Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Medication: How much is too much?

An anonymous person commented on my blog; here's an excerpt:
"...your reliance on meds is overwhelming to me! I know you are in alot of pain but as I read your blog, it is always a new drug for you. Just the aleve alone can do damage your stomach. Stomach issues and ulcers can cause headaches! You try all these different remedies and if they don't work your done with them, but you never stray from the drugs. I really fear for your health as you do not really know what these drugs can do to you. I know you are desparate for some relief ...I know I've been there, but please try to get away from these drugs!!! They are doing more harm than good."
I'm going to be completely honest. At first this comment infuriated me. I showed it to my husband hoping for support, and he agreed with the comment! I should have known. He's always felt that way. He rarely takes medicine, but he also rarely (if ever) has headaches. Now that I've calmed down, I have to say I agree too.

But please allow me to be human and get defensive. I try to keep this blog positive, so I don't write much about my pain and instead try to focus on treatment. But don't doubt that I'm in pain, almost every day. And my headaches don't last a few hours each day and go away. They're generally constant, all day long, getting progressively worse throughout the day. A few times a month they reach high pain levels, which is when I label them migraines. This is when I have nausea and throbbing too. Naturally, I want the pain to go away. I hate medicines and the side effects, but I think God gave doctors and scientists the abilities to develop medicines for us to use. They might not work for everyone, but it's worth a try. If I have a bad reaction to a med, I'll stop it immediately (Cymbalta for example). Otherwise, I'll try a med about three months and if it doesn't help my headaches I'll stop it and try something else, all under a neurologist's supervision. Also, I've tried/am trying many non-medication ways to fight my headaches.

I admit that I haven't had any luck from medications, other than the "rescue" meds, which are simply band-aids that don't last. But at the same time, if I were to stop trying, I would feel defeated. I'm not sure what to make of the comment because I really do agree - I hate the side effects of meds and I hate that they don't fix what they're supposed to fix, but I feel like I have no other options. I'm in too much pain to sit and do nothing.

What's your opinion on medications? How much is too much? Is there a point when one should just give up on trying meds for headaches/migraines?