This entry was actually started two days ago and has been sitting as a draft.
Didn’t get a chance to update on Love’s appointment with the neurologist last Thursday.
As a recap, a little over a year ago now (February 2011), he started getting what he thought was “vertigo.” He was getting dizzy, throwing up and it was so bad that he would get stranded on the side of the road trying to drive home, unable to get the rest of the way. He missed a lot of work because with his job being 45 minute drive away, if he woke up with it, he couldn’t risk driving so far in that state.
We started with the primary doc, then an ENT (Ear/Nose/Throat) to see if there was anything wrong with his inner ear. He also had an MRI. He tried this huge dump of medication including antihistamines, decongestants and even an anti-herpes medication that apparently has been shown to help with some types of inner ear problems. Nothing helped.
This went on for months until the day of my surgery, he talks to my Mom in the waiting room and she says she gets vertigo if she doesn’t get enough sleep. At that point, he had been getting like 4-5 hours of sleep tops a night. He was just really bad about going to bed late. (He gets up at 5am. Because of the long drive, he does 7-4 instead of 8-5 because that hour saves him from his commute doubling due to rush hour traffic.) So he started getting more sleep. It seemed to help. He went several months with very little attacks. We thought we figured it out.
But then, it started up again. And worse than ever. So something needed to be done, which is why our next step was a neurologist.
The neurologist said he doesn’t think it’s vertigo at all. With vertigo, the entire room spins. Love wasn’t having that. He was woozy and off balance but not a round-and-round spin you get with vertigo. Additionally, vertigo doesn’t come with light and sound sensitivity. Add in his nausea, vomiting, fuzziness and general fogginess in thinking and function and the doc said it sounds like migraines!
Love doesn’t get the headache part of the migraine which is why everyone else up until now would have dismissed that idea. But there is a very real type of migraine where you get the aura (visual distortions, light/sound sensitivity, wooziness, etc.) but not the head pain. These attacks are also different in duration from regular migraines (which can be 24-72 hours straight.) This type of migraine aura without headache (also called “silent migraines” or “acephalalgic migraines” tend to last for 20-60 minutes. But you can get one or more of these attacks a day. Which again, sounds just like what he’s dealing with.
So he’s on Topamax now which is an anti-seizure medication that is also given in much lower doses as a daily, preventative migraine treatment. For the first week, he was taking 25mg and today to ease him onto it and today, he goes up to 50mg which is where the doc wants him to be. He goes back in 3 weeks.
We are desperately hoping this solves the problem. It’s been over a year now of this and it’s dramatically impacted the quality of life for us both. We can’t go anywhere or do anything because he might get an attack and be miserable and need to go home. He just wants his life back and I want that too. Fingers crossed that maybe we finally have a real chance to do just that.