She Thought She Has A Migraine But Her Doctor Discovered THIS
With the modern woman’s lifestyle of work, family and finances, it’s no surprise that she gets a headache from time to time. But what happens when your headaches become so frequent that they can no longer be attributed to simply stress? Many of us may start to panic and think that we have a horrible condition. Although it can be a scary thought, seeking medical consultation for frequent migraines can actually save a life. That’s certainly true in the case of Frances Paine.
At 26, Paine was suffering from frequent migraines. A busy student in her final year of medical school, Paine figured that headaches were all part of the territory. She often experienced auras – perceptual disturbances like unusual lights or phantom smells that are common among migraine sufferers. For a while, Paine wasn’t worried. She chalked up her migraines to a painful but unavoidable part of life and learned to deal with them. That was until one of her headaches caused her to lose the ability to speak for several seconds.
Reluctant but vigilant, Paine spoke to her primary who referred to her a neurologist. Despite the referral to the specialist, Paine was still unconvinced anything serious was wrong. “I really don’t need to be here, I can just go,” she told the neurologist.”
The doctor wasn’t persuaded by Paine’s nonchalance and ordered an MRI. The results were shocking: Paine had a brain tumor in the frontal left parietal region of her brain. Unable to determine how long it had been there, doctors decided to monitor it while Paine went about finishing her last year of schooling. However, the tumor continued to grow and it was soon evident that Paine would need an operation. The dedicated student knew that there was no getting around surgery, but she also couldn’t sacrifice all of her hard work so far so the day before a 7-hour awake brain operation, Paine took a major exam. And she passed.
After a two-and-a-half month recovery period that included a brief hospitalization for brain swelling and two bouts of sepsis, Paine is now back to her job as a doctor. Her story may sound like something out of our nightmares, but headaches can be much more than we think and it’s important to understand the signs of a migraine and something more.
What Causes Migraines
A migraine is classified by headaches.org as a dull ache that develops into a “constant throbbing and pulsating pain that you may feel at the temples, as well as the front or back of one or both sides of the head.” Most people who suffer from migraines also experience nausea, vomiting and light and noise sensitivity. It’s unknown what exactly causes a migraine, but today doctors agree that it is linked to a chemical reaction in the brain.
An estimated 15 to 20 percent of migraine sufferers also experience auras like Paine did. Auras can come in various forms, but the most common tend to be peripheral disturbances like smells, lights, wavy or jagged lines, dots or blind spots in one or both eyes.
Migraines and Brain Tumors
Anyone who suffers from migraines should see their primary care physician. Not only can a doctor provide you with a full examination and refer you to a specialist if needed, but he or she can also provide you with pain medication to make your migraines more manageable.
There are some telltale signs that a migraine is more serious than “just a headache”, and you should seek immediate medical attention if:
- Your migraines render you unable to speak.
- You pass out while experiencing a migraine.
- A severe headache begins very suddenly (in several seconds).
- A new and unusual symptom appears.
It is often difficult to discern whether or not a migraine is related to a brain tumor without further examination since they share many of the same symptoms. A tension-related, aching headache, nausea and vomiting, light and noise sensitivity and visual disturbances are symptoms of both migraines, sinus headaches and also brain tumors.
Because of this reason, you should always make an appointment with your GP if you begin to experience headaches or migraines frequently. Stress is a part of life and headaches may be unavoidable, but we must remember to put ourselves and our health first.