenomenal. She has even told me that she is once again married to the man she married so many years ago! We have our life back and have begun doing things that we had given up doing because my legs were weak and I couldn’t walk very far. Sharon and I agree – it’s totally amazing the difference this shunt is making. We’d recommend it to anyone who is diagnosed with normal pressure hydrocephalus.
Tom Davis is retired from US West Communications. Tom and Sharon have been married 35 years and share their home with three rescue dogs (currently a wirehaired Dachshund and two Chihuahuas). Tom enjoys watching hockey and movies, going for walks and visiting with friends at local coffee shops.