52 days ago, my life changed.
That was the day that I turned 29 years old. Now, that has nothing to do with the change...it just coincidentally happens to be the same day that my life turned upside down.
I woke up that morning, around 2 am, with a migraine. It wasn't too unusual for me, as I've battled them off and on, for about 13 years. I've visited doctors over the years, had MRIs done over the years and tried medications over the years, never finding anything that worked or a reason for why they happened. The only time I ever really got a good reprieve from them, was when I was pregnant, which was a good thing, since the list of medications I could take during that time was very short.
But, I digress...
Like I said, it wasn't unusual. I get them every so often. I've even had times in my life when I've dealt with daily headaches. They were an annoyance, but I dealt with them. No big deal.
What makes this time so different, is that it is now 52 days later and I've had approximately 12 migraines since...4 of them within the last 10 days. Even when I haven't had a migraine, I've had a headache every single day, that has never fallen below the description of "moderately severe".
Imagine that for a moment. From the moment I wake up in the morning, to the moment that I go to bed, I have a throbbing headache. I can have other fun side-effects with it, like the inability to sit up, open my eyes, see out of one of my eyes for a few hours and have days of nausea. It's a constant pain that I cannot get rid of.
I dealt with it for the first 3 weeks and then sought out the help of my neurologist. He did some blood work that showed that my vitamin D levels were low (for some reason people who have daily headaches also end up having low vitamin D levels, so they routinely check for this) and so I have to take 50,000 mg of vitamin D, once a week for the next 8 weeks. They also scheduled a MRI and after a week of thinking that I possibly had multiple sclerosis, a repeat MRI and enough Valium to drug a bear...I'm in the clear.
He also started me on a daily dose of 25 mg of Topomax. That was bumped up to 50 mg a day, 10 days later and 75 mg a day, 12 days after that. I'm currently sitting at that dosage and we're trying to determine if these meds will actually work (they have to be in my system for 4-8 weeks and build up, before we even know if this is the drug for me) or if these meds are what are exacerbating my migraines. We're wondering if this med is what is causing me to have so many, back to back, lately.
On top of the headaches and migraines, come the wonderful side-effects of the Topomax. When starting this drug and every time we up the dose, I deal with a few weeks of slow thinking. This has made school a lot of fun. Thank goodness I am in the classes I am in, and this didn't happen last semester, where I was trying to memorize thousands of medical terms. The drug also causes unexplained appetite suppression. The nausea from the migraines already means that I haven't kept down a full meal in almost 2 weeks, so I'm counting the weight loss as a bonus. Topomax can also cause a tingling in my hands, feet and lips. This morning was the worst, most likely because we just recently upped the dosage. My right hand and arm were numb to just above my elbow (it's the pins and needles feeling like when your foot falls asleep) and my right foot, just to my ankle, for about 2 hours. Right now, the bottom right corner of my lip is numb, like I've had a little shot of Novocaine. BUT...I still have a killer headache. Go figure.
Josh has had to miss work left and right, to be home with the kids. If I have a migraine, I can't care for them like I need to. If I take any of the pain medication that my neurologist has prescribed, it makes me loopy and very tired, so again, I can't be the mom I want to be. Most of his bosses have been understanding, but it only takes one jerk to make a few comments, to stress me out. My work is suffering, but thankfully my work is amazingly understanding. My school work is constantly being done last minute, but I'm somehow pulling it off. Regardless, I'm struggling. We're all struggling.
So, if you thought I'd been kidnapped or abducted by aliens or given up on my blog...no. I'm still here. I'm just usually laying down, in a dark room, trying not to cry...because even that...hurts too much.