Strange Headache

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HormoneJ
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/7/2007 5:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm new to the board.  Lot of info here, but I'm looking for clues.
 
Although I had migraines as a teen (mid-70's) they were caused by birth control pills and until April 2006, I hadn't taken any hormones since 1985.  Between 1985 and 2005 I had the rare, aura migraine.  In 2005 when I was in the middle of peri-menopause I started getting aura migraine without the headache.  I started on bioidentical hormones in April 2006 and they relieved my depression and I felt great, but did notice a slight increase in aura migraine with the actual headache.  Then Sept 24 I had a full blown migraine, aura then headache. Maxalt did nothing to stop it so ended up crying in bed for several hours until it went away because I didn't have anything stronger than tylenol in the house.
 
Then I started seeing a Chiropractor.  Mid Oct I had a major head cold. Nov 2 I had an aura migraine without the headache - took my first (and ONLY) Imitrex.  It stopped the headache but I felt disoriented and out of sorts for several days. (stopped Chiro in mid-Nov) That was the beginning of what is now 4 months of weird headaches.  For several days in Nov I had shooting pains from the occipital area on the left into my left temple and eye with head movement.  Lights bothered me so driving at night was difficult.  It seems like everything I did made me feel bad, either headache or disoriented. The headaches weren't horrible, just continuous.
 
Mid Nov I had a CT scan of my sinus because my GP thought sinus headache. He put me on Levaquin and gave me shot of Kenalog. It helped for a while, then it was back. So went to ENT who said not sinus, but gave me 21 days of Augmentin.  Didn't help.  In January, got another cold and woke up with a raging headache. GP gave another shot of Kenalog, which helped a little.  Sent to Neurologist who said Cervivogenic Headache and did a MRI of neck.  Nothing too bad or different from the one I'd had in 2000 after a whiplash injury. 
 
He tried muscle relaxors - helped for a few days.  Sent me to PT - helps for a few hours.  I am also trying acupuncture, myfasial, craniosacral and lymph drainage.  I get some relief from all, but not long-term.
 
But I have almost constant pain in the area of the base of my skull where the neck joins the head.  Both sides.  The pain is affected by positional changes, such as sitting at computer too long, or reading, or even kissing my boyfriend (7 inches taller than me).  Touching the left side of my nose makes this area of my head hurt.  Both eyes hurt with movement.  Sometimes I have pain in neck on both sides of spine.
 
So 2.5 weeks ago (Sat Feb 24) I woke up at 4am with another horrible headache.  Took Darvocet & went back to bed. Woke up at 10 and took another and went back to bed until 4pm. Got up, headache mostly gone, but completely disoriented, drained, weak, no appetite.  Next day perfectly fine except for the occipital pain.  Following Saturday same thing (after a night at my drum group where they use Sage - never reacted to it before, but made me naucious and dizzy.  I'd been fine before that without even the occipital pain.)  Was out of it for 12 hours again.  Woke up Sunday with same headache but after 2 Exedrin Migraine abated in 4 hours.  Same thing on Monday.  Sunday & Monday I felt fine after headache abated.
 
Monday went in Internist and got shot in left occipital region... did nothing.  Neuro put on Nortriplyline and sent home with various migraine stop-type drugs.  Says migraine and cervicogenic headache.  The cervicogenic I get... but I don't think these other major headaches are migraines, or if they are they are a different kind since 1) they don't have aura, 2) they are both sides of head, 3) I don't get nauceous, 4) may or may not be light or sound sensitive.  My history since age 18 was always aura, followed by intense pain with light and sound sensitivity and throwing up.
 
I had an MRI last night (no results yet) and lots of blood work last week (so far results are fine).  I've also lost 9 pounds since Sept without trying and I'm a little person to begin with so that's a lot of weight (I currently weigh 121 pounds).  I'm 50 and in full menopause.  The Internist who prescribes my bioidentical hormones doesn't think it's the hormones and based on my research for the past year I don't either.  When I reacted in my teens it was to progestins (synthetic hormones) and Danacrine (for endometiosis).
 
Other symptoms:
tinnitus is much worse (have had it for years, but not like this)
sometimes head feels like being blown up like balloon
touching left side of nose makes left occiput hurt
same with kissing sad
blood pressure has always been 110/70 until January when it was 112/84 and once since then it was 130/92. Seems to be fine now.
I have seasonal allergies (in all FOUR seasons! mad ) so I'm always a little congested... might be a bit more now. If I get really stopped up, it makes my occipital area hurt. sad
 
To me there has to be something weird going on.  I'm not thrilled with taking medication without knowing what this is.  The PT is stumped too... my neck was really tight when I started in January, but today she said it feels pretty good.  Thinking of going to pain management for some blocks.
 
So any clues from anyone?  Thanks, Jeanne
 

bob-o
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 3/7/2007 10:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Jeanne, it's me from the other forum. I don't have any answers for you - if I did, I wouldn't be sitting here in pain right now, 'cause I'd have my own answer! But I just wanted to let you know how sorry I am that you're going through all that, and I'll keep you in my prayers til we find an answer!

Nancy

HormoneJ
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/9/2007 1:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Nancy, read this... will also post to power surge.

I've been working with a therapist for a month - he specializes in CranioSacral Therapy, Myofacial Release and Lymph Drainage. For a month he's been working on various areas, but yesterday worked directly on the Occipital/Atlas (OA) release along with some other CranioSacral techniques, deep tissue massage and passive stretching. I went home with the least pain in the back of my head (occipital region) that I'd had in over a month. I woke up today with only minimal pain (whew!) and other than some mild shooting pain when using the computer and driving, have been pain free today. This is a miracle as far as I'm concerned after 4 months of battling recurring headaches of various kinds and several major headaches of the mind-blowing kind. I will post again next week to let you know if I continue to improve.

http://www.iahp.com/pages/search/index.php - This is a link from the Upledger Institute. They teach CranioSacral Therapy and several other manual therapies. This should have been the first place I went for help - I'm a licensed massage therapist (not currently practising) have been trained in this technique. So big DUH to me for not doing this at the very first sign of pain. This link will take you straight to the 'find a therapist' page. If you decide to try this route, find the therapist in your area with the most diverse training as they will be more likely to provide help.

http://www.round-earth.com/HeadPainIntro.html - I'm re-posting this link that someone in a previous post had... I read this entire page and WOW - this is so ME! I'll be taking this page to my therapist so I can better describe the types of sensations I am having and he can relate that to the appropriate muscle groups.

As I said, I will post again next week to let you know if this is helping. For those that have tried massage and/or chiropractic with no success, these therapies are quite different and work in ways that they can't. They are also different than Physical Therapy, which for me has had some benefit but not as much relief as yesterday's session.

Good luck, Jeanne

bob-o
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 3/9/2007 2:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Jeanne, I'm so glad you're getting some relief!! I had looked up that website, also, and thought it was great. I need to send that address to my dr. (She loves to look things up on the internet!)

If what I'm doing now doesn't work, I'll definitely check out the CranioSacral therapy. I went to the dr. this morning and told her what "Rick" on the other thread said about the Cymbalta, and she liked that idea. I've been taking 5 mg. Flexeril (muscle relaxer) every night this week at bedtime, and it worked twice of the 4 times that I took it. So she told me to take it every morning with 2 Advil, every night with 2 Advil, and 30 mg. Cymbalta every morning. After a week if it's not doing what I think it should, I'll go to 60 mg. Cymbalta. I don't want to have to take medication for this if I don't have to, which is why I love your idea, but for now I just want some relief.

I'll look forward to hearing from you next week about your progress!

Nancy
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