The day my life changed…

On the night of February 21,2010 I was driving home from my EMT class when I was suddenly overcome by the worst pain I’d ever felt. My hands went numb and I had a horrible, stabbing pain traveling through the right side of my head, down my neck and into my back. With my medical training all I could think of then was that I might be having a stroke. I was terrified! The headlight from the cars approaching were only making the pain worse. I used all the power I could to make it one town away to a friends house. When I got there I sat on the couch with my head in my hands and cried as the pain grew. I started feeling like I was going to get sick so I tried to make it to the bathroom, but I never made it. I passed out in the hallway and next thing I knew, I was in my friends car on the way to the ER.

Now, when you walk into a hospital and say “I’m having the worse headache I’ve ever had” that’s just code for you’re getting the largest workup you and think of… just below what you’d get if you thought you were having a heart attack. I went through blood test, CT scans, and finally a spinal tap all in an attempt to find an answer to what was happening to me. Everything came back normal, but I was still overcome with horrible pain (even with a Morphine drip). I was sent home after 8 hours in the ER. The next day I woke up still experiencing the headache, but now I had a new symptom. I could barely walk. My boyfriend was terrified so he took me back to the ER. I was doped up with Morphine again and sent to for MRIs of my entire spine. After finding no evidence of anything a blood patch was scheduled for the following day to hopefully relieve what was now being considered a “spinal migraine“. (Thanks for making things worse spinal tap) Now, if you’ve never had a blood patch done you’re a lucky person. These make the migraine feel like a bump on the head. By far the most painful thing I’ve ever gone through, but luckily it relieved the headache almost instantly.

After this three day ordeal I was hoping my life would finally go back to normal, but it didn’t. Ever since that night in February I’ve been dealing with the constant battle of chronic migraines. I have no insurance so I’ve racked up a debt about $20,000 deep (some was paid off by the state). I’ve been admitted to the hospital 4 times and have been to multiple doctors, had more tests than I can count, and have tried just about every medicine known to man. These migraines have landed me in the ER for IV pain therapy at least 20 times. I’m at my whits end. A year later, I still have no answers as to what’s going on and now it’s to the point that most doctors won’t even listen to me. They all treat me like I’m making it up. About two months ago my depression got so deep that I took a handful of pain killers because I was so tired of living every day with the pain. This landed me in the hospital for a week where I realized that the suffering had only created one more problem. I was now addicted to pain killers.

I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m not getting the migraines quite as often, but when I get them, they’re debilitating. I’m doing everything in my power not to take anything other than Advil and Tylenol, but they honestly don’t do anything. I’m only 24 and it’s to the point that every day I wake up, take the handful of prescriptions I have and then suffer the anxiety and fear of wondering if I will make it through the day pain free. I just don’t know what to do anymore.

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.

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