Monday, February 02, 2009

Continung Migraines

I like this diagram from Ruths's blog.

When I started taking Zonegran, the background migraine seemed to go away when I titrated up to 100mg dose. The headache was gone for a while, but came back while I was at the University of Utah Hospital. Since then, even though they resumed the Zonegran at the therapeutic level of 300mg, and started titrating Topamax, along with a confusing cocktail mix of other drugs supposed to be prophylactic for migraine, the headache has continued. This morning, I noted that the intensity has doubled again, so I would now rate he background continual headache pain as hovering around between 4 and 5 on a scale of 10. By that I mean some times it is obtrusive to the point that the pain interrupts otherwise lucid thoughts.

Nothing that I know of relieves this headache. When it mounts full-scale, there is nothing else. It ranges up to 10 and beyond, meaning it dominates my thinking, and interrupt clear thoughts with pangs of headache pain. The only relief I have found then is sleep, sometimes induced by narcotic drugs. They don't seem to relive the pain, but they make me sleep while the headache runs its course. These headaches are different -- they are more chronic in nature, and unremitting, so I have wished at times for something that would afford a permanent sleep. Of course, more sensible minds have prevailed, but I still reserve that solution as the last resort.


Patricia said...

I said this before, but cranial massage might help. It was a topic of high interest at the brain injury conference my husband attended several years back, a kind of "breakthrough" topic.

But maybe you have tried it and it didn't do anything for you.

Anonymous said...

Patricia is right -

Many have found relief for this type of headache with craniosacral manipulation or massage. I didn't have luck with it, mainly because I had a student try it out on me. To be kind, I pretended it helped, but it didn't. When I was really, really sick and living at mom and dad's, all kinds of people brought me all kinds of weird homeopathic remedies, and I tried them all, but nothing worked. Things just happened in the Lord's due time.

But as Patricia suggested the craniosacral massage might benefit you. You could see a massage therapist (a well practiced one) or a chiropractor familiar with the technique. Medicaid might even pay for a chiropractor.

When you see Dr. Hyatt this week, ask for some Lortab. You know it makes you sleep, and it will take the edge off your headache so you can relax enough to sleep. Also, take the Klonopin when you really want to sleep, because it knocks you out. I know you hate the drugs, but it beats the heck out of the pain. Don't you agree?

And always, always, as we discussed - be wise.

Anonymous said...

It's me again, non-anonymous Cindy.

When I was pregnant with Christian (I think...maybe it was even Mary?) we had a DO in our ward--that's a medical doctor with an emphasis on osteopathy. I had trouble with back pain and he saw me limping down the hall at church and offered some help. Went to his house, he popped and pulled and fixed things up nicely. There used to be a DO at UUHN, but not so sure now...if there still is he might do the head bumps thing. (ok, I'm making light, but what else is there to do?)

Love you

Jim Cobabe said...


The head bumps thing used to be a respected scientific discipline known as prenology. It was in vogue rather recently. In fact, if I am not mistaken, Grandma Cobabe was a firm adherent.

Anonymous said...

The DO at UUHN was Dr. Ator. He died in a plane crash. I miss him so much. I still cry about his loss. He was the best doctor I ever had, in addition to being a very good person and an incredible individual.