I am posting on behalf of my 68 year old Mum who has suffered with Migraine with visual aura since 1963. She currently is prescribed nortriptyline as a preventative with sumatriptan and co-codamol for relief during atracks. She has tried other medications over the years.
In recent years, her migraines have become more severe and two weekends ago, she began to experience a 'normal migraine' on the Saturday morning, which continued into the Sunday. By Monday the pain intensity increased dramatically and she was vomiting and confused, muddling her words and not remembering names (including her own). Thinking she was having a stroke by this point, we called 999 and an ambulance was dispatched, however 3 hours later the ambulance driver called to say he would be several hours more and could we get her to the hospital?
So we took her to A & E, she was given a CT scan and took bloods and a urine sample, all of which they said were clear. So they sent her home with an appointment to attend the ambulatory emergency clinic the next lunchtime. Her pain had subsided by this point but she was still confused etc. Although not as bad as earlier in the day.
As my Dad had suffered a heart attack two weeks previously, I had to drive them to the hospital the next day. When i arrived st their home, mum was experiencing another excruciating migraine, even worse than the previous day, so I got them up to the hospital where mum was violently sick, fitted with a cannula and given anti-sickness meds to which she had an allergic reaction. Once this was under control, she was given oramorphine which helped with the pain, and admitted for further tests & observation.
The next day she had an MRI which we were told was clear, so they decided she needed a lumbar puncture and EEG. On the Thursday evening (2 days after being admitted to hospital), mum began to get pain in her head, but alongside this she began to get even more confused, this time in an aggressive manner. She was swearing and being rude about the other patients and staff (something she would NEVER normally do), and was refusing medication. Eventually my son persuaded her to take the oramorphine which helped her sleep and ease the pain.
The next day, all hell broke lose. Mum attacked me twice, had been hallucinating, was paranoid, and aggressive to everyone and thing and thought she was a prisoner! Somehow, during the course of the day I managed to persuade her to allow them to carry out the Lumbar puncture (of which mum had very low pressure and it took an age) and EEG. She was furious at having to stay in hospital but had to wait for the results which she wouldn't get until the Monday.
Monday comes around, mum was still confused, muddled and seeing and hearing odd things, but less so than previously, but the doctor did not speak to her or me regarding the test results - yet another night in hospital! Tuesday and the doctor comes around before visiting hours to say she was going home. By the time i got there, the nurses were readying her discharge papers and an hour later we were on our way home. The doctor was not available to speak to, and the only thing I can gleam from the discharge notes is that mum has suffered previous mini strokes that we knew nothing about and there is some slow flow in one of the ventricles of the brain. Everything else was 'normal' except for Mum's cognition which was slightly impaired (in their opinion) but greatly in comparison to how she was two weeks ago.
She is unable to recall much of the week in hospital, is still confused about the eve ts she can recall, and is still struggling for and muddling words.
We still have no answers.... and it's frightening to think this could happen again at any time. I believe her migraines which usually begin with zig zag aura have taken a sinister turn, but neither the hospital or her GP are in the slightest bit helpful!
Where do we go, and who can we ask who is knowledgeable in these kinds of migraines .... any ideas or advice is much appreciated.