Last June I had a migraine that lasted 11 days. I've had migraines since I was a small child. I present with auras, visual disturbances, metallic taste in my mouth, I start to slur my words. This happens anything from 7 days to 5 minutes before the migraine starts. I'll have an episode like once every 12-18 months. The rest of the time, I get migraines that last 2-3 days, at least once every 6 weeks. They've become part of my life, I accept them and work around and through them. I also suffer with chronic pain in my neck after an injury at work 24 years ago, this aggravates the migraines also.
But every now and then I get one so bad, I need medical attention and in the past when I've gone to the hospital, meningitis has been suspected due to my aversion to light and touch and I've had numerous lumbar punctures. I did have viral meningitis in 2000.
This time I decided to go to my GP, I had visual field tests and an MRI. There's a tiny lesion on my right temple but this is probably scarring from the migraines and not the cause. I also have a cough and experiencing shooting pains and numbness in my thigh bone and around my hip joint. I am tired all the time, not sleepy, not lack of motivation, just tired.
The Doctor ran routine bloods.
A week later and now in the UK, she messages me to say I need to get a repeat test carried out. The white blood cell count, platelets and neutrophils indicate at the very least I have an infection of some sort. The count is slightly decreased and then my father died. My health was put on hold.
I return briefly to Dubai, still coughing and saw a pulmonologist. I'm a smoker, the cough is bothering him. I'm diagnosed with pneumonia, given antibiotics and an inhaler. I was hospitalised for pneumonia in 2007. I return to the UK for 2 weeks.
My blood cell count increases, so back to the GP, more tests, an MRI of my hips and thigh. There is nothing there, a chest CT, change in antibiotics. We move house.
I'm referred to an oncologist. My body isn't absorbing iron, this is corrected, yet still my white blood cells and platelets remain high. She suggests the coughing may be due to a silent reflux and recommends I take a one a day tablet. The coughing eases.
I have a bone marrow biopsy. I wait 2 weeks for the results. I know the oncologist just wants to rule cancer and bone marrow disease out, she says it may pick up the very early stages of a problem that she can deal with. I spend 2 weeks stressing out. I can't help but think the worse. I'm still having more frequent migraines, stopped taking the preventative medication that was prescribed by the neurologist last June, it's not working. The biopsy was one of the most uncomfortable things I've ever had done in my life and 3 weeks on the site is still quite sore, doesn't help I keep banging it.
So I got my results last Tuesday, no cancer, no bone marrow disease, no known cause. Repeat bloods are taken, count still high, body still not absorbing iron so lifestyle changes to diet are put in place, another migraine, medication doesn't work and still having pains in my hip and thigh bone. I'm still tired, even after 8 hours sleep.
I been googling my symptoms, it seems I'm stressed. No wonder with all this going on and my father dying last year. But all this started before he died and still doesn't explain the high white blood cell and platelet count.
I'm back in the UK next week for the summer, I'll be monitoring my levels of tiredness, the bone pain and migraines. I've stopped drinking coffee and reduced my intake of wheat products and dairy as these are the 3 things that can prevent your body from absorbing iron. Other than that I am at a loss as to what to do. I'm glad its not cancer or a bone marrow disease, but it leaves me in the same position I was in last year, I'm just not well and no one knows why.