Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Well It's Not A Brain Tumor....

but it isn't Meniere's disease either. Now I wish it was.

Last night at about 5:30 the phone rang. I knew it was the doctor's office from the caller ID, but when I realized it was the doctor calling herself, my heart sunk a little bit.

It seems that my brain shows evidence of several strokes, one of which has damaged my cerebellum. The cerebellum is responsible for the integration of sensory perception, equilibrium, and motor functions. That would explain my dizziness, and my inability to balance on my right foot.

There are also multiple lesions in the white matter of my brain, which is consistent with a history of migraines. They are now beginning to realize that migraines affect the physical structures of the brain. But it could also mean multiple sclerosis or other neurodegenerative disease. I will have to have further evaluation to figure all that out.

During Diminutive One's delivery, I had an excruciating headache...easily the worst I've ever had. Nobody seemed to find this worrisome and I assumed it was just a normal symptom of the pre-eclampsia. When I was nearly fully dilated, my blood pressure suddenly shot through the roof. The OB warned me, gently, that if I didn't deliver him quickly, she would have to give me a c-section.

If you know anything about me you know that I have a morbid fear of medical procedures, particularly any kind of surgery. There was no way I was going to allow them to gut me like a fish. So I pushed through the rest of my cervix and delivered him in about three pushes. I tore from stem to stern because of his hasty exit from my lady parts. But by God I avoided a c-section!

Right after he was born, they made all non-medical personnel leave the room except for Husband. I didn't know it at the time, but I was on the verge of a major stroke. They quickly started pumping me full of magnesium sulfate and as far as I know...that did the trick. I was on that stuff for two days and it was horrible. But then I went home and that was the end of that.

My doctor tells me it's very possible that the damage occurred then, and nobody realized that I actually had experienced a cerebral vascular accident. But there's just no way to know for sure. It could have happened during one of my many migraine attacks, and I just wrote it off as part and parcel of my typical migraine symptoms. I recently had a particularly severe migraine, and it could have occurred then. Certain types of strokes mimic migraines. It's possible I was suffering a stroke while assuming I was just having another migraine. Or, it could have been both.

So now I have to see a neurologist and have another, more detailed scan of my brain called an MRA, which will allow them to see all the blood vessels in my brain, and deterimine if I am at any immediate risk for another stroke.

I have to start taking blood pressure medication immediately, because even though my blood pressure is only slightly elevated, even that can be dangerous if I have weakened or obstructed blood vessels in my brain.

And...my doctor feels that the neurologist will want to start treating my migraines much more aggressively. Which means working harder at finding something to prevent them, rather than just treating the symptoms.

I've tried a lot of drugs to prevent migraine, and they all had horrible side effects. The calcium channel blockers made me so lethargic I could scarcely move. The anti-seizure meds caused facial ticks and aphasia. The narcotics for pain made me nauseated and completely incapable of performing every day tasks.

So I gave up and decided just to live with them. I reasoned that it was better to be incapacitated for a couple of days a month, than to feel like death warmed over all the time. So I've just been suffering through them. Little did I know that every migraine I've ever had has been leaving it's mark on my poor brain. I really shouldn't Google, like...ever, but I can't seem to help myself. I did find this article which explains the theory behind migraines and brain damage.

It makes sense really. If you've ever experienced a migraine, it's hard to believe that there isn't something major going on inside your brain.

So anyway. It is what it is. For now, I'm going to believe that those strokes are old and the danger is long past. It's the only way I can keep from freaking completely out. And, on the bright side, even though I have to have another scan, which isn't exactly pleasant, at least I know what to expect this time, and I know I can handle it.

So, I really didn't mean this to be a "woe is me" type post, but more of a PSA. If you have migraines, don't pooh pooh them. Seek help. I've had them for nearly 30 years and have only treated them for a fraction of that time. Now I'm paying the price, it seems. And don't put off diagnostic tests, regardless of the cost, as I did. If I'd had the stupid MRI a year ago, would I be in this condition right now?? Maybe, maybe not. But I wish I had just gone.

I guess now when someone tells me that my brain is addled, I can't exactly argue...can I?

28 Comments:

  • At 12:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh gosh BA, I'm so sorry to hear this news. You're very fortunate to have at least had the scan done before it was severly too late.

    Keep hope that modern medicine might have something new on the market for you to try. Who knows, maybe Viagra works on both brains. (lol!)

    Kellie

     
  • At 12:54 PM, Blogger Cranky Mommy said…

    Do you also get the auras/ light rays before your migraines? Did you get these as a kid?

    Keep us posted!

     
  • At 2:17 PM, Anonymous CuriousParty said…

    Oh wow, BA, that news must be terrifying. Actually, I know it is because I also have recurrent migraines that I have decided not to treat, partly because of med side effects and partly because they don't really happen often enough to impair my functioning on even a monthly, or quarterly basis. Now I have to go click that link, read that article, and re-consider.
    Thank you, and good luck to you.

     
  • At 4:06 PM, Anonymous a chris said…

    Thanks for the link. I think I missed that study, although I'm with you when you say it's hard to imagine a migraine doesn't leave something changed. Hope the new images

     
  • At 4:07 PM, Anonymous a chris said…

    ...huh? Sorry, must have clicked somewhere I shouldn't have!

    Hope the new images bring reassurance!

     
  • At 4:50 PM, Blogger Mac and Cheese said…

    Wow. I'm with you in assuming that the worst is behind you. Keep us in the loop.

     
  • At 5:05 PM, Blogger SUEB0B said…

    How nerve-wracking. Literally! Hope you find good treatment.

     
  • At 6:09 PM, Blogger Margaret said…

    And I'm sure that stress doesn't do you any good either(normal as it is);I'll be hoping for the best. Taking one day at a time is HARD.

     
  • At 8:29 PM, Blogger the only daughter said…

    My thoughts are with you and family.

    Peace.

     
  • At 8:41 PM, Blogger anne said…

    Sendin' up a healing prayer for you tonight.

     
  • At 8:43 PM, Blogger wyo said…

    I'm so sorry that you are going through this, but very grateful that you've shared what you've learned. Thank you. I am hoping for the best possible outcome for you!

     
  • At 8:48 PM, Blogger karma_musings said…

    Oh.My.Gosh. Definitely keeping you in my thoughts & prayers... and lots of virtual {{{hugs}}}

     
  • At 10:44 PM, Blogger Pgoodness said…

    Wow, they was pretty unexpected, I would imagine. Thinking of you and hoping they find something that works for you.

     
  • At 10:45 PM, Anonymous Hall said…

    Are you taking magnesium on a regular basis? My mother has complicated migraines, which in full blown form seem somewhere between a stroke and a psychotic break... bad stuff. But she hasn't had one since her doctor started her on Magnesium, specifically KAL Magnesium Glycinate 400 (best deal I found: http://www.swansonvitamins.com/KL468/ItemDetail?n=4294967181%2b3820). I wouldn't get into your business, but my mom is so much better taking this and her neurolgist wasn't familiar with the magnesium research that her primary care doc knew about. Good luck!

     
  • At 7:04 AM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    Wow, BA, I'm sorry to hear this! I hope that they can get you the drugs that will help manage things without all the icky side effects!

     
  • At 8:18 AM, Blogger mamatulip said…

    Thinking of you, BA - and thank you for writing so candidly about this. I'm a fellow migraine sufferer...I appreciate what you're saying in this post.

    Good luck, love.

     
  • At 8:50 AM, Blogger Avalon said…

    BA~~~~ You are exactly right. A few years back, I practically forced the Princess to see a doctor for her migraines. She was about 23 at the time.

    The doctor ordered an MRI and found "evidence of diffuse speckling"..........damage from the migraines. It was only then that they began to treat them aggressively and the Princess began to take them seriously.

    I wish you the best and hope that the MRA rules out any new worries.

     
  • At 6:44 PM, Blogger cndymkr / jean said…

    Thank you for writing about this. I forwarded the article to my mom. We both have migraines and have always thought that something so painful must have consequences. I'm glad that your doctor is working with you to figure this out.

     
  • At 6:54 PM, Blogger Woman with kids said…

    How scary! You must be thankful that's being looked into now, your doctor sounds like their going to stay right on top of it!

     
  • At 10:07 PM, Blogger Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said…

    Well, Shit. And... Damn. I'm sorry.

     
  • At 10:24 PM, OpenID wheelsonthebus said…

    oh, f-ck. i am so sorry.

     
  • At 7:01 AM, Anonymous Amy Sue Nathan said…

    And THIS is when you get a job?

    ((HUGS))

     
  • At 8:49 PM, Blogger Sharon said…

    I am so sorry to hear that you have this problem to deal with. It seems like you have already had more than your share of "challenges" this year.
    It is very kind of you to use this opportunity to provide a PSA to the rest of us.
    My good thoughts are with you and your family. Hope you're enjoying your new job.

     
  • At 1:19 AM, Blogger Just Words On A Page said…

    Oh my goodness, please keep us informed. I am so keeping you in my thoughts.

     
  • At 1:48 AM, Blogger flutter said…

    oddly, isn't it comforting to know you aren't just making it "bigger than it is"? like how some people treat you when you try to explain how much pain you're in?

     
  • At 9:36 AM, Blogger Sharon said…

    I just wanted you to know that you have been on my mind. Keeping a good thought for you as you continue on this journey....

     
  • At 9:59 AM, Blogger Amy Y said…

    Oh, Mama. :(

    Thinking of you... You'll get through this, somehow.

     
  • At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well damn I wish I had read this first - you've got me freaking out now!

    Scratch everything I wrote on the other post and line up the shots sister we have some worrying to do.

    Boliath xx

     

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