More than "just migraine?"

jennyc Community Member
  • Migraine is "supposed" to be one of those annoying illnesses.  You know the type:  You're not going to die from it.  No one can do a "real" diagnostic test to prove the disease.  It causes pain every once in a while, but most people don't think it does any "real" damage.  Lie down.  Turn off the lights.  Take a pill.  Wake up better.  That kind of illness.

     

    But in reality, migraine disease is much, much more.    

     

    My mother, a severe migraine sufferer, took all of the meds her doctor recommended in an effort to manage her migraine pain.  In the end, she died of SEVERE liver damage.  her doctors didn't make an effort to look at the rest of her body.  She had a genetic liver "issue"--in itself, it would not cause her death.  But add to it the extremely high levels of Elavil (amitriptyline) her doctor prescribed, and you have a recipe for death. 

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    Fast forward to me.  I'm a chronic (daily, constant) mig sufferer.  I make my doctor check my blood work constantly.  Almost obsessively.  At one point in my care (2 years ago), I refused to take ANYTHING that stressed out my liver.  Which basically was nearly everything.  BUT I did need an anti-emetic, as I threw up so much with mig.  I asked for one.  My PCP was not a fan of anti-emetics.  He refused to prescribe one. 

     

    A short time later, I had a really, really bad mig.  During a bout of vomiting, I threw up blood.  Lots of blood.  Scary blood.  An ER visit later, I learned I had a Mallory-Weiss tear of my esophagus.  I threw up so much I needed blood transfusions.  I could easily have died (my doc told me so).  They cauterized the tear during an endoscopy, but I've been told to seek emergency care for vomiting like that that won't quit.  Oh, and I do have an anti-emetic now.Yell

     

    All this from migraine disease.  That pesky disease that requires that you lie in bed, in the dark from time to time.  That crazy illness that makes you sick for a while, but passes and life goes on...  It won't kill you.  Right?

     

    I wonder if doctors take my medical concerns seriously, when they are aware that I have migraine disease. 

     

    Dizzy?  Oh, I'm sure it's just the migraine. 

     

    More nauseated than usual?  Here--let us give you a shot for that.  It's just your migraine talking back.

     

    Head hurting more badly than usual?  I guess it's just a really, REALLY bad mig.  Take these meds and go to sleep in a dark room.  You'll feel better soon.

    Must be migraine.  Has to be your migraine.  Yep--another migraine symptom.

     

    But what if it isn't?  Migraine disease scares me. 

     

    jenny

Published On: October 01, 2008
3 Comments
  • Anonymous
    Kristin
    Oct. 07, 2008

    I have been suffering with what I like to call "skull breakers" for about 11 years. It first started when I was eight years old. They disappeared during my late teens and have resurfaced three years ago. Back in the day it was hard to believe a child could have migraines so they just treated me with Ambien...I don't remember much of my childhood after that:) My...

    RHMLucky777

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    I have been suffering with what I like to call "skull breakers" for about 11 years. It first started when I was eight years old. They disappeared during my late teens and have resurfaced three years ago. Back in the day it was hard to believe a child could have migraines so they just treated me with Ambien...I don't remember much of my childhood after that:) My headaches have resurfaced and are getting worse. I had an experience where my head hurt and my upper spine hurt so bad, I could barely breathe. I went to see my doctor about it and he said that it was just another part of migraines. He also said that I get tension, stress, and sinus headaches. I don't feel well, and because my headaches are very chronic sometimes I don't think anyone is taking me serious. I feel drained and at times I wonder is this really a migraine? I had one person tell me I was overreacting because I had a "headache". She said she gets headaches every once and a while and I was no different than her. It got worse and I ended up in the E.R. because I could not control the pain. People that have never experienced or seen a loved one deal with one are not very sympothetic.

       I cut caffiene and really try to watch myself. They've run all sorts of test only to find I either have a severe sinus infection or my muscles in my neck are tense. So I went to see a chairopractor. I never really felt that much of a difference and I know they wanted me to stick with it but after a while I couldn't afford it.

    I am 23 yrs. old and I feel like I'm inprisoned. It's effecting all aspects of my life. I'm on all sorts of meds to treat this and that but I often wonder if there isn't more to this.

  • Katinthecorner
    Oct. 02, 2008

    But I'm sure we are all thinking about it.  Especially since Gretchen. 

     

    I feel like there is a ticking time bomb in my head.  I'm worried about the effect of all the drugs I'm on/have been on.   How "silent" is the brain damage, really?  Is that stomach ache nothing, or a growing ulcer from NSAIDs? 

     

    I guess the...

    RHMLucky777

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    But I'm sure we are all thinking about it.  Especially since Gretchen. 

     

    I feel like there is a ticking time bomb in my head.  I'm worried about the effect of all the drugs I'm on/have been on.   How "silent" is the brain damage, really?  Is that stomach ache nothing, or a growing ulcer from NSAIDs? 

     

    I guess the only thing we can do is stand up for ourselves.  We know what is normal for us and our migraines.  If we think something is wrong, we need to speak up.  And of course find a doctor who actually listens to us. 

     

    Thanks for putting it out there Jenny.  I've been thinking it for a while, but saying out loud made it too real for me.... 

     

     

    • jennyc
      Oct. 02, 2008

      Hugs, Kat...

       

      You make sure that doctor takes a good look at your tummy, OK? 

       

      Thank you for letting me know that I'm not alone in having these feelings...

       

      jenny