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.
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.
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.
Published On: October 01, 2008