I'm exhausted, having been kept out way past my bedtime tonight, but I noticed a keyword search in my statcounter I didn't want to ignore...
heart surgery for treatment of migaines: For those of you who are relatively new to my blog, you probaby have no idea why this would have popped up my blog in a google search. But whoever did this keyword search should know that yes, there ARE currently three concurrent studies going on that involve heart surgery for the treatment of migraines. It seems that a large percentage of migraine sufferers have a "patent foramen ovale" which is a condition in which a small valve which normally closes at or near birth didn't close, so you've essentially got a small hole in your heart. This is generally not considered a huge deal and most people who have one never know it, but it is beginning to be associated with early stroke and with migraines. A recent couple of studies involving closing the PFO for stroke patients showed a surprising number of patients who had the lucky side effect of total or significant resolution of migraine symptoms after having the PFO closed. Thus, some new studies have been started and are currently in progress and recruiting patients.
I almost participated in one such study but was disqualified because I get too many migraines. Truth be told, I didn't try all that hard to qualify. There was a qualifying month in which I had to keep an electronic headache diary that I transmitted to the clinic every night. If during that month I had been extremely cautious about every single migraine trigger I have, and if I'd worked harder to sleep more and work less, I probably could have stayed under 14 migraines in that qualifying period, though it would have been challenging since I was just weeks post-miscarriage and in a very busy period at work. But I also knew that qualifying for and participating in the study would have meant taking a year off of the whole fertility treatment thing and I just wasn't sure I was willing to make that sacrifice, even if the payoff was the possibility of a life without migraines. Even the debilitating, life-altering migraines I get on a regular basis. It wasn't an easy decision to make, so obviously, my sub-conscious made the decision for me.
If you want to read more specifics about my experience with trying to decide what to do about the study, look at my posts from November 4-15, 2006. If you want to talk in greater detail about the studies themselves or what I know about them, please feel free to email me directly.
Edited to Add: I was just re-reading my posts about the migraine study and my decision-making process. I waffled a lot about whether to participate. It was a really hard process for me, because the bottom line was that if I'd qualified and decided to participate, that would have meant going on birth control for a year, which was a huge thing for me, shockingly enough. This post in particular, highlighted the conflict of emotion I was feeling through the process, but one line stood out above all:
And yet... I would gladly suffer migraines forever in exchange for a baby.
It's still true, you know. As much as I complain about the migraines... as insufferable as they are... I worked so hard, cried so many tears, suffered so much (and yet, not nearly as much as many of my fellow stirrup queens)... these babies are what I wanted. They are what I want. I wouldn't trade them for anything. Not even a life free of migraines. I'll take the heartburn and the sciatica and the nausea and the round ligament pain and the oxygen deprivation and the sleep deprivation and the anxiety and the contractions and the baby punching my cervix and yes, even the migraines. I'll take it all with a smile on my face when I can, because I want these babies so badly I can taste it. I love them already and I'm already terrified that I'm failing them as a parent by even thinking about the negative parts about this whole pregnancy thing.
The one thing that my children... all our children... will always know is that they were, above everything else... wanted. And THAT is what makes all this infertility bullshit worth it.