I have had headaches for 3 1/2 months now and sometimes they gets so bad I can't take care of my family. Nothing helps, NOTHING. I have done everything and anything that people have told me to do to fix a headache. My General Practitioner sent me to a Neurologist when everything he could do for migraines wasn't working.
Dr. Taj Becker is her name. She's not a nicey, nicey girl. She is an investigator. She gets to the bottom of what's going on and gets it fixed so you can have normal life back. I have so much confidence in her.
The last 2 weeks, I have had *an MRI *an MRA *a bubble ECHO *ultra sound on my the arteries on my neck *lots and lots of blood work *pulse ox sleep test at home *follow up with Dr. Chamberlain
Then Friday was finally my follow up with Dr. Becker. She was going out of town and wanted to get me going on any treatments while she was gone. Mind you, my headaches (that are NOT migraines) were still going strong. The pain never gets below a 4 on the 1-10 pain scale. And then there are times it just takes my life over completely.
Going over all the results of the tests, she got to the bubble ECHO test and asked if any of my family had holes in their hearts. Not that I know of (and after some research on the Albrecht, Jorgensen, Memmott, and Hughes sides, no family history of it). The bubble ECHO showed that I have a shunt, or a hole in my heart. Shunt basically means wrong blood flow. So, my organs are not getting the oxygenated blood like they should and the headaches are my body's way of saying that something is wrong.
She said unfortunately they are unable to do the tests or the repair down here, we would have to travel the 300 miles to do anything further in Salt Lake City. As you can imagine, I freaked out!!!! I have a 3 month old baby and 3 other kids, it's my kid's summer vacation, we don't have money that we want to spend to go to SLC, blah, blah, blah. I kind of just shut down.
I asked her if I could go to a cardiologist down here first. She informed me that there would be nothing they could do. NOTHING. It would be a waste of my time, but in my mind, there was NO WAY I was going up north, so I can just see a cardiologist down here.
I got an appointment with my GP, Dr. Chamberlain on Tuesday and then the Cardiologist down here, Dr. Price on Wednesday. I just thought we could do that for now and see how we feel about it all. I was in major denial and didn't want to know that my heart was broken. I was mad, confused, scared, really scared and yet still wanting these headaches to go away. Overwhelmed in a major way.
Saturday, my mom called their good friend that a year ago had passed out driving a school bus of children and crashed. Thank goodness, no one was hurt. He had the same thing as me. Dr. Becker's tests found it on him too. He went up on a Monday, they did another bubble ECHO and saw the hole. He spent the night in a hotel, had surgery the next morning. They were able to go through his groin and patch and sew up the hole in his heart. He spent that night in the hospital and then came back home to St. George. He had some weight restrictions for 4 months, 20 lbs. He had discomfort, not pain and now he feels like a new man. This is great news.
Friday I was so freaked out. But after talking to Paul, I'm feeling much better about it. I'm still scared as hell, but maybe I can do this. I don't want to be a burden on my family, I don't want people to worry about me, I don't waste my kid's summer cuz "mommy's sick" and now my mom and dad have postponed their trip up to the mountain to camp because of me. Pride is getting in my way, but hopefully that will go away as I get used to what's going to happen.
I'm still confused and angry. I've never shut down like that. It wasn't comfortable. I don't want to do that again. So, we'll see how the week goes and how I feel. The Neurologist has the orders written for me to go to SLC, I just have to say the word and we'll be up there. I need a minute to get used to it.
All of this from some damn headaches. I'm grateful that we got it before I passed out and crashed my car with my children in it or anything else that could have gone wrong. I am being blessed by catching it now before anyone gets hurt.
I am grateful for the amazing family and wonderful friends I have that are carrying me through this already. Not many times in my life have I ever lost control, this was one of them. I didn't know what I was doing and where to turn. It didn't last long, though!!!!
Thank you for your support. I will keep everyone updated as good as I can. I'm still trying to calm down over the fact that my heart is broken and will need to be repaired. Doesn't that happen to "someone else"? I guess that's me!!!!
Keep my family in your prayers. I don't think this is going to be easy for any of us. We will rely on our Heavenly Father to get us through it.
Sorry this post is super long, but it's a lot of info. Until next time!!!!