Trust me to be hospitalised the same week I get a promotion.
The week commencing 6 November had the potential to be such a fantastic one. I was still euphoric from meeting Tom Hanks and on Tuesday 7 November I was given the good news that the promotion I was working towards was mine! And it came with a nice little pay rise…
But then my health plummeted.
I haven’t had any issues with my health up until this point. It started with chronic headaches which got worse as the week went on. As the pounding in my head became more intense my eyesight started to change. I can only describe it as coloured discs at the front of my eyes, almost like a transparent film. By Friday 10 November the headache was so fierce I had my mum take me to the GP because I couldn’t manage on my own.
My GP sent me to the hospital straight away, the doctors were not particularly helpful at first and suggested I go home and wait until after the weekend to see if it got any better. It didn’t get any better.
Ben rushed me back Sunday morning when I was crippled over in pain and needed a lumbar puncture (LP). If you haven’t had a lumbar puncture and don’t know what it is… A lumbar puncture is a medical procedure where a needle is inserted into the lower part of the spine to test for conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord or other parts of the nervous system. IT HURTS!
I’ve since been diagnosed with Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), a neurological condition of unknown cause defined by increased intracranial pressure (ICP) around the brain without the presence of tumour or disease… Fun.
I was prescribed medication and told to come back in a week. Over that week, rather than getting better and keeping my pressure down I continued to get worse and worse to the point that my optic nerve started to swell. I had double vision and was unable to move my right eye.
My fantastic Neuro doctor immediately got me a bed at the University College London Hospital (UCLH) to have another LP and lots of scans of my brain. The second LP revealed my pressure was super high, the highest my doctor has ever seen (not what I wanted to hear). They got my pressure down and since then I’ve been feeling 10 times better with my eye movement improving daily.
The team at UCLH were incredible and did a fantastic job at looking after me. On top of that Ben was amazing, staying with me the entire time. Sleeping on the floor in the first hospital in an uncomfortable recliner in the second and not leaving my side unless to sneak out and get biscuits!
I’m now on the mend, not 100% but I’d say well on the way. Many women don’t have any symptoms and find out too late causing them to go blind. I feel grateful for the headaches I suffered if I hadn’t had a warning sign I could have lost my sight.