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Migraine that never leaves...
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heyaim posted:
I have had a migraine since January 14, 2008. It gets better off and on, but it never goes away. My eye is always full of pressure behind it...it's always swollen from the pain. My temples are always sore and feel bruised from the non stop pain. My Drs. have tried all kinds of stuff. I've tried both Topomax and Depokote for prevention. I have to take prescription naproxen 2x's daily. When it starts to get really bad I have a Imitrex, Treximet, Maxalt, Migranal, and Frova. For now Frova works the best. My body has built up a tolerance for all the other meds. I'm scared to death to see where I'll be in another year. I don't take those meds daily, at least I try not to. I've had a cat scan that came out fine.

Is there anyone else like me out there? Anything else I can try? Thoughts? Ideas?
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sophiespike responded:
Sorry to hear how bad you've been feeling. It's not that often someone is able to mention the exact date when their misery began, but nevertheless, I do feel your pain, as do most of us here. Just read a few of the discussions below yours. In fact, it's beginning to sound like an epidemic of never-ending monster migraines. Please remember that I am not a doctor or medical practitioner of any kind, merely a migraine sufferer just like you. There have been times that I wanted to chop my head off, because that would have hurt less than the migraine.

Acupuncture is being used more and more as a treatment option for those intractable migraines for a few reasons, but mainly because it seems to work for many people. Also, it doesn't involve putting any more medication into your system, which is probably another big plus. It's minimally invasive, virtually painless, relaxing, and becoming a covered service by many health insurance companies.

I would certainly ask my neurologist or PCP for a referral, or, failing that, perhaps your insurance company could provide some names? Word of mouth is also a good way to get a referral.

One more point: most people do not get the full benefit from the first treatment, but they do notice some relief. Typically, it takes several visits for optimum relief; bear in mind, however, that, as with anything, results vary with the individual.

I do hope this helps you. Please let us know how you're doing and if we can help with anything else.

Good luck and all the best to you.
 
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walksalone09 responded:
Hey heyaim. It sort of sounds like some of your headaches are Cluster headaches. They are usually behind the eye. Does your nose feel stuffy, or sinuses feel inflammed?

Are Topamax and Depakote the only preventatives you've been on? There are many others.

I would stop taking the Naproxen because it can cause rebound headaches for you. Many OTC pain relievers do this, and also narcotic pain relievers.
 
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heyaim responded:
Walksalone - Yes, it's always behind my eye. My right eye has been swollen and droppy since Jan. 08. The pressure is always behind that eye, it's never left. When my migraines get extreme (confined to bed), my nose runs like a faucet. My sinuses usually feels fine.

Yep, Topamax and Depakote I've tried. Drs. have also but me on beta blockers, which didn't do anything either.

I've tried not taking my prescription Naproxen. It's the only thing that keeps me going on a daily basis. I can't afford to take my Frova daily (not sure if my Drs. would let me). Typically if I've taken 3 naproxen and need a 4th, that's when I go to the Frova.
 
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haldirkitten responded:
I feel you pain, since I share it. I've had intractable migraines before, and have one currently. I think my longest one was about 9 months, the current one has been 3 weeks. Unfortunately, this particular one has gotten me so nauseated that I have been unable to eat, work, sleeping is difficult, and sometimes all I can do is cry.

Because of concerns about addiction, I try not to medicate my migraines as much as possible. I have tried biofeedback relaxation, massages, meditation, breathing exercises.
 
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mosthelpfulgirl responded:
Many of us feel your pain, or have felt your pain in the past. There is no cure for migraine yet, but there are ways to heal the body's reaction to triggers in the body and the environment, and to rebound-causing medication. Migraine can also be felt behind the eye. Because of the other symptoms you mention, including the droopiness of your eye, I'm going to assume this is migraine and not cluster. However, I am not a doctor or medical professional of any kind either. I've just studied the subject. Only a professional can properly diagnose. First you should greatly reduce or eliminate all rebound-causing medication. Does this mean you should suffer? No. Medicines like triptans (Maxalt, Treximet, and others you mention) work great when you first take them because they constrict the blood vessels in your head, which are overly dilated due to the migraine mechanism. When taken too often, the medicines begin to lose their effect and your blood vessels dilate to a larger degree than they were before (rebound). The same thing happens with caffeine. You need more and more of it to get the same effect. This is why Frova is the only one that works for you right now. It is the newest and most different. These medications were never meant to be prescribed more often than twice a week, or even twice a month in many cases. However, narcotics and other pain killers can also cause rebound. So, what do you take while healing from rebound? Take over the counter pain killers like ibuprofen (ask your doctor about the largest dose you can take). Make sure, however, that these pain killers do not also contain caffeine, which is another vasoconstrictor and will continue to cause rebound. I know medicines like ibuprofen don't touch the pain right now, but as you said, eventually nothing will. So, the best thing to do is stop this before it gets worse. I've been through this myself, so I know what I'm advising. But believe it or not, ibuprofen does work on my headaches again.

The next step is to eliminate the triggers that are causing your headaches. They can be lack of sleep (you need 8-9 uninterrupted hours a night), bright lights, smells, and others, along with dietary triggers. It's hard to pinpoint dietary triggers if you eliminate them one at a time because triggers do not have to cause headaches the same day they are eaten, and they do not have to cause a headache every time they are eaten. Sometimes it takes 2 to 3 triggers at once to cause a headache, and it may take two days for the headache to appear. How would you pinpoint what actually caused it then? This is why many people don't believe in dietary triggers. So, all triggers must be eliminated at once. You should, most likely, as long as there is nothing else going on, notice a huge difference in about two weeks, then feel like a new person in about two to three months. Then you can start adding triggers back in one at a time to find the true culprits for you. Not every trigger is a problem for every migraineur. Dietary triggers include anything with MSG (it's in many restaurant foods and about every fast food, and many boxed and quick prepare foods so check labels), anything with tyramine (citrus fruits, onions and onion powder, raisins, bananas, nuts but seeds are fine, aged cheeses, and more), sulfites (sulfates are fine), nitrates and nitrites (thiamine mononitrate is fine), fermented items, and caffeine. This is a compact list, but will be most helpful for you.

It will be important to stretch your neck and back, and also to get cardiovascular exercise as you heal. This can be as simple as taking a brisk 30 minute walk every day. Be sure to also drink plenty of water.

Where do I get much of my information? I read the book "Heal Your Headache" by David Buchholz, M.D. of Johns Hopkins. It contains even more info, if you are interested, including how the migraine mechanism works. You can also visit this website www.migrainefreecooking.com for recipes.

Best wishes.
 
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mosthelpfulgirl responded:
I neglected to mention that over the counter pain killers like ibuprofen probably should not be taken more often than twice a week. Just like any medication, they can cause side effects as well. Be sure to talk to your doctor, as I mentioned.

And, as I also mentioned, only a doctor can properly diagnose as cluster or migraine. Clusters are not usually affected by dietary triggers, so be sure to rule that out. And, they are treated with different medications.

Preventives are great, but do not work as well, or for as long if rebound and triggers are in the way. I tried several preventives in high doses before eliminating rebound and triggers, and none of them worked. If you read posts on this board, you will notice the same pattern. I now take a preventive in a low dose, one of the same that I had tried previously, and it works fine. Some may still need a preventive to be at the level they want to be, and others will find enough relief with the diet. Everyone is different. This is why you should still seek the help of a talented physician or neurologist.

I wish you the best.


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