Chronic medical conditions stink. These indications of bad health sink their teeth into us with bulldog-like tenacity and simply don’t let go.
Often there’s little we can do except try to manage them, and that doesn’t always work as well as we might hope. Why? Well, that might owe to any number of things.
Perhaps genetic or environmental or behavioral factors play a part. Or perhaps the doctors we’ve relied on have gotten the diagnosis entirely wrong.
That’s exactly what happened to an Omaha, Nebraska, woman named Kendra Jackson. According to the Washington Post, she was involved in a car accident in 2013.
Another driver slammed into her vehicle from behind. The impact snapped her face into her dashboard.
Not long after that, she began to struggle with allergies, and struggle and struggle — and struggle some more. Her nose would run like a seize no matter what she did, a dramatic gush that impacted her everyday life.
“Everywhere I went I always had a box of Puffs, always stuffed in my pocket,” she told KETV. “(It was) like a waterfall, continuously, and then it would run to the back of my throat.
“I couldn’t sleep. I was like a zombie.”
Ick and eww, but the actual issue that 52-year-old Jackson was dealing with proved far more gross than even that vivid description described. Though doctor after doctor said that she suffered from nothing more than the sniffles, one smart physician assistant at Nebraska Medicine realized something was wrong with that diagnosis.
Carla Schneider quickly realized that Jackson’s symptoms, which also included a headache, didn’t add up. “One of the things she said that stuck out to me was that she would wake up and her entire shirt would be covered with this drainage from her nose,” she told CBS News.
“That is not normal. That’s not allergies at all.”
It turned out that the stuff pouring out of Jackson’s cranium wasn’t mucus. It was cerebrospinal fluid, the liquid that cushions the brain. She was losing about a half-pint of the fluid per day.
She had a couple of dead giveaways. There was a car accident, for one thing, because such leakages can often occur after some sort of head trauma.
Then there was the fact that the goo only came out of a single nostril. That’s typical with such cases.
Fortunately, it was fixable. Doctors were able to perform a procedure that fixed the leakage.
“I don’t have to carry around the tissue anymore,” Jackson said. “And I’m getting some sleep.”
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