Saturday, August 25, 2012

Headaches Don't Always Hurt

What a flurry the last few days have been.  I went in to the Big City for an appointment and shopping on Wednesday and had a bit of a medical scare.  I got dizzy, disorientated, lost partial vision in my right eye, couldn't read (I was associating different meanings with the words so I couldn't get a single sentence to make  sense), and was having trouble talking. I knew what I wanted to say but couldn't get it out.  It was like I forgot how to talk, I flat could not think how to say the gift recipient's name. I kept my eyes closed because my vision felt like it had blind spots and it was bugging me.  This all happened and passed within a 30-35 minute period.  I stopped by my sisters work to drop some things off and she told me it sounded like a mini stroke which apparently runs in our family.  I should have went in to the doctor then, but at the time all I could think about was getting back to my boys.  At this point I felt fine.  My future Sister-in-Law (SIL) was watching the little guys and I stayed and visited for an hour or so and was still feeling fine so I loaded up the boys and went home.  It was almost bedtime when we made it home so I made a quick supper,  fed the monsters washed them up quick and put them down for bed.

During a FaceTime date with the Hubby shortly after I told him what happened and he made me promise to go to the ER and get checked out.  My plan was to make an appointment the next day.  He was having none of it so I ended up having his Aunt and Cousin come over.  Someone could be at the house with the boys and someone could drive me (though I reiterate I felt perfectly fine at this point and after driving 80+ miles I though I could handle a couple blocks).  My vitals were good, blood pressure, blood sugar, electrolytes, kidneys  cholesterol, temperature, and whatever else they checked for: all well in the normal range.  I also had a CT/CAT Scan didn't which didn't seem to show any signs of a TIA (Mini Stroke) to the Doctor on call, but I was sent home and told I would get the official results in the next day or so.

Because of some other symptoms I have been having and brought up at the appointment (all starting around the time the Hubby deployed and intensifying with our daycare drama in July-early August), trouble sleeping, nausea, throwing up most everyday sometimes several times a day, trouble concentrating,  combined with my history of depression lead to another possibility for the episode: Anxiety.  They sent me home with some literature about panic attacks as well.  Flipping through nothing stuck out though, nothing fit or made sense.  Nausea was the only symptom.  The Hubby wanted me to get a second opinion, command pulled him off mission so he would be on base and easier to get a hold of. Neither of us slept well that night.

I called and made another appointment with my regular care providers the next day after I didn't hear back with any results as promised.  They got me in for a morning appointment on Friday (after my dentist appointment...I didn't want to reschedule, it takes months to get in!) My Mom came up and rode with me.  They did a few more blood tests and had my ER test forwarded and had two main theories.  TIA or A-Typical Migraine.  Apparently the way I described my partial vision loss is how someone describes something affecting both eyes not one.  At that point the plan was to schedule a MRI/MRA and followup with a neurologist, but first he wanted me to see an eye doctor that day.  I got in afternoon and had my eyes tested and a field vision test and more detailed questions regarding the vision thing. That seemed to rule out TIA which would strictly be one side. My eyes were fine and they felt whatever happened affected both eyes but I picked up on it more on the right side.  Given my age and having no other real risk factors they felt a TIA (especially if it only lasted 30 minutes) was unlikely.

Two Eye Doctors, my doctor, and a neurologist all decided with 99.9% certainty that I had a migraine, given my past history of migraines that sealed the deal for them.  As long as I don't have any more weird symptoms I am cleared, no MRI/MRA, no neurologist appointment, just an aspirin a day.  {Huge sigh of relief}

I learned that there are two sides of a migraine.  The terrible pain, seeing spots, color perception changing, unable to move sensitivity to light side.  And the side that causes neurological effects with too many symptoms to list, but can mimic a stroke.  The dizziness, confusion, inability to read and associate words, and not being able to talk all explained. What most people think of as a migraine includes characteristics of both sides.  Those are the ones I used to have.  But, people can have migraines with only the pain....and apparently they can have all the freaky affects without any pain.

Ophthalmic Migraine.  My little family got worked up over a headache.  In the end though everyone is happy.  Much less scary than a stroke, feeling better with a clear answer that makes sense and seems to fit, and initial ER visit concerned with stress can kinda be right too I guess.


  1. I have all the freaky affects without the pain and then for about 2 weeks straight i had the ones with the pain. I much prefer the freaky affects. Hope your feeling better.


    1. I agree, if I have to have one I'll take the short pain free version! I'm beginning to think migraines run pretty steady in the family.