Wednesday, March 25, 2015

An Ambulance Ride and a Trip to the ER

Yesterday was not what I expected at all.

I woke up with a headache.

Now that's not a totally unusual thing.  I've had headaches since I was nine.  I've had migraines since sometime around when I turned fourteen.

Having averaged at least four migraines a month (and sometimes that many a week) for eighteen years, that's somewhere around a thousand migraines.   So I'm not a stranger to migraine pain.

What happened today was nothing like any migraine I've ever experienced.

At noon I emailed Paul on his lunch break and told him I was starting to feel pretty sick.  He asked if he needed to tell them at work that he needed to come home and I told him no, I could make it through until five and I'd see how I was doing then.

An hour later I tried to call my doctor's office for advice but I couldn't form the words to tell them what was going on.

By the time I called Paul I was sobbing and could only get basic words out.  I could tell him I was in pain and I thought I needed to go to the hospital, but that was it.  Then I curled up on the floor of the kitchen and cried.

The EMTs arrived just as Paul got home. He'd called on his way because I wasn't making sense.

They transported me to the hospital.  I could hear them making comments about "having to roll out for a headache." but I couldn't care much. I felt like my head was going to explode.

At the hospital I sat in a dark room for a long time, sobbing, and trying to explain that this wasn't a migraine, not like any migraine I'd ever had, and I've had many.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being childbirth I gave the pain a 10, dropping at times down to an 8 and then shooting back up again.

I thought about the last time I'd been in the ER with a rusty old  roofing nail sticking out of my foot when I was pregnant with Patch and how I'd said the pain that day was something like a 5 or a 7.

After hours on an IV the headache started to subside.  They told me the MRI was normal. They ordered a cat scan and it came back as normal too.

I was relieved.

I am relieved.

And worried.  Because if there isn't something there than what's causing all these symptoms. Why am I losing my hearing?  Why does everything taste bland or like it's gone bad?  Why is my face going numb?  Why am I having trouble putting together simple words and forming sentences?  Why are there dark shadows here and there in the middle and off to one side of my vision?

The list goes on and on.

I had written down the symptoms to show my doctor.  I was thankful for that list in the ER when I was having trouble forming words.

After eight hours and a "headache cocktail" I was on my way home in a taxi (since waking up Maggie to get in the car to get me seemed like the worst idea ever).

It wasn't until after I got home from the hospital and was on the phone with my mom and she asked if it could have something to do with the contrast I'd been given for the MRI that I remembered that right before all the headache weirdness got really bad I'd noticed that the injection site was bright blood red and that my whole arm was turning red and itching too.  But then my head had become all I could even begin to think about.

This morning I woke up to huge hugs from all the kids.

And I guess next I go about trying to figure out fitting in that doctor's appointment to get a referral to see the neurologist that everyone was pretty adamant I need to see.

Thank you again to everyone for all the prayers.  I appreciated them more than you can imagine yesterday.


  1. Well, I guess that is a relief but dang!!! I hope the neurologist can figure out what is going on!

  2. Oh, Cammie! God must think you're pretty tough, physically and spiritually, to give you this suffering. And He's always right. Praying for you! Stay strong!

  3. Woke up thinking about you this morning. I hope you are feeling well. And, still praying :) xo

  4. What an ordeal! I am glad that you are doing better and it was nothing serious. My husband has serious migraines. He loses his balance, sees lines in his vision, and collapses. He has also had quite a few in which he coughs up blood and can't get off the floor. The worst one, I found him unconscious on the bathroom floor and I had to call the EMT's. When he came to he was blind for 18 hours and had to be admitted to the hospital. He has seen multiple neurologists and no one knows why or how all of this happens. We have discovered obvious food triggers, but other than that it's been a confusing ride. I pray the neurologist can give you some answers.

  5. Continued prayers for the suffering you are enduring! Do you have any Lourdes water? I have some and would be happy to send some to you in the hope that it could bring some healing. My mother and daughter are also going to Lourdes in a little over a month and they can take your prayer intentions with them and drop them in the prayer box at the Grotto. Please let me know what you would like - I would love to help in any way. Blessings to you and your family.

  6. How scary! I hope that the neurologist will be able to provide answers. I'll pray for you.

  7. Cammie, praying for this suffering to end for you! If you do not have any Lourdes water, I have some and get send some to you. Also, my mother and daughter will be going on a pilgrimage to Lourdes in about a month. They can take your prayer intentions with them and drop them in the Grotto prayer box. Please let me know if I can do anything for you!

  8. Cammie, how terrifying! I'm so glad you are home safe now. Praying for you and for your search for answers- I hope you can get some relief from your pain soon.

  9. So glad you're back home and feeling better! Even when I got up in the middle of the night to feed Eleanor, I hoped online to see if you'd updated anything yet : ) I'm so glad you don't have the tumor, but it must be so frustrating to have no answers! I can't even imagine that frustration in the midst of that pain level. If your neurologist doesn't treat you with the respect you deserve, keep pushing to find a doctor who believes you! That level of pain that often is NOT NORMAL!

    Lots of prayers for answers and thanksgiving for a safe return home.

  10. Oh. How Frightening! I wasn't in pain with my reaction, but I felt all kinds of strange panic and started to obsess over the after life. It was confusing because normally I don't worry that much. So I can imagine how much worse you felt not being able to communicate what was happening. Prayers!

    I am glad that your MRI was normal. I hope that they are able to figure out what's going on with you. In some ways it sounds a bit like an autoimmune something, but I'm not a doctor.

  11. This paragraph: "...if there isn't something there than what's causing all these symptoms. Why am I losing my hearing? Why does everything taste bland or like it's gone bad? Why is my face going numb? Why am I having trouble putting together simple words and forming sentences? Why are there dark shadows here and there in the middle and off to one side of my vision?"

    THAT is how you need to put the question to the neurologist.

    I'm praying for your doctors, and you, and particularly for husband for nothing can bring a man down faster is something he can't fix for those he loves.

  12. Thank you for taking time to share what's gone on. I'm one of your "quiet" readers, rarely commenting because, as an "older" person (a gramma), I haven't felt I had much to actually add to conversations. But now I'm letting you know that I've been checking in to find out how your originally scheduled test had gone. I'm sorry you had such a day! But I'm VERY glad your MRI an CT cans were normal. Thanks be to God.

    When I was 35, after rounds of tests, I was told I might have a brain tumor (I did NOT, and my symptoms ... mine mostly visual and eye movement...gradually disappeared). I was so relieved not to have a tumor, and confused not to know what was going on, but then just so relieved, but then puzzled all over again. Your experience makes me recall that roller coaster, and I just have to let you know - again - that I'm joining with all those who are praying for you.

    I'll keep checking in, and "praying up a storm." (as folks EVEN OLDER THAN I AM used to say :) !)

  13. I'm so relieved that you don't have a tumor. But, still how scary. Praying for you, that you can figure out what is going on I agree, a trip to a neurologist is in order. And also maybe someone who specializes in autoimmune disease. I have a vague memory of knowing someone who was having vision problems (seeing double) and the diagnosis turned out to be Multiple Sclerosis. With all the allergies you have in your family, I would think you might be more at risk for other autoimmune diseases as well

    Lots of prayers, my friend!.

  14. Continuing to pray for answers and healing.

  15. So, so glad your MRI is normal. So glad. I just had to check out Dr. Google when you mentioned acoustic neuroma (not knowing what that was) and did not like what I discovered AT ALL! So knowing that you don't have that: so very relieved. But this episode today at the hospital: wow. I hope you can get to the bottom of this, and someone can give you a clue as to what is going on. In the meantime, I'll continue to keep you in my prayers.
    God bless. Hang in there. ~ Bonnie

  16. Holy moly, Cammie!!!! How incredibly terrifying for you. I'm glad that the MRI and CT scan were normal, but can imagine how frustrating and confusing this is for you. A neurologist is clearly in order. There may be a couple of different things going on - bizarre migraines, something autoimmune related, aural trauma as a result of the screaming episode... Here's praying that the neurologist listens to you and takes your scary symptoms seriously. Lots of prayers being said!


  17. Cam...they also mention Migraines in this article...might be worth checking into! Prayers!!!

  18. Dear Cammie,

    your symptoms are NOT typical for multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, MS would surely have shown up in your MRT with so called „white matter lesions“.

    Hearing loss and numbness are phenomenons which originate in the brain stem. Speech and visual problems are located in the hemisperes of the brain..
    This tells me that you are not suffering from something that is localized in a small area of the brain (which would be typical for a beginning tumor ).

    The diagnosis „vascular problems“ would be a good fit for your symtoms. Migraine is viewed as being caused by contraction and „decontraction“ of the vesels in the head. (simplyfiying here, there are vrious theories). Severe forms can leave the patient with prolonged neuorological defects as, for example, eye movement disorders.

    Migraine is a so called „exclusion diagnosis“ which means, that every other caouse of your symtpoms hast to be thought of. It is the diagnosis whichs reimains when each and every test has come back as normal (blood works (with test for autoimmune diseases, lyme disease, granulomatous diseases), mrt-angiograpny, ultrasound of the vessels of the neck, ear-nose-throat, specialist, ophthalmologist.....)

    Nevertheless I would recommend, that your neurologist prescribe a prophylactical migraine threapy right now, this is something you take every day to curb the symptoms before they apppear. Breastfeeding might be a problem here: are you still doing it?

    Book tip: Olver Sacks. Migraine

    with best regards
    Susanne (neuroophthalmologist)

  19. Here is another good article Cammie.


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