Thursday, November 24, 2011
On Thanksgiving Day last year, a neurologist finally came up with the diagnosis of Complex Hemiplegic Migraines, a disorder that explained everything and, as soon as it was mentioned and I began researching it on-line, seemed so obvious I could not believe that none of the fancy-shmancy neurologists at Jefferson or Johns Hopkins had even considered it.
Late in the afternoon that day, DH was given an injection of medication to treat the migraine, and within ten minutes, the symptoms went away. Just like that. He could speak clearly, he could move his arm above his head, he could walk without a cane. For the first time since this medical roller coaster started, he was able to leave the hospital better than when he entered. This time he did not require weeks and weeks of physical therapy to regain full use of his body, only to relapse with yet another episode anywhere from a month after all the symptoms had disappeared to as little as a few days after being discharged from the hospital, long before his body was back to normal. This time, exactly one year ago today, the doctors figured out what was wrong and actually treated it. They prescribed medication to prevent the migraines from returning and medication to take at the first sign that a migraine is coming anyway.
Don't get me wrong - we have ended up in the ER a number of times this year. Any time DH's symptoms do not respond to his medication, we have to head back so the doctors can make sure it isn't a stroke. And every time, despite acting they are humoring me when I tell them the specific medicine he needs in his IV and that the symptoms will completely disappear within ten minutes, DH's symptoms have disappeared within ten minutes. But the times that his migraines do not respond to his medication are becoming fewer, and I clearly have become more convincing in the ER - our visits are shorter each time now that the doctors are giving DH the IV drug earlier and earlier into our stay.