Tuesday, June 15, 2010

So This Is What You “Migraine Sufferers” Have Been Whining About

Yesterday morning I got up and came out to the kitchen a bit after 8 am, ready to have some morning coffee and start the day. We've been offered this free mortgage refinance through our bank, which will lower our interest rate and therefore our monthly payments (the savings works out to be pretty much the exact amount I owe as my new co-pay for Xeloda, so that's something), and so I was going through the paperwork to make sure I had everything in order before sending off a fax. I eventually noticed the telltale sign (or, maybe more exactly in this case, the "tell-void" sign) of impending migraine activity. Well, whatever. I've had them before, and even though it's been several months now since the last one, I've always assumed I'll have them again. I went about my business preparing my protein shake (frozen banana, two other fruits, yoghurt, peanut butter, whey powder, rice milk, YUM) while the neurological issue progressed, then I had my shake, noticed the language difficulty for a short time, some mild buzzing along my right hand, and whatever. Went on with my day.

Well, not long after this, I noticed the blind spot building again. And with it some headache. I tried to lie on the couch and just doze, and I think I was able to achieve some relief. Then Hoover came and got me and insisted on lunch, so I woke up, and I was in the middle of one of the difficult speech times, and by this time my head was THROBBING. I have been extraordinarily lucky and have not had much pain ever, but my luck was clearly on vacation somewhere else yesterday. I fed the dogs, whimpering a little (me, not them), and, strangely cold, dragged myself into the guest room and curled up in the comforter there. The third time the dogs came in to get me to play with them—they'd had a boring morning of it since dad left—I woke up in the middle of one of the language issues again and tried to figure out how to reach Ian. I could remember the first six digits of his phone—206-321—but couldn't get beyond that. I went to my computer and opened an email to him, but I couldn't write anything longer than "come home. Help me." I eventually got an email off, but then I also recognized his number on our caller ID and was able to reach him by phone. It was, I thought, time for another visit to the emergency room.

I mean, one migraine is one thing. But already 3, the pain, and the nausea (which I treated Ian to—obliquely, on the other side of the closed bathroom door—soon after he arrived home), and the fact that I'd just begun a new chemo 8 days before, seemed like reasons enough to let a professional look at me.

I was whisked in right away, courtesy of "the worst headache I've ever experienced" and my history, given four heated blankets, then taken off for a blood draw and a CT. Dr Jason stopped by to say hi, as did an ER resident, and then the ER chief.

The upshot? Migraine. Dr Jason said the CT looked fine. The resident did my habitual neurological test, including the muscle resistance part where I inadvertently pushed him around with my massive strength, and the mental part where I identified not only the day and date, but the relatively obscure national holiday. "What's the day today?" asked Dr L. "June 14, 2010," I said. "It's Flag Day."

And the ER chief, bless him, said "All those symptoms you've experienced are very common migraine symptoms. Nevertheless, good for you got coming in the have it all checked out."

We had pizza for dinner, and just after 9 pm I noticed the 4th episode of the day starting up. No matter—I had an Ativan and 2 extra-strength Tylenols, went to bed and slept like a baby. Or, rather, from what I hear from my friends with babies, slept like an exhausted adult whose kid is staying over at Grammy's for the night. Or the summer.

1 comment:

Robert said...

Glad to hear it was "just" a migraine . . . and thanks for the reminder; I completely forgot about Flag Day.

-- Robert V.