chronic illness

The Week-Long Migraine & Hating The Word “Normal”

I have struggled with migraines for years. Initially we were able to pinpoint that they were primarily triggered by hormonal shifts so I was able to take preventative medication during the times my migraines would primarily peak. After my hysterectomy, I definitely experienced a decrease in migraines because obviously there were no longer any hormonal shifts to trigger them.

Unfortunately, in the last year or so, my migraines have returned with a vengeance. My doctor has checked my hormone levels just to be certain there wasn’t anything wacky going on (such as the possibility of a piece of ovary being left behind from surgery) but everything came back normal.

The last day I was in VA with Abby visiting my family, I was hit with a massive migraine. I could hardly lift my head because of the pounding and extreme nausea. I had absolutely no idea how I was going to survive the drive back to NC the next day. Thankfully I wasn’t the one driving but being in the car for 5 hours was definitely not a pleasant experience.

Usually my migraines pass within a day or two but this one hung out for a week. I wanted to go to the ER but the last two times I visited the ER (once for a migraine, once for extreme abdominal pain), I ended up with the same doctor who refused to treat because I was a pain clinic patient. Pretty sad scenario, huh? I had an appointment with my rheumatologist and my pain specialist that week so I tried to just stick it out.

In addition to the increase in migraines, I have had a major increase in joint point and fibromyalgia flares were now accompanied by low-grade fevers and butterfly rashes. My rheumatologist decided to do blood work to check for lupus (and other similar autoimmune illnesses).

While we waited for test results, I had my appointment with my pain specialist and when I told him about my week-long migraine, he was able to give me a shot to help knock it down. I honestly think that syringe must have been filled with liquid fire because it was honestly one of the most painful shots I think I have ever had. I had to bite my tongue in order to keep from blurting out some unladylike comments. Thankfully, the pain was worth it as my migraine finally started to fade.

A few days later, my lab results came in: all normal. I am really beginning to hate that word. The list of symptoms and their impact on daily life is growing but answers are few and far between. I have spent most of 2014 bouncing between my doctors searching for answers and it seems that every test, scan, or procedure comes up inconclusive. We know that there is scar tissue causing abdominal/pelvic pain and GI complications but we don’t have the cause of the increase in migraines, joint pain, fevers, rashes, dizziness, or heart rate issues.

And they wonder why I have anxiety.

After every test, I feel like I hold my breath hoping that maybe this time, we will find the answer. Maybe this blood work will reveal the missing piece of the puzzle. Maybe we will find a definitive diagnosis.

Its pretty sad when you pray for abnormal results. A new diagnosis could mean the possibility of new treatments which could mean the possibility of relief.

Normal results means we have nothing and everything stays the same.

I spent some time pondering the word “normal” and the name of this blog. When I started blogging, my “new normal” was living with chronic illness. Maybe now that is my “old normal” and my “new normal” includes more excitement and fulfillment than I am allowing myself experience because I have to let go of the old in order to embrace the new.

Maybe its time that I embrace my inner Elsa and let it go.


One comment on “The Week-Long Migraine & Hating The Word “Normal”

  1. Brooke says:

    prayers for you and your docs that they would find helpful answers for you!!


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