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Thread: Any bodybuilders among us? Potential shunt problem re: upper body muscle growth

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  1. #1

    Default Any bodybuilders among us? Potential shunt problem re: upper body muscle growth

    Hey Doubt anyone remembers me but I used to post here for a year or two back in '06-'07, when I was 16 and getting severe pounding headaches on and off for a year, doctors, neuro, parents etc telling me it was 100% definitely nothing VP shunt related and probably my fault for not getting enough exercise / watching too much tv / stressing too much about exams / bad posture / basically all the usual sh!te before finally sending me for a CT scan and discovering that it WAS, indeed, a shunt malfunction :p This forum kept me sane throughout this ridiculous saga when myself and pretty much everyone here agreed that it probably was the shunt and that the people I had the misfortune to be dealing with were, not to put too fine a point on it, a bunch of feckin' eejits.

    Anyway I have a possibly unusual question. Since '07 my original shunt (placed in '89) has been defunct and a new one on my left side has taken over its duties. Technology must've seriously improved in the 18 years between the two shunts because the new one is so tiny I can barely even feel it by running a finger over it, while the old one is so huge you can see some of it with a naked eye (in particular where it crosses the collar bone). The old one was not removed after malfunctioning, ostensibly because messing with one placed in infancy would be ridiculously complicated and cause more problems than simply leaving it in.

    Here's the problem. Since then I've become a pretty avid bodybuilder, and in particular over the last year I've really hit it hard in terms of heavy weight lifting and training. My muscles are getting very big (well, big compared to what they were like before ;) ) including my shoulders and pectorals.
    In the last couple of weeks I've had a very slight pain at the site of both catheters in my head, especially if I shrug the back of my head itself. Just a slight pain, didn't think much of it. But now, I have a fairly bad ache on my right side, the side with the old, defunct shunt in it. The pain is hard to pin down but the tip of my shoulder hurts and I sort of feel like the bit of my chest where the shunt tube is hurts a little as well and *possibly* my neck - but you know how it is with ache type pain, it's hard to tell specifically where it begins and ends. I feel it acutely in the shoulder tip but I'm slightly aware that it might extend to those other areas.

    Is it possible that by my muscles getting too big, I might be stretching the old shunt tube more than it can handle? Equally, is it at all possible (old childhood fear of mine) that a shunt could be pushed off the collarbone and into the "hollow" between the two collarbones, where the windpipe is, thus causing (I'd imagine) all kinda of hideous and painful problems?

    Are there any bodybuilders here? Anyone else working on cultivating big muscles whose had any potential shunt issues, or anyone who cultivates them with absolutely no shunt problems whatsoever?

    To be honest I'm very defiant at the moment, my hydro has caused me a serious amount of social grief in my life for various reasons (missing a year of school at 16 years old is something I've found you never quite catch up on!), at the risk of sounding like a tw@t right now my bodybuilding is giving me a gigantic confidence boost and people have been saying how much better I look lately from it, so the point is I'm absolutely not going to allow this to be just another of those things "you just can't do if you have a shunt", whatever it takes I will find a way of making this work because it's become one of my favourite hobbies apart from music and losing it would be utterly, mind blowingly depressing.

    Again, sorry if I sound like a tw@t. But at this stage there are two many things my friends have been able to do that I haven't because of this, I seriously don't want to hear that weightlifting and muscle building is yet another one. What happens when the pectoral and shoulder muscles get bulky, shunt-wise? IS there the possibility of an old shunt migrating because the muscles are getting big enough that they're pulling it out of place?

    And the dreaded question: With an old shunt placed in infancy which as I say they said they couldn't really remove or anything because it's too deeply embedded, can it be extended or anything, or is it going to be "Sorry, people with shunts just can't bodybuild beyond a certain point"? This might sound irrational but I'm absolutely dreading the answer to that last question :/

    any advice at all would be appreciated!

    Just as a brief PS, is "Mandy" / "Amanda" still here and did she ever get her shunt problems sorted out?

  2. #2

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    Hey man, came across this post while googling the same thing.
    I had a vp shunt put in when i was 13 and I'm now 21 and a pretty competitive strength athlete/bodybuilder.
    I've put on quite some size in the past 4 years of working out and I've actually been wondering the same thing lately. always been curious if itll shift out of place as the pecs grow, or if there will be complications with trap development.
    I'm under the impression that the shunt itself is cemented in place with scar tissue but im not too sure.

    also, im just curious what your bodyfat % is and how the shunt looks in your abs.
    I've never gotten myself below ~18% (hopefully this summer i'll do a real cut) but I've always wondered what a shunt looks like on top of a 6pack.

    It'd be pretty cool to talk to you because I havent heard of any other person with a vp shunt getting serious about their physique

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