Fighting migraines

Thank you for that nice welcome! They did not try to coil me from what I remember or from my records. This was 25 years ago so maybe that wasn’t so available. What I have found so interesting so far is the amount of migraine discussion! From a neurologist I saw early on after surgery, I was told that migraines are not a “normal” side affect from brain surgery. So, I have been fighting these headaches thinking I was not “normal”. This is the first group I have found that has any support. I have always been my own support and I have always had support of good friends. I am looking forward to this leg of my journey.


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Neurologists don’t always know everything, though we would like them to lol. I ruptured in 2013 and the first one I saw was a Harvard graduate! How exciting for someone with that type of education to be in our small community right? Oh my gosh his office was literally a throw back to the disco ball era (he had one hanging from the ceiling in the waiting room) and all the bright shiny chrome. It was a very small place and he had two tv’s blaring. I didn’t handle it well at all. I never went back to him. When I met my wonderful second Neurologist he asked if he could put down why I didn’t want to see the guy across the street and was laughing whilst he asked. I was always confused back then and told Dr. Yapundich that was the truth, why wouldn’t he write it down. Apparently he tells other neurologists why a patient chooses to find another doctor…who knew?

I had a discussion with my Neurosurgeon on the knee dropping migraines I developed after rupture. She said they’re taught that it’s not due to the brain surgery. I interrupted her and said something like “well isn’t that the dumbest thing ever? Are they not smart enough to realize cause and effect, or do they not learn that in school?” She had a good laugh and said perhaps not, but since almost every patient she has that has ruptured has bad migraines she can see why we think the rupture causes them.

I couldn’t remember when coiling started and found this article Endovascular Coiling for Brain Aneurysms | Treatment | Johns Hopkins Aneurysm Center. I couldn’t imagine having a rupture and it have to go untreated for as many weeks as you laid in the bed, yikes! Coiling may not have been in use when you ruptured. Even when I ruptured there was hesitation and great discussion between the two types of repairs. My Neurosurgeon prefers coiling but will do craniotomies when needed.

Thank you for that article! It was interesting reading. Perhaps because of my age and being a bleeder they decided to do the surgery. I do remember begin catheterized a couple of times. However, because of the medication and the injury I don’t remember the why’s of everything. Since I ruptured and had that wild ride for several weeks my memory of most of what went on is rather minimal. What I remember was filled it with what happened with my friends and family. My Dr’s were the one’s who caught me on arrival. My first visit with him after release I thanked him for saving my life. His answer has stayed with me all these years: “There for the grace of God go I”, Mary this could happen to anyone at any time. It’s often the toss of a coin. That was a gift.
When I saw a different neurologist for migraines and I had pulled my MRI’s and records from the hospital. We were looking at the one that had a drain in my brain, and I said " no wonder my brain hurts" and the neurologist said that it wasn’t normal. I almost laughed because what part of your body can take all that prodding and poking and not hurt some way? Today, I take a twice daily dose of Topiramate and then treat the migraine as they appear. I have found that sugar and alcohol can create one, lack of sleep or increased stress can increase migraines. However I can have all of my issues in control and still get one. My CPAP machine has also helped. I think it has given me a comfort or security when I sleeping especially when I have a migraine.

I am glad you enjoyed it! As time goes on, I have less recall of what transpired when I ruptured. I know I had a thunderclap headache because BH told me I said that. Then my memory becomes very vivid up to the ambulance pulling over so the EMT could get the IV in. I remember nothing about the ER, they told BH who wasn’t allowed back with me that I was alert and talking. BH tried to explain I talk in my sleep but they didn’t believe I could carry on full conversations whilst asleep. I don’t do that anymore since I ruptured. I still remember several of the people who saw to my needs while I was in ICU with some of the wonderful RNs, MDs, a medical student, EB, down to food service and housecleaning that I keep in my daily prayers. Dr. Quintero-Wolfe’s assistant, a very, kind gentle, quiet speaking PA, William, who provided me with honest hope every time I saw him and had a great sense of humor. There are some things that I’d prefer to forget but they stick with me like the daily heparin shots! Those shots sure hurt like the dickens.

Like your surgeon, Dr. Quintero-Wolfe credits a higher power and not her skills as a surgeon on why I survived when I shouldn’t have. She told us once that I am her miracle of miracles.

I’ve never tried a cpap, was told once I needed one but I told that person I would’ve thought the brown shirts (respiratory therapists) that visited my room multiple times a day in NSICU would’ve caught it. The person was going by a questionnaire I had to answer for another unrelated test. BH uses one and it’s really helped me sleep! I no longer wake up multiple times to teeth grinding and snoring lol. I highly recommend one to those who need it.