It was a long November day in 2004, after leaving work and picking up our kids from school. If you read my last post, you’ll remember that I was in a bad car accident in April, just 7 months prior. We were driving home, tired and hungry…we’re always hungry! As we’re driving south on SW Military Drive in San Antonio towards our apartment my world goes dark. Not a light in sight. Pure fright is what I’m feeling in this moment because my eyes are NOT closed. I am straight-up freaking out!! Stephan, my hubby, sounds scared after hearing me cry out that I can’t see anything. Next comes the searing pain to my head. I have had migraines over the years at this point, even strong enough to take me out for the day. But I had never felt anything like this. There’s no way this was just a migraine.
I was scared, Stephen was scared, and my kids were terrified. At 2 and 4 they didn’t really know what was happening but they knew their mommy was crying and yelling that something was very, very wrong and their dad was starting to speed towards help. We didn’t live too far from a very small hospital located on the south side of town. After we arrived we didn’t have to wait too long to be put into a room. I still couldn’t see but after some time my vision restored and what was left was pain so unimaginable I felt like passing out. I didn’t, though. I remember the ER doctor giving me pain medication after pain medication. He made the comment that he’d given me every pain medication they had. No results. No pain relief whatsoever. I was crying and terrified laying in that bed. I don’t even remember if my kids were still there with us or not.
I was as high as a kite but that did nothing to take away the pain. No smiles for me that afternoon. I vaguely remember the doctor on the phone with a neurologist for a consult. He was in the room with me when he made that call. I couldn’t hear the neurologist but he instructed the doctor to give me IV Neurontin, a nerve pain medication. Thank you Jesus that worked!! We couldn’t believe it. After the cocktail of pain meds I had taken not one of them touched my pain. But Neurontin sure did and I was finally able to go home.
My life would take a drastic turn for the worse from here on out. That neurologist would go on to become the first neurologist I spoke with, but most definitely not my last, as he couldn’t figure out what was happening to me. It would take me 5 years from this day to get a diagnosis at Baylor in Houston and another 5 years to have the Mayo Clinic in Arizona confirm. Why did I need a confirmation from the Mayo Clinic? Well, living in San Antonio made it difficult to get to Houston all the time for appointments and costly too. I decided to try to find a doctor in San Antonio. Neuro after Neuro let me down. They all would tell me no way, it’s not possible. Prior to living in San Antonio we lived near St. Louis, MO. Even the neurologists there would tell me it’s a complex migraine and send me on my way.
Don’t ever let a doctor tell you it’s not possible just because it’s rare. Always stand up for yourself and no matter what the doctors and nurses say, do your research…just be careful what you believe out there. Stick to only websites that provide verified sources and medical journal citations. Before I was diagnosed in 2009 the first time, I had already known Hemiplegic Migraine is what I had. I had printed out a page about it and took it to Baylor in Houston with me and thankfully I never had to pull it out and show her. She diagnosed me without me ever saying word about it. I definitely left with a smile on my face and I was finally able to breathe. I finally had a name to the pain.