I Live with Migraines.
Last updated: November 2021
I live with Hemiplegic Migraines. I have had one form of Migraines all my life. When I was a young child I had Abdominal Migraines. At this time they had no clue what was wrong with me. I had horrible abdominal pain that shot down the front of both legs. This pain would last for about an hour and I had them up to 3 times a month.
My mom would give me antacids and children’s aspirin. It was not till I was much older the doctors knew what the real problem was. As I grew older I then started having Aura of Migraines but no real head pain this was called Acephalgic Migraine. My Abdominal migraines seemed to be a thing of the past. I lived with the Acephalgic Migraines for many years. Even though they were kind of disruptive I really didn’t mind them as much.
In my mid 20's I was diagnosed with Uterine Cancer and, and then with genetic Acute Intermittent Porphyria, that runs in my family. After my surgery I started having pain after Aura now I was having full blown Migraines. I had Migraines about 3 times a month but they were really not that disruptive. I took Migraine medication, mostly Triptans. In December of 2010 I started having weakness on my right side during a migraine. I had MRI's CT scans and noting was seen to be abnormal so they just said the weakness was attributed to my migraines. The doctor changed my medications, and come back to see them in a few weeks.
Months went by in and out of the doctor's them not understanding what was going on. I worked full time; I was a full time student, head of my household so I made the money, I just kept going. March of 2011 I was hospitalized with what they thought was a stroke. More MRI's CT scans and nothing was seen. The Neurologist came in and said it could have been a TIA. After 8 days in the hospital and no answers, still having migraine pain and weakness on my right side like I was cut in half, I was sent home with my mom. My son had to come live with us so my mother could work. I lost my home and my car and what I thought was my life. I was in and out of ER's for 6 months with no help with the migraine pain. I had now been going on 10 months with a migraine that I thought would never end. They had me on 250 MG of Topamax a day, and Fiorinal as needed. The pain was out of control and going to the ER was like being in purgatory. I then took myself off the Topamax and I started feeling a little better.
I was still having migraines but the affects didn’t seem as severe. Finally I was sent to Stanford where I met Dr Robert Cowan. As far as I am concerned he saved my life. Dr. Cowan put me on a strict schedule, when I slept, when I awoke, when I ate and when I exercised. He took me off all meds and added Verapamil 240mg a day. In one week there was a large difference and now it has been a month and I have been migraine and pain free for almost 14 days. I am now looking for a job and I am going to try and get my drivers license back. I now see the end of the long dark tunnel. I will be graduating with my BS in Health and Human Services in April of this year.
In the past year, has insurance made it difficult to get your migraine treatment?