Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Migraine of the Year, other updates

I wanted to post a few updates. Last weekend, I had what I'm calling the Migraine of the Year. Wow, it was awful. It started last week - I had a headache just about every day, but it went away on Friday. So that night, I went out with some friends for drinks while my husband was chaperoning a church youth group lock-in. My hubby doesn't know this, but I drank and tall glass of beer. I normally don't drink and don't approve of drinking, and neither does my hubby, for various reasons that would take too long to get into, but over the past few years I've had maybe 4 drinks a year. I don't know if that triggered it, but on Saturday I woke up with a migraine...not a headache...a migraine - pounding, throbbing head with every movement, light sensitivity, etc. I took Butalbital (which my neuro wants me to try and stop taking because it can cause rebound headaches) because it's my go-to migraine drug. (Side note - I didn't try Imitrex (the generic version) because I took that a week before and it didn't help and I hate how it makes my throat all tight.) It worked for a few hours but later that afternoon, it came back full force. I took another Butalbital, and it brought my migraine down just a notch. So after a few hours I decided to take my backup: supposedly emergency-room-equivalent drugs that my new neuro gave me - the ones so strong I can't take them more than twice a month: Ketorolac (Toradol), Promethazine (Phenergan), and Seroquel. That knocked me out for the night, and I was too dizzy the next morning to get up for church, so I slept most of the morning. My migraine was gone when I woke up, but then it returned after taking a nap that I couldn't avoid later that evening. Then I had a slight migraine Monday and I felt like I had been in a car accident or been beaten up. I've heard the post-migraine feeling referred to as the migraine hangover. Now I only have a slight headache. It was SO awful, and I am terrified I'll have another migraine and won't have anything to take to get rid of it. I'd rather have headaches every day than migraines like that. I'm never drinking more than a few sips of alcohol from now on, in case that was the trigger.

Of course, I've been spotting more than a month, ever since I started the Nuva Ring, which I'm taking 12 weeks straight with no breaks for periods, so that might have something to do with it also. Could be hormonal.

Needless to say, I'm dying to see my neurologist next week. I'll get my sleep test and blood test results back. And speaking of test results, my previous blood tests to check for Factor V Leiden and hormonal problems came back normal.

Two quick news updates:

Check out this article on migraines - it actually mentions some things I haven't heard of that I might need to look into further.

Also, if you live in Michigan, I received a news release announcing neurologist and headache specialist Dr. Henry Hooker has joined the team of experts at the Michigan Head•Pain & Neurological Institute in Ann Arbor. Dr. Hooker will have a special focus on one of the most challenging head pain conditions – New Daily Persistent Headache. According to the release, New Daily Persistent Headache is unique in that the headache occurs daily from onset, typically in a patient with no prior history. It can continue for years without any sign of alleviation despite aggressive treatment. Various causes are suspected, including viral, metabolic, and neurotransmitter (brain chemical) disturbances.

I think that's it for now...I'll keep an eye out for the Today Show segment (see post below) and will post a link if it's online.

Have a wonderful, headache-free day and remember to take things one day at a time!