According to a story from Mirror Online, 29 year old Jessica Walton of Cambridgeshire, England, was first diagnosed with the rare disease intracranial hypertension four years ago. Since then, her life has been miserable. The disease has rendered her completely bedridden and unable to support herself financially. And then there’s the pain, which she describes as her bones being on fire for up to ten hours per day. Her disease started with severe migraine headaches that first appeared in May 2015.
About Intracranial Hypertension
Intracranial hypertension is a condition of increased pressure within the skull. Normally there is a typical range of pressure (called intracranial pressure) that is maintained around the brain. However, when this pressure increases abnormally, serious problems can occur. In some cases, this condition appears without apparent cause and most frequently impacts women from age 20-50. Risk factors include tetracycline use, being overweight, or recent weight gain. The condition can also appear from a secondary cause, such as certain drugs or systemic diseases. Symptoms include severe headaches, tinnitus that pulses with the heartbeat, neck and shoulder pain, vomiting or nausea, numbness, papilledema, vision changes, coordination problems, weakness, and inability to smell. Treatments for intracranial hypertension include lumbar puncture, certain surgical procedures, venous sinus stinting, and certain medications such as acetazolamide. Outcomes vary, with some seeing remission and other having long term symptoms. To learn more about intracranial hypertension, click here.
Jessica has the idiopathic form of the disease, meaning that there is no known cause. When she was first admitted to the hospital, doctors had no idea what she had; many feared that she had suffered a stroke. Jessica describes frequent pain in hers arms and legs if she makes even the slightest effort to move them. She also experienced blurred vision that appears to come and go at random.
Jessica tries to stay active as a mental health support worker, but her illness often leaves her out of commission and struggling to get by. The woman has been forced to take out loans to support herself but now faces a serious debt load. She had started a GoFundMe in an attempt to help improve her situation. Jessica encourages people the spread awareness about intracranial hypertension as much as possible.
If you would like to help Jessica, click here.