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Ds2 (9) daily headaches, nausea, dizziness - urgent MRI tomorrow

(48 Posts)
CheeseandGherkins Thu 03-Mar-16 10:04:22

Sorry this is so long but I wanted to get everything down.

Ds2 has been getting daily headaches since January, we kept a headache diary for 3 weeks after seeing the dr and we realised they were happening a couple of times a day and lasting for 5-30 minutes. He's 9 years old.

Dr then had some bloods done and did an urgent referral for the rapid access clinic at hospital due to the headaches. This turned out to be to the hospital we don't usually use but I kept the appointment as I thought it would be faster. Bloods were all ok.

He wears glasses and we took him for another eye test to check his eyes and that was all fine, his prescription is the same as previously.

Hospital appointment was on Friday and it was all a farce. They said it was migraines, did no actual tests other than the nuero ones (which were normal) and prescribed sumitriptan. We still don't have this sorted as she prescribed 25mg and these don't exist. The pharmacist was very helpful and liaised with the hospital and the drug manufacturer but nothing was done, even after we spent 2 hours waiting in the chemist. The dr went home and the registrar was supposed to look at it, but nothing was done and even when we called the ward on Monday STILL nothing was done.

Looking back I wasn't happy with that diagnosis without any tests being done and called my gp again on Tuesday who saw us and called our usual hospital to see when they could see ds2 urgently.

I was contacted with a time to take him in yesterday, 11am, to the pau.

Over the past couple of weeks his headaches have worsened,
lasting for hours, same one lasting all day, waking up with them and being woken at night in pain. Calpol and nurofen are not helping at all. He has also developed other symptoms: nausea on waking and during the day, dizziness, blurred vision, balance issues and tiredness, among others. A number of times he's been crying in pain and this has also happened at school.

He was seen and assessed yesterday by the dr and consultant and although he presents as neurologically ok (apart from poor balance) the symptoms are worrying and they have arranged an MRI for him tomorrow morning. They sent him to the emergency eye dept while we were there to check his eyes again and everything was fine apart from one eye being weaker than the other.

We have to go back to the pau after his MRI where they will chase for the results and discuss with us.

I've googled and obviously I'm really worried that it's serious, what with him becoming worse. Could it really just be migraines causing all of this? Hoping he can keep still for the whole thing tomorrow. I've shown him videos of what it will look and sound like so hopefully he won't be too scared either.

Does anyone have any advice?

TheGreatSnafu Thu 03-Mar-16 10:26:27

I'm so sorry this is all so frightening - I would be very very worried too. I don't think I can offer much but I know how distressed you must feel.

Yes, migraines can cause all the symptoms that you list so please do be reassured by that. I have had migraines for months on end (never found any cause) and they caused all those symptoms and others.

I am glad that he is having an MRI today, press for results ASAP, and find out who exactly reviewed the MRI. (It may be useful to know in the future - I say this from experience.)

It is very positive that he checks out as being neurologically ok.

I would also advise that you start a food/sleep/exercise/symptom diary. If it is migraines this can help you identify any triggers and if it is not migraines then it can give the consultants valuable insight into possible causes and further investigations. Be sure to note duration/intensity of episodes.

I would think that at 9 he should be ok to lay still in the MRI - if he is nervous or anxious they can give him a small dose of tranquiliser to help calm him.

Hope it all goes ok today. flowers

TheGreatSnafu Thu 03-Mar-16 10:27:56

I mean I hope it goes ok tomorrow.

ArielBelleElsa Thu 03-Mar-16 12:56:36

It's positive that the eye clinic found nothing worrying. It must be such a worry for you but at least tomorrow you will have an answer, and in all likeliness it will be nothing sinister, just migraines. 💐

OzzieFem Thu 03-Mar-16 13:49:07

When your son has the MRI request a copy of the results be sent to you. If they start squawking about the results only being sent to your GP then make sure you get a copy from your GP. Any problems tell them you want it for your sons home medical record in case any further episodes occur when you are not in your current area/country.

I also request copies of blood test results as well.

Stinkyfeet Thu 03-Mar-16 14:00:07

I know this is hugely worrying. Hopefully you will get some answers tomorrow.

On a practical note, it may be worth packing an overnight bag for yourself and ds2 in case they need to admit him. Pjs, toiletries, change of clothes, phone charger, snacks. Hopefully you won't need it, but you will be glad of it if you do.

Let us know how you get on.

Buntingsmum Thu 03-Mar-16 16:04:23

Just to second what snafu said above, keep a careful note of the symptoms and ask for details from your DS eg where on his head can he feel pain, when he is dizzy can he describe it eg room spinning?, when he has balance issues what is happening then eg which part of body?, are both sides affected equally? Some of these things can be important if anything more serious is going on and Drs tend to ask these details. It's really good that he is having a MR so quickly (speaking from experience as a Mum to DD with 2 rare brain diagnoses). Also, don't hesitate to go to A&E if your instinct says something is not right. I'm not trying to scare you though. Nasty things tend to be rare. I hope the MR goes well. I'm sure the staff will be lovely to him and help him to keep still etc for it. All the best.

Buntingsmum Thu 03-Mar-16 16:07:21

Oh sorry, hope that it has gone well today (hadn't realised the day). flowers

CheeseandGherkins Thu 03-Mar-16 18:47:58

Thank you all. His MRI will be tomorrow morning, so Friday morning.

Snafu It's good to hear that migraines can cause those symptoms but sorry that you're suffering with them. I'll start a foo and exercise diary up, I did keep a headache diary for 3 weeks but it was only times when they happened.

Ariel* thank you, I''m hoping that it's a positive sign too.

ozzie I will ask for a copy of the results, thanks, it's a good idea.

Stinky I hadn't thought of that, also a good idea, I'll try and get some things together in the morning. I'm going to take some food and drinks as I imagine we could have a wait after the scan and it's just before lunch.

Bunting I have been noticing where he says the pain is but not writing it down, I will do so though now. The pain doesn't start in one place or stay in one place, but moves around. With the balance, he's stumbling a lot, fallen over a number of times in the past few days and also has been holding onto things when he walks. I thought that could be the dizziness. He says the room goes up and down when he feels dizzy and this happens throughout the day. I'm sorry to hear about your DD, how is she? I'll definitely go to a&e if needs be.

I'm so worried for him and hoping that tomorrow brings good news. It was all done so quickly so I haven't been given any information about what to do or expect. I know nothing metal but does that apply for me too? So zips etc?

notapizzaeater Thu 03-Mar-16 19:02:23

If my DH has a migrant he looses all sense of balance and bumps into things, complaining he's dizzy.

Fingers crossed.

Stinkyfeet Thu 03-Mar-16 19:02:53

Yes, if you go in with him, no metal for either of you. So no keys in pockets, no belt buckles. There will probably be a locker to put your handbag in - make sure your carpark ticket isn't in your pocket if it has a metallic strip!

Ds2 will lie on the machine and they will probably put a large frame around his head to keep it in position - a bit like an open helmet. The scan could take 30 -45 minutes. It will be noisy - they can usually play music through headphones, so if he has a favourite cd it may be worth taking - although they may well have a way of playing from an ipod or similar too. They will give him a buzzer to press if he wants them to stop the scan at any time. If he absolutely hates it, they can do it under general anaethetic, but it all takes a bit longer, and it would need to be booked at another time.

Hope this helps.

TheGreatSnafu Thu 03-Mar-16 19:37:59

Make sure you don't wear a metal underwire bra if you are going in with him. wink

CheeseandGherkins Thu 03-Mar-16 20:05:06

Thanks again. There was some odd bold and extra letters in my last post for some reason! I blame the app.

I'm hoping he can keep still enough and my get scared. I'll have to make sure I have no metal too then. I would have totally forgotten to even think about my bra! Have to dig a non underwrired one out.

Also, I'm 14 weeks pregnant, will that be a problem?

TheGreatSnafu Thu 03-Mar-16 20:19:31

No, MRI are routinely some on pregnant women - a baby's brain can be scanned en utero.

TheGreatSnafu Thu 03-Mar-16 20:20:15


Stinkyfeet Thu 03-Mar-16 20:20:36

I don't think it'll be a problem - but do tell them just in case. A quick google indicates that MRI scans are safe in pregnancy though.

I have just remembered something else - they may want to inject a contrast dye into ds2 to help show any irregularities more clearly on the scan, in which case they will need to put a cannula in his hand.

Buntingsmum Thu 03-Mar-16 22:11:39

The GOSH site is quite good as an MRI overview. It is worth talking through what it's like with your DS beforehand eg have a bit of a laugh that it sounds like you are inside a washing machine, but it's just noise, nothing hurts you. Maybe get him to imagine what he could pretend to be to be very still? Get him involved?
It does say something about 1st 3 months of pregnancy in the info, so prob 14 wks is fine. If so, you'll be able to stand right next to him and eg touch his legs if that would help him. It brings back memories for me - I practically was climbing in the machine with my DD one time to try and settle her.
I hope it goes well.

ArielBelleElsa Thu 03-Mar-16 22:24:42

Hope it goes well for you and your ds. 💐

JammyGeorge Thu 03-Mar-16 22:34:22

your poor ds2 you must be so desperately worried.

If it helps my sil suffers from migraines and can go through phases almost clusters of them with pain, balance and visual issues that literally floor her.

I don't know about you but I struggle to focus and take things in when I'm stressed so I'd maybe make a note of all the issues/symptoms so I don't forget to say anything when in with the doctors and also write down any comments/info or diagnosis they give to make it easier to relay to family etc but that's just me I do get muddled.

Good luck tomorrow

cestlavielife Thu 03-Mar-16 22:36:57

My dd also had all those symptoms as migraines.
Has a structural anomaly on mri but this has always been there. Now on preventive meds.
Good luck tomorrow

bakeoffcake Thu 03-Mar-16 22:44:30

Just wanted to say that my DNiece had very similar symptoms and had an MRI scan. She was diagnosed with migraines and now has medication for them.

Lots of luck for tomorrow flowers

Shakey15000 Thu 03-Mar-16 22:48:22

I second taking a favourite CD in, the noise can be quite loud. Hope all goes well and will be thinking of you.

Haudyerwheesht Thu 03-Mar-16 22:50:54

Just another person adding that my sister had all these tests years ago and it was migraines. Fingers crossed that's 'all' it is and that they can find an effective treatment plan for him.

Good luck

CheeseandGherkins Fri 04-Mar-16 07:56:59

Thank you everyone. It's reassuring that so many other had similar symptoms and it was migraines rather than anything else.

Had an awful sleep last night and woke before 6, was no point even trying to sleep more. Poor ds2 also had a rough night so he's obviously nervous too. I'm trying not to let my worry show and am being reassuring to him.

Thanks for the link, we had a look at that and it was very informative. Planning on arriving early to see if there's anything we need to do beforehand. If not at least we are there and can grab a coffee/hot chocolate.

The noises are a lot louder than I imagined so it's great to have heard them and let ds2 hear them beforehand as well.

madmotherof2 Fri 04-Mar-16 08:07:44


I hope everything goes well today! I only scanned the previous posts but my 7 year old had an MRI without a GA a couple of weeks ago. The things we found helpful were... Taking a CD ( although apparently they can listen to music off YouTube), someone going in the room with him and also we had a play specialist work with him - talking him through what will happen, the noises etc. We found that really useful

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