If you happen to have a runny nose right now (and lots of you most likely do, since, 'tis the season and all), this post might scare you. Just a teensy weensy bit. NOT because you're in any real danger. So relax! What happened to 35-year-old mom Aundrea Aragon of Tuscon, Arizona, only happens to 1 in 100,000 people. Okay? So you almost definitely have absolutely nothing to worry about. We're talking RARE.
That's the problem, unfortunately. Aragon's condition was so rare, none of the doctors she went to see even considered it to be a possibility. See, Aragon had a runny nose. A really, really, really runny nose. For over 4 months, copious amounts of a "clear, tasteless fluid leaked out of Aundrea Aragon's nose whenever she bent over." Yuck! The first doctor she saw blamed allergies. So did the second. So did every other doctor she consulted. Aragon knew deep down they were wrong.
Finally, sick of stuffing paper towels up her nose every 10 minutes (no joke), Aragon went to an urgent care center. And guess what?
Allergies weren't making Aragon's nose run after all. When the urgent care center staff saw the fluid literally pouring out of her nostrils, they decided to send a sample to the lab. And snot it was NOT.
It was cerebrospinal fluid. Yes, Aragon's "allergies" turned out to be a potentially lethal brain leak. Apparently cerebrospinal fluid leaks most often occur "in overweight patients who have high cranial pressure" which can cause the sinus to "pop open;" occasionally, "a car accident or head trauma can cause a tear." Aragon's case was more of a "freak thing," according to surgeon Alexander G. Chiu.
Chiu was one of the surgeons who saved Aragon's life with a 2 hour surgery which, well, trust me, you don't want to know. Aragon is okay now and most likely won't spring another leak anytime soon, so, yay!
The lesson here, in case you're wondering, is not that you should panic every time you get the sniffles -- but that you should always listen to your gut. Aragon knew allergies weren't making her nose run like a faucet. Trusting her instincts saved her life.
Have you ever had a feeling something was wrong even when doctors said you were okay? Were you right?
Image via profernity/Flickr