Migraines – aka – the bane of my existence.

Migraines. Where to start? When I was in 6th grade I was so dizzy for about 2 weeks I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t see right, I couldn’t eat much, was sick feeling. I have always had an active imagination – especially when it came to my health. Crazy thoughts were going through my head. I though I would die – I had a brain tumor – I’d never walk again. My pediatrician sent me to a neurologist in another town (we lived in a small town) who decided I was having migraines. Aura migraines – I never got any pain with them, but they did impact my life. After the diagnosis it was very easy to control though – my dad had had them all his life – the painful ones – and they would give me some caffeine and imitrex and put me to bed for a while in a nice quiet dark room. 

These migraines continued – getting more frequent as I got older. Sometimes it really did affect my life – I couldn’t drive or work sometimes because I literally couldn’t see anything at all. If I took medicine immediately when I felt one coming on, I could USUALLY get my self back together enough to go on with life. And they didn’t last long – a day at most. And they were never ever painful and debilitating in that way. 

Flash forward – I had my total thyroidectomy at age 31. I had 3 more major surgeries for the cancer over the next 3 years. After the second surgery which was very extensive I started having even worse migraines. They were so severe I had no control over myself. I would scream and roll on the floor and vomit uncontrollably and basically act like I had gone mad. They came on fast and the only help was IV meds. We did many tests and nothing came back wierd. I was certain it had to do with my surgeries but my doctors said nothing we had done could impact me that way. I thought maybe the cancer and spread to my brain. I went to a neurologist who’s preventive meds did not seem to make a dent in my frequency or my severity of migraines. I asked a few times about checking my mineral and vitamin levels – which he poo poo’d. The med combinations he helped me find that worked to at least keep the migraines under control enough to get through my day had their own side effects. I was having migraines several times a month, for weeks on end. I felt like sometimes I just wanted someone to cut my head off. My husband and son suffered too. And my ability to do things – to go places with my son – the sun, my allergies, anything could trigger them, and traveling seems to be one of my worst triggers – driving or flying.

I ended up in the hospital for a kidney stone that had caused sepsis and was told I was extremely low in magnesium. I started taking magnesium 2 times a day and my migraines started to go away. I now only get them a few times a month, and I can usually head them off pretty quickly, stopping them before they get severe. (this low magnesium could be from my parathyroid damage or perhaps medicine I have taken for GERD for years and years – or a combination of all my health problems)

When I can’t head them off at the pass, they can last weeks and be bad enough to go back to the ER.

I started having a migraine when my allergies started acting up – honestly a month or more ago. Was able to keep it functional – but it was always there. I went to visit my parents and even though I stopped halfway both way (5 hours drive, then hotel, then 5 more hours) it still made my migraine act up. 

I was home for about a week or more after that and my migraine just exploded. Tried all the home meds. After 5 days I went to the urgent care (it was the weekend) and they gave me some nausea meds, a shot of tordol (which does help most people’s migraines) and some vicodin to take home. I crashed in bed as much as I could for the next few days. And woke up Monday morning in so much pain I thought I would die. I couldn’t stop vomiting. I thought my head would just split in two and my brains would ooze out – releasing me from my pressure mercifully. The ER wasn’t real helpful – they were surprisingly busy for a Monday morning and they wanted me out of the room. Normally they are much better there. Tuesday afternoon I went to my doctor’s office (regular doc) and got some steroids and an antinausea that seems to really help migraines too. (actually I think I took it before and it eventually gave me terrible diarreah, but that is another story – so far so good)

Anyway I am now searching for a new neurologist – one that will discuss botox or trigger point injections or other things since no meds have helped prevent them and my old neurologist wouldn’t discuss these options. And I am trying to decide whether to try medical marijuana – it is legal in my state and although it’s a bunch of hoops to go through, I think natural is better, and have heard it helps with migraines and other pain issues (which I have). 

In the mean time I try to live my life not scaring my son with all my pain issues, and telling him his life won’t be like mine – that he will not get “old and sick” like his mom and grandma – that he will be healthy like his dad. And trying to keep that promise by keeping him as healthy as I can in as many ways as I can. 

All I can do is hope the bad health genes have stopped by adding some totally different genes into the mix. 

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