Arizona Woman Nearly Dies as Brain Fluid Leaks Out Nose


Diagnosis Was Brain Leak, Not Allergies

Aragon was so busy with her three children, age 9 to 16, one of whom is autistic, that she didn't question the numerous doctors who were convinced she simply had allergies.

One doctor did mention the "rare" possibility of a CSF leak, but dismissed it and gave her a nasal spray.

"In the meantime, I was literally drinking this fluid and my chest was hurting," said Aragon. 'I was waking up choking on the liquid. I thought I had pneumonia."

"I was walking around my house with paper towels shoved up my nose and changing it every 10 minutes," she said.

Having suffered from fibromyalgia for years, Aragon said, "I was used to being in pain all the time."

But because she is the main caregiver for her autistic daughter, Aragon tends to take her health seriously. "When something happens to me, I am quick to take care of things," she said.

When the nasal spray didn't work, she became "pretty distraught" and went to an urgent care center.

The nurse was shocked when she saw the volume of fluid left on the floor when Aragon gave her urine sample. And when the doctor asked her if she could leave a small amount of fluid for testing, she replied, "I can fill that tube up 20 times over."

Even the doctor was shocked. "You should have seen his face, when he tried to be expressionless," she said.

The fluid was sent for lab analysis, and Aragon was sent to an ear, nose and throat specialist. A protein indicates whether it is cerebrospinal fluid.

When results came back positive and a CT scan revealed two lines in her sinus, she was referred to the University of Arizona Medical Center.

The two-hour surgery went well and Aragon didn't experience as much pain as most patients. Doctors used tisssue from inside her nose and a small patch of skin from her belly fat to graft over the cracks.

"The doctors were wonderful and so respectful of my religion," said Aragon, who is a Jehovah's Witness and is not allowed to use blood products. "They never rushed me and answered all my questions and explained everything -- even my dumb questions."

"I feel so much better," she said. "I was very, very fortunate."

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...