Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Headache Clinic Visit Part 2

So, back to my kitchen table, full of medications. My new neurologist at the Headache Clinic gave me so many medications that I had to organize them on my table and write when I take each on sticky notes.

First of all, she had me stop taking the natural progesterone. She said that the progesterone wouldn't help my headaches and wouldn't help me get a regular menstrual cycle either. So I took that for a total of 4 nights before stopping. She also wants me to eventually stop the Butalbital (Fioricet), even though I don't take it much. That has been my "emergency" drug for the especially awful migraines.

So here's what she put me on:

* Zolpidem Tartrate (generic Ambien) - I had to try it for five nights to see if I woke up refreshed. If I did, I could cancel my sleep study. I didn't even notice any difference. Sleep study is Monday night. No more Ambien.

* Frova - this is a typical migraine med that you take as needed. I've taken it in the past and it made my migraines worse. I told my neuro this and she said to try it again. She had me take it about 1 1/2 weeks straight to knock out my headache cycle; however, my insurance only covered four pills, so I wasn't able to do that. The whole time I did take it though, I had a headache, but I was also on my first real period in two years (since I got the IUD out) so that could have been it. Anyway, no more Frova.

* Lexapro - An antidepressant. I've been on this before also (see the Lexapro tag in my blog if you want to know more), and I also told my neuro that, but she wanted to try it on me again. Interestingly enough, I just read my old blog posts and realized a side effect was crazy break-your-jaw-type yawning. So that's why I've started yawning like that again!

* Sumatriptan (generic Imitrex) - I've tried Imitrex before, same effects as Frova. My insurance also only covered four pills of this. I haven't taken it yet, but this is what I'm supposed to take when I have a migraine.

* Nuva Ring - A synthetic hormone birth control. After all my posts on natural hormones, I'm obviously not thrilled about this. However, my neuro wants me to be on this 12 weeks straight and then take a week break and use estrogen patches that week. I've tried taking The Pill with no breaks before and had a lot of spotting and still had headaches, but my neuro said the Nuva Ring will be different.

* Emergency concoction: Ketorolac (Toradol), Promethazine (Phenergan), and Seroquel - I combine these three pills if I have an unbearable migraine. My neuro said this is like going to the emergency room and getting a shot. It will knock me out, and I can't do it more than twice a month. These scare me so I haven't done this yet.

* Magnesium Potassium Aspartate - I found this at a vitamin store. I'm to take 400-500mg, but the bottle I found is 600 mg for a 2-pill dose, so I take one pill and figure 300mg is enough. I stopped it for a while because I was having stomach issues, but then I realized it was a stomach bug (I had a fever and it's going around) so I've started it again.

I don't take my neurologist's recommendations lightly. That's why I'm agreeing to take these meds. I don't want to sound like I think I'm smarter than her, because I don't. And I was happy with the appointment. However, I think after trying some of these meds before and seeing so many neuros, I'm having negative thoughts about the whole thing. I'm trying my best to push them aside, and I hope this post doesn't come across as negative.

I've had a lot of headaches lately. I have a dilemma where I try to see if it will pass, and then it gets bad and by that time it's too late to take the Imitrex; I can take Aleve but that doesn't always work either. My neuro said not to take more than 2 Imitrexs a week or more than 2 Aleves a week. So I've been suffering through a lot of headaches. But I was doing that before as well, to avoid rebound headaches.

My next post should be cool, and helpful. I'm going to write about my sleep study experience (and results if I get them that soon). Also, I'm going to post some good sleep habit tips from my neurologist. Speaking of results, tomorrow I'm going to call my old/other neuro about the blood tests I had, so if I find out anything interesting, I'll post that as well.

Have an awesome, headache-free weekend!