Thursday, June 4, 2009

So, here is the deal

I have 2 conditions: Migraines & a vitamin b-12 deficiency.
So here I have decided to describe how I have them & what they do to me. If only to help me work through them & eventually accept the fact that there is nothing I can do to change the fact that I have them.

Migraine: I was diagnosed when I was 12 years old. Spring 1993
is a genetic neurological condition. Frequented by severe vascular headaches(at least in my case)with or without an aura. How's that for a definition? The headache is a symptom. NOT the condition.
Here are the symptoms that I have besides the headache:
-aura(my vision goes blurry around the edges or sometimes I go partially blind)
-numbness of limbs & sometimes face on the right side
-sensitive to light
-sensitive to sound
-severe nausea
-problems with speech
-certain colors hurt
-loss of memory(not common)
There are many contributers that have made my migraines hard to handle. First, I feel like I'm being attacked from within. I have hormonal migraines as well as migraines that come from triggers, which I will explain next.
My triggers:
-excess refined sugar
-aged cheeses
-severe changes in barometric pressure(changes in the weather or altitude)
-certain scents(paint, exhaust fumes, paint thinner, cigarette smoke, marijuanna smoke)
-over-stress(usually a tension headache but can turn into a migraine)
-not having a regular sleep pattern
Fun stuff, huh? Even knowing all this doesn't prevent them from coming. I've had migraines for over 15 years. I'm currently on 4 medicaions to help with the frequecy and severity. 2 preventitives & 2 for attacks. There is no medication out there to cure them.
Here is a description of what a small migraine feels like:
Wake up....feel strange....tingles in my fingers & the sunlight is unusually bright. Crap. Where are my meds? All my senses are heightend. I can smell everything & feel everything. Got to get out of bed & tell Mom. She needs to know. Crap. My vision is going. Blurry. Can't think. Why does that color hurt? Who decided to wear a red shirt today? Stumbling out my bedroom door. Run into the wall. Dang it. Can't walk right. I'm gonna have bruises from that. Still no pain yet...thank heavens. Where is Mom? I need my meds soon or they won't help & this is going to last 4 days again. Okay, there she is. She knows. I can tell from the look on her face. She already has the meds in her hand. "Help". Wait, that didn't sound right. Okay. Can't talk right. Great. This is already getting bad. Start crying. She tells me to stop or I'm going to make it worse, which I already know. I take my meds & she helps me back to bed. Puts up the blackup curtain & leaves. Then it hits. Pain unlike any other. I've heard even child birth isn't this bad. Then the meds knock me out. Wake up 10 hours later...ugh....I hurt. Mom checks on me. This is going to be a long one. Apparently I hit the wall in my sleep. My hands are bruised. Dizzy, but I'm still laying down. Man my siblings are noisy. Why can't they shut up? Two more days...I can't do it. Just let me die please? It all hurts. Even in the dark it hurts.

That is one of the few migraines that I actually remember. It was from when I was in high school. I would hit the walls in my sleep to transfer the pain. It would look like I got into a fight. I couldn't eat from the nausea that both the pain & the meds caused. Even now, there are certain medications I cannot take & foods I can't eat.

Now to my next condition; B-12 Deficiency
I was diagnosied when I was 26.
Simple right? Lack of the vitamin B-12 in the body. Not so simple. This little vitamin does big things in the human body. Here are a few of the things B-12 is responsible for:
-maintaining healthy nerve cells
-maintaining healthy red blood cells
-needed to make DNA
So, over several years I started to show symptoms of this deficiency without knowing that was what was wrong. It took over 6 years of symptoms for a doctor to realize what was wrong. With the symptoms getting worse over time and new symptoms coming.
Here were the symptoms I was showing:
-severe exhaustion
-tingling hands
-occasional anemia
-issues with balance

Finally I couldn't take it anymore & went to my new doctor & described what was happening. He sent me for very specific blood tests. I got the results back on November 12, 2007. I will never forget that day. Just as I will never forget my first migraine. I started receiving shots of liquid B-12. My body cannot absorb B-12 through my digestive system like most people. The doctors aren't quite sure why yet. But I will have to get shots for the rest of my life most likely.

I'm fortunate enough to have a very good neurologist who takes very good care of both conditions & of me....*grin*. He has been my doctor since I was 16. I feel very blessed to have had people who care enough about me to have told my parents about him. Without my parents, siblings, friends & doctors this life would have been even more difficult than it sounds. Trust me it hasn't been easy...but a life that is easy, isn't worth living.

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