My 80 year old father has been suffering from heavy headedness / dizziness for many years.
But last weekend, after a heavy session of bending and lifting in the garden, he was admitted to hospital when this heavy headedness turned into an unbearable 'clamp like' headache.
This is on top of the following symptoms he has had for some time
• Headache and heavy-headedness that worsens when standing up and lessens when lying down.
• Dizziness when standing up.
• ‘Sloshing’ feeling in the head.
• Nerve pain in the legs and feet.
He was given an MRI scan which showed up negative.
He has been given paracetamol and oral morphine to manage the pain.
Eventually, he was told that it was a stress related headache and that there was nothing the hospital could do.
He was told to go home, rest and recover.
The next day I receive a phone call from my mother telling me my father had attempted to take his own life, unsuccessfully.
He is now in the Acute Care Unit and stable.
My father has never suffered from depression. However, I feel that the pain that he has had to endure, and the lack of hope of there being a cure, has lead him to wanting to give up.
So, I have taken it upon myself to try and find the cause of these headaches and take the necessary action, with the help of the doctors, to diagnose and cure his condition, what ever that may be.
My first request to the doctors is to test for a CSF leak as he is showing all of the symptoms attributed to this condition.
CSF leak is where cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks from either the dura of the brain or spinal cord.
My guess is that my father's leaks are coming form the spine, this is the most common location of a CSF leak.
This leak creates a reduction of pressure of the fluid that keeps the brain buoyant and therefore results in the brain sagging.
It is this sagging that causes the head pain.
The head pain gets worse when patients stand up, and is ofter reduced or eliminated when lying down for a period of time.
MRI scans have been found NOT to show CSF leaks in the brain or spine.
However, CT Myelograms (CT scan of the spine) have been shows to spot the leaks successfully, or at least, areas where there could be leaks.
The hospital has agreed to perform a CT Myelogram.
CSF leaks can be healed with blood patches.
During the scan they will also be testing for low SCF pressure and increased levels of protein in the CSF fluid, both signs of CSF leaks.
NOTE: Much of my research has come from studying Dr Carroll MD who specializes in CSF leaks.
He delivered a very insightful talk at Stanford. The YouTube video is called ‘The Mystery Headache: Migraine, Positional Headache, Spinal Fluid Leak?
I will keep you posted on progress.