Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Needling Deb's Migraine

(Note: This was written September 10, I've just been slow posting this entry.)
Over the course of 9 days, Deb was dealing with a terrible migraine. I couldn’t cook much because smells made her nauseated. She wore sunglasses and kept the curtains closed because light made her hurt more. I couldn’t even run energy on her because it hurt too much. At one point, she came out of the bathroom rubbing her hands and telling me that something is wrong with the soap. The sensation in her hands was all messed up to where the soap didn’t feel right. During that nine days, she couldn’t drive because the sun and the things moving by fast hurt her eyes and made her nauseated. (She was able to drive half way to Ann Arbor for my Doctor’s appointment, but then I had to take over.) So, since she couldn’t drive in order to try to figure out what was wrong and to try to fix it, or at least make it tolerable, I drove her to the doctor three times and to the emergency room once. Nothing helped. Imatrex helped slightly for a couple of hours. Topamax and Fenegren helped for about 10 minutes and Morphine helped for about 30 minutes. Finally, on Monday, Deb decided to go to the acupuncturist. The only appointment she could get was Tuesday late afternoon. She couldn’t drive herself, so I played hookey from school to take her.

Now, that same day (Tuesday), at 11am was her third doctors appointment to try to do SOMETHING about the migraine. Deb had already taken her handful of morning meds, including the long term antibiotic for the Chlamydia Pneumonia that she has. Well, the Doctor, on day 9 of her blinding migraine, decided that the doxycyclene is what gave her the migraine. Go figure. And, she had already taken her morning dose. Dern it.

Ahh, but then, several hours later came 20 needles placed strategically in her hands, arms, feet, legs and right earlobe. She had almost instant relief for the first time since this migraine began. Ask her about the trip she took, it sounds really awesome. We were both kicking ourselves for not thinking of that earlier. Next time, that will probably be her first line of defense.

From the outside, seeing how the migraine made her light, smell and touch sensitive, but also affected her speech, coordination, balance and thought patterns. I’m beginning to think that maybe her doctor was right, way back when and her mystery episodes may actually have been headache-free migraines all along!!

She’s got another appointment at the acupuncturist, Brittney Schram, next week. We are going to try to fit into our budget, regular visits for Deb to see her, because if these episodes have really been migraines all along, maybe Brittney can help them stop, or be less requent or less severe. Something. Finally, some hope of an answer and of relief.

I had my three month check up at U of M on Monday. The pelvic exam looked good. I now get to go every four months since it’s been a year since finishing chemo and radiation. Yeah!! I don’t know the pap results yet. My CA125 bloodwork (tumor marker) came back elevated again. Even more than the last time it jumped. I’m not going to stress about it at this point. I stressed last time and it dropped right back down in a month. I’m not going to let it get to me this time. I’m sure it will drop back down once again. I may very well be one of the people for whom that test is meaningless. If my pap comes back irregular, then I’ll start getting nervous, but for now, no worries.

For those of you in my family who are reading this- I am so sorry for missing Bud’s funeral. I’m not good about checking my e-mail, so I missed it. (Actually, since composing this, I have checked my e-mail and didn’t find the announcement. As a matter of fact, I have no idea how, but Mig’s e-mail address has totally disappeared from my address book.) I hope you all were able to comfort one another and laugh together, as he would wish.