Friday, February 20, 2009

New Headache Clinic Visit Part 1

My kitchen table is covered with papers and pill bottles. I had my initial visit at the new Headache Clinic this past week, and my headache regimen has been completely altered.

First a little bit about the appointment. It was at a hospital and was a really big new building. I met with the neurologist and another doctor/neuro (an intern I guess), both women, for an hour and a half. There were three parts. The first part was an interview that covered everything about my medical history, emotional state and of course all aspects of my headaches. The second part was a physical exam. The only thing odd they noticed was something about my throat - they said they couldn't see it. The third part was developing a game plan to fight the headaches. Then at the very end, I went to a separate part of the hospital to get my iron level tested (and one other thing I can't remember). Because they drew blood in the same vein as last week, the vein collapsed and it left a nasty mark and I haven't been able to lift anything with my right arm.

My neurologist diagnosed me with "chronic migraine" - she said that what I'm having is migraines, but some are worse than others. She thinks I have a sleep problem, and that's why I'm getting the headaches. I don't have trouble falling asleep, and I don't usually wake up much in the middle of the night, so I had always assumed my sleep was fine. However, I'm always tired, and no matter how much sleep I get, I never wake up feeling refreshed. My dad has sleep apnea, which can be hereditary, and I apparently have a throat issue... Sleep apnea is common in overweight men, but me?? The neuro told me that it's not a well-known fact, but it's also possible for tall, thin women (like me) to have sleep apnea.

Side note, I learned that apparently it's common for kids who sleepwalk to later develop migraines - and I sleepwalked a lot as a kid.

My neurologist also thinks that, based on my answers to the emotional questions, I have low serotonin and one other thing that, of course, I can't remember. Sorry. It was information overload!

So, for the game plan, including my laundry list of new medications, check back for Part 2!