Thursday, October 04, 2012

A Missive on Migraines

Did ya see that alliteration? Huh? As a homeschooling mama, I’m pretty proud of myself! Now, to get my kids to see and use alliteration. . . .

On to more important (?) things. My head and the pain therein.

So, I’m still seeing this neurologist who seems to know what he’s up to. And he listens to me and doesn’t think I’m crazy (although he didn’t quite know what to make of the needle phobia). I went back last Tuesday (9/25) for my next scheduled Botox treatment. I told the Neurologist that the treatment had probably worked – the headaches were probably 30% less intense, but no less frequent. And I’d had a 4 day raging migraine the week before, the timing of which added weight to the fact that the Botox might have been helpful. We decided to go ahead with another series of Botox. Since I haven’t had a completely headache free day in long enough that I can’t remember when, he offered to do an occipital block which has a 95% chance of giving me complete migraine relief for 1 day to 2 weeks. The other 5% have no improvement or worsening of the headache. Well, with my parents coming, I thought 95% were good odds.

The doctor did the Botox (which was a bit more painful this time since I still had a bit of a migraine from the day before) and then did the occipital block (which took all of 2 seconds). By the time I got to the car, the back of my head was numb and I was feeling pretty good, not to mention optimistic. Unfortunately, by the time I got back to Weyauwega, the right side of my arm and neck were hurting, as if the medication had traveled down some tissue planes or something. The left side seemed OK.

The neck and arm weirdness improved by that night. But, by the next morning, my headache was up to an 8/10 and stayed there all day. And Thursday, it was a 7/10. Friday, it let up to about a 6. Thankfully, it seemed to calm down, which was nice because my parents got into town that afternoon. But, the headache returned back to a 5+ on Sunday morning and worsened during the day. On Monday, it was only a 6 and I thought I’d be OK. I had called the neurologist on Friday, so when his nurse called on Monday and offered some steroids or a 3 day hospitalization for another medication, I figured I was OK to decline it. Until Tuesday when I had a rip-roaring migraine at about an 8 all day which went up to a 9-10 at 4 am on Wednesday am. Thankfully, some Imitrex and Zofran and Compazine got me down off the ceiling. With a few naps, I managed to get back into a normal range. I called neuro again and said I’d like to try the steroid.

So, here I sit. Awake. Due to a combination of sleeping all day and being hyped up on Dexamethasone. I’m also keeping a heating pad on my neck because I injured it a month ago. I see occupational therapy about trying to calm that down in a week or so.

I think I’m in really good hands with this neurologist. He’s up on all the literature. I come home and check out the things he’s doing (I still have access to the medical literature) and he seems to be on target. He’s willing to adjust medications as well as do Botox and other interventions. This  time around, he wants to see me in six weeks. I’m doing a better job of keeping a headache diary. And still seeing my therapist.

And, on my good days, I’m a Yarn Diva. I prefer that title to Headache Queen. Maybe soon I’ll be able to use it more often.

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