Thursday, November 17, 2011

I'm thankful

Blue has something wrong with her, medically. It's still undiagnosed, and it's not major, but she suffers at times with her health. In contrast, Diva has the constitution of an Ox so it was a shock last night, when Diva came home from school and complained of having had pins and needles all up her left side during the bus ride home. It had started in her arm, moved up to her shoulder and travelled across her face. Her mouth and gums had gone completely numb. When she was talking to me, she sounded as though her tongue was swollen, and her speech was slurred. The pins and needles disappeared, but her arm had gone numb, she couldn't feel anything. I phoned the Doctor, and they said they would see her in the morning but to phone if anything changed in the next half an hour. I'd barely put the phone down when Diva began to panic that her arm was burning. I was back on the phone straight away and they agreed to see her in half an hour. Five minutes later, her arm was no longer burning but it was too heavy to lift, and very cold. I couldn't feel any difference in temperature, but it was obviously happening. That's when she told me that earlier, her leg had also gone numb and she struggled to walk for a few minutes.

By the time we went to the Doctor, most of the symptoms had subsided, but she now had a headache on one side of her head, which seemed to be moving round, spiking, fading, moving then spiking again. Lights were hurting her eyes and she felt sick. Outwardly, I was very calm but inside I was panicking. The symptoms seemed to be coming and going so fast and I had never seen anything like this before. I'll be honest I was really scared. After examining her and doing some tests, the Doctor called the paediatricians ward at our local hospital and told them to expect us. He told us not to go on the bus but to take a cab. This is the point where I really grew frightened.

I'll cut the rest of this short, but some of you may already know what the diagnosis was. The hospital (and the Doctor, it turns out, although he didn't say) are positive it was a migraine with aura. The type of aura (all the symptoms before the headache) is rare but still common enough to diagnose easily. They can't officially diagnose a migraine as there needs to be more than one to call it that but they are certain that's what it was. Strong painkillers eased the headache enough to the point where I was allowed to take her home rather than her staying overnight as they had originally wanted. This morning she has no more than a mild headache.

You may think I'm making a mountain out of a molehill, and maybe I am, but last night, for a couple of hours I thought there was something seriously wrong with her. Don't get me wrong, I'm not underplaying the severity of migraines but they can be managed, they are not life-threatening, and she may not get another. If she does, we'll know what it is and be prepared. The things that were going through my mind – stroke, poisoning, tumour – are a lot harder to deal with.

I commented this morning on a post asking what I am thankful for. Today, I am thankful that last night my daughter had a migraine.