Something is not quite right.
Two years ago I noticed my cheeks were red during one of my video conferences with a client. They were not only red, but they also had hives on them. I figured it was stress. In my line of thinking I would try to get more sleep, drink more water, and they would go away. They didn’t. Actually, it got so bad my boss and co-worker noticed my lips had swollen, not only had they swollen, my throat had begun to get tingly as well. My boss sent me home with orders to give my doctor a call. Migraine aura’s were not even close to being on my radar.
No grapes, no cheddar cheese, no beef, no dairy.
I did call my doctor and was able to see her the next week. She ordered allergy testing and vitamin deficiency tests. Both were rather eye-opening. I am extremely allergic to grapes. As in one sip of grape juice will cause my tongue to instantly tingle and my lips to swell up. The other two big culprits are beef and cheddar cheese. Ugh! Three of my favorite things, no wonder my face was blowing up.
Still not quite right.
I tried to stay clear of my four no-no’s and went about my busy. Except, my body wasn’t finished. About four months ago while at work my lips and throat began to get tingly. I thought it was one of my allergic reactions. A little bit later I got dizzy, my eyes blurred over, and I began to slur my words. My co-worker promptly suggested I go sit down. A half hour after the attack passed he said I didn’t want to scare you, but you turned purple. He called my boss and I went home. Again, I called my doctor and set up an appointment to get my health issues figured out.
My doctor ordered an MRI, which came back clear thank goodness. She put me on a strict diet to see if there were any intolerances she had missed and scheduled me an appointment with a neurologist.
My appointment with the neurologist went really well. I was dreading it because I did not want to spend all day and possibly all night participating in tests on my brain. I was willing, but not looking forward to it. However, after discussions with the neurologist and a few tests it has been determined I have Classic Migraines or Migraine Auras. I didn’t even know this kind of a migraine exists, but it fits me perfectly.
Migraine Aura, what?
I use to think a migraine simply meant you had a horrible headache, had to be in a quiet room with the lights off. In my case, this is not necessarily the case. My migraines do not always come with a headache and cannot usually be tackled with a few ibuprofen.
Migraine Auras act similarly to a seizure. When I am in the middle of an aura speaking is difficult and it’s common for me to slur my words. My tongue acts like it has forgotten what its job is. It is also common for me to think one thing and something entirely different comes out of my mouth. The process of thinking is foggy and all of my reflexes is slower. Everyday things like counting change, simple math, and problem-solving go out the window. I become fatigued. I am not a nap taker. I have too many tasks that need to be accomplished for this to happen. However, in the last year, there are times I have to sit down right then and there to sleep. My vision becomes blurred or I will see flashing lights. I get dizzy and nauseous. It is a combination of what I imagine being drunk is like, combined with being pregnant. Except with only the horrible, unpleasant side effects. My migraines make working the front desk of the hotel interesting. God has been so merciful in either being able to go home and sleep them off or has given me the strength to work through them. I can tell you the exact moment I have completed a migraine cycle. My head clears, my fatigue goes away, and I feel as if I can run a marathon.
There’s good news?
I am blessed and super thankful to have my neurologist on my side. We are in the process of finding the best medication regiment. The issue I seem to have with my migraines is my body stays in the aura part of the cycle and struggles to get through the rest of the cycle. I cannot wait until I can function with a somewhat normal brain again.
It has been a frustrating six months as we sort through my body. Another action I have taken is to destress my life by taking actionable steps to take tasks off of my plate. I have taken a sabbatical from the social media breakfast, I let go of my last client, and I am continuing my year of no. Only keep the things in my life that I love and bring me joy.
I will keep you updated as I learn more about migraine auras, what they hare, how I am treating mine, and what my future looks like with this beast. Here is a video from the Mayo Clinic that does a good job of explaining my brain.