SOPHIE, 13, has an arachnoid cyst, a fluid-filled sac on her brain.
When I was 10, I had an MRI and they found an arachnoid cyst right in the middle of my brain. At that stage,
I didn’t have any symptoms, but in 2016, I started to get headaches, dizzy spells and I even fainted. It was really scary. I learnt as much as I could online, but sometimes it was overwhelming. Around this time, I joined Livewire, which helped me realise I wasn’t alone and helped me be more comfortable with educating others. School was hard, as people said I was making it up because they couldn’t see anything physically wrong with me. My headaches got worse and I was having them constantly, so my neurosurgeon decided I should have surgery to drain the cyst, and I went on the waiting list. It was hard on my family, as we couldn’t make plans for months. I’d just started high school, so this meant another group of people would doubt I was sick. It made me feel low, but my friends were great. Don’t take negative words personally. I did at the start, but I just shake it off now. I also talk openly about my condition with teachers, friends and family – it helps!