Friday, March 14, 2008
chicago part 2 -- headache business

hello again!

here i am again on my own -- going down the only road i've ever known!

people, i've been listening to music again. it's like a revelation. ah, i love it. i miss it.

back on topic.

so i won't bore you with all the details of the appointment. but suffice it to say that the doctor heard all about my headaches, the history of them, and the everyday-ness of them.

after all that, he decided he'd change basically all my medicines. 2 or 3 have remained the same, but most are changed. i was a bit nervous about changing one particularly - the tegretol is one of the only things i've gotten relief from on a daily basis. it also was controlling the seizure disorder.

but this doctor has dealt with many patients like me, whose migraines and headaches are resistant to treatment. i'm willing to try anything, you know -- it's not a lifetime commitment, just a commitment to try something for a while.

so i went into the hospital, and i went off the old meds, and slowly onto the new meds. surprisingly, there are even more pills than there were before. i have magnesium, a couple anti-seizure, a sedative, an anti-psychotic, a beta-blocker, anti-depressant, and magnesium. so wow. but like i said. the man has done this before, and seen good results before. oftentimes the key for cracking this is in combinations of meds and other treatments.

so those are the meds -- while i was in the hospital, the first days were spent with DHE infusions every 8 hours. i was hating the IV (even more than the rest of the stay), but enjoying the relief the infusions brought. they also brought a great deal of nausea, the first anti-nausea drug didn't work. but we got a hold on that and it was smooth sailing for a while. then after 3 days, the course of DHE was done, and it was time to start trying other things -- the ones i remember offhand were depacon, norflex, benadryl & inapsin, and magnesium..... eh, that's all i can think of. so the only one of those that offered any relief was magnesium. that was surprising because i had tried (for 3 months) daily magnesium tablets without any results. but these magnesium infusions brought a great deal of relief. so once we figured that out, we started those every 8 hours.

as the stay progressed, we started to see this change -- instead of waking up every morning with some of the worst pain of the day, i wake up with the lowest pain a 3 or 4 out of 10. my headaches have NEVER in the whole of the past 3 years gone down (without painkillers or triptans) that low. so that's major. they only stay low for a few hours BUT it is progress.

progress is progress and we haven't had much of that before now, have we? so while it's frustrating to see my pain levels climb through the day, i need to try and remain grateful for the good time and the things i can get done doing those good hours.

one of the other things i've been doing since i got back is waking up a lot earlier -- i'm trying to wake up at the same time everyday. i've done that once before without any results. but it'll be much easier to do when i feel good in the mornings. also, i learned about biofeedback and will be practicing that everyday for 20 minutes. at first, even though i was achieving the goals (physically) of biofeedback, i wasn't seeing any results on my headache. HOWEVER, a few days before i left i started seeing some relief from using biofeedback. not a lot, but some.

so that's the deal! give yourself a major pat on the back if you've made it this far. :) and thanks for all your positive thoughts and prayers. they were greatly appreciated.

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Blogger Shama-Lama Mama had this to say:

Glad to hear that you made some progress! I hope it continues for you! For those of us who only know you from the blog world, how often do you have headaches? All the time? Every day? Lordy, I thought you just had occasional (more often than most people, though) migraines that were debilitating.

I am surprised about the magnesium. Its great if you found something thats helping, but that is what they gave me in the hospitial to try to stop the twins from coming out too early; to stop the labor. It made me nauseous and sleepy and really, really, stupid and forgetful.

I assume you are taking low enough dosages that it doesn't make you like that every day?

4:15 PM 

Blogger Emily had this to say:

shama lama mama --

i have headaches everyday. the pain is there when i wake up, and stays until i go to sleep at night. every day for the past 3 years.

even with the infusions in the hospital, i didn't have any side effects from the magnesium (thankfully).

i'll have to do a quick write-up on my migraines - the history, the way they are and all that good stuff.

5:52 PM 

Blogger Erin had this to say:

Well glad to hear you got some results even if they weren't the ultimate cure. But any relief I'm sure if better than nothing.

5:44 PM 

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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

I'm 25 - married, and recently graduated from Brigham Young University, studying music; I play piano. My husband is just starting his PhD program at the University of Utah in computer architecture.



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