In 2017, Dessie was diagnosed with Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH), a condition in which pressure inside the skull increases for unknown reasons. She was also diagnosed with hydrocephalus whereas excessive fluid surrounded her brain which could have caused her brain to swell causing severe brain damage or even lead to death. Dessie also had a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak. Her CSF leak happened because she had a hole in her dura which caused spinal fluid to leak from her right ear. She had surgery on December 14, 2017 to have the CSF leak repaired and to have the fluid drained. Once the procedure was done, a reprogrammable shunt was installed as a precaution to collect fluid from surrounding her brain. Dessie endured temporary hearing loss in her right ear because of this condition before and after surgery. Before surgery, Dessie was at risk of becoming blind and developing meningitis.
Since Dessie's first surgery in 2017, she's had two additional brain surgeries in 2019 to repair her CSF leaks. Dessie decided to become an advocate for other warriors who suffer with this disease by forming a support group which started in August 2019. She also spreads awareness on social media about rare brain conditions and other health related issues.
Dessie's life changed after surgery and she was forced to embrace the "new normal". After surgery, she recalls experiencing excruciating pain, continual drainage in her right ear, and learning to adjust to the side effects of a shunt in her head. She decided to create a platform to raise awareness about this condition so people will know how to react if they encountered the symptoms she experienced.
Dessie's symptoms started in May 2017. First, she was treated for an ear infection and later sinusitis by other doctors. She later discovered she was misdiagnosed. When she was referred to Emory by her endocrinologist, she finally got some results.
Dessie shares her testimony on how God performed a miracle before surgery which caused her doctor to be mystified during surgery. She's affectionately known as the "mystery lady" but she knows better.
Book Dessie today to learn more and find out what she discovered about herself after surgery.