Not One, But Two Shunts
I actually have not one, but two shunts. This is because my first shunts were put into the right side of my brain, and then the shunt was mived to the left side. On the right side of my brain, the pressure valve is still there, but is deemed "redundant" because it doesn't work due to not being connected to a catheter. The neurosurgeons left the pressure valve on that side inside my brain on purpose, because the operation was a delicate procedure, and taking it out would have meant more brain damage, and yet another difficult recovery. . So I have one working, and one redundant shunt. This is documented well in my medical history, but my neurologist still expressed her surprise at seeing two on my CT scan. Maybe there aren't too many people with two!
Other People's Reactions To My Scars
In general, many people haven't said anything about my scars because they can't see them, but sometimes I have shown some close friends. They have been both fascinated and shocked at the sight of them, and have always asked me about them. I have always been open and happy to talk about the story behind them, and still am, hence this blog post.
When I changed hairdressers, the hairdresser noticed my scars and asked me if I had had an operation there. I said I had, and asked her to cut my hair in a style where the scars can be covered by my hair. She was the first hairdresser to ever ask about them, and I am glad she did, because that shows acceptance. No other hairdresser who has cut my hair in my life has ever asked about them.
I was especially nervous when swimming time came around at primary school, and would ask my care assistant to help me into my swimming costume in a way that the other children in my class didn't see my scars. Some did, and made fun of me. I would ask to wait until everyone else was in the pool before I came out of the changing room and was helped into the pool.