Cindy Alleven Cindy Alleven

First post: Dec 31, 2018 Latest post: Apr 8, 2019
Cindy's story starts with a tooth extraction that must have exacerbated an existing bone injury on the front of her spinal column. After dealing with a dry socket (infection) from the tooth extraction, her head and neck pain did not lessen. Then she started feeling nauseous, so Warren made a couple more trips back to the oral surgeon to find out what else could be going on. The surgeon indicated the extraction site was healing properly, so Warren took her to the Mankato clinic on Thurs. 12/27/18, where she was diagnosed with a migraine. Cindy has a previous history of migraines, although she hadn't had one in five years. They migraine medicine provided no relief so Warren took her back to the clinic on Sat.  12/29. Cindy failed one of the basic neurological tests and was referred to the ER where they promptly ordered a CT scan.  The scan revealed that she has a subdural hematoma, which is typically caused by head trauma (fall or blow to the head). 

On Sat. 12/29, Cindy was admitted to the PCU (Progressive Care Unit) of Immanuel St. Joseph's hosital in Mankato. Cindy was fairly stable throughout the day until around 8pm when she became unresponsive. This is when Warren notified his daughters that they should plan on coming to Mankato to be with their Mom. 

Due to her worsening condition, the neurologist ordered another CT scan, which fortunately showed no change in the "brain bleed" from the morning's scan, which was a relief.  

Later Sat. evening and into Sunday morning, she improved and was responding; however, the neurologist recommended an MRI to further investigate. The MRI showed Cindy’s brain has "dropped", which has caused the bleeding between her brain and skull.  The neurologist explained that the reason her brain "sagged" is due to a RARE condition called Spontaneous Intracranial Hypotension.  This is caused by spinal fluid leaking  from her spinal column (somewhere).  (The spinal fluid is what helps support the brain.)

The neurologist then discussed her condition/situation with his colleagues in Rochester, and it was decided that  Cindy should be transferred to Rochester Mayo for continued assessment along with advanced care/treatment. So, Cindy was taken by ambulance to Rochester and arrived stable on Sun. afternoon, 12/30.

She then endured many tests, procedures and surgeries and went home on  2/4/19 to start an outpatient rehab program. The PT went really well for about a month until the pain started prohibiting her from making much improvement. By the end of March her pain had become so intense that by the middle of the day, she could hardly sit up. She is waiting to consult with the Pain Management Team at Mayo to find out what could be going on.