Thursday, February 16, 2012

More Than You Or I Want to Know about Vestibular Migraines

My sweet daughter L has been suffering since the beginning of October from dizziness, light headedness, nausea, and blurred vision, which I have blogged about a little before.  Yesterday we met with her neurologist (as seen on TV! - yes, he is famous) and  we feel like we finally have a plan of action.  He still believes her symptoms are consistent with the diagnosis of Vestibular Migraines.

For those of you who are interested, the plan involves several different parts.

1.  She will take teeny doses of Topamax, for the migraines, which will take a few weeks to see if it works.  She can increase the dosage as needed.  She will also take Clonazepam in teeny doses for the dizziness.  We really hope that actually helps, because nothing else has so far.
2.  L can sleep okay, but she does not have restful sleep - she has pretty active dreams (battles with swords are often fought and won)  most nights so she doesn't get a lot of rest, really.  He told her to take Benadryl at night to help with that.  Apparently migraine sufferers have worse symptoms from lack of sleep, but you probably already knew that.
3.  Apparently there are several types of foods that can trigger migraines.  She has had very few foods over these past months that she can even stomach to eat, due to constant nausea.  We will have to eliminate things here and there, but several of us, including the doctor, suspect that foods with gluten in them are a trigger.  So, guess who gets to learn about cooking gluten-free?  Yes, that would be us.  Ugh.  We will experiment with other foods that are triggers as well.
4.  L's fitness level was also tested several weeks ago.  Due to the dizziness for 5 months, etc., her fitness level is very low for a young woman her age.  He really read her the riot act about that - I am happy I didn't have to, because I have suspected for a while that this was causing  some of her problems. He explained to her how she needs to get blood moving in her brain to help its functionality. She seems much more motivated now to try.  Of course being dizzy and light-headed every day makes it pretty tough to want to exercise!  So, hopefully some of these medications, etc. will help quickly so that she can start a work-out routine.
5.  He told us to read the book, "Heal Your Headache", which I purchased on Amazon last night.   It is quite a strict program to help with headaches.  After all she has been through, I think L is pretty willing to do what is needed.  At least, she is willing right NOW.....
6. Last month, L participated in some neurocognitive testing, which this doctor ordered, but we haven't gotten the results yet from the doctor who performed them.  We will meet with her, and then find out if L is eligible also for some neurofeedback treatment.  Apparently, this can also be quite a help to some people on the autism spectrum.  That would be a wonderful thing if it would help eliminate or improve some of her Aspergers challenges. I don't really know that much about this, so we shall see.
7.  This doctor is a memory expert, and he was very curious about L's brain and her memory.  She has an amazing memory for certain things, but her executive functioning has always been wavering due to ADD symptoms as well as the Aspergers.  In December, he had her answer a series of questions, and do some tasks in a computer program he designed for memory testing.  He told her that she was "off the charts" with her results, and that he could see from the test results how highly intelligent she is.  He was very pleased, and his reaction to this gave her a much needed boost of confidence.

So, there you have it.  My prayer is that this plan of action actually works for her.  I know many migraine sufferers who do many of these things, but have little improvement when their migraines hit.  While L doesn't have a lot of headache pain, these vertigo symptoms have been completely debilitating and she has not been able to really get going with college credits, or jobs, etc.  She had to miss this semester again.  Hopefully she can start feeling well enough soon to get back to learning to drive, and perhaps get a job.  We have high hopes that her quality of life will improve very soon.

We just may have to WAIT a little while to find out.  

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I just bought 2 books on neurofeedback and neurotherapy. Daniel and Krista also have amazing recall about some things but challenges due to autism, add etc. Talk to you soon!


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