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New Migraine leads to ER Visit

I will look back at this and one day laugh…in fact all I can do is laugh about it now.  I have already written this post, but had completely forgotten about it.  I spent about a half an hour putting it together….and it was already put together.  Ugh Oh well!  Maybe some of you didn’t see the first post about the New Migraine 😛

The new migraine involves the left side of my neck where there is a great deal of muscle spasming.  On the back of my neck, it feels like a hand is being placed at the base of my skull and the fingers are tenticles of pressure that engulf my head before finding their target behind my left eye where it feels like a dagger.  It may sound dramatic, but this is the pain I felt for 6 days and on the 6th day my classic migraine behind my right eye joined the party.

March 26th: I am guessing that this drastic change in barometric pressure could be why I have been 6898_10153978454741897_7694716924008176830_n (1)down for two days. Such terrible pain and meds are not working. A 0.1 change can result in migraine. This shows a change of 0.66.

March 27th: Parent Fail due to Migraine #126: The kids have no idea it is Easter and that is ok because I was never able to get to the store to get any Easter basket stuff. I feel so terribly guilty, but luckily I was blessed with children who simply go with the flow and are not very aware of time. Maybe next week will be better and I can get to the store and hit the clearance sales so we can celebrate next Saturday or Sunday. I figure as long as we go over the real Easter Story that is the main point and it doesn’t matter when we do that. But the guilt will remain. And back to bed I go. This round of migraines/headaches has been really awful and I even have a new one that I have not experienced before. And to top it off it does not seem to be responding the medications that I have on hand. But I have taken all the meds in combo and am hoping for some lowered pain time to spend with my family later on today.

March 28th: Today is my 5th day in row down with the same migraine. Meds so far haven’t helped. This seems to be different than previous migraines/head pain. I am hearing from others that they are also suffering right now. I just wish the weather would stabilize. I have no other map_tileexplanation than that. At some point I am going to have to go to the ER but it is so damn inconvenient. So if anyone has no plans or kids to take care of who wants to hang out at Sparrow, let me know?

March 29th: I finally decided to go to the ER. My speech was getting increasingly more slurred forgetting words. 6 days straight does not do a body good when it comes to migraine.

Their new triage system is quite nice and efficient.  I never sat down from the moment I walked through the metal detector until I was in a room getting ready to be hooked up to an IV.  I got my wrist band, talked to the first person to tell briefly why I was there, then off to explain further and make sure all of my info and medications were up to date in their system.  In that same room I met with a triage Dr. where she came up with a plan which was put into the system.  I then went to get my blood drawn and give a urine sample.  I didn’t even have time to put my name on the sticker and they were whisking me to my room where a nurse came in quickly and started the IV.  My veins don’t like to cooperate, but today the woman drawing my blood got it on first try and the woman putting the IV in only took two tries.

The first round of meds is the migraine cocktail and for me that is generally; Toradol, Benedryl and Zofran.  It didn’t work of course (I had already tried that at home, but they have to try).  Then they came back with Haldol (which made me want to crawl out of my skin, it was terrible) and Pepcid.  It finally knocked me out but the migraine remained ever so present when I awoke.  They were debating on admitting me at that point, but after a consultation from the hospitalist on call they decided to try Nubain and guess what it worked.  I has yet to fail me in these terrible, long term migraine cycles.  They let me lay for quite a while and once the narcotic effects wore off the migraine was gone.

Dan had taken the kids home earlier in the evening because each one of these medicine cycles takes time to take effect.  So I called him at 1:00 am and gathered up the kids and came and picked me up.  I love that my kids are so malleable…they just go with the flow no matter the situation (well most of the time anyway.

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My Current Diagnoses

  1. Chronic Classic Migraine

    The International Headache Society defines chronic migraine as more than fifteen headache days per month over a three month period of which more than eight are migrainous, in the absence of medication over use. Episodic migraine is the other migraine sub-type, which is defined as less than 15 headache days per month.

    These are the worst types of head pain that I have and are the most debilitating.  They last 72 hours followed by a day of postdrome and can be immediately followed by another migraine.  Sometimes I get 2-3 days between migraines (but those days are filled with NDPH, see below).  My Migraine Cave was created for these, because I cannot get out of bed and the pain behind my right eye, in general, forces me to close that eye for most of those 72 hours.  It makes it difficult to eat, drink, watch TV (so I tend to use my iPad because it has a much smaller screen and use an ear bud to make the sound more direct and in the ear opposite the migraine.  It is the Migraine that doesn’t allow me to work, make plans, leave the house very often, which game me the title to this blog: My Family’s New Normal.  We stay at home much more these days because even when I am feeling better, I am afraid the sound of restaraunts, movie theatres, anywhere with people really will trigger a migraine.  But luckily my family are homebodies by nature and they don’t complain much about this.  

  2. Tension Migraines

    • Affects both sides of your head
    • Cause mild to moderate pain
    • Cause pain that feels pressing or tightening, but not pulsating
    • Aren’t aggravated by routine physical activity

    Some people may have skull tenderness.

    I am just coming out of a really bad Tension migraine.  For me this tends to be brought on by both weather and any type of physical activity.  The severity can range from moderate to debilitating and can often piggy back a classic migraine.

  3. New daily persistent headache (NDPH)

    These headaches come on suddenly, usually in people without a headache history. They become constant within three days of your first headache. They have at least two of the following characteristics:

    • Usually affects both sides of your head
    • Cause pain that feels like pressing or tightening, but not pulsating
    • Cause mild to moderate pain
    • Aren’t aggravated by routine physical activity

For me this headache started two days after the anaphylaxis and treatment that occurred on January 21st, 2015.  This is the pain that I wake up every day with, and have done so since January 23rd.  I have a baseline level of pain that is moderate or a 3 on a 0-5 pain scale (pain that I can function with).  But sometimes the pain becomes more severe and widespread and turns into the Tension Migraine when the pressure becomes so severe that medication is needed to relieve the pressure or a trip to ER is needed. 

4.  Cervicalgia

Cervicalgia is neck pain that does not radiate outward to the upper extremities or shoulders. Its symptoms can be chronic or acute and can include neck stiffness, aching, tenderness, pain upon movement and headaches. It can be treated with application of ice when caused by an injury, heat when the pain is muscular in nature, temporary use of a cervical collar, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. 

I have gone to physical therapy for this and will start again soon.  They help to work the stiffness out but I have to do the stretches at home to strengthen my neck muscles at the same time or the physical therapy only provides temporary relief. 

5. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ)

TMJ acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. TMJ disorders can cause pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement.The exact cause of a person’s TMJ disorder is often difficult to determine. Your pain may be due to a combination of problems, such as arthritis or jaw injury. Some people who have jaw pain also tend to clench or grind their teeth, but many people habitually clench their teeth and never develop TMJ disorders.In most cases, the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorders can be alleviated with self-managed care or nonsurgical treatments.

I have a bite guard that I wear every night and also try and remember to do my jaw stretches (which uses my thumb and forefinger to stretch my mouth and is very painful…I can also get similar results eating an apple, which forces me to open my mouth wider which seems to get easier the further into the apple I get.