Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Excuse me, is your brain fluid leaking? Well hadn't you ought to stop it?

In recent years, I've seen not one, but two! instances of somebody whose leaky nose turned out to be brain fluid. I don't think it's unreasonable to be alarmed about such a thing.  I mean, really, brain juice should stay in your brain. This is one of those incontrovertible personal truths, like preferring your blood to also stay on the inside. Apparently, your cereobrospinal fluid can also leak out of your ear. Isn't this delightful?

I mean really, in this most recent incident of SCSFLS (spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid leak syndrome, because everything needs an acronym), the man's nose had been running for eighteen months. I guess intermittently, one would think. Perhaps temporarily cleared by blowing his nose? I have no idea. It freaks me out. Especially because in the most recent incident, the patient also ended up with meningitis, perhaps because whatever it is that normally keeps one's brain juice in had been compromised, allowing for the entrance of bacteria.

In the prior incident I read about, the woman had only let it go on for four months, rather than eighteen. Her leak seemed worse, granted, but I wonder if this kind of thing is also representative of who is willing to say, pick things up that got knocked on the floor, and who just hopes those things will go away or get taken care of by somebody else?

But, I digress. There are other symptoms that go with SCSFLS like tinnitis and vertigo (and, y'know, a disproportionate amount of not-snot coming out of your nose). It's apparently a rare thing, but it's alarming enough to make me wish there was a test kit you could get at Walgreens. You know they have a section by the pharmacy where you can buy paternity test kits and drug test kits? The pregnancy tests, though, they leave those by the condoms. Which are also in the sock aisle. Again, I'll let you draw your own conclusion regarding the significance of that detail. But would it be a bad idea, to have a cerebrospinal fluid test kit? I think it would be worth the peace of mind, if you don't have a cold, don't have allergies, and you're on week three of nasal weeping with no health insurance in sight.

I wondered about the treatment of SCSFLS and spent a moment starting to Google that. Then, in this abstract here, I noticed one of the methods mentioned was "Gelfoam" and that made me think of the Fix a Flat stuff that you inflate/seal your flat tire with long enough to get to a gas station or whatever. And I figured I was about done.


  1. Great, now I have one more thing to worry about! Ick!

    1. I know, right? "Rare" medical anomalies are not a good time.