It has been a couple months since I’ve done a complete personal update that doesn’t include anything sponsored. I apologize for that. I’ve been busy with family and taking care of myself but I’m ready. I’m finally ready to share something that I learned this year and had to come to terms with.
This is still something I’m dealing with but I’m on the mend. But I want to make sure that I can help other that might be having the same symptoms. Don’t go too long without getting yourself checked.
March 20th, I had a regular eye doctor appointment
I didn’t have any complaints but I always make sure I go in to get my eyes checked ever since I started wearing contacts. It was an easy visit… I’d been through all of this before. Towards the end of the visit, my doctor took a look behind my eyes. She asked if I was having headaches and stars when I stood up. I answered no… however, after thinking about it for a while, I realized I had.
I had been having mild headaches for a while that wouldn’t go away with medication. But so mild that they barely bothered me. At one point, I had walked from my bed to the bathroom and couldn’t see when I got to the door. That’s how bad the stars had gotten. But that only happened once then they completely stopped so I forgot about them.
She quickly took me to the front desk and told the ladies I needed to see a Neuro-ophthalmologist within the next 48 hours. I knew something was terribly wrong.
After 2 hours in the new doctor’s office, I was told I had swelling on my optic nerves and enlarged blind spots on my eyes because of it. I needed specialized testing to find out why: this included a head MRI and a Spinal Tap.
I wasn’t a fan of the spinal tap. However, it helped more than you know.
I had an increased amount of spinal fluid in my head and the spinal tap immediately stopped the headaches. Yes, I was uncomfortable for a short time because of a needle going into my back. However, it took away the headache until I could get the medication I needed. This is how we found out the diagnosis:
IIH or Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension
Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension is a condition due to high pressure within the spaces that surround the brain and spinal cord. These spaces are filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which cushions the brain from mechanical injury, provides nourishment, and carries away waste. If it isn’t taken care of in a timely manner, you could lose your sight. There is a chance that my blind spots I have are permanent but the doctor thinks we caught it early enough to fix it.
I’m happy to say I haven’t had a spinal fluid related headache since the spinal tap. I’m taking medication to help fix the problem. I’ve also lost weight, which can help speed up the healing process. I’m hoping my next appointment yields good news and I can start lowering my medication dosage.
This will be something I deal with for the rest of my life. Even if it goes away, it can come back. So I’ll see my new doctor forever just to make sure we monitor it. This is why I always say to make sure you always get checked out. You never know what’s happening with your body.