Health Update for the past few weeks

(This post is part of a series documenting my return to NSW to see a consultant neurologist about debilitating migraines that may be related to a non-cancerous brain tumor; both were diagnosed in WA 12 months ago).

I’ve thought up witty blog post titles and humorous ways of getting across the information, but either multiply ate the posts (repeatedly – hence the new blog) or I just run out of … impetus.  So here’s the flat report I gave to the consultant neurologist on Tuesday and his response:

Week 1:

  • Dizziness, disorientation, vertigo, bad head pain
  • Needed constant supervision (detailed in earlier blog post)

Week 2:

  • Above symptoms subsided
  • Sleep patterns returned to normal light sleep. It appears to have been the doxepin that was knocking me unconscious for 8 hours was also making it difficult for me to return to full consciousness for another 4 hours after waking.
  • I am now alert on waking but this declines during the day. After lunch I cannot remember my phone number or how to perform simple repetitive tasks such as how to log into a website.
  • physical fatigue sets in early in the day and I get flashes in the corner of my eyes with the smallest of physical exertions (eg walking through a supermarket)

Week 3:

  • Cold/flu symptoms all week masked any improvement on week 2 symptoms.
  • Physical fatigue still sets in easily
  • Still have migraine upon waking most morning due to head cold and coughing during the night.
  • Still have pudding brain most days and get quite confused quite easily over the simplest of matters

In general:

  • Migraine triggers all still active.
  • Cannot tolerate standard office environment which includes, multiple conversations, ringing phones, and fluorescent lights for more than 20 minutes without needing to be helped out of the building.
  • Cannot be near playing children for more than a couple of minutes before migraine pain is debilitating.

Response from Consultant Neurologist:

  • Physical fatigue, dizziness, vertigo etc most likely a result from the antidepressant leaving my system. That may still take more time to leave.
  • Reduction of mental alertness throughout the day is an effect of the Topomax he has prescribed for the migraine pain. The Topomax usually takes 3 months before it is at optimal effectiveness, so expect these symptoms to continue, but the mental alertness should improve a little as my body becomes used to the drug.
  • The flu/cold is masking any improvement, so we continue with the current drug regime for another month so we can obtain some clear data about how effective or not the process is.

So in summary, I keep doing what I’m doing, the physical dizziness etc should go completely, the cold/flu should leave soon, the mental alertness should gradually improve each day and the migraine pain should lessen each day and this will be expected for the next two months at least.

Once we have all of this under control then we look at the pituitary adenoma and the noise-induced triggers for the migraines … it’s progress … slow but progress none-the-less.

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3 Responses to Health Update for the past few weeks

  1. Tempewytch says:

    I hope there is an improvement soon Mel, you have lived with these symptoms for too long now

  2. You may well find that when they deal with the Pituitary, that the migraines may go.
    I spent days in a darkened room with my headaches before the surgeries…don’t do that any more. I still get the odd headache but nothing like they were.

  3. Kat says:

    I took Topomax for several years to deal with migraines. The side effects I remember having were: unable to recall specific words – I knew the word I wanted to say, but couldn’t remember it. This went away eventually. Also, soft drinks started to taste funny.

    I hope your side effects subside soon!

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