Hey! What’s that in your snot? Are ya sure it’s snot? What about those headaches you get at the end of the day? Are you sure they’re from stress?
Do you play Wii or Kinect? Do you play any video games where you make twisting movements along your spine?
99.99% of the time, your snot is your snot or your headache is stress. But, and this is increasing due to unnatural twisting movements made while playing Kinect and Wii, sometimes you form a tiny little tear in the thin membrane that covers and pressurized your entire brain and spinal cord.
This is called a dura. If it leaks, your brain and spine become depressurized. Your brain sags to rest with the brain stem on top of the spinal column, each movement of your head causing a minor concussion on your brain stem. Your brain stem, wobbling on top of a jagged little vertebra.
Oh and your eyes become sunken because the brain is more or less attached to the front of your face via your optic nerves and eyeballs. So while your brain wobbles and grates on top of your spinal column, your optic nerves get yanked and twisted and jiggled.
George Clooney had a minor leak in his dura sustained while filming a stunt for “Syriana.” Honestly, it’s the sort of thing that could happen to anyone who leaned back too far in his chair, tipped over, and hit his back a little too hard on the chair.
Here’s what he had to say about a minor leak of cerebrospinal fluid:
“‘I was lying in a hospital bed with an IV in my arm, unable to move, having these headaches where it feels like you’re having a stroke, and for a short three-week period, I started to think, "I may have to do something drastic about this"... but I never thought I’d get there. See, I was in a place where I was trying to figure out how to survive.’”
In response to a minor and very fixable leak in his dura, George Clooney was going to kill himself.
That’s not the terrifying part.
There is one very special case of a cerebrospinal fluid leak in medical history. I’m married to him. His dura didn’t form a pinprick leak. His dura tore open like cheap pantyhose from T1-T3, making his spinal column and brain totally depressurized. His body kept producing more CFS in a frantic attempt to keep up. Most of the care was in checking to see if he wanted to kill himself yet because the tear was in the worst possible place, surgically speaking. He was on Fentanyl patches and morphine and hydrocodone, together.
That’s not the terrifying part.
When he finally got his dura sewn up, his body started regulating. Once again his brain and his spine were pressurized in their nice cozy cerebrospinal fluid.
And then his body got some sort of miscue and maybe it believed there was another leak - because it started overproducing cerebrospinal fluid so fast, my husband wound up in the hospital out of his mind with pain. His entire nervous system was being squeezed by CFS.
The most painful thing I have ever seen someone survive is that. Right there. Your own body squeezing your nervous system and your brain lining so hard that it’s possible for the dura to burst like an overfilled water balloon. It squeezes thoracic nerves that make you feel like you’ve been shot in the stomach. You can put in a shunt, but in chronic CFS leaks and overproduction, that’s just going to condemn you to a life of unbearable pain until you commit suicide.
By pumping the maximum dose of Dilaudid and then some into his system over a period of 24 hours, his body finally regulated the pressure on his nervous system.
That is something I would expect to see in a brutal issue of X-Men. Jean Grey overfills a man’s spinal column and squeezes his entire nervous system until it pops like a grape. But it’s not a comic book. And it’s the most painful thing I can think of that can happen to a person.
George Clooney’s first symptom was something weird in his snot when he sneezed. My husband’s first symptom was a headache that tended to lessen when he laid down.
Flickr / Megan