Thursday, August 11, 2011

My Brain is Too Big

Turns out my brain might be too big for my skull.

Chiari Malformation was brought up as a possibility a couple of years ago by my previous neurologist.  After an MRI of my brain, he ruled it out.

I went yesterday to Dr. Feelgood's office for my 6 week check up and a medication refill.  Unbeknownst to me, Dr. Feelgood was out of town and I saw one of his associates.  I hadn't seen this dr. before, so I was asked to go through my entire medical history. 

She decided to pull up some of my MRI scans and review them for herself, right then and there.

After going over them for what seemed like forever....she is of the opinion that my MRI is definately abnormal with the cerebellar tonsils extending into the foramen magnum, possibly compressing the brainstem.

In layman's terms...my brain is too big for my skull.

No wonder my head feels like it is about to explode.

I do not want to get my hopes up, thinking I found an answer.

I am also nervous that this might be the right answer.  Which will most likely mean that brain surgery will be in my future.

I am scheduled for 2 more MRI's. 

In the meantime, I have weaned myself off of one of my pain meds as I felt it was not helping, and the dr. added Baclofen to take three times a day.

I do not know if it is the Baclofen, or the weather...but my head has been killing me these past two days, more than normal.  Not a migraine...just a more severe pounding.

I know some of you out there are currently taking Baclofen...does it cause you to have headaches?

Click here for more information on Chiari Malformation

12 comments:

Migrainista said...

Wow, well this is potentially really big news. I get how you would have mixed feelings...a solutation would be great but brain surgery is sort of scary to think about.

I've been on Bachlofen for years and it has never increased my head pain - in fact just the opposite. The doc who orignally gave me the script (Dr Richard Serano, Fayetteville, NC) for it was a huge fan after he did some published research on it. He swears up and down that getting it from Danbury Watson Manufacture is the most effective, and it certainly makes all the difference for me.
Hopefully this is just the weather and not a reaction to this new med. Good luck!

Jessica said...

I have taken Flexeril, Soma and Skelaxin with not much relief, so when she recommeded Baclofen I was eager to try it. I knew you were on it and it sounds like it helped. But since yesterday my head has been BAD! I can only think of the Baclofen as the culprit. Although it has also been raining and storming and Jesse thinks it's the barometric pressure. I'll have to check if the pills are from Watson. Usually they are the best.

Photos By Mamie said...

I hope you do have an answer but I know you're not excited about the possibility of surgery. Hope the new meds start working and offer some relief.

steph said...

Wow! That's kind of great that you've found a possible physical cause, despite the surgery aspect. I hope this leads to some relief for you!

As for baclofen, I used it briefly and it didn't do a thing for me. Though, I have no idea who the manufacturer was, it's very possible I was taking an inferior knock-off. :/

Emily said...

I've been taking Baclofen for years - because it helps! It doesn't take all the pain away, but it knocks it down a point or two.

A physical cause is kind of a good thing, like you said -- I hope that it turns out to be a great thing for you, and that the pain spikes you're having go away!

Heather and Kathy said...

I hope your head is feeling better tomorrow. I do hope that this really does help figure out why your head gets so bad!


Heather

Della said...

Holy crap Jess. No wonder you hurt so bad. Brain surgery sounds very scary, but a skilled surgeon would be performing the operation.

I hope you get some relief from the meds until you can do something about this.

Jessica said...

The Dr. is not 100% certain that it is a Chiari Malformation...I will know more after the other MRI's are done.

Jessica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Allison in Migraine Land said...

I have been taking baclofen for a few months now. Not as a preventative though, only as needed. I usually take it later in the day when I start to feel pain my neck and shoulders. It usually stops my tension headaches from becoming full blown.

That's great that the doctor on call saw the MRI but.. why did you get a "normal" MRI response in the first place? I would definitely want to talk to the first doctor who gave you the first results. If the doctor on call had never looked the MRI again, you would have never known.

Allison in Migraine Land said...

How did your MRI go?

Jessica said...

Hey Allison...my cervical spine MRI was pretty normal, other than a few disc problems, no Chiari malformation noted. I have a brain scan tomorrow. Keep ya posted!