Joe Nagy blamed allergies for his runny nose.
The Arizona man was shocked to discover that his nose was actually leaking fluid from his brain and needed surgery, Fox 10 reports.
"Brooop! This clear liquid dribbled out of my nose like tears out of your eyes. I go, what is this?" Nagy said, describing when he first noticed the liquid while sitting up in bed.
The runny nose got worse, to the point where Nagy needed tissues all the time. There were times he couldn’t stop his nose from dripping.
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"It was about a teaspoon full. Splashed all over the top sheet,” Nagy said describing a time his runny nose splashed on blueprints for a model airplane. “I said, these damn allergies. I was embarrassed as hell.”
Eventually, Nagy went to Barrow Neurological Institute neurosurgeon Peter Nakaji, who told him a tiny hole in his brain was leaking fluid out of his nose.
“I was scared to death, if you want to know the truth,” he said.
Nagy’s surgery to fix the leak was delayed when he came down with a near-deadly case of meningitis. Once he recovered, doctors sealed the hole.
For days after the operation, Nagy was convinced that it didn’t work.
"I was waiting for the dribble. This leaking cause I was so used to it every day. I got my hankie. Nothing. It's never come back."
In October, Arizona saw a similar case of brain fluid leaking from someone’s nose.
Aundrea Aragon of Tuscon had liquid pouring out of her nose that doctors blamed on allergies, ABC News reports.
“I was scared to death and desperate,’’ Aragon said in a statement. “I knew it could not be allergies. The fluid would come out like a puddle.’’
It turned out she had a potentially fatal condition – a cerebrospinal fluid leak -- where her sphenoid sinus was cracked in two places.
A Jehovah’s Witness, Aragon said the University of Arizona Medical Center, where she underwent the operation, respected her belief to not use blood products.
“I am so grateful to them for everything they have done for us,’’ Aragon said. “I’m here, and I am grateful I can take care of my kids.”