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#1 of 10 Old 08-13-2011, 09:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I woke up yesterday from a mid-morning nap with a headache and suddenly lost peripheral vision in my right eye and saw a bunch of flashing lights that were progressing further over my line of vision. I rushed to my midwife's house to check my blood pressure and it was a little elevated but it's probably because I was freaking out. She also did a quick urine test and everything was fine. She wanted me to go to the ER just to rule out preeclampsia still and see what else might be going on. I went home first because I wasn't sure I wanted to go yet... I've had so many negative ER experiences in the past, and I knew another one was going to wipe out a good portion of our savings, even with insurance helping out... The flashing lights went away but my peripheral was still messed up and then I started becoming a little disoriented. I tried typing words into the computer and the words I was thinking weren't the words I was typing. I couldn't spell the words I was thinking. I was having trouble reading. That's when I freaked out and decided to go to the ER.

 

So by the time I got to the ER, my head was pounding, I was shaking, and one of my hands was tingling really bad. I thought for sure I was having a stroke or something just as bad. They rushed to run all sorts of tests on me and had the stroke team come in to check me out. I was so upset, they had to have me do a head CT scan just to be safe...... I feel like a horrible preggers mama now for having done it, even though it was just isolated to my head and they wrapped up my abdomen completely to keep out radiation. The results were normal anyway, which makes me more frustrated that I subjected myself to it AND will be seeing the bill for it later on...

 

I was transferred to OB labor and delivery for an NST (stress test) to make sure the baby was fine, which she was. All of my labs came back normal, and my blood pressure returned back to normal after everything. They ruled out preeclampsia thank goodness. The headache just wouldn't go away and still won't. Tylenol isn't helping much. The only way I can escape is sleep, and too much sleep will probably make it worse.

 

I'm really depressed now today. I feel like I went through so much yesterday and we're going to be suffering financially only to find out they really don't know what happened, except that they suspect it was a severe migraine with an aura and everything. I just can't believe that's what it was! I've never had anything like it before. I've never heard of anybody having an aura and losing cognitive function, have you? I'm no doctor, so I can't say that for sure... I just feel like something was still missed and I'm terrified of that happening again. I feel like it was another negative ER experience that has made me even angrier at the medical field -- complete with them sneaking me an IV when I told them I didn't want it, and they wouldn't let me eat or drink until nearly TEN HOURS after I had last had anything! I'M FREAKIN' PREGNANT! Way to probably make my headache worse by neglecting my blood sugar, doctors...

 

I just want it to be November already so I can have our baby safely at home and not have to worry about the life inside of me being affected by anything else my body goes through. I for sure don't want to have to deliver the baby in the hospital for any reason. I can't stop crying, I'm just so depressed by all of this! I had to stop working 2 weeks ago, and now to be waiting for the day that ER bill comes in the mail... I feel guilty and helpless.

 

Anyway... thanks for being there to hear my sob story while I'm an emotional wreck. If anyone else has experience with migraines like that or knows how to help this headache that just passed the 24-hour mark... please send advice my way.


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#2 of 10 Old 08-13-2011, 10:03 AM
 
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I'm so sorry! I've had something similar happen to me, only I was really sick with the stomach bug. My eyesight was effected and I have a feeling it was because I couldn't eat when I was sick. It's really scary, and even more upsetting that you didn't get a definite diagnosis. I hope the rest of your pregnancy is uneventful, except for maybe some BH contractions later on. hug.gif

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#3 of 10 Old 08-13-2011, 08:16 PM
 
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I'm so sorry!  What a terrible experience. I pretty  much despise ER's too.   I'm glad everything appears to be okay, though!  I hope the headache goes away soon.  hug2.gif


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#4 of 10 Old 08-13-2011, 08:56 PM
 
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*hugs* I'm so sorry this happened. Have you ever had any seizure activity? I ask because it kinda sounds like a seizure to me. I have simple partial seizures that are linked to hormones somehow (I get them more postpartum for instance). They start with an aura, then can include things like tingling, shortness of breath, nausea, headaches (more rare for me), and always include a loss of cognitive ability- the severity varies but a lot of the time my mind will be stuck on a train of thinking or a phrase that has nothing to do with my present reality. I would not be able to read or write during it.)


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#5 of 10 Old 08-14-2011, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the support! The headache finally has subsided after 48 hours and my cognitive function seems to be back to normal now. I was so scared yesterday that I was going out of my mind... 24 hours after everything happened, I felt this overwhelming cloud of depression take over me. I had the worst fight with my husband yesterday in the midst of it. I didn't even recognize myself and was so out of control, I almost wanted to admit myself to the psych hospital. greensad.gif Today the cloud seems to have passed with the headache, though, so I'm trying to just relax and not think about everything I have to patch up in my relationship now...

 

KaliShanti - How were you diagnosed with the seizures -- by EEG? Have the seizures had any lasting effect on you? Do you experience any memory issues or trouble with sustained learning because of it? Do you have any short-term anxiety or depression that accompany the seizures? (Sorry if I'm prying too much.) I wonder if I should look into this more... I had a seizure work-up about 6 years ago for a different reason, but it was negative. Now after having this major event happen, I'm wondering if migraines or seizures have been silently happening for the past year or two and I just didn't know... I say that because I've been having cognitive disturbances for over a year that have been impairing my ability to work sometimes and it's been so frustrating and sporadic, it's been causing me so much anxiety. I just thought maybe it was related to another condition I have, but now things have been getting to the point I'm having significant memory issues, difficulty with reading comprehension, and an inability to perform analytical tasks or those requiring abstract thinking sometimes. I'll go into work one day and everything will make complete sense to me. Then the next day I'll go in and I don't even understand the simplest of concepts. My boss noticed it one day when I was working with her and I was really embarrassed... This concept she was trying to explain to me is something I've worked with before and have completely understood in the past, but that day nothing was clicking. I just chalked it up to being tired and stressed out, just poor concentration. The following day I worked with her on it again and I was like, "Oh, wow, what the heck? How did I not understand that yesterday? It makes complete sense." She thought it was really weird, and I felt humiliated. These things happen most when my mood is disturbed, which almost always correlates with my menstrual cycle. The hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy have just heightened everything a million times over.

 

 

I guess I'll set up an appointment with a neurologist.


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#6 of 10 Old 08-14-2011, 10:50 AM
 
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I'd definitely look into the seizures- pregnancy can sometimes exacerbate episodes or cause epileptic episodes in women who have previously had none.  So since you've noticed symptoms before I'd definitely speak to a neurologist.  My cousin had never had a seizure and then got them frequently while pregnant- full on seizures. It was scary but apparently it was not harmful for her or the baby.  Sorry you are going through this, though, especially with the financial aspect.  Hoping you figure something out, though!

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by birdhappy85 View Post

Thanks for the support! The headache finally has subsided after 48 hours and my cognitive function seems to be back to normal now. I was so scared yesterday that I was going out of my mind... 24 hours after everything happened, I felt this overwhelming cloud of depression take over me. I had the worst fight with my husband yesterday in the midst of it. I didn't even recognize myself and was so out of control, I almost wanted to admit myself to the psych hospital. greensad.gif Today the cloud seems to have passed with the headache, though, so I'm trying to just relax and not think about everything I have to patch up in my relationship now...

 

KaliShanti - How were you diagnosed with the seizures -- by EEG? Have the seizures had any lasting effect on you? Do you experience any memory issues or trouble with sustained learning because of it? Do you have any short-term anxiety or depression that accompany the seizures? (Sorry if I'm prying too much.) I wonder if I should look into this more... I had a seizure work-up about 6 years ago for a different reason, but it was negative. Now after having this major event happen, I'm wondering if migraines or seizures have been silently happening for the past year or two and I just didn't know... I say that because I've been having cognitive disturbances for over a year that have been impairing my ability to work sometimes and it's been so frustrating and sporadic, it's been causing me so much anxiety. I just thought maybe it was related to another condition I have, but now things have been getting to the point I'm having significant memory issues, difficulty with reading comprehension, and an inability to perform analytical tasks or those requiring abstract thinking sometimes. I'll go into work one day and everything will make complete sense to me. Then the next day I'll go in and I don't even understand the simplest of concepts. My boss noticed it one day when I was working with her and I was really embarrassed... This concept she was trying to explain to me is something I've worked with before and have completely understood in the past, but that day nothing was clicking. I just chalked it up to being tired and stressed out, just poor concentration. The following day I worked with her on it again and I was like, "Oh, wow, what the heck? How did I not understand that yesterday? It makes complete sense." She thought it was really weird, and I felt humiliated. These things happen most when my mood is disturbed, which almost always correlates with my menstrual cycle. The hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy have just heightened everything a million times over.

 

 

I guess I'll set up an appointment with a neurologist.



 

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#7 of 10 Old 08-14-2011, 12:49 PM
 
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I'm so sorry you had to go through this.  First, related to the financial aspect, hospitals (for the most part) are VERY willing to work with patients on their bills.  We had a co-pay bill that we couldn't afford to pay up front after our daughter died.  When the bill came, I called the hospital finance office, explained that I didn't have that much money, but that we could pay a certain amount each month.  I don't remember how much it was but it was small, probably $20 a month or so.  They were SO easy to work with and didn't make me feel bad about it at all.  I think they were just as happy as I was that I offered something each month, rather than just saying "I can't pay this."  I know someone who paid for his kid's birth $10/month - it took years, but because he was paying something they never bothered him.  Long story short: don't feel like you have to pay this up front, even if it's just a copay - call, offer something that you can pay each month, then do it.

 

As for the migraine, I get them and they can be terrifying.  It makes me crazy when people say, "Oh, I had a horrible migraine at work yesterday" or something like that.  If you had a *migraine* you would not still be at work.  You may have had a bad headache, but migraines, in my experience, are debilitating - the debilitating part is what separates a migraine from a headache in my opinion. When I get migraines I have a variety of symptoms, not all of these every time thank goodness:  vomiting, visual disturbance, inability to function because of the pain (can't drive, talk, read - lying in a dark, quiet room is the only thing I can do), a feeling that I could literally die at any moment.  My last migraine, which was shortly before I got pregnant, sent me to the ER and involved getting a cat-scan (I think) - my eyes were closed the ENTIRE TIME I was in the ER because of the pain so I only know that my bed was wheeled somewhere, I was slid into some machine, then taken back to the ER.  I received several drugs, but one that surprised me and had very positive effects, was Benadryl.  I was surprised to find out that is what they gave me.  That was the first time that I had ever gone to the ER for a migraine, but I truly thought I might be about to die from a stroke - it was so much worse than anything I had experienced before.

 

I do agree with those who recommended seeing a neurologist, in light of the other symptoms you have been experiencing. 

 

Good luck!!!!


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#8 of 10 Old 08-14-2011, 12:57 PM
 
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Just thinking out loud, and I don't know your insurance info or how you were planning to pay for your birth, but with the out-of-pocket maximum and deductibles, etc, wouldn't this just decrease the amount you'll have to pay for the birth itself?  Hopefully that is the case, otherwise maybe you can work out a payment plan like the PP said.  Best of luck!

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#9 of 10 Old 08-14-2011, 02:44 PM
 
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Your questions:

Have the seizures had any lasting effect on you?: Only temporarily. I feel "off" for the rest of the day usually. Emotionally mostly. Sometimes physically, though more rarely, tired, a bit weaker.

 

Do you experience any memory issues or trouble with sustained learning because of it? No, not sustained. But I do sometimes directly afterward have a feeling of trying to remember something important. I think it's not a reality, though, just a feeling.

 

Do you have any short-term anxiety or depression that accompany the seizures? Very short term, as I said, about a day, or until the next sleep cycle. Although they have occured n my sleep too, like on the brink of it. Those are extra weird.

 

I have not been diagnosed officially.

I self-diagnosed. I have no insurance and could not afford to be diagnosed, nor did I want to be... because often your doctor will either "make" you take medication (I did not want this) or suspend your drivers liscense for seizure activity. I did not feel like my simple partial seizures warranted taking away my liscense. I had never had one while driving and mine are very brief in and of themselves, though the "feeling" (kind of a depression or just like something was "off") I get afterwards linger for often a day.

 

So, I just research and try to do things to lessen the experiences and the frequency. Extra omega 3s, fish oil in particular I found to be useful. But postpartum I get them the most and I just kinda deal with it.

 

Seizure activity often does sneak up quietly in one's life. I never had them until after I had my first baby. It was coupled with some PPD (just after my 1st) and I thought at random times I was going crazy. Then they all but stopped. Then started again after the birth of my 2nd. Randomly that Christmas when my DD was 4 weeks old I heard my aunt talk about her seizures and I thought, "That sounds just like me!" So I started researching and asking around. Turns out that a few of my family members have seizures- from the simple partial, like mine, to the grand mal. Glad to know that I wasn't just imagining things!

 

But your activity (if that is what it is - it sure sounds like it to me) sounds like it is more severe than mine and if it is disturbing your daily/weekly life and you have true memory loss and cognitive impairment from it,m you may want to try and seek the help of a neurologist. I have said that despite finances, if things got to a point with me where they were frequent or impairing I would seek medical attention.

 

Oh and mine are definately connected to my womanly cycle, lack of, hormones, etc.

 

I have found great help through : http://www.epilepsy.com/ (you can sign up through them and track your episodes= a great idea to take to your Dr.) 


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#10 of 10 Old 08-15-2011, 07:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer B View Post

As for the migraine, I get them and they can be terrifying.  It makes me crazy when people say, "Oh, I had a horrible migraine at work yesterday" or something like that.  If you had a *migraine* you would not still be at work.  You may have had a bad headache, but migraines, in my experience, are debilitating - the debilitating part is what separates a migraine from a headache in my opinion. When I get migraines I have a variety of symptoms, not all of these every time thank goodness:  vomiting, visual disturbance, inability to function because of the pain (can't drive, talk, read - lying in a dark, quiet room is the only thing I can do), a feeling that I could literally die at any moment.  My last migraine, which was shortly before I got pregnant, sent me to the ER and involved getting a cat-scan (I think) - my eyes were closed the ENTIRE TIME I was in the ER because of the pain so I only know that my bed was wheeled somewhere, I was slid into some machine, then taken back to the ER.  I received several drugs, but one that surprised me and had very positive effects, was Benadryl.  I was surprised to find out that is what they gave me.  That was the first time that I had ever gone to the ER for a migraine, but I truly thought I might be about to die from a stroke - it was so much worse than anything I had experienced before.

 

 

For migraines with aura, this is very true. Migraines without auras, especially for people who have had them for YEARS, can be managed during everyday life. Over 4th of July weekend this year I had the worst migraine I've had in a very long time. I was still able to drive, take care of the kids, etc. because I HAD to. I don't have auras or visual disturbances (beyond general sensitivity and occasional tunnel vision where my eyes try to forcibly close because keeping them open makes the pain worse), though. Just a ton of pain, sensitivity to anything touching me (I generally lie in bed naked if possible because even clothing feels painful!), sound and light sensitivity, and occasional vomiting. When I have had the auras (I think 3-4 times), it has been awful! But after a decade, my "regular" migraines have become something I can manage if forced to, but it's easier and safer/healthier when I am able to rest until it passes.
 

 


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