Monday, March 3, 2008

OH My Migraine!

When I in 5th grade, in PE, I had the wierdest sensation that half of my body was going numb. At first I thought it was just weird, but when half of my tongue, nose, and face "fell asleep" I was a little tripped out. Needless to say, I went to the nurse, who called my dad (who was teaching at the same school), who called my mom, who came and picked me up and took me back to her work (a day care center) until I could get into the Dr. I felt fine, for the most part, minus the half of me that felt like it was asleep, so I went outside to play some tetherball to pass the time until we headed to the Dr. My mom was not pleased with me. And, I spose, I looked like a bona fide faker hitting the yellow ball around and around the pole instead of writhing in pain on the day care center's nap mat.

Once at the Dr., a prompt evaluation led to this conversation with my mom and Dr. (sorta like this as I was eleven and the details are a little fuzzy):
Dr: I think we need to admit her to the hospital. There's a chance she may have had a stroke and we need to do more testing.
Mom: Oh, [tears] Sarah, I am sorry I guess you weren't faking.
Me: [In my head] Holy cow this is more serious than I thought; hospital? I wonder if I'll get a new nightgown like Erin did when she drowned??

SO, I was admitted to the lovely pediatrics unit at UMC for a few days and had some MRIs and scans and specialists' visits, etc. Bottom line, I was diagnosed with migraine headaches at the tender age of 11. We went to a special neuro-doctor for several years who was pretty educational and this is what I determined, after the first ten years, about my migraines. #1. They're debilitating #2. Most of mine are hormonally driven #3. I DO have a migraine "allergic" reaction to jalepeno peppers and strobe lights. Now, I come by headaches by way of my father, who has suffered for many years, and it runs in my family cuz some of my siblings get doosies. Imagine my suprise when I married Tyler and he told me he'd never really had a headache!! What a freak of nature that I fell in love with! (He's since had a couple bad headaches since we've been married . . . what does that tell you?)

Saturday morning, since Tyler was gone I decided I'd take the kids to breakfast and get donuts. We ended up at Dunkin' Donuts and as soon as we sat down I got my first symptom of a BAD headache coming on. OF course, I start to freak out because I know I will not be able to cope with my day and my kids if this headache hits as hard as it was indicating it was gonna hit! I was a little panicky cuz Tyler was gone, I couldn't take anything TOO serious being pregnant and all, and I still had to be mom for the day. As I was urging the kids to eat their donuts I was trying to figure out if I could see well enough to drive home (since one of the first symptoms is a light aura that blocks my vision) when Caylee said, "Mom, you don't look so well." AGH! I wasn't. I won't bore you with all the gruesome details of the day, because it was mostly PAIN nonstop, but thanks to my wonderful in-laws who took my boys for 7 hours, my GREAT girls who played so nicely together the whole day to the point that I barely knew they were home, my mom who came and rubbed my aching skull for an hour, three ice packs, and a couple Percocet to help me sleep off the worst of it, I made it through the day, BARELY. I am sure Tyler was thinking, "GREEEAAATTT, just what I want to come home to after a great weekend of fishing!" but he didn't complain once. In fact, he went and filled my gas tank up and got a few groceries before the Sabbath found us busting out the food storage dry milk and us walking to church.

And I'm working on the rebound from the migraine aftermath. I like to call it my hangover headache, that headache that feels like my swollen brain has shrunk back to size and now rattles around in my head any time I move too quickly or there's too much noise. I do take issue with people who throw around having a migraine like it's a cope-able, still run your life, normal headache, but I also know a lot of people know my pain. So a little "holla" to those who's brains are as abnormal as mine . . . one more migraine survived. Yay Hoo.


Beth said...

If I could remove just one thing from your life, it would be the migraine monster. I love you. And STILL regret my initial response to you in the 5th grade. NOT one of my prouder Mom moments.

chanel said...

You poor thing, that sounds so horrible and scary! I will say your 5th grade memory part of the post was most entertaining though- thanks for the backgorund- now I want to hear about Erin's drowning!

Love the fetus thing too- how exciting!!!

Lacie said...

I feel your pain, i suffer, mother in law suffers, and my mom was hospitalized and put in a medically induced coma for migraines that threw her into panic attacks. Fun huh?

annilee said...

Oh I am sooooo sorry!!! I soooo feel your pain!!! I wish you would call me next time! I would totally love to help you! And after you have your baby I have good drugs!!!

Sarah said...

This sounds like I could have written this post. My dad got them. . .I started getting them at age 11. . .and I have NO sympathy for people who think you can cope through them. One time a server at Marie Callender's was listening to me explain one and she rubbed her head, squinted her eyes and said, "I think that might be what I have right now." Whatever!

Heather said...

Eeks. I feel ya. I started getting migraines when I was 8. They were really bad up until just a few years ago. I usually feel one coming on, drink a mt. Dew, and pop 2 Excedrin migraines, and go to sleep. I sure dont miss the days of crying in bed, and begging my body to just puke! (I usually would feel better after I threw up. weird!)

Erin said...

After the doozy of a migraine I had last week, I totally feel for you. Like I told you on the phone, after about 4 hours of 'wishing to puke' Austin pulled me out of bed to change Brooklyn's "really really bad" diaper. I laid her on the bed, got one whif of her stink, and that's all it took at that point. I puked 3 more times after that. I know, TMI. But next time you're just wishing you could puke, I'll just bring Brooklyn over and let her work her potent magic!

Kourtney said...

I had my first migraine in 5th grade too. We were on a field trip and I noticed I started to see less and less of the performance. I had big bright spots (aura's) and tried to blink them away. (Kind of like when a glare hits your eye and you blink a lot to make sure it's not a migraine coming on.) I didn't know what was happening.
I don't have them too much. The last time I had one (a few months ago) I was chatting with my neighbor and all of a sudden I couldn't see half of her face. I tried to blink it away, but once I knew what was going on I was totally in a panic, knowing I wouldn't be able to take care of the boys. Luckily Tyler came and grabbed the boys. I popped some Tylenol and layed down for 2 hours and when I got up I just had a little headache. It was so weird. I'm sure if I wouldn't have been able to lay down that it would've been a full blown migraine. I was SO glad Ty and Christina were able to watch the boys!!!
I really feel bad because you can't take the good stuff because you're pregnant!
I never knew Erin almost drowned!!! You'll have to post about that!

Kara said...

I hate Migraines! I get them every so often. Usually I can prevent it if I can tell it's coming on. My hand tingles or one of my eyes go blurry.