Saturday, April 05, 2008

Now we need prayers for brains

Doctors' brains that is. We went by to visit N. today, car magazines in tow, because he was feeling better and in a regular room. The boys had a nice chat, apparently N. still has a headache and is a bit dizzy but seemed okay generally to me. He was talking and wanted to play video games on his laptop, both good signs IMO.

Problem is that the Docs still are trying to figure out what is going on with him. He had every symptom of a stroke, but the residents and fellows on call over the weekend couldn't see anything obvious on the MRI so they assume it was a migraine. I'm like----uhh, no I don't think so, and so are his parents. None of us have ever heard of a migraine that comes on looking like a stroke, and then disappears. Every migraine I've ever heard of lasts for hours and days, unless you get some imitrex asap, and even then there is no chance a sufferer could watch TV or video games right away. (Plus, I trust my son to give an accurate description, and what he says happened, was no migraine. If it was a 50 year old man, no one would doubt it for a second, kwim?)

My quickie instinctual non-doctors opinion? I think he is having mini-strokes, but is so so desperate to get out of the hospital and be normal that the kid is faking being well, and minimizing the symptoms. If he has had a stroke...then he will be unable to go away to sleepaway camp or be alone after school in the house, and he knows it and since he hates staying in study hall or having a babysitter, he'll do anything to not be sick. Like the icky tasting prescription chewable baby aspirin they made him take after the last stroke? He's told everyone he hates that. Meanwhile he could just take the adult OTC baby aspirin we take, but of course....Sick Kids does treat 11 year olds like kids and can't stand the thought of letting him be a grown up.

Meanwhile, the kid is taller than me!

Anyway, he is agitating to get out of the hospital right away, and I'm hoping he stays until Monday morning when the real actual doctors start work. So the real actual radiologist can read the MRI and the real actual neurologist can see him...I'm such a cynic.

For now, he seems stable anyway. But is it bad that I wish he had gotten sick on a weekday instead of a Friday late afternoon when every good Doc in town is attempting to leave for the weekend?


  1. Sounds like a tia (transient ischemic attack or mini-stroke) to me. Went through that a lot with my mom. Sucks that he is so young and going trough this though. If it were my kid, I'd be insisting someone get to the bottom of it.

  2. Big sigh. You know I was trying really hard not to comment on the 'I guess they were wrong' part of the last post.
    Here's hoping someone decides to get to the bottom of this and not discharge him. I'll also hope he doesn't get the 'best in Canada' radiologist we got.

  3. Doesn't sound like a migraine to me. What about TIA's? (often confused with mini-stroke but not the same - see here: ) Obviously they would be rare in kids but with his history..*shrug*

    Hope they sort this out soon! My thoughts are with you all!

  4. I am glad to hear he is doing better, but do hope they keep him until Monday, or make him come back then for a re-evaluation.
    Good sign about the video games, definitely.

  5. Yes, does sound like a TIA. From my extensive knowledge of having shipped a colleague off to the hospital in the middle of one.

    Whatever it is, I hope they're able to manage it well.


  6. It is not at all strange for you to wish the weekend to be over so that the attendings come back to the hospital. It is also reasonable to hope that no one ever gets sick in July when the brand new, just graduated medical students have started their internships and are clueless as hell.
    All the best to N and hoping that second opinions can determine what is really going on with this kid.

  7. Like all above, sounds like a TIA to me as well. Not strange to wish for a weekday at all. I really hope the hospital keeps him a bit longer.

  8. Scary. I can understand the desire to deny it (though, obviously, it's not in his best interest).

  9. Makes you wonder, doesn't it? My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  10. This reminded me of something - my cousin's friend (he is an adult through - 35 maybe?) had something similar happen. They couldn't figure out what was wrong with him - and it did turn out that he was diagnosed with a migraine - a was a very specific type. It happened a few times. I can't remember the details or the name, but I'll ask her and then you can look it up if you want. It sounds very similar.

  11. It's Monday now. I hope the brains are there.

  12. Happened upon your blog while searching for something else. It is quite possible that N does have migraine. I have an atypical type of migraine called Hemiplegic Migraine, symptoms of which resemble a mini-stroke or TIA. When it first happened I was quite sure it was curtains for me...I lost feeling down my left side, couldn't speak properly and had the most hideous blinding headache, like a metal spike was being hammered into my brain above my left eye.

    It took several weeks of tests, MRI's, neurologist visits and time in hospital to be diagnosed. For me, the treatment is quite simple, considering the severity of symptoms...I take a sub-therapeutic dose of amitryptilline, an anti depressant. Within a week it started to have effect.

    Last year my 13 year old daughter developed another type of atypical migraine, she felt like her eyes were being pushed out from behind. The pressure was strong and the pain horrendous, she was so frightened. It increased in severity and frequency to the point where it was happening up to 3x per day. It was very disruptive to family life, not to mention the agony she was in. Again, she was eventually diagnosed with atypical migraine and started on the same medication as me. Within weeks she was well again and hasn't had a migraine in over 12 months now.

    I'm not sure that N. is having the same thing but his symptoms echoed mine exactly and like N. nothing showed up on tests, MRI's or CT scans.

    How is N. now..?? Could you post an update please. Apologies for the length of this comment.

  13. Hi Kerrie,

    I've posted more info on the next post, (click newer post to see it) but basically he's fine at the moment and they are running more tests for you guessed it, hemiplegic migraine!

    Just in case it was a stroke he is still taking baby aspirin but he is doing okay as of today.

    Thanks for the info, I'll pass this on to his mom. She may find it very reassuring!