Discussions By Condition: Medical Stories

Postpartum Preeclampsia or chronic migraine?

Posted In: Medical Stories 4 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • January 23, 2008
  • 02:32 AM

It was a good pregnancy & a smooth surgery (my fourth c-section). Following delivery, I’ve developed high blood pressure, visual disturbances and a headache. I was hospitalized and diagnosed with post-partum pre-eclampsia by a family doctor and a neurologist, based on my symptoms and an MRI that shows 3-4 white spots on my brain. My OB, who I am very confident in, agrees with this diagnosis, but many doctors we’ve spoken with do not b/c I do not have protein in my urine and my blood work is fine. According to my OB, while protein is pretty normal during a pre-eclamptic pregnancy, post-partum can be quite different & it is quite rare, especially to develop after a fourth child. Because I’m not getting better, and despite the blood pressure meds, my bp continues to fluctuate; my OB became uncomfortable with the status of my health and recommended I seek specialized medical care, which we did. We had a gamut of testing done, all coming back normal, except for the spots on the MRI. Since ruling out the bad stuff, my OB is now handling my care again at this point.

I am now 5 weeks post-partum and still suffering significant headache and visual problems that increase in severity throughout the day. I am currently weaning off some pain meds b/c I dislike the side effects. I have been through 3 rounds of different migraine meds b/c the Indy neurologist decided it must be migraines, though that doesn’t explain my high blood pressures since they were as high as 163/123. Each of the migraine treatments has resulted in me vomiting by the second dose. The spinal tap resulted in a spinal headache and I had a successful blood patch done to relieve that headache, but am left with the “old” headache that I’ve now had for about 5 weeks.

We have seen 18 doctors throughout all of this, with 2 hospitalizations at different hospitals. We’ve ruled out a lot of the bad stuff, but still haven’t found an effective treatment.

We are so frustrated with this all since I’ve been unable to even care for my own children through much of it. The whole first month of my baby’s life has been spent dealing with medical issues and I’ve had to pump 4 times now. I’m blessed that he’s been terrific about taking bottles and formula when he’s needed to and has still gone back to nursing each time. I’m currently building a freezer stash of milk for the possible upcoming hospitalization where they plan to give me IV steroids and heavy narcotics to break the headache. We have not yet agreed to this treatment however.

The latest thought is that I might have too much medicine in my body and be toxic. We'll see what my OB says in a couple of days.

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4 Replies:

  • I will start on a steroid pact (methylprednisolone) tomorrow morning (10 pills for 4 days). I was expecting to do this in the hospital (via IV and narcotics), but am very happy to do this at home now. My fingers are crossed, once again, that this will break my migraine! If this doesn't work, I have an appointment with a Neurologist next Thursday.
    MyFab5ulous 2 Replies
    • January 25, 2008
    • 00:40 AM
    • 0
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  • PLEASE read up about steroids before doing this!!!! Steroids can completely wreck your immune system and may really make things worse in the long run. Please read about LONG TERM side effects from steroid on www.rxlist.com or www.drugs.com. Consider finding a good Doctor of Oriental Medicine to get you back on track. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine is brilliant for post partum disorders and migraines. Please consider this - I think it would really help. Have you had blood work to rule out anemia, B12 and others? If your docs have no answers, try a more holistic approach. But be VERY VERY CAREFUL and KNOW THE SIDE EFFECTS of steroids. I would avoid them like the plague, as several of my patients had bad reactions to them. Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3,080 Replies
    • January 25, 2008
    • 05:39 AM
    • 0
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  • We are approaching 60 hours since I started taking the first dose (of Medrol...40 mg each day). I still don't feel a difference yet.:(
    MyFab5ulous 2 Replies
    • January 27, 2008
    • 11:16 PM
    • 0
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  • My concern is that they still allowed you to breast feed and pump with the meds. They told me I was fine to breastfed while I was on antibiotics, pain meds and whatever else- they finally said it wasnt ok with IV antibiotics- my daughter developed so many infections and had a horrible first year of her life and although they never admitted anything - I went back and read and breastfeeding with any of those things is a no no- just wanted to run it by you and maybe you can research some things especially steroids, antibiotics and narcotics- the OBGYNS tell you one things but after researching it says its harmful to the baby. good luck and hope things get better- I remained sick and still am 4 years later and because alot of the problems were not treated I developed many different undiagnosed conditions some life threatening- i saw over 50 doctors and you become like the plague when its tied to a pregnancy and or delivery because some of it could have been something they did wrong with your delivery- I had preeclampsia and had alot of what you are explaining but they said it should go away after the baby is delivered- I found out my severe chronic head problems and white lesions and spinal issues can be attributed to my epidural and or spinal but they dont own up to that. Did you have an epidural and or spinal? did you get a headache right away? I developed right sided extreme pain and numbness as soon as it was done and a severe headache and I also had those severe head issues after the spinal tap- I just found something called adhesive arachnoiditis maybe you can look it up and see if it relates to you- again good luck and god bless I know how you feel I can still barely care for my daughter and I live on heavy pain medications and I was very successful in my career and in great health before this happened. I hope you get an answer soon- I regret listening to them and letting the doctors string me along- if you were fine before your delivery and they cant come up with a medical condition that came out in your pregnancy than most likely something went wrong.
    bellasmom 9 Replies
    • February 13, 2008
    • 07:58 PM
    • 0
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