Most of us have been there. There’s something bugging you with your body but you just won’t force yourself to go to the doctors. After all, who’s to say you’re not just making a fuss over nothing.
For the past two years, 52-year-old Kendra Jackson of Omaha, Nebraska, probably thought such a thing. Her nose was constantly running, and she showed the symptoms of a common cold.
“When it first started out, I just thought it was my allergies or a runny nose — like the beginning of a fresh cold,” Jackson said.
She would soon discover a startling truth, however. One that would change everything…
Jackson’s coughing, sneezing and runny nose began around two and a half years after she was involved in a serious car accident. She had hit her face on the dashboard and suffered from migraine headaches ever since.
Then, in 2015, her runny nose worsened, and so she began to take it more seriously.
“When it didn’t go away, I kept going back and forth to the doctors, and they prescribed every kind of medicine you can think of, and my nose just kept on running,” she said, as per CNN.
Doctors put her symptoms down to bad allergies, but when Jackson visited physicians at Nebraska Medicine, earlier this year, she discovered the harrowing fact behind her nasal discharge: it was cerebrospinal fluid leaking from a small hole in her skull.
Jackson said she was losing about half a liter of fluid per day.
A physician assistant “astutely recognized right away that this was something different than a runny nose and was consistent with a CSF leak. So we had her collect her fluids and sent it off for evaluation,” says Dr. Christie Barnes.
Cerebrospinal fluid is a clear, colorless fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. The fluid helps to remove waste products from your brain and distribute nutrients and other substances throughout the central nervous system.
“CSF is a fluid that actually bathes the brain. Because the skull is a fixed box and the brain is a nice soft organ, it needs to be protected from moving around inside that hard box,” Barnes explains. “So it actually provides a cushion for the brain and the spinal cord.”
In Jackson’s case, however, a tiny hole in her skull was allowing fluid to drip into her nose and mouth. Barnes says the part of Jackson’s skull that was damaged is thinner than a potato chip, and so one of the most common locations for this type of fluid leak.
Doctors believe that Jackson’s car accident may well have resulted in a small hole that widened over time. Due to the fact that she suffered head trauma in the accident, Barnes reckons it to be a certain possibility.
In order to treat Jackson, physicians at Nebraska Medicine plugged the hole in her skull using tissue from her nose and abdomen.
A month on from her surgery, Jackson is recovering at home and her mysterious drip has disappeared.
“I don’t have the nasal drip anymore, but I still have the headaches,” she said. “I actually feel pretty good, and I’m able to get a little bit of sleep.”
Watch a news report below:
You should always endeavour to see a doctor if you’re concerned about your own health. Kendra Jackson was fortunate that she was so persistent, because she could have had a serious problem otherwise.
Since cerebrospinal fluid leaks are so rare, it’s important people know the symptoms. Share this article with friends and family to let them know!