When you have a runny nose, it’s easy to assume it’s the result of hay fever or a cold, but for Vincent City Councilwoman Suzanne Worner, it was a sign of something more sinister.
Ms Worner exclusively told PerthNow this week that it took her two months of GP appointments, a hospital visit and a visit to an otolaryngologist to discover her runny nose was actually CSF leaking from her brain.
“In early July at the Budget Council meeting, my nose just kept dripping, so I assumed I had COVID,” she said.
“I kept taking tests that came back negative, so I kept asking myself what was wrong with me.
“I couldn’t get through to my GP so I made a telemedicine appointment with another GP who said to go straight to the hospital… I was told I was overreacting and they sent me home.
“I went back to my GP and was put on antibiotics for a sinus problem that wouldn’t improve, but I ended up being referred to an ENT who just gave me one look and said it was definitely cerebrospinal fluid.”
Ms Worner said her nose was dripping “like a faucet” with a “constant stream of liquid”.
She is General Manager of Revelation Perth International Film Festival and was due to fly to Tuscany on September 7th to bring four Australian films to the Francigena Film Festival.
When I think about my mortality many things come to mind and these make the most sense… be honest, have integrity, don’t accept money to compromise your values, don’t be a token trophy and just leave a footprint.
But the mother-of-two has canceled her trip as she awaits urgent neurosurgery to fix the cause of her leaky nose and then repair the damage.
Ms Worner said her surgery will include adding stents to her brain and extracting tissue from her hip to fill in eroded gaps in her skull.
“The cause dates back about 20 years when I was diagnosed with benign idiopathic intracranial hypertension, which is very rare,” she said.
“It’s the fluid in your brain and it was putting pressure on my optic nerves and I lost my sight as a result.
“I was trying to correct that and the doctors said losing weight would make a difference, so I had lap band surgery in 2006 and from there I thought I was fine and it wasn’t a problem.”
Little did Ms Worner know that over time the fluid continued to accumulate and put pressure on her skull, causing erosion and holes that allowed the fluid to seep through her nose.
“I presented this on July 15 and if they had tested it properly, maybe we could have solved it faster,” she said.
“I found it’s not unusual in this situation to be ignored and fobbed off because it’s so unusual that it’s the last thing people will ever expect.
Ms Worner said the experience taught her who was special in her life and who counted.
“When I contemplate my mortality, many things come to mind and these make the most sense…be honest, have integrity, don’t accept money to jeopardize your values, don’t be a token trophy and just leave a footprint,” she said.
https://www.perthnow.com.au/local-news/perthnow-central/city-of-vincent-councillor-suzanne-worners-runny-nose-turned-out-to-be-fluid-leaking-from-her-brain-c-8221187 Vincent Councilwoman Suzanne Worner’s runny nose turned out to be fluid leaking from her brain