BY BEN MARQUIS
hile we here at Conservative Tribune typically focus on providing analysis and commentary on the political news of the day, we occasionally come across a story that is so out of the ordinary it simply demands coverage.
According to Fox News, a Nebraska woman who thought she suffered from particularly bad allergies had sought treatment from doctors and specialists for several years to address her constant runny nose.
Unfortunately for Kendra Jackson of Omaha, none of the physicians could determine exactly why the woman could never seem to stop coughing or sneezing or stem the constant trickle that ran out her nose or down the back of her throat. She had even grown accustomed to carrying around a packet of tissues at all times to deal with it.
“Everywhere I went I always had a box of Puffs, always stuffed in my pocket,” Jackson said in an exclusive interview with KETV. “(It was) like a waterfall, continuously, and then it would run to the back of my throat.”
The symptoms began shortly after she was involved in a 2013 car accident in which she had hit her head hard on the dashboard — an injury she blamed for her chronic headaches — but had never connected the injury with the constant cold symptoms or inability to sleep well from which she suffered.
Then one day she sought treatment for the condition at Nebraska Medicine where she was diagnosed with a rare cerebrospinal fluid leak, known as a CSF, which is the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.
Doctors estimated that Jackson was leaking upwards of a half-pint of the vital fluid through her nose on a daily basis.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, a CSF leak can result when a hole is formed in the skull bone through which the fluid can leak, typically into the nose or ears where it appears as clear, watery fluid.
Aside from the runny nose and cold symptoms, other symptoms of a CSF leak can include headaches, hearing loss and vision loss. The leaks can occur spontaneously but are usually the result of some sort of head trauma such as injury, surgery or tumors.
Treatment can be as simple as bed rest and avoidance of strain or stress for a couple of weeks while the hole heals itself. A drain can also be inserted in the lower lumbar region of the back to reduce the pressure around the area of the leak in the head.
But in other instances the CSF leak may require surgery to repair the damaged area of the skull, such as was the case with Jackson.
KETV reported that, thanks to modern technology, the doctors were able to repair the small hole in Jackson’s skull through a less invasive method than the brain surgery that was typically required in the past.
“We go through the nostrils, through the nose,” explained Dr. Christie Barnes, a rhinologist at Nebraska Medicine. “We use angled cameras, angled instruments to get us up to where we need to go.”
The doctor said her team was successfully able to use some of Jackson’s own fatty tissue from elsewhere to help plug the hole that had developed between the front of her skull and her nostrils.
“I don’t have to carry around the tissue anymore, and I’m getting some sleep,” Jackson said with a laugh. She told KETV how much of a difference the surgery had made in her quality of life.
She will need to be monitored in a series of follow-up appointments to ensure the hole remains plugged and there is no swelling or increased pressure inside her head, but doctors expect her to make a full recovery.