Thursday, June 13, 2013


If you’ve ever had a "Migraine" then you will know exactly what I’m talking about! Ah, the nausea, bright lights, vertigo, pain on one side of your head maybe in your eye...sound familiar?? No I didn’t describe a bad flare day but now that you mention it add some burning feet, pain in your arms, legs that weigh 40lbs each, UTIs and you got yourself a really fun day! 
For forty years, I’ve experienced the “joy” of all the above. Back in the day, before all the modern medicines, you went into a dark room with an ice pack and a trash can, closed the door and wasn’t seen or heard from until it passed. I think I spent most of my teen years in my room. All we had was Bayer Aspirin. Imagine that.  I was told it was hereditary, hormonal, growing pains, Iron deficiency, Devil Possession (because I listened to Pink Floyd & AC/DC) anything but the truth. There were no neurologists, no CT scans or MRI machines, so we suffered in silence.
As time went on and I grew up, married and had children, got jobs that I could not afford to be absent from, I started researching on my own why I was sick all the time. I went to every type Dr. available to try and help me. For years I made it my quest in life to “fix” my headache problem. I saw chiropractors, had acupuncture, reflexology, massage therapy, Indian Guru, the list goes on.  All in all, over 12 specialist in the “Migraine” field never gave me a definitive answer. They all just concluded I had “Migraines”. DUH
Now during this time, I didn’t mention my other symptoms. When I was 8 years old, I had a GranMal Seizure. Scariest thing a little kid from Georgia has ever gone thru I promise! Also, I would tell my mom that my feet burned and my legs went numb a lot. You guessed it. Growing pains. These symptoms persisted all thru adulthood and I wondered when I was going to quit growing? When I went to my first neurologist I think it was early 80’s I explained ALL this to him. Still no MRI but I did get a complete neurological exam and it was fine. Diagnosis: Migraines
The 90’s were my friend. GlaxcoSmithKline came out with a drug called “IMITREX” a new migraine medicine and my present neuro let me try it. OMG!! It was wonderful. I truly believe it saved my life. Those of you that suffer know what I mean because they take over your world. I was having 6 a month at least, the kind that last 4days each.  I was suicidal no doubt about it. So to them I am grateful beyond words. My faith was renewed headaches better, but numbness, burning, tremors, and now severe neck pain and blurry eyes had entered the picture. I saw 4 neurologists that all said possible MS but I called BS.  So back to the neuro I went, except this time, I chose a different one.  After a gazillion tests, (my favorite being the spinal tap), she DX me officially with MS on Nov 16, 2004. 
Looking at my history, and all my symptoms, she concluded the migraines I had suffered as a child were one of the first warning signs that I had MS. How sad we didn’t have the technology back then to do something. And even sadder the symptoms were ignored. They are controlled now by meds and I see changes every day in the development of new meds for migraines. My advice would be to discuss ALL your symptoms with your doctor so he/she can get a clear picture of how to better treat you. Oh, and I still listen to Pink Floyd and AC/DC every day.