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Includes Expert Content
Does this sound like a CSF leak?
Barnbum_4_life posted:
Yesterday, I sneezed really hard and immediately my nose just started running like a faucet. It soaked my shirt and my initial thought was that I had a bad nose bleed. I then realized it wasn't blood and cupped my hand to try to catch the fluid. It was yellowish and watery and quickly filled the palm of my hand. Then it slowed to a drip and stopped. Having no clue what just happened I washed my hands. I wish now that I had saved it so I could have the doctors test it. When I bent over I got a few more drips and then it just stopped. I haven't had a drip for about 24 hours now. I did get a minor headache after this happened and I still have it. I don't know if its related but it sure makes since if it is. I don't have any money or insurance so I'm trying to figure out if I should go to the urgent care or not. Any advise would be greatly appreciated
Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
Insurance or financial contraints or not, the ONLY way that you can be properly diagnosed is to see a medical provider. I would suggest the ER -- a place where you can have imaging studies performed -- rather than an urgent care, which may only have an x-ray. I know you are worried about the cost, but when it comes to your well-being, it is difficult to put a price on the importance of your decision.

What you experienced is quite unusual and needs to be investigated, especially in light of your persistent headache. As much as I would like to help you, I have no way of determining the source of your fluid drainage or the seriousness of this situation based solely on the information in your posting.
Barnbum_4_life replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Thank you so much for your quick response. I was wondering where I should go to be seen and that answers my question. I will try to get in today. Will they be able to tell if it is indeed CSF since its not dripping anymore and I was unable to collect a sample?
Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Barnbum_4_life's response:
I don't know. It depends on your examination. The source of your drainage may have been a "download" from one of your paranasal sinuses. Whether this was CSF or not may require imaging.
Barnbum_4_life replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Well, I figured I would give in update in case anybody reads this and is experiencing similar things. I went in to the ER last night. The doctor honestly made me feel like an idiot. I felt like a total hypochondriach. He insisted that there was no way it would be CSF without some kind of trauma. Also saying that meningitis sets in very quickly and I would be a lot more sick then I appeared to be. This contradicts everything I've read online. There are a lot of people who have CSF drips for months or one story I read, she had it for years. Most of them comming down with pnamonia from the dripping into their lungs but not coming down with meningitis. There are websites with forums full of people who are going through this they call themselves "leakers" I'm sure these are very rare cases. But I'm a little irritated I now have an ER bill for a doc to tell me I have a cold and prescribed decongestants. But I wanted to get it checked out to ease my mind and make sure it's not what I feared it might be. I don't really feel like I'm compleatly at ease though.
Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Barnbum_4_life's response:
I am so sorry for you poor experience in the ER. There is really no excuse if a medical provider does not take your symptoms and concerns seriously. It is a dangerous practice, indeed, to discount a patients problem. You may want to challenge the ER bill if you felt your level of care (or lack of) did not justify the charges.

Any chance that you can see an ENT? I know that you do not have insurance and have financial limitations, but you still have not eased your mind as to the cause or significance of this event.

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