Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Goadsby's Magical Receptors

*Let me start this post off with a disclaimer:  I am NOT in any way, shape or form a medical expert (or even a scientist.)  Everything in this post is based on my interpretation of what has been told to us by our magnificent team of doctors.*

She looked up just as I clicked ... oh, well

As many of you know, my oldest daughter, Samantha, has been suffering from a debilitating headache since January 3, 2012.  Her official diagnosis is NDPH (see this post for more details.)  She continues to be unresponsive to treatments, so last week we got to travel down to San Francisco for another course of DHE treatment--this time with her specialists at the UCSF Headache Clinic.

Things went well.  She reached the target dosage of the DHE (dihydroergotamine) and with a little experimentation, was not nauseous for most of that.  The doctors were concerned with that because nausea is an indicator as to the efficacy of the treatment--basically the more nauseous you are the less effective the treatment is.  Her "drug of choice" (boy that sounds bad) was a combination of Domperidone (the non-alcoholic distant cousin ...) and Kytril--not for everyone, but worked wonders for Samantha.  We had an amazing team of doctors working with us--headed by the two doctors at the headache clinic.  The intern assigned to her, Dr. Chan, was amazing!  She is a first year intern focusing on Pediatrics, but she was so good for Samantha.  She has an amazing fashion sense that caught our attention right away, and when Samantha was having difficulty seeing things through, she was able to talk her through it.

Without going into too much detail, Sam and I agreed that "Goadsby's magical receptors" was the phrase of the week.  I heard Dr. Goadsby himself talking about them with the other doctors using thousand-dollar words that I couldn't possibly hope to repeat, but one of the Neuro-interns dumbed it down for us with that phrase.  Basically they are the neurotransmitters in our brains that act as pain receptors.  Sam's are misfiring and not responding to treatments thus far.  Sooo, the DHE molecules are supposed to connect themselves to these receptors to confuse them into letting other meds through to the brain and therefore break the headache.  Very oversimplified, I'm sure, but that's how I understand it.

So now we wait.  Again.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I stumbled upon your blog please tell your daughter I'm sorry for her headache!! I practice REIKI (its a type of energy healing)and it might bring your daughter some relief while shes waiting for the medicines and doctors to do their thing, the hospital might even offer it. sending love and hugs! Michelle W


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