vp shunt + crypto menningitis

Question

I was diagnosed with cryptococcal menningitis two years ago and was in and out of the hospital with reccurences 5 times over 9 months. After the spinal taps came back negative for crypto for two weeks the intra cranial pressures were still extremely high neccesitating a vp shunt placement or daily spinal taps for life. was the shunt a good choice? also did the recurrences have anything to do with the fact that I was not diagnosed with the crypto for 2 weeks? I kept going to the hospital with headaches, vomiting and double vision but the doctors dismissed it as a migraine until I lost movement of my lower body. BTW I am doing fine now. I am kayaking, rock climbing and swimming 60 laps a day. My recovery has been dramatic but I worry about the shunt

Answer

You did the right thing-- the only way to treat increased intracranial pressure is to remove spinal fluid by one means or another. If you hadn't received the shunt to move spinal fluid from your brain to your abdomen, then you would not be functioning at the high level that you are currently, and you would very likely not even be alive. Don't worry, be happy. (If your viral load is well-suppressed and your T cells are high, you may want to discuss the pros & cons of removing the shunt with your HIV doctor and your neurosurgeon.)