Mum of two left severe sight problems after ignoring rare type of headache: ‘I can’t drive or work’
Rebecca Lennox has urged other sufferers to pay attention to cluster headaches
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A mum has been left with severe sight problems and is unable to work, drive or go out by herself after ignoring a rare type of headache. Now Rebecaa Lennox, 31, has urged other sufferers to pay attention to cluster headaches after she was diagnosed with high pressure around the brain.
Information online says cluster headaches are one of the most painful types of headache. They commonly awaken sufferers in the middle of the night with intense pain in or around one eye on one side of your head.
The mum of two, who used to work as a student nurse, said: “I’ve got two young kids and it’s hard because I can’t see them clearly anymore. I can’t do the things I used to be able to do. I’m sort of frustrated at the hospitals for not doing more when they could have done more. It’s frustrating that this could have possibly been prevented.”
Rebecca, who lives with husband Allan Lennox, 36, and her two children in Liverpool, said she had always suffered from headaches but would just try to ignore them.
Rebecca’s headaches started to worsen in 2020, and it was December of that year that her vision started to blur. The 31-year-old put it down to stress from the festive period, but the issue didn’t go away in January 2021 which led Rebecca to get her eyes tested.
Rebecaa was shocked when they told her to go to the hospital straight away. The hospital initially suspected a brain tumour but tests revealed that Rebecca was suffering with high pressure around her brain, known as intracranial hypertension.
Following a lumbar puncture, her vision improved before deteriorating again, and she says despite undergoing numerous further lumbar puncture procedures, her vision would always become blurry again.
She is now registered as severely sight impaired and says she has periods where her vision goes entirely. Rebecca said: “Don’t just dismiss your headaches, if you are struggling with them go and get them checked out.”
She added: “I’ve got too much fluid around my brain which causes pressure on the optic nerves. Blurred vision was one of the symptoms and once I was diagnosed, I was having episodes where everything was going completely black, and I was losing my vision completely and then after a lumbar puncture it would come back. When it went completely, I didn’t know if it was going to come back or not – I was worried I would be completely blind forever.”
She added: “I would get pain in my neck, but I used to brush it off – there’s so much fluid putting pressure on your brain it’s basically squeezing it. It’s impacted me being a mum, I can’t do a lot of things on my own anymore.
“I’ve got to have someone with me and be supervised for a lot of things – I can’t go out by myself, and I can’t cook by myself. I’m not allowed to drive anymore, I can’t do my job anymore - I’m sad I can’t do the things I used to be able to do.”