April 27, 2008

Aura

I started having migraines with an aura while I was pregnant with Isaiah. I was about 16 weeks pregnant and one morning, I had a blind spot int he center of my vision that progressed to zigzaging lines the ended up growing larger until it was like a backward C, and in the center of my vision, I had a blind spot. After about 30 minutes, it went away and I had a full blown migraine - nausea, light sensitivity. I had another one a few weeks later, but the headache was mild. Now I never had this before, and rarely even had headaches, but I guess there always has to be a first, right? My OB said that it was probably due to hormonal changes, and that if I wanted, she'd send me to a neurologist after I delivered, because they wouldn't do anything until then. But that it probably was nothing to worry about. Well, I only had a couple more, and didn't have any for serveral weeks at the end. So at my post-partum visit, I decided not to have her refer me. Well, of course after that, I've probably had 1-2 a month since January. Never a bad headache. I can always tell when I about to have an aura, then the aura starts, and I end up with a mild headache that doesn't keep me from doing things. It's just annoying. This past week, I had one thursday and friday. Granted, I was sleep deprived, stressed a bit, the weather was nuts, I do enjoy red wine, and I drink WAY too much caffeine - all triggers for migraines. So I decided I should probably be seen by a doc, but I wasn't too worried. Until I started talking with my co-workers last night and, yes I'm bad, but I looked stuff up on-line. And I know better than to do that. Well, my co-workers all said "Man, you need to get checked out, because so-and-so had a brain aneurysm and blah, blah blah". That thought had never crossed my mind, so thanks for that tidbit of reassurance. Then I found articles about how oral contraceptives increase the risk of stroke in women with migraine auras, an increase risk for stroke and cardiovascular disease, and so the risks of oral contraceptives outweighs the benefits. Well shit. I'm taking POP's (progesterone only) and love them. I have no periods, I do well taking pills at the exact same time everyday. After I'm done breastfeeding, I planned on getting a hormone IUD because I can't get myself to think that a tubal or vasectomy would be a good thing. I guess I'm just scared I might want another child and there are some good birth control methods out there. But if all this is true, that women with migraine auras shouldn't take hormonal birth control, I have few options. One article said that POP's were okay, and there are copper IUD's. I know, I know I shouldn't base my worrying on the internet info and I just need to sit down with my doc and talk about things. But it's hard. My mind wandered this am as I tried to go to sleep about "What if I do have an aneurysm? What if I have a stroke? I don't want to have surgery for that. My kids are so young, what if..." and it goes on. Silly yes, but I come from a long line of worriers. And my symptoms are classic migraine with aura symptoms. So I'm probably freaking out for nothing. Tomorrow a.m., I'm making an appointment, or I might call my OB and see if she'll still make a referral to a neurologist for me (I hate HMO's). And in the meantime, I'm going to try and relax.

4 comments:

Jaimie said...

My migraines have actually gotten better since I got pregnant and have continued to stay better. I am on POP and maybe that is why. I love the POP or at least I love not having a period. Somehow I feel like it is my reward for those many weeks I thought I was going to bleed to death after giving birth.

Try not to stress about it too much, but it is a good idea to see a doctor. They should be able to at least find something that will help you and hopefully not find a big diagnosis to go with it. But if they did at least you would be able to figure out what to do.

Fertilized said...

Sending you good thougts in h opes the dr and you come up with a do-able plan.

so sorry for all the fuss and frustration

A. said...

I think it's smart to do your own research in addition to talking to your provider.

I can't take hormonal bc, & I wasn't ready for a tubal, so I used a diaphragm for a while. I was hoping dh was going to get a vasectomy but when I realized that wasn't happening any time soon, I got a copper IUD. The first month I wondered if I had made a mistake because my bleeding was even heavier than I had expected (I knew it would be more, but (!). Now I'm glad I gave it some more time - my periods are heavier but the trade-off is worth it, it is so nice to not have to worry about anything plus no hormones, and spontaneity back!

Hope you find the best choice for you... there are no perfect bc methods!!

A. said...

PS... My first migraine was during my second pregnancy (with zigzag aura). I get about one a year now. If I don't get to some meds during the aura it is debilitating.
I did go to the ER when I had that first one, to make sure I didn't have a brain bleed. I still can't believe people can have that kind of pain and not have something seriously wrong happening to their body.