Seeing a Neurologist for my Headaches – My Mysterious Migraine – Part II

Welcome to part II of the story of My Mysterious Migraine. When we last left off, I had been having daily migraines and vertigo for over a month but no concrete answers. My primary care physician prescribed me Imitrex aka Sumatriptan but it wasn’t really helping. Therefore, my regular doc recommended that I start seeing a neurologist for my headaches.

My Mysterious Chronic Daily Migraine Part 2 - The Neurologist and the MRI

And here’s how it went…

Do you suffer from daily headaches and don't know why? This is my personal story dealing with a mysterious chronic migraine. Part II - The Neurologist and the MRI Experience. Click To Tweet

Seeing a Neurologist for my headaches

By the time I had my first appointment with the neurologist, I had been having daily migraines for over a month.

I was also dealing with vertigo which was so bad, I couldn’t even scroll through a web page without getting the spins.

So while I was terrified, I was also very much looking forward to seeing what a specialist would say.

Unfortunately, the neurologist was an ass.

My Neurologist was an ass. He was just in a hurry to prescribe me medicine without asking any questions.

My Neurologist was an ass. He really needs work on his bedside manner.

He didn’t really ask me any questions other than if I was sensitive to light – which I admitted that I was, but only when I have the headaches.

He didn’t ask me about any other symptoms or how long this has been going on or anything.

I tried to explain to him the details about the location of the headache and the dizziness, but he didn’t really seem interested.

In fact, he barely made eye contact with me at all!

He just went to test my reflexes with that little hammer thingy and they were all fine.

My reflexes were fine. But what about my headaches?

My reflexes were fine. But what about my headaches?

Next, he had me walk in a straight line with one foot in front of the other toe to heel – like a cop giving a DUI test. But I was so dizzy that it was impossible and I almost fell over!

This did not phase the doc. All he said was that I need to come back and take a “VNG test” for my vertigo and get an MRI to see what was really going on.

He said he was going to prescribe me “something” to help prevent the headaches which I would have to take daily and then practically ran out of the room.

Read:  My Mysterious Chronic Daily Migraine

Wait, hold up!

I literally had to stop the doc from walking out to ask him what he thought was going on.

He said it’s migraines but I still wasn’t absolutely convinced.

When I asked if it could be anything else, he said that there is no chance of them being cluster headaches since they don’t start and stop suddenly.

He also blew off my suggestion that perhaps it was sinus related.

In fact, he seemed offended that I would question his judgment and just insisted that it’s migraines.

I didn't want to just take

I didn’t want to just take “something” for my migraines without doing proper research first.

But obviously, I wanted to know what he was prescribing.

He said it was an antidepressant called Amitriptyline and that it could make me drowsy. Then he left.

Awesome.

So I looked up this drug that he prescribed and got a little freaked out.

It has lots of really scary side effects and causes weight gain. Being the vain bitch that I am – this was a deal breaker!

Plus do I really want to take something that will completely alter my brain chemistry when we don’t even know for sure what the problem is?

I decided not to take it and just continued with the Tylenol/Ibuprofen route until we got the results back from the tests.


VNG test for Vertigo

A VNG test stands for Videonystagmography.

The first part of the test involved wearing a pair of goggles that recorded my eye movements while I watched a little red light go back and forth.

It reminded me of the “Kitt” car from the 80’s TV show Knight Rider.

The VNG test made me feel like I was watching KITT from Knight Rider

The VNG test made me feel like I was watching KITT from Knight Rider

But this young guy who was administering the test was trying to chat me up the entire time!

If I didn’t know better, I would think he was hitting on me. He was asking me if I work out, what I like to do for fun, blah blah blah.

Really? Dude! I’m trying to freaking concentrate on the light!

I mean, I didn’t want to be rude, but I actually had to tell him that I needed to concentrate and that I couldn’t talk and focus at the same time.

Then the next part of the test, they blindfold you and put warm and cold air into each ear. I was really nervous about it because I didn’t want to throw up.

When they blow air into your ear, it makes everything spin!

When they blow air into your ear, it makes everything spin!

It did get me super dizzy, but it went away after a few mins.

Meanwhile, homeboy was still flirting with me until I mentioned my husband, my family, and my age. Then he was like whaaatt?? I thought you were 25.

Thanks for the compliment, but thanks for also fucking up my test.

I could be wrong, but I honestly believe that because I was too busy making conversation instead of focusing, my results were probably skewed.


The MRI experience

The next and and most important test was the MRI of my head.

I was extremely nervous about this test because not only am I claustrophobic, but I was also really scared about what they would find.

I decided to opt for an Open MRI, which does not completely enclose the body. However they still need to keep your head in a “cage” which really freaked me out.

Getting an MRI can be scary.

Getting an MRI can be scary.

But fortunately they had an eye mask for me to wear – thank goodness!

I use one to sleep every night so I was very comfortable using one during the MRI. I highly recommend you use one if you ever have to get an MRI.

The MRI took about 20 mins total. You have to lie completely still the entire time. The eye mask had me fairly relaxed, but it sure was noisy.

In my head, I was making rhythms and songs out of all the loud bangs, knocks, and beeps. Hell, what else am I going to do for 20 mins just lying there?

Then I was told I had to wait a few weeks to get the results. Argh!

Read:  My Mysterious Chronic Daily Migraine


The MRI and VNG results

Since I did not want to take the pills the doc prescribed me, I called the clinic and told them I didn’t want any more prescriptions until we got the results of the MRI.

This was actually a good thing, because they were able to get me a sooner appointment!

The waiting is the hardest part.

The waiting is the hardest part.

I don’t know if maybe it was because I brought my husband with me, but the doc seemed little friendlier this time around.

He still did not make much eye contact but he did not seem as rushed.

I theorized that the neurologist might actually be autistic and was not intentionally an asshole. I don’t know this for a fact, but as a mom of a kid with high functioning ASD, I made an effort to be more understanding.

But seriously, as a doctor, he needed a lot of work on his bedside manner.


The good news and the bad news.

The good news: I did not have a tumor and I was not dying right that minute. Yay!!!

The bad news: MRI showed “near complete opacification of the right maxillary sinus containing desiccated secretions and mild mucosal thickening within the left maxillary and bilateral ethmoid sinuses.”

My MRI showed complete blockage of my sinuses

My MRI showed complete blockage of my sinuses

So in plain English, my sinuses were completely blocked with dried up crud and who knows what else for who knows how long.

The weird thing was I wasn’t even congested at all. I guess it was so far up there, it was bypassing my nostrils or something.

I am 99% sure that my fucked up sinuses were the cause of all these issues. It makes sense because they are all related, right?

And as you might recall from part I, I experienced something like this before, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all.

Unfortunately, I was still dealing with daily bouts of vertigo, anxiety with heart flutters & vision disturbances, and of course the headaches.

My MRI said my brain was fine. But why was I still having daily headaches?

My MRI said my brain was fine. But why was I still having daily headaches?

And as I figured, the VNG test came up negative – still not so sure about this one.

I actually had the vertigo for over a year, so I was wondering if I had this blockage for that long. Blah, I guess it’s possible.

The neurologist still insisted that they were migraines wanted me to try Gabapentin – another freaking antidepressant with a shit load of side effects. Dammit!

And of course I asked about Botox (because I love Botox) but he wouldn’t prescribe it because he said that insurance wouldn’t cover it. The jerk didn’t even try!

But now that I knew what the issue was, I really didn’t see any reason to take the Gabapentin for the headaches. Plus I was just over this doctor.

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Trying a natural remedy for Migraines

The headaches were still there, but they had seemed milder and much less intense by the 6th week.

One of my friends mentioned that she takes Magnesium, Vitamin B2, and Co Q10 for her migraines, so I figured what could it hurt?

In addition, this combination is supposed to alleviate anxiety as well. Sweet!

The combination of 400MG of Magnesium, 400MG of B2, and 200MG of CO Q10 helped my migraines!

The combination of 400MG of Magnesium, 400MG of B2, and 200MG of CO Q10 really helped my migraines!

I’m so glad I did!

The combination of the vitamins really worked for me. Within about 2 weeks, the headaches disappeared!

I also think the B2 actually helped to curb my appetite a bit – bonus!

In fact, I am still taking them to this day.


Getting closer to an answer

My next course of action was to see an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor (ENT), but the soonest appointment I got was 3 weeks away.

In the meantime, I bought this power sinus wash machine called Navage.

It’s pretty pricey, but it’s also really cool. In fact, I actually made a YouTube video of me trying it for shits and giggles.

I like seeing how much stuff comes out after I do a thorough rinse. Gross, I know – IDGAF.

I was hopeful that this would help to clear out some of the crap in my sinuses and provide some relief while waiting for my ENT appointment.

Unfortunately, I had no idea what was still to come. And it was about to get really shitty.

Stay tuned for part III of My Mysterious Migraine – the ENT experience.


Have you ever seen a Neurologist? What do you take for your headaches? Leave me a comment and let me know!

What do you gotta say? Drop me a comment here!

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