Her “migraine” turned out to be an AVM

Chantal Poole’s story: “It could have been fatal”

Chantal and daughter side by side

After a diagnosis of AVM, or arteriovenous malformation, Chantal Poole underwent urgent surgeries. Today, she is working and living life to the fullest as a mother to her five-year-old daughter.

An AVM, or arteriovenous malformation, is not something 18-year-olds usually worry about. But one day Chantal Poole, who had suffered from migraines since she was 13, had what she thought was the worst migraine of her life. It turned out to be a brain AVM that had caused a bleeding in her brain.

An AVM is a tangle of abnormal and poorly formed blood vessels that have a higher rate of bleeding than normal vessels. AVMs can occur anywhere in the body.

“That day at work I had a totally different pain,” Chantal says, “It was so bad that I lost vision in my right eye and I became weak. When I got off from work I had to sit in the lobby until my mother came and got me. I couldn’t drive because I couldn’t see.”   Continue reading

Migraine: New paths to relief

The Migraine Research Foundation estimates that about 18% of American women and 6% of men suffer from migraine. University of Michigan's Wade M. Cooper, D.O., talks about migraine triggers and solutions.

The Migraine Research Foundation estimates that about 18% of American women and 6% of men suffer from migraine. University of Michigan’s Dr. Wade M. Cooper talks about migraine triggers, solutions and advances in treatments.

About 35 million Americans suffer with migraine. Are you one of them? If so, as director of the University of Michigan Headache and Neuropathic Pain Clinic, I’d like you to know that there may be better ways for you to manage your migraines and new ways to treat them.

Migraines are those incredibly painful headaches that can last hours or even days, usually 4 to 72 hours. They may cause severe throbbing in the head as well as sensitivity to light, sounds or smells. Often, the person wants to curl up in a dark room and stay there until the pain and symptoms go away.  Continue reading