Normal Again

My worst experience with migraine EVER

Migraine had me good.  Worse than it ever had.  I was powerless against my own heartbeat which was pounding in my brain.  It was as if my skull was too small to contain the pulsating life form which was trying to break out at all costs.  Sitting up or laying down was unbearable.  It was only when standing up or slowly walking that I felt the pain go down from a 10+ to a level 4.  Then it would start ratcheting up again, each heartbeat sending out a harsher lash of pain until I had to sit or lay again and that would unleash a tsunami of wicked, brutal pain.  On and on it went until finally 37 hours in, I had my husband take me to the ER and received an IV.

The cocktail of Benadryl, Toradol and Compazene brought the pain down to a level four and was enough to buy me a few hours sleep when we got home.  Unfortunately, the migraine wasn’t through kicking my ass. I took a Zolmitriptan even though it didn’t do anything previously during this never ending event.  And I took a pain med.  Then Finally, Finally, Finally, a half hour later that unbearable pounding lowered substantially, and I slept the day and night away.

What triggered the worst migraine I’ve ever had?  I’m certain it had something to do with the colonoscopy prep I went through on Wednesday, even though the ER doctor didn’t seem to think so. Yet I’m pretty sure that it was more than a coincidence. However, this is my story and personal experience, and I don’t want to discourage anyone who suffers from migraines from taking this most important test.  In fact, I know of a forty one year old woman who was recently diagnosed with colon cancer that advanced to her lymph nodes and into her liver.  Getting screened could save your life!  I will repeat the colonoscopy in five years since they found a small polyp, but I’ll do everything possible to prevent a hellish migraine from happening again.

Please forgive some of the tmi in the following sentences. In my particular case, the doctor who performed the colonoscopy believes in splitting the – ahem – bowel prep into two stages.  The first one is done from roughly 3pm – 5pm the day before.  The last half the patient is supposed to finish three hours before the colonoscopy.  I was concerned about a pesky bladder, so they told me to finish four hours beforehand.  Well, let me tell you, I was glad I had a four hour leeway because we left home two hours before the test and I was still, you know what.  So I thought to myself, shit! (snicker) I’d never have made it to the hospital if I’d just finished up the prep an hour before leaving!  I’d have had to be wearing a full body diaper and wrap myself in those blue disposable  pads. 

Because of all the running to the bathroom that morning, I didn’t drink as much extra water as they instruct you to do.  I didn’t do this because it literally went right through me, and I was afraid of having to leave for the hospital in a sorry and desperate state.  So therefore between the anxiety of wondering if I’d make it cleanly to the hospital, I probably wasn’t as hydrated as I could have been.  Looking back on this, maybe the only way to ensure hydration as well as my own peace of mind, I’d have had to have gotten up way earlier, like 3am, to finish the prep and drink extra water. 

My husband has been through the procedure a couple times now.  The first time, he drank the prep but felt so terribly bloated that for his second colonoscopy, the doctor simply prescribed pills.  Both of his preps were done and over with the night before.  I would have gone to his doctor, but he retired.  I do like the one I saw, but I’m not a fan of drinking part 2 of the prep the day of the colonoscopy.  This doctor believes doing it this way gives better clarity and results.  

I’m sure I should have drank more water than I did on the morning of the test,  but still don’t see how I could fit it in.  When the five year mark comes around, I will get this test again.  However, I think the doctor and I will have to figure out how to make this work better.  If he doesn’t, then I guess I’ll have to find someone who’ll let me either take pills or do the whole prep beforehand.  I will also be sure the doctor will prescribe some pain medication for afterward.  And I’ll drink lots of water once I leave the hospital.

This was the first time the excruciating migraine pain lasted so long.  I’ve never gone to the ER before, though I’ve been tempted.  I could wait out a twelve hour beast, maybe even twenty hours, but pushing forty, I couldn’t take it anymore.

If you are at the age where you should be having a colonoscopy please do so. Colon cancer could be caught early or be prevented entirely. If you have other medical concerns and you’re afraid of doing the prep, by all means discuss this at length with your doctor before having the colonoscopy. I had no way of knowing such a bad migraine was going to happen, but now that I do, maybe I can help another chronic migraine sufferer to be more prepared going ahead with an exam. I certainly will be next time.

Disclaimer: The medications mentioned above were prescribed for me. Both this post and blog are my experiences and opinions only. I want to stress again that it is of the utmost importance that you get screened for colon cancer when recommended by the doctor. I will do mine again despite everything.

About andreamarjulie

Just trying to navigate a life circumvented by chronic migraines. Sometimes I write about managing with those, but at other times I am prone to deviate a bit.
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