Off Topic a bit...
I was interested to read that you said this was your "really bad season" for migraines, I have found that the month of September is the worst time of year for me. I think the weather changes and all is what effects me the most and of course this year the hurricanes didn't help any.
Hi Leigh Ann and Sara,
September is also my bad month, when the weather changes. It is so frustrating because I can't control it, no matter how much I am controlling all of my other factors.
Back to your questions Leigh Ann. At my worst I had a "Bad Migraine" 5 out of 7 days and a headache everyday. I got myself caught up in a bad cycle of rebound headaches and psychological stress.
If it helps any, I have a mother very similar to yours. I get calls filled with inuendo like "aren't your headaches gone yet?" I don't think my husband realized either how many and how bad they were either until I couldn't go on anymore and when I first went off sick I stayed in bed a lot.
Psychological counselling was where I started, with a lady that specializes in chronic pain. She has taught me about deep relaxation and I have a recorded relaxation that I use that helps me reduce the pain.
The next step was working with the neurologist to identify triggers and reduce painkillers. I have weaned off painkillers many a time. Sara talks about staying away from OTC medications and triptans and she's absolutely right. They're a nightmare. I am using Topamax and it's not working as well as my neurologist feels it should and he feels its because of the rebound headaches. I've gone from taking 20 - 30 painkillers a day to 2 Tylenol 3s and by the end of September I should be off them completely. I already see a huge reduction in my headaches.
Counselling also helped me see how much I was beating myself up for the headaches. I felt guilty when I had a headache, when I called in sick, when I took pain medication, when someone didn't believe me that I had a headache and I've learned it's not my fault. I have a sickness and it's okay to take care of myself.
I keep my mom at arm's length. I only see her when I'm strong enough to set boundaries, if not I don't need the hassle or the headache. I strive for stability and I don't let people or things knock it off. I exercise as much as possible. I set boundaries with my family, including my husband. I'm eating healthy, avoiding triggers and slowly reducing all of the medications causing rebound headaches.
I'm not there yet but I feel more optimistic than I have in a long time. I'm also taking some natural supplements that are helping, a multivitamin with extra B vitamins, melatonin to help me sleep and valerian root to calm me when I'm feeling really stressed. (I checked with my doctor on all these and he says they're okay).
I hope this helps a bit.
To answer your big question. I HAD HEADACHES EVERYDAY AND STILL DO SOMETIMES. IT IS POSSIBLE. AND ANYONE THAT SAYS ITS NOT DOESN'T KNOW WHAT THEY'RE TALKING about. I HOPE THAT HELPS YOU A BIT TOO.