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Appointment tomorrow for migraines... need dust!

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aliciagirl

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 9, 2007
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Hi everyone! I know I don''t post frequently on PS, but I certainly could use some magical dust everyone has to offer for my doctor''s appointment tomorrow.

I''ve had what I believe to be migraines for probably about 3 years now. It used to be once a month or once every few months, but the stresses of almost being done with school/the real world snuck up on me a few months ago and I started having them every day. I decided to make an appointment with a family doctor in the area to check everything out. He told me they were classic migraine symptoms and prescribed me Imitrex. It''s been 25 days since then and I''ve gone through 8 of them (not taking more than one per migraine, so 8 migraines in 3 weeks!)

I have an appointment tomorrow to discuss preventatives. I''m really nervous about it and hope that he a.)takes me seriously, b.) doesn''t give me "psych" meds (even though I know how truly ridiculous that is, especially as a soon-to-be pharmacist) and c.) doesn''t send me to a neurologist. I really wish I could see my regular GP, but he''s 7 hours away and I just can''t justify the trip. I''ve only seen the new doc once, on my last visit, and he seemed to be really great. I guess I''m just nervously rambling now.

Any advice/experience with migraines would be great, as would some dust for the visit! =)
 

Dee*Jay

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
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13,428
Alicia, big piles of dust coming your way! As a fellow migraine sufferer (although not as frequent as yours) I feel your pain (literally). Hoping for a "good" trip to the doctor tomorrow. Keep us posted...
 

aliciagirl

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 9, 2007
Messages
416
Date: 2/25/2009 9:56:06 PM
Author: Dee*Jay
Alicia, big piles of dust coming your way! As a fellow migraine sufferer (although not as frequent as yours) I feel your pain (literally). Hoping for a ''good'' trip to the doctor tomorrow. Keep us posted...

Thanks so much! Seeing any doctor is nerve-wracking, but especially so when they''re new and unfamiliar.
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
Good luck!

There are a whole load of preventatives out there that aren''t psych meds - but even those that are are often used for other things - amitriptyline is one option that is also an antidepressant, but it''s also used for a gazillion other things like nerve pain.

I take lamotrigine for my bipolar disorder, but also because it works really well on the nerve pain I have because of my back and because it reduces my migraines. It''s first line use is as an antiepileptic...

I see a neurologist who specialises in migraines - and they do have more options at their fingertips than a normal GP, so don''t worry if you do see one. None of them have cut my head open yet!

Just out of interest, are you keeping a migraine diary - noting everything you eat/do etc?

I did that years ago and then the whole food elimination diet thing that took about 6 months to complete. From it we discovered that I have a wheat intolerance - I can eat wheat 2 to 3 times a week without problems, any more than that then my migraines will come back with a vengeance.

It also helps to track it against your cycle.

Hope the appointment goes well - I know just how horrible
 

LostSapphire

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 4, 2007
Messages
3,336
Date: 2/26/2009 8:14:09 AM
Author: Pandora II
Good luck!

There are a whole load of preventatives out there that aren''t psych meds - but even those that are are often used for other things - amitriptyline is one option that is also an antidepressant, but it''s also used for a gazillion other things like nerve pain.

I take lamotrigine for my bipolar disorder, but also because it works really well on the nerve pain I have because of my back and because it reduces my migraines. It''s first line use is as an antiepileptic...

I see a neurologist who specialises in migraines - and they do have more options at their fingertips than a normal GP, so don''t worry if you do see one. None of them have cut my head open yet!

Just out of interest, are you keeping a migraine diary - noting everything you eat/do etc?

I did that years ago and then the whole food elimination diet thing that took about 6 months to complete. From it we discovered that I have a wheat intolerance - I can eat wheat 2 to 3 times a week without problems, any more than that then my migraines will come back with a vengeance.

It also helps to track it against your cycle.

Hope the appointment goes well - I know just how horrible
Ditto Pandora on the food thing...if you can figure out what your triggers are, it makes a HUGE difference in controlling the # of episodes. Mine is sugars. Yesterday I was an idiot and binged on Cadbury Mini Eggs (the chocolate ones with hard shells). So today I am paying.....I KNEW at the time I was being an idiot but did it anyways.

A pain log can really open your eyes to what''s going on.

Good luck with the appointment. They are horrible.

LS
 

AsscherGirl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 24, 2005
Messages
581
Hi Alicia - first of all, dust for your appt! I also suffered from migraines although they were mostly puberty related and now that I am an "adult" I am happy to report that my migraines are few and far between!

Anyway, when I was in the heat my suffering, I had a pattern similar to you and having migraines every day prompted me to visit my doctor for preventative meds. Before that, I took almost every migraine medicine available at the time (including imitrex), but they were still interfering with my life. For preventatives, I ended up with a combo. of amitryptaline (yes, a "psych" med) and beta blockers. Honestly my life changed after taking preventative meds. and the fact that I was on anti depressants didn''t bother me one bit b/c I wasn''t having migraines every day!

I took the preventative meds. from the time I was a sophomore in high school until the middle of my senior year of high school. During my senior year, I tested a couple of times coming off the meds, but around the middle of the year I was able to go off them and not have migraines return on a daily basis. I started having a pattern of getting them around "that time of the month", but I was able to manage them with advil, coffee and an occassional prescription migraine med. About halfway through college, they became really infrequent and luckily have stayed that way! I would say I probably get about 4 really bad headaches a year now and maybe 2 of those I would consider as severe as the migraines I had in middle/high school.

Finding your triggers is very important. For me, my mom kept my migraine journal (yay mom!) and we found that drastic weather changes, eating chocolate in the morning (like at a school party), and hormones were a big trigger for me. I still find that when the seasons are changing over, I get small headaches. I also found later that regular exercise really helps prevents headaches for me!

Good luck!
 

Italiahaircolor

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
5,184
Much dust!
 

Gailey

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
3,778
Lot''s of dust Aliciagirl, from a fellow sufferer.

There''s another thread here on migraine, lots of useful information.

Keep us posted.

Hugs
 

Burk

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 9, 2006
Messages
4,096
*dust* from another fellow migraine sufferer! Hope your appt goes well!
 

Skippy123

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
Messages
24,299
Oh I hope you get relief soon, lots of dust headed your way.
 

aliciagirl

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 9, 2007
Messages
416
Date: 2/26/2009 8:14:09 AM
Author: Pandora II
Good luck!


There are a whole load of preventatives out there that aren''t psych meds - but even those that are are often used for other things - amitriptyline is one option that is also an antidepressant, but it''s also used for a gazillion other things like nerve pain.


I take lamotrigine for my bipolar disorder, but also because it works really well on the nerve pain I have because of my back and because it reduces my migraines. It''s first line use is as an antiepileptic...


I see a neurologist who specialises in migraines - and they do have more options at their fingertips than a normal GP, so don''t worry if you do see one. None of them have cut my head open yet!


Just out of interest, are you keeping a migraine diary - noting everything you eat/do etc?


I did that years ago and then the whole food elimination diet thing that took about 6 months to complete. From it we discovered that I have a wheat intolerance - I can eat wheat 2 to 3 times a week without problems, any more than that then my migraines will come back with a vengeance.


It also helps to track it against your cycle.


Hope the appointment goes well - I know just how horrible
Thanks for the post, Pandora! I know most of the psych meds they use are also technically approved for use in other things, like migraines. I''m just being -that- person, lol. I know it doesn''t make any sense...


I have been keeping a migraine diary. I can''t find anything food related, though I''ve certainly heard that cutting out caffeine, sugar, gluten has helped so many people. My triggers are fluorescent lights, stress, and not enough sleep, that I''ve found. And it sucks, because as a pharmacist fluorescent lights and stress and totally unavoidable.


I''ve been on hormonal BC since I was about 16. Right now I use the NuvaRing, which is low dose and is the only one I''ve found that doesn''t make me crazy. I "stack" them, so I don''t have a period, because my GP was worried about my heavy cycle and my anemia and recommended it. It may be related to that, but I''ve done that for as long as I''ve been on BC and it hasn''t become a problem until recently. Blah.
 

aliciagirl

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 9, 2007
Messages
416
Date: 2/26/2009 9:44:15 AM
Author: *~*Danielle*~*
Hi Alicia - first of all, dust for your appt! I also suffered from migraines although they were mostly puberty related and now that I am an ''adult'' I am happy to report that my migraines are few and far between!


Anyway, when I was in the heat my suffering, I had a pattern similar to you and having migraines every day prompted me to visit my doctor for preventative meds. Before that, I took almost every migraine medicine available at the time (including imitrex), but they were still interfering with my life. For preventatives, I ended up with a combo. of amitryptaline (yes, a ''psych'' med) and beta blockers. Honestly my life changed after taking preventative meds. and the fact that I was on anti depressants didn''t bother me one bit b/c I wasn''t having migraines every day!


I took the preventative meds. from the time I was a sophomore in high school until the middle of my senior year of high school. During my senior year, I tested a couple of times coming off the meds, but around the middle of the year I was able to go off them and not have migraines return on a daily basis. I started having a pattern of getting them around ''that time of the month'', but I was able to manage them with advil, coffee and an occassional prescription migraine med. About halfway through college, they became really infrequent and luckily have stayed that way! I would say I probably get about 4 really bad headaches a year now and maybe 2 of those I would consider as severe as the migraines I had in middle/high school.


Finding your triggers is very important. For me, my mom kept my migraine journal (yay mom!) and we found that drastic weather changes, eating chocolate in the morning (like at a school party), and hormones were a big trigger for me. I still find that when the seasons are changing over, I get small headaches. I also found later that regular exercise really helps prevents headaches for me!


Good luck!
Thanks for the post! I know I''m being silly about the antidepressant thing. Beta blockers aren''t a great option for me because I also suffer from orthostatic hypotension that sometimes is so bad that I faint when getting out of bed/standing. No blood pressure lowering meds for me!

I hope mine taper off. They''ve kind of actually tapered ON, which is pretty crappy. My appt is at 4, so I hope he''ll have some advice.

I love to exercice, but lately the combination of the lights and the humidity and the increase in heart rate has been triggering them for me. It''s happened every time I''ve been at the gym lately.

Glad yours are doing much better!
 

monarch64

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
17,896
Sending lots of dust your way from another fellow sufferer. Mine only occur about 4x a year but they are horrible and I have aura. I can''t even take a phasal BCP, I am supposed to take the estrogen-only pill for breast-feeding mothers due to the danger of stroke.
Mine seem to be seasonal, or stress-related. I got my first one at age 14, and they always start in the early morning. I hope you and your doctor are able to get yours under control!!!
 

kittybean

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 2, 2008
Messages
4,125
Dust from another migraine sufferer!

I have been taking cyproheptadine as a preventative the last year or so, and it seems to provide decent results (better than antidepressants for sure). I believe it''s a type of antihistamine? You''d probably know better than I do.

My mom has had a lot of success taking amytriptaline (forgive my poor spelling) as a preventative. I''m not sure what your doctor will suggest, but perhaps you could bring those up as options if you don''t care for the treatment your doctor suggests.

Good luck, and I hope you feel better soon.
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
Just wanted to add one thing in here - and it''s always HUGELY unpopular.

Coffee is a MASSIVE trigger for migraines (including de-caff coffee).

If you are used to having coffee on a daily basis - even one cup - you will often get a withdrawal migraine when you stop. A huge number of people find they always get migraines at the weekends and that is often because they''re not picking up the coffee that they buy on the way to work and so their body is going into withdrawal.

Some of the things we put into our bodies on a daily basis are far more toxic than we believe. I was horrified when I first did the food elimination diet - for the first two weeks I could only eat rice, turkey, courgettes, olive oil and pears and bottled mineral water with absolutely no cheating allowed at anytime.

Within 2 days I was in so much pain I couldn''t sleep - my joints ached, my bones hurt, I felt like a heroin addict going through cold turkey - which the doctors said was basically what I was doing. After 6 days I started to feel better than I had done for years.

I don''t drink coffee - except as a medicine: it can prevent a migraine if you have a cup when you feel a migraine coming on (but only if you don''t normally drink it), and I avoid eating the same foods too many days in a row.

(I will add here that I am not in any way a fan of ''alternative medicine'', so this is not some whacko diet but one that is often used for detecting allergies and intolerances - it''s also a complete PITA and means you can''t eat out for 6 months plus if you do it properly)
 

honey22

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Messages
4,458
Good luck with your appointment. I know how hard severe migraines can be. My partner suffers from migraines and also has a daily headache syndrome. Basically he has a headache EVERY DAY and has for the past 3 years. It's so incredibly difficult to see him struggle with this everyday. We tried every pain killer known to man, saw a neurologist (useless waste of money) and he even had sinus surgery.

One day in my desparation, I googled headache doctor and we have never looked back. I found a GP who has been treating headaches as a sort of specialty (not an actual specialist though, there is a difference) and he has been the head of pain management clinics for about 40 years. He is brilliant. For the first time in about 5 years we have a doctor that understands his condition and knows how to help. The other docs just prescribed more and more painkillers which is actually making the problem worse.

Firstly, they start with anti-epiletics. There is so many different ones you can try. DF has been on topamax but it had too many side effects for him (and he was a bit wierd, def not himself). Now he is on epilum and is fabulous. It makes him a bit nauseus though, so he takes a morning sickness and pregnancy formula, it's chock full of ginger and works a miracle. He is so much better on these meds, but do remember, it can take up to 2 years to find a regime that works for you.

Please don't give up hope, there is help out there. Once you find something that works for you, you won't know yourself. Good luck!!!!

ETA just saw you are nearly a pharmacist? Try researching the following meds, which have been found to be useful for headaches (primarily used for other conditions):

epilum (sodium valproate)
topamax
neurontin
periactin

Have you had sinus problems? A CT of sinuses? Sinus problems can cause migraine.

Have you considered going off the pill (condoms or other non-hormonal method), this can help.

Have you had your teeth checked? Wisdom teeth (impacted) or other dental problems can make migraine worse.

Do you grind your teeth at night? TMJ exercises may help?

Botox in your jaw/temples can be good for migraine. DF clenches his jaw and carries a lot of tension in his jaw area, he had a shot of botox (cost $800 freakin dollars) but that helped a lot.

Do you see a chiropractor? If you neck or spine are out of alignment, that can cause migraine too.

Sorry, I have put so much info down, but I really know what it's like to help manage a condition like this. DF and I both work together to keep his headaches and migraines under control, there is no easy fix and sometimes I am frustrated to the point of breakdown, but you have to really work at it. Please let me know if I can give you more info or help!


Headaches and migraine are multi-factoral problems, so it's helpful to consider things that seem unlikely to be causing problems, but can make a huge impact.
 

honey22

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Messages
4,458
Sorry, just thought of few more things.

Sometimes caffeine tabs can stop a migraine. One of DFs meds are caffergot, which is made of caffeine and ergotamine. His doc suggested, that if he wanted to avoid taking a caffergot (used only as a last resort, when other meds have failed, these are his magic drugs) he takes a caffeine tab (or a cup of very strong coffee) and this can actually stop a migraine (won't work in all cases though).

Sometimes an anti-histamine can work. He will pop a zyrtec and sometimes that can stop it.

ETA i just read Pandora's post on coffee. Coffee can prevent a migraine even if you drink it often. It depends on the individual
It works for DF and he drinks it alot.
 
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