- CASE FILE
Mother of 6, grandmother to 5 dealing with more than 10 yrs of unexplained chronic migrains, severe neck pains, and multiple doctors & tests
ABOUT THIS CASE FILE
My story begins in 2002 when I was rushed to the ER with Jaundice due to a lodged stone in my gallbladder. I had been to the clinic multiple times for a couple months complaining about chest pains. I was given antacids and told it was probably just gerd. One day my husband forced me back to the clinic because my pain was so bad I could hardly move. When I got to the clinic, the doctor told me to get to the ER immediately because I was Jaundice. The ER put me on a high dose of an antibiotic for 7 days then surgery to remove the stone. The reason for the delay was because by this time my kidney, liver, and pancrease were in failure. After 10 days, I was finally able to go home.
In 2006, I noticed a lump in the front of my neck. Being uninsured, I was unable to do anything about it. In 2011, I finally got insurance and by this time the lump had grown to about 5cm in size. Luckily, it was not cancer, but I did lose the left portion of my thyroid and have to take a medication for the rest of my life. During these years, I started getting headaches about 3 to 4 days a week, with one of those days being a migraine. By this 2011 date those headaches grew to being a daily occurance with at least 3 migraines per week. I was also have nearl blackout and dizzy spells that were interferring with my life. I went to a cardiologist who ran a tilt table test on me and found that I had a condition called, Neurocardiogenic Syncope. This condition makes it very difficult to do any activity that raises the blood pressure.
I began seeing a Neurologist for the headaches for the first time in 2011. I saw the same guy for 2 years and all he did was try medication after medication. Nothing he prescribed me worked, not even a little bit. Just to put it out there right now, at no point was I prescribed narcotic medications due to the fact that I have an intolerance to them and they make me vomit. So, the medications he prescribed me were muscle relaxers, medications originally meant for depression but used to treat headaches, and steroid injections. After 2 years of no success with this man, he finally said he could no longer help me. He had the audacity to say that he was not the best doctor for me to see and that I should probably try going to a Psychiatrist. Basically, he was saying that I was making up the extent of my pain. I fired him! I did go to another Neurologist who found that my cervical spine was degenerating, has some stenosis, and arthritis. It also showed bulging of 2 disks so we did surgery to fuse my C4-C5. Unfortunately, this did not get rid of my neck pain.
In 2014, I found a new Neurologist who actually ran a CAT scans to try and figure out what might be causing my issues. By this time, I was not only having headaches, but now I was also having bad neck pains. The CAT scan came back indicating that I possibly had a tumor on my pituitary gland and that I may have Multiple Sclerosis. Because of these findings, the new doctor ordered an MRI to confirm what the CAT saw. It did in fact confirm the tumor and the MS. Before she was willing to make an actual diagnosis of MS though, she had me redue an MRI 30 days later, blood tests, and a spinal tap. All tests came back showing that I most definately have Multiple Sclerosis. I also had a sleep study that showed I do not have sleep apnea but do not get restful sleep at all due to body jerking.
From 2014 until 2017, I agonozed as the headaches turned into 24/7 headaches where I literally do not have a single moment of my life where there is no headache. I have a migraine 5 to 6 days a week where I am unable to function. My neck is in such pain that there is no such thing as comfort except while i am receiving a massage, but the moment the massage is over, my pain is right back up. I got frustrated with this Neurologist because she kept just trying medication after medications instead of having a willingness to remove the tumor. She also kept insisting that the MS was not causing any of my pains, nor was the tumor. So, I went to a Neuroendocrinologist who ran even more tests and found that the tumor was causing my pituitary gland to secrete a very excess amount of growth hormone. This caused me to have a condition called Acromegaly. In 2018, I found a Neurosurgeon and had the tumor on my pituitary gland removed and we hoped that would help, which it did for about 8 months. At the 9th month, the headaches/migraines, neck pains, dizziness, nearblackouts with blood pressure increasing activities, and massive fatigue are full force.
So, to put everything into prespective, though I have been given some diagnosis, but the reason for the severe 24/7, neverending, nothing reduces headaches and migraines has perplexed myself and at least 6 or more doctors. I have pains in my neck, shoulders, hands, left knee, hips, T spine, tingling and numbing in my hands and left side of my face at times, ear pain, pain behind my left eye, memory issues, consentration issues, and can't stay asleep for more than 2 hours at a time if I am lucky and no one can tell me why. I feel like a medical misfit when all i want to do is live a quality life. I am only 43 years old, my 6 kids are grown and all moved out, and I want to be around long enough to enjoy my 5 grandchildren and the rest that will come later. Not to mention, my husband and I have been together since I was 16 years old, now that our kids are grown, we'd love to start enjoying what life is like with no children at home. I do everything I can to not let my conditions define me. Unlike many in my position, I do not stay in bed all the time and I do not take pain medications. Unfortunately, I also do not do a lot of things I used to because even being in places with multiple voices or loud sounds make my head feel like it's going to explode. Restaurants, casino, bar, concert, even family gatherings can put me out for the next 24 to 48 hours.