Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Chronic Migraines with a dose of Positive Thinking

Thinking positive when you're in pain ... let's just be honest here ... is hard.

I'm going to do like promised and tell you my story in order. I returned to the doctor for my follow up and he gave me my diagnosis after checking me throughly.

Chronic Migraine

The International Headache Society defines chronic migraine as more than fifteen headache days per month over a three month period of which more than eight are migrainous, in the absence of medication over use.

The definition just in case you were wondering.

So, my doctor prescribed my first preventative. Depakote. It didn't seem to do anything, not that I could tell except it caused weight gain. I was not happy about that. Since it wasn't working, the doctor switched me to Topamax, which I've heard works for a lot of people. I'll come back to this medication in a minute. :)

Along with the preventative, I also used, as needed, maxalt or imitrex. You have to take these last two at onset for it to work. Once in a while it might've worked, but most of the time it didn't. It was stressful, because if I didn't take it at just the right time, I would be in pain for however many days the migraine decided to hang around.

Now, let's get back to the Topamax. I started out on 25mg. Doctor gradually raised dosage until I topped out at 200mg. It causes memory loss. Hahaha. But it's really not funny. If I forget to mention some things, that's why.

It also, in me, caused some really weird sensations. My chest tightened occasionally. It was a suffocating feeling. And a scary one too. The sensation didn't go away completely, but wasn't always dominate.

But the biggest thing Topimax did for me was, first of all, I lost all the weight I gained, plus a little more. For 10 days out of the month, every month, I felt no pain. The other 20 days, I had different kinds of headaches ... the worst two are listed below:
1. The lightheaded headache--I couldn't stand up without the blood rushing to my head and feeling I would pass out.
2. The stinging headache--This is the worst kind. It gave me the feeling of having poison in my blood. I felt like I had a 105 temperature, but I didn't. During these headaches, I would tell my husband, "I'm moving in slow motion." I would see 90 year old people out in public and think, they feel better than I do. By far, the worst headache. On occasion, I was in so much pain, I was sure I was dying.

On a positive note, I always believed I was going to get past this and feel better. Something had to work. Didn't it?

Next week, I'll share other things I've tried, but today I wanted to share with you what my doctor tried for the first time last week.

I received Botox injections. It will take 2 weeks before I notice any difference. I'll share more about this when I get to this part of the story. But, I'll be sure to let you know as soon as I can tell it's working.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I'd love to hear from you.

Take care,

Cindy :)

photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/zionfiction/7484820084/">r.nial.bradshaw</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>