Today I got solid, scientific evidence of what could be causing my anxiety and depression.
To fully understand how I got these answers you have to know some background information. In Feb. 2015, I had my first complex migraine. The problem with this is that I was teaching when it happened. It started out by feeling really weak, dizzy, and sick to my stomach. I thought I that I needed something to eat because it was almost 11 and I hadn’t eaten. So I sent a student to the front office to purchase a snack for me to make it through the end of class. I finished that class and started my last class when I started seeing black dots and the light sensitive started. Thankfully this was my best class as I was giving the instructions for the day, I began to have difficulty figuring out what I wanted to say. Mind you, I had already done this 3 times prior.
Within five minutes I was unable to articulate more than a few words at a time. I started texting (or attempting) to text my husband. A student went to get the principal while another student took my phone and called my husband and then two others helped me sit down and rest my head on the desk. All other students were silent.
We only live a few minutes from where I teach, so my husband got there fast and rushed me to the ER. They believed I was having a mini stroke, I received several scans and loads of medication. The scans came back clean and they determine it was a complex migraine. For a three months I was having these almost every day. I stayed medicated with an OTC pain killer while I taight (no rest for the weary) and at night I took the good stuff and laid in the dark.
While this was going on, I was also in the middle of a fertility treatment because we were trying to have a second child. I saw a specialist in May of 2015. Test were run and then was told they couldn’t give me any migraine meds because we were trying to have a child. And that was the end of that. Since then I’ve been very aware of my triggers and I only have one migraine maybe two a month, but never as bad as that first one.
Fast forward to today when I say my PCP. I expressed all my feelings of sadness and depression that last month or so, and how I think I need an additional medicine for the depression. She started looking through my blood work and discovered the blood work from the doctor in 2015. They are in the same hospital network of doctors so all my records are shared between.
She causally said something about “your gene mutation” and I stopped and said, “I don’t know what you are talking about.” She proceeded to tell me that the specialist in 2015 discovered I have a MTHFR gene mutation. That’s right that stupid abbreviation looks like Mother Fuck Gene Mutation. She said this explains all your problems. My jaw almost hit the floor. I have the A1298C mutation twice, and since it’s hereditary, one or both of my parents have it.
Possible issues with this mutation include:
- Excessive tiredness (all day every day)
- Anxiety (check)
- Depression (check)
- Migraines (check)
- Miscarriages (check)
I could continue with the list of problems this causes, but I won’t.
Here within is the good and the bad news. It can be controlled because it targets and enzyme in your body thus you can take a prescription plus B-Complex to control it. Yeah for good news. BUT, there’s not a lot of scientific study on it because it is a somewhat new discovery. In fact, most of the information out there is on hipster homeopathic websites. Don’t get my wrong, I have zero problems, repeat ZERO PROBLEMS if that is your thing. Personally I like cold hard scientific data. Formal studies.
We did more blood work to see my levels for the enzyme, she upped my meds dosage, and I go back in a month for the new course of treatment.
It was a major relief to know it’s in the DNA and that is what is causing all my issues. Not that I’m lazy and lack motivation. My stupid genes are mutated.
I did call my mom and tell her so she could get tested. That list of issues I stopped with, remember it’s much longer, and my mom has more of those, which leads me to believe I got this from her.
Now I have hope again. Hope I can fix this. Hope that my problems will at least get smaller. They can’t ever go away. Again, it’s in my DNA. But there’s hope.