Persistent and in pain: at the mercy of my mind

My first migraine started 3.5 weeks ago or so I thought…

It started off as a normal day. It was a Tuesday morning and I was getting ready to go to work. Unknown to me it was my last taste of normality. 5 minutes before driving off to work I got a sharp pain in my head. I hopped in my car and made my way to work because the coffee and water I’m drinking should make it go away before I get to work yeah? Wrong. It persisted. I continued to power through the day. It’ll disappear after a goof sleep yeah? Wrong. It continued but I still got up to go to work. I work as s teacher and by Wednesday afternoon I was ready to curl up in the corner for nap time. I was feeling awful. Still, I got through the day, got home and like a robot I made my way to my room, shut the door, cast the light away and laid in bed. I stayed there all night. I took the next day off, deep down I knew it wasn’t alright. I went to the doctor where they diagnosed me with a migraine and told to “take panadol and rest” (not like I hadn’t already been doing that). But I followed doctors orders and by Friday I was still unwell and it was debilitating. Saturday I found myself back at the doctors, sick and balling my eyes out. More medication was given. It didn’t provide too much relief.

Monday I was in the ED. The nausea sent me dehydrated. My body was numb all over and I seas whiter than the hospital sheets I was laying on. I felt a bit better once I was discharged. I still had an achy neck, ringing in the ears, muscle pain, slight eye issues, numb fingertips, but at least I wasn’t vomiting. Blood tests showed inflammation and infection. Antibiotics just to add to my pill diet. I had the following week off work and replaced it with a few trips to the doctors. I wasn’t getting better and I was frustrated. One doctors trip a man approached me and gave me the card of his masseuse. He could see I was holding my neck and back funny as I walked. I was hopeful-perhaps this is golden ticket out of my illness that I’ve been waiting for. I booked and boy I was excited. It helped me for a little bit, but I was still feeling lousy. I decided to go back to work. I was feeling mildly better and I missed being active as much as I missed my students. It had been a long week away. I lasted three days at work before being sent home on the Thursday. The staff could see I wasn’t myself. I also started to have further vision problems which was distressing. I went to the doctors. She took my blood pressure, run a physical neurological exam and I had a visual acuity test. The vision test was awful, I could only read the top letter and even then it was distorted. Lucky my mum went with me to the doctors and basically demanded an MRI. She’s good at getting what she is after and with some reluctance the doctor gave me a form to get an MRI scan done. We were to call the next day but we forgot. By Monday I was convinced I just had a sore neck as I was in a car accident only a few months prior. Tuesday I was frustrated with my eyesight. I called my optometrist and luckily I got an emergency appointment and that’s where the real story begins. The tests he ran showed I had infammed nerves by some unknown pressure in my head. He sent through my details to my doctor. The next day I had an urgent phone call from the doctor. I had to get that MRI done sooner rather than later. I was panicked at this point. Something was wrong, really really wrong. A migraine for 3 weeks and one day. I got the migraine done and it showed something that was the cause of my pain and distress. That was all I was told until my doctor called. The 30 minutes in between were awful. Negativity and fear swoooped over me. My phone rang. It was the doctor. She preceded to tell me I had a blood clot in my head. I felt relived that I had an answer but scared and full of questions. My life since then has been in hospital. It will be a month on Tuesday since the pain started. The doctors think my clot has been there for a few months prior. We are investigating why this happened to a relatively fit and healthy 23 year old. But either way I need to focus on recovery. Please, if you are unsure and you have a gut feeling about something to do with your health, please persist! My dad always says that the most important thing you can have in life is your health and I have to agree.

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