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Posted By : Hilarial - 1/27/2005 11:02 AM
confused  I have had chronic daily headaches with occasional debilitating migraines for about 10 years now.  Mostly my head feels tight and achy in the back on both sides just below my occiput.  The pain then spreads around to my temples or over the top or straight through.  My neck and shoulders feel fine.  Sometimes my head throbs but mostly it feels top heavy like a weight is rolling around inside my head.  A lot of the time my ears plug and my head feels like it's stuffed with a giant cotton ball.  My sinuses are fine.  I have had two CT scans, I've tried various medications including injectable Imatrex, and I've tried various natural remedies like feverfew and magnesium.  I take Excedrin on a daily basis and that usually helps make the pain go away although I can still feel the weight or tightness.  Sometimes the Excedrin won't touch it though and I feel like I want to pull the top of my head off.  Does anyone else feel this way?  Does anyone else have the pain that always comes from the back of the head below their occiput?  I feel so frustrated.

Posted By : Hilarial - 1/27/2005 11:49 AM
I also want to add that my headaches do not affect my sleep. I can fall asleep and wake up with one but I have no trouble sleeping. And interestingly enough, hard alcohol usually helps my headache go away. On occasion I've had a Jack and Coke or two and forgotten all about my headache.

Posted By : tysmyboo - 1/28/2005 8:16 AM
Hi Hilarial~
Have you considered that taking Excedrin daily is giving you rebound headaches? That's why you have a headache, the last dose wears off and you are in "withdrawl" and start to get another headache.
I know when I was in rebound stage from too many meds I had a constant "headband" type of would go on for days at a time! The pressure, squeezing etc...
Let me see if I can find some info for you on rebounds.
My doctor told me not to take ANY med more than 2-3 days a week...any more than that will lead to rebounds!
Let us know how you are doing!
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Posted By : Hilarial - 1/28/2005 10:41 AM
Thank you for your reply Sara. I have ruled out rebound headaches though. My neurologist had me go a whole miserable week without taking anything. I've also tried cutting out sugar and caffeine and other food related allergy possibilities. It's just this constant tightness/pressure in the back of my head that spreads throughout the day. I feel like there's always a weight back there. It feels better when I squeeze my head or use my thumbs to apply pressure to the back.

~ Christi

~ Christi

Posted By : tysmyboo - 1/30/2005 10:08 AM


From all the research I have done it can take longer than one week to get out of rebounds. I know no one wants to hear that or that they might be rebounding...I was definitely in that category...Taking Excedrin daily is definitely rebound status.

I just wanted to share that with you again, as I was in denial for a while with the rebound situation. That is, until I got myself out of it.  The type of head pain you are describing matches my rebound symptoms to a "T".  Have you thought about getting a second opinion or finding a doctor who specializes in headaches and not just "neurology" in general.

I'm just offering because I know what it feels like to have chronic daily headaches and debilitating migraines and want you feeling better.

Please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.

I am going to a migraine research study right now and trying to find options for relief!

Hang in there,


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Posted By : Hilarial - 1/31/2005 10:48 AM

Thank you Sara.  I know you are right.  It's just so hard to think about how will I suffer with these headaches if I can't take the Excedrin to get some relief.  I have thought of seeing a headache specialist rather than a neurologist.  I made the appointment and then I lost my job and insurance.  I've also made a list of some things to ask about.  Right now I'm just trying to keep an accurate record of my headaches and the barometric pressure and pollen and my menstruel cycle. And hopefully I can reschedule that appointment soon.  I really appreciate all your thoughts and helpful suggestions.  Please let me know what you find out in this research study you're going to.


~ Christi

Posted By : tysmyboo - 1/31/2005 11:09 AM

Ignore my other post where I asked if you were seeing a, that's what I call a big fat "migraine moment" :-)

I am without insurance right now also, so I definitely know how that feels.

Where are you? If you don't mind sharing (or you can email me privately) we'll look and see if there are any study doc's out your way or if there's somewhere you can be seen with a special program for those of us without insurance.

I go back to my next appt on Feb 15th, hopefully things will go better at this appt than the last one!!!

I'm just worried about ya and afraid that the excedrin might be making things worse. I had that problem when I had kidney stones and was constantly taking pain meds, the absolute worst rebound headaches, but yet I was afraid to be without the pain was something like a catch 22!!!

hang in there and let's see what we can do for you in the mean time. How about a university hospital? Do you have one close by, I know that here they will take you based on income and it's not nearly as expensive as paying a "regular" Dr. out of pocket!


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Posted By : Hilarial - 1/31/2005 11:32 AM
It is a catch 22! And it is very frustrating. I live in Seattle, WA. If you know of a study or university hospital I could check out I'd love to know. I don't know what people without insurance do. I will check with UW to see if they will base a visit on my income. I also applied for reduced medical through DSHS. I don't know that they will approve me though because generally I think adults don't get it unless they are pregnant. What did they say at your last appointment? Are they going to try something new at the next one?

~ Christi

Posted By : tysmyboo - 2/1/2005 1:56 PM

Good luck with finding something..I will look here on my end and see what I can find (remind me if you don't hear from me within a few days :-)

The last visit I had with the Migraine Research Study Dr. was ok, it was more of a "let's see if you qualify" type thing, I had to fill out a zillion papers and do some tests (urinalysis, blood work, EKG etc) At the last appt. they wanted to schedule an MRI as they suspect I may have had a stroke sometime in the recent past. I have yet to have that done (no insurance...!!!)

I will definitely post the results here when I do finally go!


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