Mom's 'Runny Nose' Was a Brain Leak & That's Why You Should Trust Your Gut

OMG 21

tissuesIf 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

doctors, allergies, illness


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power... powertothekids

wow just wow i thought that was just sci fi good thing she kept persistiting 

linzemae linzemae

Wow, that's scary!

Dagny Fitzwater

I may not have been leaking brain fluid, but I always knew there was something wrong with me.  Come to find out all I needed to do was take out gluten from my diet.  Doing that changed EVERYTHING.  I lost 40lbs, no longer am exhausted, no more heartburn, my infertility went away (29 weeks preg!), my acne is gone, my psoriasis is gone.

And the doctors told me that I was depressed.

Iamgr... Iamgr8teful

The article didn't mention whether she was having headaches, so she probably wasn't, which surprises me a little bit.  When people have epidurals or spinal taps, they sometimes develop a small leak of CSF and have a horrible headache.  I'm glad she knew to get some help and that she is okay.

butte... butterflyfreak

Congratulations on your impending arrival, Dagny! My husband and I have started cutting gluten out of our diet and he has seen some improvements in his MS sypmtoms, and we have both started feeling better overall.

nonmember avatar Katy

Oh my gosh... Wow well put my mom with the 1 in 100000 bc she had this it was so ba she was losing memory, constant sinus infections and hers was worse bc they ha been trying to radiate a tumor in her sinuses for years. Thank you military it was her brain the bone that holds it up had broken... They went in pushed it up patched her up told her they would see her in a few year for a craniotomy to totally repair bc this would only hold so long. Last year she was having issues again thankfully permanate tubes relieved the pressure and she is good for now!! Never doubt you gut bc she always felt something more was wrong!!

lustfull lustfull

I was pregnant and my feet were swollen really bad,well after telling my doctor i think i have preclampsia and my mother had it as well. and the fact that when i walked to the bus stop,worked for 5 hours 5 days a week and walked to the bus stop and back home my feet hurt so bad i couldnt make it up the stairs.


i went in at 41 weeks to be told i needed to go to the hopital i had preclampsia....


Didn't George Clooney have this?

julie... julie21210

Saw it on greys anatomy...

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