Eckard's spinal surgery.

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Eckard's spinal surgery.

Post by Tee on Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:46 am

Posted: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 10:00 am
By Jacob deNobel, Advocate Staff Writer

Lura Eckard and her fiancé Chuck Smith have been preparing for two major events in their lives: their wedding Sept. 24 and Lura's spinal surgery that she will undergo just a week later. This is her second surgery since 2009 and will help alleviate her symptoms of intracranial hypertension.

Intracranial hypertension is a rare disease that affects only about 25,000 people in the U.S. Dr. Michael Williams is Eckard's doctor, and he is a neurologist who serves on the advisory board of the Intracranial Hypertension Research Foundation.

"IH is a disorder where the pressure in the spinal fluid is elevated," Williams said. "For reasons we don't fully understand, it's not absorbed as well as it should be."

Symptoms of the disorder include severe migraine-like headaches, tinnitus and a swelling of the optic disc which can lead to visual problems. Because the most common symptom is a recurring headache, Williams said it can be a difficult diagnosis to make.

Eckard, of Westminster, was diagnosed with IH in July of 2003. She was sent home from the Carroll County ER five times, after being told she simply had a migraine. Eckard said she wasn't convinced, because the headaches would not respond to medicine.

"You get headaches all the time, because there's too much fluid that causes extra pressure in the brain," Eckard said. "Medicine doesn't do anything about the pressure."

http://www.carrollcountytimes.com/advocate_of_westminster/news/westminster-resident-gets-married-undergoes-surgery-a-week-later/article_1b924b20-e862-11e0-a442-001cc4c002e0.html

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