Was it a Migrainous Stroke?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The past several months my cluster headaches have been as bad as I can recall from recent memory. There have been very few days that the clusters have allowed me to have a full night's sleep. Either I've been rolling around with an attack or too uncomfortable from its lingering affects. Needless to say the thought of sleeping for a week straight brings a smile to my smile, if only it were possible. Right now a solid 8 hours would be pure euphoria at this point.

A little over a week ago, after several days of hell, I woke up with almost zero sensation in 80% of my left hand and almost no strength in it. The act of being able to grab an item was nonexistent. After a couple of days with no change in the situation I finally headed off to the Emergency Department of the local Hospital. After the usual long wait times the Dr. made it to my bedside. After asking a few question and without a single test performed he informed me that I likely had a stroke but because I waited there was not a lot that could be done to know for sure. He said it was a possibility I could have had a Migrainous Stroke (Link) (first time I have heard a Dr. admit that migraine can cause a stroke) because of my history with cluster headaches & the long held family tradition of migraines. Most of my family has them to one degree or another. Though I was surprise he thought it was likely a full blown stroke instead of something like a Transient Ischaemic Attack (Link Link Link)

I thought a migrainous stroke seemed unlikely for the simply reason that I haven't had a migraine is a very long time and definitely not within the last week. The thought that the cause could be from a stroke spooked me a bit is an understatement. Not from the idea another one could cause my demise but instead picturing myself lying in a long term care home with tubes coming out of every place imagineable and the only remnants of me is a lump of matter that used to be my body.

He phoned my Neurologist who had me come to see him at another Hospital. After my brother & his girlfriend (I am in both of their's debt) mercifully drove me to the closet major Hospital. Thankfully the wait was minuscule and was lead back to a private bed by an overly excited male nurse. He should think about cutting down the caffeine a tad.

A few minutes later the Neurologist showed up. He kind of reminds me of Ben Stein in appearance. Granted it probably not the best person to be compared to but after all he just LOOKS similar to him in my own personal opinion. Aside from that, my Neurologist is a great guy & am extremely pleased he is so diligent when it comes to my care. Now back to the story. After quite a thorough neurological examination he thinks a pinched nerve in my neck is more likely the culprit. He said that the odds of it being caused by a stroke of any sort was around 20% and will be doing some follow-up tests to help rule it out and of course help to find out the what happened. Needless to say my shoulders dropped a mountainous weight upon hearing the news.

So that is where I am at the moment, waiting for a CT scanner & also a test called an Electromyogram or EMG. Hopefully the result will come back positive with something so a stroke of any sort can be completely ruled out. Till then I am doing my best to get my fine motor skills and strength back into my hand. It seems to be getting better slowing. One day at a time.


YouTube has video about an EMG. It shows the procedure being perform. Quite intriguing. Well worth a watch.



funny, yet scary. oh, so possible. had myself a tia in '05 and then went to bed. OOPS. (after an injection of Imitrex) my last. very terrifying. painful, to say the least.

so when do we get a pic of that baby???

By Blogger deborah, at 25 August 2008 at 04:44  

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Medical terminology can cause confusion at the best of times. If there is a word you do not understand all you have to do is double-click on it and the definition will appear! Don't forget to drop me a line by email at versilleus@gmail.com with your comments, questions‚ recommended resources‚ concerns‚ & especially your experiences with clusters. Or come find me on my Facebook Profile to add me as a Friend. Whether you are a supporter‚ care-giver or sufferer. I would love to hear from you!

*Please do not use this information for self diagnoses. Writing about my experiences with chronic cluster headaches & epilepsy is a good outlet for me. Consult your Dr. with any kind of headache or chronic pain you may have. The 3rd party links on my site I have found to be a good resource to me over the past few years & dearly hope they will benefit you as well.*

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