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My neurological migraine story

I am 28 years old, and have suffered from chronic neurological migraines since 2002. Altitude changes, lack of sleep, and stress are my most noticeable triggers, but overall my migraines remain largely unpredictable. With each migraine, I experience visual disturbances from flashing squiggly lines to “Swiss cheese vision” where spots of my vision are blacked out. Ice packs on my head and the back of my neck can ease pain sometimes. I keep a frozen eye mask in my fridge/freezer and a box of instant cold compresses in my car for when a migraine hits on the road. Nausea commonly affects me. I have had hit-and-miss luck with drugs, including triptans. Laying down in a dark room is the best remedy. The good news is: time heals all things–even the WORST migraines.

After an increase in migraine frequency last fall, my doctor recommended I have a CT scan even though he imagined it would come back normal. I certainly didn’t expect to find anything, but found I have a pineal gland cyst. I now have to monitor this calcified cyst for growth and change once a year with CT scans. At this point, we are unsure if the cyst is what has been causing the migraines since we only have one set of images. My lesson is: if your doctor recommends a CT scan, have it done. You never know.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Ellen Schnakenberg
    9 years ago

    Lin,

    As you know, most images taken because of Migraine do not show anything abnormal. Your experience however is a great illustration of WHY doctors must get these images done, and why we as patients need to comply when we’re asked to do them.

    I’m glad they’ll be keeping a close eye on the cyst. I’m wondering about the yearly CT scans though. Is there no other way for them to monitor it?

  • Lin author
    9 years ago

    Hi Ellen,
    Since there is no “baseline” scans in my case, all the 2010 scans are my baseline. I am going to determine how I feel over the next few months before I go radiating my head more than necessary. I do not like the IV part either! Due to the location of the pineal gland, it’s very difficult to remove or treat. It’s extremely close to the optical nerves (but could possibly explain my visual disturbances). The calcification showed the radiologists’ that the cyst has been there for at least five years…

  • Ellen Schnakenberg
    9 years ago

    Lin,

    Hang in there, and do let us know how you are doing. My fingers and toes are crossed for you!! 🙂

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