Kate Thompson began suffering debilitating headaches at a young age, and as a 14-year-old she was diagnosed with hemiplegic migraines. Those who suffer from this rare condition contend not only with the typical symptoms associated with migraines, but also stroke-like symptoms such as muscle weakness, paralysis, slurred speech and confusion.
In the beginning, these migraines were seriously incapacitating only about once a month. But by her mid-20s, the pain and neurological symptoms affected Kate’s daily functioning to such an extent that she relied on service dogs and a wheelchair for activities outside of the home.
“I was given dozens of medications, they tried Botox, nerve blocks and different diets. Nothing could stop them,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “Eventually only narcotics could slow them down enough that I was able to return to work.”
After years of trying and failing to resolve the problem, Kate was almost resigned to her fate. But several years ago, physicians struck on a novel idea: pregnancy. The hormonal changes, they believed, “could act as a ‘reset’ for my body” and stop the migraines completely, she wrote.
She and her husband were skeptical – until December 23, 2015, when the pain suddenly and inexplicably went away.
“A week later I called my friend on my lunch break and told her I didn’t know what was ‘wrong.’ I wasn’t in pain …,” Kate wrote.
Her friend’s response? “I bet you’re pregnant.”
And a home pregnancy test confirmed that she was.
“At the first appointment the doctor gave us another surprise, twins,” her post continued. “At seven months pregnant and still pain free the doctor gave us more good news, I probably wouldn’t have another migraine again.”
Kate delivered two healthy girls by C-section last fall and remains free of the migraines, painful twitches in her arms, legs and head and other symptoms that had plagued her throughout her life.
While she was still pregnant, Kate and her husband began calling their daughters “magical unicorn babies” because of the incredible difference they were able to make in their mother’s life – before they were even born.
“At one time I only had thirteen pain free days over the course of three years,” her post concluded. “Next week I will celebrate three hundred days in a row pain free.”
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