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    Migrains and Neck Pain
    An_205312 posted:
    For 20 years I have had some really bad headaches. I'm talking ER help or immediate walk in care. In 2007-2008 A neurologist prescribed, 50mg Imipramine(up to 6x daily.), 75mg Ketoprofen(3x daily) and 10mg Maxalt(insurance provided 4 pills per month). All this did was take the edge off of my pain, not much relief.
    I lost my job and insurance in 2008. I have taken no prescriptions or seen any health care since 2008. These headaches have beaten me down. The headaches last from 2 to 5 days straight and resume after 1 to 3 days, continuously. The last 5 months I have been getting some relief by keeping the house below 65 degrees and sleeping with ice packs either on the back of my skull or on the side of my skull. Half of the time the headaches start at the base of my right skull and some of the times the headaches cause extreme neck stiffness or soreness. The Imitrex or Maxalt I was taking took the headaches away for only about a day and then quickly returned. The neurologist called those rebound headaches and told me to take the Maxalt as needed. So not much relief there either, unless I take more than 7 pills in a week.
    Is this normal? Are there other people having this type of pain. This does not feel like a normal migraine. Sometimes I feel like I have been poisoned. All replys are truly welcomed.......thank-you...
    crcampos responded:
    I am very sorry to hear what you are going through. I have had problems with headaches/migraines for 8 years now. I had tests, doctors, er visits, everything you can think of. Imitrex works for me but sometimes within 24 hours it will come right back. There is a genertic form called sumatriptan that really works good for me. I get 9 pills a month for $10.00. I have done much research and found a doctor by the name of Pamela Blake, she has helped me a lot. She is based out of Houston, Texas. I have bad neck pain as well, I get nerve block injections and I am even considering surgery. Dr. Blake has been great helping me through everything and she is very passoniate. I am not sure where you live, but please look her up. I am actually going through a headache spell that has been lasting over a week and I called into work this morning. Heating pad, ice pack, sleeping, the entire room dark is some steps that I take to help but within time it comes right back. Just know that you are not alone and keep researching and don't loose hope.
    Betwixted replied to crcampos's response:
    But this is natural? From what I've read and your response, that there are lots of people going thru this. The year is 2010 and this amount of pain and angush is acceptable in the medical world? For six years, (before this), I've spent some horrific time with intense pain in my legs and back, I was able to go outside my insurance's perferred plan and find a doctor that took a financial risk and removed two herniated discs in my lower back, after 6 years. I just don't know why we can't get proper medical treatment/care in this world. These are highly educated people in this profession and the most that I have seen from them is a variety of drugs and therapy. When will we be able to go to a doctor and get the right treatment? The proper treatment/care? I agree, that this does take time. But 6 years or 20 years just because I haven't found that one individual MD? One MD that will take this personally?
    Back on topic: I've been unemployed for 18 months and no insurance, and I've decided to seek some help at the V.A. Clinic. He did prescribe the sumatriptan @ 9 per month. And I do have all the windows blocked in my bedroom. And that one room is my sanctuary.
    Male 49, Wisconsin.
    An_205313 replied to Betwixted's response:
    I too feel that a good docter is difficult to find. It is important not to give up until you find a poractitionaer that you click with. Most plans incuding HMO's offer at least two to three practitioners to choose from. Remember you have the right to pick who you want to treat you. Keep networking, ask your friends who they see. Please do not give up there is someone out there you can connect with in the medical community. If you have a PPO you have a much broader medical pool to choose from, research online, ask patients thier opinions of thier practitioners. The internet has allowed us as consumers to broaden our choices of perspective health care providers. You can also check w/ your insurance company, some have a host of docters your can choose from. Often there is a service that can help you choose someone. I encourage you to take advantage of these services. good luck.
    Timothy Collins, MD responded:
    for the original poster (anon_16837)--you may want to talk again with your neurologist (or see another neurologist). There are many other medications than Imipramine that work for headache prevention, and several that are on the walmart $4 prescription list. I've worked with patients in similar situations to find them medications that work for their headache that are affordable.
    whitebear4 responded:
    A neurologist prescribed you Ketaprofen daily? I would agree you need another neurologist. What type of preventative are you taking now? You should be on one if you're getting that many headaches and aren't working because of them.

    Also you could be having neck issues that trigger your migs. You could benefit by going to a pain spec, and possibly gettting a steroid shot in your neck.

    Don't take the triptans too much brcause you will build up a tolerance to them.
    Betwixted replied to whitebear4's response:
    Thank-you Doctor Collins and Whitebear4 for your responses.
    I haven't seen any healthcare professionals, or taken any prescrptions since the end of 2008.
    This April (2010) I have an appointment at the V.A. Center and will (hopefully) see a neurologist about my migrains and discuss some treatments.
    Once again, thank-you.....
    kat3041 replied to Betwixted's response:
    i'm sorry to say i know how you feel im only 29 and have had headaches/migranes since i was 16 here lately they are getting worse, by i have a neurologist, that also studied pain relief he started me on topamax it is on walmarts $4 list, i know you said that you dont have insurance and havent seen a doctor since 2008, my grandpa had trouble getting in at the va hospital near us and it is at least a 3 hour drive, try some of the free clinics see what they can do, have you tried to get on medicaid or medicare? my doctor recently prescribed treximet it has (sumatriptan and naproxen) maybe you can check into that on your appt it should kick in wihtin 2 hours and if not it recommends you take another dose. i wish you well.
    Timothy Collins, MD replied to Betwixted's response:
    Ask your VA doctor for a neurology referral. If your local VA doesn't have a Neurologist, your regional VA medical center probably does.

    I work with some VA docs, and see patients referred from the VA in my clinic. The VA has a reasonable number of medications in their pharmacy for treating headaches, including some of the more expensive brand name medications. They should be able to help you out.
    Betwixted replied to Timothy Collins, MD's response:
    I finally was able to see a Neurologist about my migrains. I was really impressed that he listened to my problems and genuinely seemed to care about my condition.
    We agreed that Effexor and/or Imipramine, ketoprofen wasn't working. He gave me three options that we could work with, starting with a mild approach and working up to a progresive treatment/option for my migrains. I chose the middle option and now have been taking Propranolol(Inderal) and working up to 160 mg per day. (With some Sumatriptan)
    I had a general blood test done and have a MRI scheduled in May for my migrains.
    But I am feeling a little apprehensive on the MRI scan:
    Would it be beneficial if I had a terrrible migrain on the day of the scan. Would the imaging/scan show different results with or without a migrain?
    What if they don't find any thing wrong after the scan? There should be indicators on the scan, from my migrains, right?
    jlehernan replied to Betwixted's response:
    I dont think your scan would be any more informative if you had a migraine during the scan, rather than being migraine free. The scan is generally used to view soft tissue structures and can diagnose clots, narrowing blood vessels, and masses. A negative MRI is not uncommon for migraine sufferers, do not let that discourage you, its a wonderful thing to find a practitioner who is passionate about solving your pain issues! Hopefully He/She will continue to help you find comfort, even if there are not any definitive answers. Any one reading this with a better understanding please correct me....
    kelty12 replied to Betwixted's response:
    When you do get insurance, there is an amazing migraine doctor at Wheaton Franciscan in Franklin. Her name is Traci Purath! Her clinic is focused solely on migraines. She's been interviewed nationally for her focus on migraines.

    She really goes the distance to find solutions for you. I can't say enough.
    Timothy Collins, MD replied to Betwixted's response:
    The MRI scan really should be normal. (or have a minimal abnormality that is unrelated to migraine). All of the things we find on MRI scan that are a cause for headache are pretty bad to have (Tumors, etc).

    MRI scan itself won't have any affect on the headache (but they can be noisy, you may want earplugs).

    Migraine does not cause any abnormalities that we can find (in the same way that we cannot take an MRI of an emotion like love or hate, we can't take an MRI image of pain).

    So I would expect your migraine to be normal, and this is pretty common in migraine.
    penguie replied to Timothy Collins, MD's response:
    As an MRI tech I have had a few patients who went into the MRI with a headache say the noise made it worse and had one to reschedule but most everyone tolerates it. It should be standard practice to be offered hearing protection due to the noise. Where I have worked we give noise dampening headphones and I have also had people request ear plugs as well as the headphones. Only drawback to doubling up is that if the person doing the scans talks to you it is harder to hear them

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