Healthcare

Something Only Dreamed Of


Such a vague title, I know. Vague on purpose because it begs for explanation and digging deeper.

When I was eighteen I never imagined that a single condition was going to impact my life from that moment forward. One evening, a very noticeable pressure and sharp, aching sensation developed behind my left eye. Any noise or light made it hurt worse. At first, I thought it was just a tension headache, but as the first hour wore on, it quickly turned into something that I hadn’t ever experienced before. Nausea gripped my body with its jagged claws and quickly I became a prisoner of whatever this was.

We ended up in the Emergency Room; the first of many trips. Diagnosis: migraine. Now fast forward fifteen years to 2018. After failing every single preventative for chronic migraine and finally ending up on Botox in 2007, I had reached a point this year that I opted for more drastic measures. I was trying to figure out how many emergency room visits and hospital admissions I have had since 2003. Generally, at least one hospital admission a year, and on the low side, thirty ER trips in fifteen years. Each time was because I was I had exhausted all of my options available at home.

If you’ve been following my blog through the winter and spring, then you know that I had two surgeries. The first in February for the migraines, in which nerves were decompressed, muscles resected, and fat grafts placed around the nerves to prevent scar tissue build up. The second was in April for occipital neuralgia and involved nerve decompression, fat grafting and muscle resection. Even though I had done as much research as possible, I still took a gigantic leap of faith.

The question for months has been did it work? Was it worth the horrific black eyes that lasted for weeks? Was it worth the pain? Was it worth the breathing complications after each that resulted in re-admissions? One word: ABSOLUTELY. As of today, June 17, 2018, I have been migraine free for 110 days.

Was I expecting these results? Heck no! I went into the surgeries hoping for a reduction in severity and frequency. If that would have been the outcome, I would have considered it a win.

But 110 days without anything is a homerun! It’s the first time in more than fifteen years that I haven’t experienced numerous headaches per month. It still seems too good to be true. I keep waiting for a headache; keep waiting for everything to fall apart.

Superstition has a big part in my life, especially with being a nurse, it’s probably two-fold. I refuse to adjust my medication list and remove the migraine meds and I refuse to go anywhere without at least two doses of medication with me. Maybe in ten years I’ll be brave enough to overcome the superstition, but not yet.

Since June is Migraine and Headache Awareness month, I really wanted to get a blog written for it. My experience isn’t like others. Nobody’s is the same as another. Our stories are as unique as we are people. There may be similarities, but we are each so different. I know my journey with migraines is not over and honestly am not sure that it ever will be. But for now, things are controlled and I’m perfectly content with that.

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1 thought on “Something Only Dreamed Of”

  1. Wow – I have had migraines for several years and wasn’t even aware of the interventions you have written about here – so glad you’ve finally found relief! Lowen @ livingpositivelywithdisability.com

    Liked by 1 person

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