Diary of a Migraine~ From the Head it inhabited: Part 3
This is the final part of a 3-part article: Diary of a Migraine.
Is there a kitchen sink to throw at my head?!
Day 7 at the hospital
By Day 7 of this hospital stay with very little relief, things begin to really start to get disheartening. I begin to wonder if a pain level of 10 is going to now become the new normal!
So we have pretty much run the gamut of abortives: Magnesium, DHE infusions, Depakote. The list goes on and on. Except with any type of pain relief. I begin to enter a Category 5 Migraine Storm!! Pain levels are off the charts, my husband has gone home for the evening, and I am surrounded by ice packs and totally miserable. I managed to reach my husband on video chat. He was ready to come back to the hospital and into the U.S. Marine Corps Bulldog that he can become. However, he needed to rest (he has Parkinson’s too). I begged, pleaded, for something to take the pain away…. I was told I could have some Tylenol! SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?!?!
“I am terribly sorry you are in labor with twins and they are breach, but I can offer you some Tylenol for your pain!”
When all else fails…
I took that Tylenol, kept the CNA on his toes refilling the multiple icepacks all night long, prayed through the tears. Then I did the one thing I knew that I COULD do…. Seek SUPPORT!!! With sunglasses on I went online to find my migraine friends! Migraine.com, some wonderful Facebook support groups I belong to for migraines, and some of my fellow contributors from Migraine.com were the ones that talked me off the ledge! I began reading article after article about management, I talked to several of my fellow migraineurs, and asked advice. I think out of sheer exhaustion I finally fell asleep in the wee hours of the morning.
Time to take control
I was woken up having had about 2 hours of sleep. I was not a happy camper. However, it was not one of the Neurology “minions” that came through the door, it was my husband and he was in FULL Marine Corps Bulldog mode!! He may not be the biggest guy, but in “Bulldog” mode, he is fierce! He was there ahead of the “minions” for a reason! It was time to take control! I have been battling migraines for 30 years of my 52 years of life. I just need to be reminded I was the captain of my treatment! My husband and care partner is co-captain and he helped remind me of that fact!
Time to do things OUR WAY!
As soon as the “minions” began to enter my room my husband let them know that things were going to have to change. Interestingly enough, the doctor arrived very shortly afterwards. Again, the plea went out for pain relief, the usual cocktails were talked about and some of the wind was knocked out of my sails as he continued to negate everything. There was no protocol for inpatient Ketamine treatments! WHAT?! Seriously?! But it has worked well. So send me down to the ER and let them do it! Nope! NO major pain relief. Finally, we talked of a nerve block! Score one for the Migraine Team! Talked about a few more add on treatments and beginning a new regime. Another score!!
The nerve block was performed and we went from a Category 5 Hurricane to a Category 2, however it was to be short-lived. Although I was still in extreme pain at the end of the day, I felt like we had gotten onto a progressive path.
The tides they are changing
I was actually given some good IV meds and slept and while still not out of the waves of pain of this storm, I was seeing some moments of easing off. We continued to wrap my head in ice, IV treatments, strong faith, and positive mental attitude! We were going to win and we knew it! Sleep, more sleep, more meds, more sleep, more ice! Less pain, less puking, less pain! I had this licked!
The end of a long road!
The day arrived and as I woke up, I realize that my head felt like we had gone from that Category 5 Hurricane down to Tropical Storm. There was pain, but it was manageable. By the time the doctor and his “minions” come in, I am ready to go home!! Still armed with sunglasses, and a slight slur to my speech. Pain level 7.5 is better than what I was and I knew given time we could it back to the 6 I usually live with daily!
I not only survived, but conquered this last migraine storm! We learned a lot! Faith, hope, and strength of our migraine community and our own voices are critical in a situation like this. Having an advocate/caregiver is so important! I could not have gotten through any of this without the love and support of my wonderful husband!
Do not be afraid to speak up! Tell your doctors what has worked in the past and what you KNOW will work! Keep talking! Stay connected and always remember you are the captain of your team!