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Newly Diagnosed

  • By Jenna

    I will be totally honest, up until two and a half weeks ago I was totally ignorant about migraines. I mistakenly assumed they were really intense headaches. I have learned the hard way they are so much more. I know I have no right to complain. I know some of you have suffered for years. In two and a half weeks my life has been turned upside down and I can’t imagine having this for years. I am currently in a medical program and I have been doing very well in all of my classes. Then one day I started to feel like I was getting a sinus infection. But then I had disorientation, difficulty speaking, visual disturbances, and eventually the worst headache of my life. I went to my gp a week later and was diagnosed with migraines. He gave me fioricet and imitrex but neither worked to stop the migraine. Another week passed and it got so bad I had to go to the ER. They were able to stop the migraine finally with Toradol/Compazine/Benadryl but the migraine has come back five times in five days. I am so drained I can barely attend class and can’t get in to a neurologist for two weeks. Then yesterday I started to experience partial numbness on my left side during an attack. I’m very scared I won’t be able to keep up with school if this continues. I will deal with whatever I have to but I don’t know where to start and was hoping some of you who have been at this for a long time might have some advise.

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  • By Tammy Rome

    Welcome to our little “club”. I am sorry you must join us and also glad that you found us. When I was first diagnosed (1975) there was no internet, no support groups, and very few medical treatments. The wait to get that first “migraine appointment” can be excruciating.

    The good news is that once you learn the tricks, there are a lot of things you can do to help you cope. The first step is to make sure you are getting to see a true headache specialist(https://migraine.com/blog/the-mrf-directory-of-headache-and-migraine-specialists/) who can confirm your doctor’s diagnosis and start you on a good treatment plan. That doctor will tell you a lot of the same things you read here. That’s how you will know that he or she knows how to really help you. 😉

    In the meantime…

    1. Start keeping a log of your migraine attacks. Record start and stop times, what you take to relieve them (and if it works), symptoms other than headache, severity of the headache, and anything you think might be triggering them. Find out how at https://migraine.com/blog/keeping-migraine-diary-basics/

    2. Start collecting ice packs, heating pad, microwavable hot packs, pain-relieving ointments, and a good pair of dark sunglasses (or migraine glasses from Axon or Theraspecs). You need to start building your personal migraine kit so you will have resources to help you while the medicines are taking effect. See some tips here: https://migraine.com/infographic/tips-for-building-your-migraine-emergency-toolkit/

    3. Take the time to educate yourself. Scour this website, as well as the following:
    American Headache Society http://www.americanheadachesociety.org/
    National Headache Foundation http://www.headaches.org/
    International Headache Society http://ihs-headache.org/
    American Headache & Migraine Association http://ahma.memberclicks.net/

    I hope this helps. If you have any specific questions, please let me know.

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  • By Jenna

    Thank you so much for the warm welcome Tammy. My neurologist isn’t a headache specialist unfortunately. I will try to find one in my area. I really appreciate your advise. It gives me a little more hope that I will overcome this. 🙂

    -Jenna

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