The pain started behind my right ear and was limited to occasional intense throbbing in an area the width of my finger by roughly two inches. It came; it went. The longevity of the pain increased causing me to stop and hold my head. The residual pain lingered on. Weeks passed and the pain expanded up the back of the right side of my head to the top and became constant and intense. I could draw a solid line outlining the pain.
Being in rural Alaska I have limited access to doctors. The nurse practitioner really didn’t know much about multiple sclerosis and ordered an MRI, which I could not complete without traveling. I requested the JC Virus test. The JC Virus can cause PML and one of the symptoms is a headache. In addition, I had vision changes and worsening MS symptoms, also indicative of PML. My neurologist in Wyoming wanted me on the plane that day heading south to Seattle just in case. I waited. The JC Virus test came back negative a week later.
The headache continued and then one day gave me a couple days off. When it returned with more vision issues, it started on the left side and went down my face as nausea joined the game.
I have an appointment with my doctor on Monday. We’ll see what he has to say. Living rural causes me to balance cost with benefit and risk. Traveling aggravates MS for me making a trip even less appealing going alone. So often I have rushed out of here only to be fine. I do not have PML but having a PML scare reminds me of the importance of knowing the symptoms. My guess: cluster headache or migraine with the possibility of trigeminal neuralgia. The Internet is a wealth of information right here at home in the middle of no where Alaska though it is no substitute for visiting with a real doctor.
Image from www.migrainebuddy.com.