I have worked with many of you over the years. You know that I'd occasionally be absent for that planed meeting and recently was out of town for a few months to get my wife treatment for a Cerebral Spinal Fluid Leak (CSF or CFSL); Intracranial Hypotension.
Her problems started with a car accident 23+ years ago and it was only last fall that she learned, through her own studies, that the cause of her debilitating headaches were from CSFL.
Your brain is supposed to be floating around in your skull as a protective shock absorber. A leak of this fluid cause the brain to start hitting things and yanking on things that were never meant to be yanked.
Ultimately she could bare the pain no longer and this Wednesday, Aug./7th/2013, she took her own life to stop the pain.
There are no words to describe the emptiness I fell right now. If you have a wife/spouse/significant other make sure you appreciate all the things they do for you, and let them know it. Also make sure you know how to do the important ones too. At the moment I have no idea how to pay the gas bill on the on line account she setup. Would you know the passwords if you had to take over this duty? Fortunately I do in this case as she was good at keeping some of them written down, but alas not all of them.
The research into CFS Leaks is only about ten years old and Karen had this problem for nearly 24 years. We only know two people that are known to have had it longer at 26 and 32 years.
I refuse to let Karen's death be in vane. To that end I am paying for a private autopsy to be done Monday morning Aug. 12th, even tho the cause of death is known. The reason for the autopsy is to have her spine removed. It will be sent to Duke Medical School to be studied in the hopes something may be learned to prevent an other suffer of this painful condition from taking the same route Karen did to end her pain.
Karen touched so many lives that the outpouring of sympathy and support has been amazing that I can not keep up with the number of people she helped. I will be updating Karen's web site with more details and resources to help others, and most of all educate doctors about CSFL.
It was always hard to get Karen to leave the house on time for any event. She may indeed be late getting to her own funeral...