On March 21, 2012 I woke up with a low grade headache. It wasn’t a bad headache, just a dull ache behind my eyes. As my day progressed the headache got worse. I tried taking some Ibuprofen, and then some Tramadol, but nothing seemed to touch it. Finally by later afternoon light was painful, I was nauseous and it was time for the emergency room. By this time I was thinking maybe I had a migraine. The last one I had was 20 years ago.
I got Andrew to drop me off at the hospital and sent him home. I knew it would probably be a long wait. They gave me a bed to lay on in the hallway and I put my coat over my head to block out the light. Finally I was called to go to minor treatment where a wonderful nurse put me in a room and turned out the lights.
Eventually a student doctor came in to do an examine. After she was done, her supervisor came in to check a few more things. At this point they told me they weren’t sure what was causing the headache and light sensitivity. It wasn’t a migraine or tension headache. It was possible that a new drug I was taking, Tegretol, was causing the headaches, but she didn’t want me to stop taking it. She debated ordering a ct scan, but by this time it was 8pm and the ER was packed. She decided to give me some IV fluids, along with Toredol and Maxeran to alleviate some of the pain. They warned me at this time that due to drug shortages, I was getting one of their last two vials of Toredol. Bad news for me, since I can’t have opiates. Once the pain was eased they said I could go home. The doctor told me I needed to see my doctor for follow up.
The next morning I didn’t have a headache, but I called my doctor to make an appointment for the following week. Friday night we went to see “The Hunger Games”, halfway through the movie it felt like a knife went into the corner of my left eye. By the time the movie was over I had a headache, couldn’t stand light and was having stabbing pains in the corner of my eye. I didn’t see any point in the ER so we went home. At home I swallowed a Tramadol, two extra strength Ibuprofen, a couple of Robaxacet, and a Gravol tablet. Then I wrapped a towel around my head and went to bed for a couple of hours. The headache eventually eased, but over the next few days I continued to get them. I still went to work on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, but I was finding the flourescent lights way too bright.
Finally I had my doctor’s appointment on Tuesday afternoon and saw one of the young residents. By this point I was noticing a difference in my left eye, it seemed to be further forward and there was a constant feeling of pressure behind it. I was also having blurred vision on that side. It was decided that a ct scan was needed to see what was going on. She didn’t feel it had anything to do with the Tegretol, but that I could discontinue it if I wanted to at this point. They told me to make an appointment as soon as the ct scan was done. Thursday morning I had the ct scan and phoned my doctor’s office in the afternoon to make an appointment. They were just downloading the report and told me they wanted to see me at 9:15 am Friday morning.
Friday morning I once again saw the young resident who had ordered the ct scan. She asked a few questions about the headaches and then told me the ct scan had shown a problem. I had “water on the brain” or hydrocephalus. Something was causing a build up of fluid in one of the ventricles. The headaches and vision problems were because of pressure from the excess fluid. The ct scan hadn’t shown what was causing the blockage, but they didn’t see any tumours or bleeds. Dr. Carlson, the resident, kept telling me how sorry she was. That I had already been through so much and this latest development must be very overwhelming. An order was writtien for an MRI with constrast and marked urgent, and I was told if the headaches worsened or changed to go into emegency, otherwise they wanted to see me after the MRI. I was also being referred to a neurologist and would be having surgery to relieve the pressure when all the tests were done.
Friday night there was a couple of stabbing pains in my right eye, and suddenly the vision on that side blurred. A few minutes later the headache kicked in. I swallowed some Ibuprofen, which did nothing, so off to the ER we went. At the ER I was seen by Dr Roe who reviewed the ct scan results. He was concerned that the pressure was possibley starting to damage my optic nerves. He managed to get me some Toredol, they had gotten a bit more, and told me he wanted me to come back in the morning to see an opthamologist. We finally got home at 1:30 am.
Saturday morning I was back at the hospital to see Dr. Roche. She did some vision tests and assured me that so far my optic nerves were undamaged. The blurred vision should improve once the pressure in my brain is relieved. She did feel I had some changes in colour perception and field of vision and wanted more tests on Monday or Tuesday. I was to call the hospital Monday morning to see when my MRI was, and then I was to call her office to book more vision tests.
So here I am. My life once again on hold waiting for doctor’s to decide my fate. I told Andrew that apparently my brain shares my love of baths. We decided that the real problem though is that I am an Aquarian, and of course there is the whole Adaptive Mermaid Sydrome thing.