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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Brain Typos

So for the last two weeks my daughter has had a headache. Sometimes it starts on one side of the back of her head and then radiates to the other. She goes to sleep with it. She wakes up with it. I tried many over-the-counter remedies and nothing has worked. Last Thursday she didn't "look right" to me. Once again I asked her, "Do you still have a headache?" and when she said yes I asked her if there were any other symptoms besides the throbbing she had been experiencing.

She told me she sometimes felt a little dizzy and light-headed, saw a jagged line of light in her eyes a couple of times and that lately was experiencing brain typos. I asked her what she meant by a brain typo and she said it's when you're thinking of one thing and something totally different comes out of your mouth, ie. "It starts with the yellow" instead of "It starts with the letter."

So last Thursday as soon as she got out of school I took her to the doctor. They wouldn't see her because she didn't have an appointment and wasn't really "sick enough" to constitute an urgent visit so we had to return first thing Friday morning. Her regular doctor wasn't in so we met with another doctor. I was gearing towards migraines but this doctor doesn't think so. She said if my daughter was suffering from migraines she wouldn't be able to function, and certainly wouldn't be able to go to school. Of course she doesn't realize my daughter has been in pain her entire life so her threshold is probably higher than most other people's. She also ruled out migraines because once you go to sleep, "they go away, and you don't wake up with a headache."

She thought the headaches are most likely from tension and caused by a couple of factors including eating certain foods. She ran down the list and my daughter does not eat any single item on that list. The doctor looked at us like we were lying, "you mean you don't eat cold cuts." Um, no, she doesn't eat processed meat as she says, "it's disgusting." "So you never eat a sandwich?" Um, no she really NEVER eats a sandwich. Not only does she think processed meats are disgusting but so are processed cheeses and bread. Believe me, the girl eats the healthiest out of all of us.

They could be tension headaches even though the girl says she doesn't feel "tense." She worked her butt off the last couple of weeks with the play, rehearsals and performances until all hours, lack of sleep, stress from her AP classes not giving her any slack with missed assignments, lots of tests, SOLs, and the SAT coming up this Saturday. So it's certainly possible, but if that's the case, she needs a remedy.

The doctor said my daughter should exercise her neck by stretching it and stand against a wall and run her fingers up and down it. She should drink 64 ounces of water a day. And to knock out the headache that evening she should take 1,000 mg of Tylenol with 800 mg of Ibuprofen. "Together?!" I asked. "Yes, just this one time. If there's no improvement after a couple of days make an appointment to see the eye doctor."

Well there's been no improvement although truthfully the girl has not drank 64 ounces of water a day. I didn't believe it was a problem with her eyes but I am a concerned mom and will jump through the hoops to make the doctors happy before I insist on them giving her the tests and treatments I think she requires. So we went to the eye doctor, and there's nothing wrong with her eyes, the poor vision hasn't changed and everything looks good. Her eye doctor also said, the same thing I thought, if it was her eyes the pain would not be originating from the side and back. He mentioned possible migraines, or sinus, or worse something with the brain. I dare not utter the "T" word.

From his office we went back to her doctor's office. No, they would not see her today. We had to make another appointment. So back we go tomorrow. I'm preparing myself to jump through the next set of hoops. Move over girl, you're gonna have to share that ice pack with me...

headache Pictures, Images and Photos


  1. Good for you for being a proactive mom! Meanwhile, maybe if they don't do anything go the homeopathic route?

  2. I can't believe that doctor's description of a migraine. I have suffered from migraines all of my life and (a) they don't go away when you sleep (mine last for three days at a time), and (b) you can work through them if you're tough and (c) you do wake up with a headache when you have them. That doctor needs to learn a little more about migraines.

    Food can trigger a migraine, particularly chocolate, wine, and cheeses. Mine have been particularly bad in recent weeks with the weather changes, as barometric changes affect them (most doctors won't acknowledge that, but it is true).

    You might consider having her checked out by a GYN and having her hormones checked. Hormone fluctations trigger migraines, too.

    I hope that tomorrow you're seeing her regular doctor and not the one you saw before. Good luck and I wish your girl the best.

  3. Anita, I agree with you about the migraines. We did see her regular doctor this morning. It'll be easier for me to just blog about it ;)