Once insurance approved my hospital stay, we had a few days to arrive in MI before I was admitted. I have to be honest, I have NO idea what to expect. I knew that this could help me, but I was unsure the level of help I would receive. I went into this with low expectations. If I spent most pain days at 4/5 (out of 5), then my hope would be that I would be at a 1/2 most days. I can function at that level, hell, even hold down a job at that level. It was the 4 and 5 level pain days that were absolutely debilitating and making my life unbearable.
This was a smaller hospital and that there was an entire wing dedicated to patients just like me. When I arrived my head pain was teetering between 4 and 5 (out of 5 pt scale). I was greeted by the nursing staff and told to get comfy because my first IV infusion would begin shortly.
From what I understand, all patients (unless they are repeat offenders and are non responsive to the infusions) receive infusions of three medications: DHE, Benadryl and Zofran. I received these every 6-8 hours the entire 10 days I was admitted. The idea behind the DHE is that studies have shown that it can break an inretractable migraine cycle (much like the one I had).
Every morning we met with our care team during rounds. The care team as comprised of Dr. Joel Saper (founder of MHNI), a PA, Nurse Practioner, Psychologists and whom ever else was on your staff for the day. At this meeting, it would be discussed how you were doing and what adjustments might need to be made. Here is he thing about Dr. Saper, HE LISTENS! Within 5 mins of my first meeting with him, he had come to the conclusion that I had low spinal pressure, or a leak, which most likely occurred when I was giving birth to my son, or during my epidural. WOW, just WOW…I had seen SO many doctors over the last year and not ONE connected those dots.
The decision was made to repair the spinal leak with a blood patch epidural (HURTS LIKE HELL), BUT, if that was in fact what was causing me all the pain, I would know IMMEDIATELY.
When I arrived at the OR for the procedure I was so nervous, after the year I had been through I was going into this with VERY low expectations. Again, if you are not the religious type you can skip down a line or two. But, my nurse for the procedure name was Mary. She was so kind and sweet,and even sat and prayed with me prior to the procedure. She never let go of my hand and was an absolute angel. Another true hand of God moment for sure.
When the procedure was over my headache had gone from 4/5 to 0/1. A ZERO…I couldn’t tell you the last time I had felt NO pain.
So the magical Dr. Saper had teased out ONE of the glaring issues that were causing all my pain… GREAT…but what about the other ones. I knew that I had cervogenic caused migraines from the car accident and subsequent spinal surgeries, AND I knew that I already had the predisposition to have migraines, WHICH I learned from this clinic, that if you have it written on your DNA that you will have migraines, then all it takes is for something to trigger it to make the cycle begin. But all that being said, this ANGEL of a man, Dr. Joel Saper, had discovered ONE of the major factors related to my constant pain that NO ONE had even considered. Such an amazing blessing.
The next question, I always get is well YOU’RE HEALED now! All your migraines will be gone forever. The answer to that question is WRONG. That is not how this complex situation works. YES, one issue has been identified and corrected at this moment in time, but that does not mean that I will NEVER again get headaches. In fact, as I am sitting here right now I am dealing with a fairly significant headache. THIS condition I have is a daily battle, a struggle that will always be a chronic condition for me.
I STILL struggle with chronic neck and back pain, WHICH can spark a migraine and I STILL have all the run of the mill migraine triggers that I have always had, but the difference now is that I have a firm foundation to build upon. AND if the train starts to come off the track again, I know that I can always go back to the inpatient program and they can get me back on the right track. If anything..it gave me HOPE…something I had not had for quite some time.
I could obviously go on and on about this program forever, so please please please email me with questions!!!!!!!!!