Sunday, November 29, 2009

New Game Plan!!!

My headaches are worse than ever. 20+ days a month now. AND I still have migraines! I can deal with the headaches, but the migraines will be the end of me. So, it's time for a new game plan. Enter Neuro #6. I've outline our plan of attack below:
  • Sleep. My sleep study results showed I woke up 10 times an hour, and Neuro #6 read the results and said it was from leg movements (which I didn't notice at all). To fix this I'm taking a med that can help with Restless Legs Syndrome called Ropinirole HCL, or Requip. It may take multiple things to help my headaches, and getting a good night's sleep is definitely one of them! 
  • Jaw. Related to sleep, I frequently grind and clench my teeth in my sleep. Sometimes my husband tells me or sometimes I know when I take that first bite of breakfast because my jaw is killing me. I tried a drugstore mouth guard but didn't notice a difference, so Neuro #6 referred me to a TMJ specialist. My dad has TMJ (it can be hereditary due to bone structure similarities), and it can be related to headaches, so this is a good move. My appointment is early next year.
  • Migraine diet. This is one I asked about because I've been wanting to do it for a while. Sometime in January I'm planning to eliminate everything but rice from my diet. The new neuro said to do it two weeks and see if I notice a difference in my headaches; if not, I can go back to eating like normal. We agreed that if I did the gluten-free diet, I can do anything. It's only two weeks! 
  • Biofeedback and meditation. The clinic I visited offers biofeedback; however, when I tried to schedule an appointment, they said they are "out of network" for my health insurance, so I need to do some research to find out how much it will cost. The Web site's undergoing maintenance but I'll look into it this week. Neuro #6 also recommended trying a mindfulness meditation class to learn stress reduction, but the ones she recommended are in the $300 range, so I'm going to hold off on that.
  • MRI. And speaking of expensive, I almost forgot the most exciting part of the appointment! I FINALLY found a neuro who wants me to get an MRI! After nine years of headaches and migraines, someone wants to look at my head, the source of my pain. What a concept! :) I'm getting a brain and cervical spine MRI next month and it's ridiculous how much I'm looking forward to it. My husband doesn't understand why I want them to find something because he said it probably wouldn't be good, but I'm sure most of you who are reading this understand. If it's something fixable, I'll do whatever it takes. 
I'm thrilled that this new game plan isn't a long list of drugs. I made it clear that I've tried most of them and wasn't interesting in trying more. I'm still taking Butalbital and Toradol for migraines, and Aleve for headaches, but I try my best to avoid them when I can. 

P.S. - Love me some Philip Rivers! :) 

Image by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images.