Has anyone tried this book? Change in migraines---long post

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 7/26/2008 1:58 PM (GMT -6)   
My migraines  have come and gone for a long time, but really went on the upswing about seven years ago after the birth of my third child. I started with Midrin which was okay. Then I went to propranolol and midrin. I started on Frova at about this point. Propranolol mads me feel incredibly fatigued (to the point of not functioning very well). Then atenolol with midrin. Next I went to verapamil. That was okay for awhile. The Frova has almost always helped, but not always. I was referred to a neurologist and he increased the Verapamil as well as prescribing Fioricet for when I needed that when the Frova needed a boost or for in-between Frova doses should they be necessary. I went to gabapentin last year. I found that worked better than the Verapamil and took myself off it.
I was doing fine, but needing to increase the gabapentin. I can go to 2400 mg a day. I'm at 1600 mg now. I was taking 1800 mg, but the headaches weren't so good. Found out that since I'm out of school for the summer and not drinking caffeine everyday, that caffeine was making my migraines worse and 1600 mg works okay.
Here's where I am now...back in the spring, I had a migraine where my head hurt REALLY bad---not worst headache---and I could barely stand up and walk. When I saw my PCP after that, he ordered an MRI. I was afraid I might have had a stroke---him too. In the time since then, I've had what's pretty close to one of my worst headaches ever---you know it is when hitting your head against the wall makes you feel better even for a little while. eyes
This week is kind of a long story, but I'm pretty convinced that it wasn't a hangover of sorts from the two Vicodin I took the night before for the pain from my bursitis. The night I did take the Vicodin, I started getting pins and needles feelings in my arms. I don't take it every night and not even every other night. That said, I woke up with a headache. I just wanted quiet. I get phonphobia with most of my migraines. My right eye dimmed a bit. I had pins and needles on one surface of my arms, and numbness in the other surface. I managed to sleep it off, but the pins and needles feelings came back that night.
Decided I ought to call the doc about it Thursday because I was having the pins and needles and numb again...mostly in right arm (same side as headache of previous day). Off to the ER for a CT this time. The palm of my left hand had the pins and needles feeling and my right leg was getting that feeling.
Again, nothing.
I know these could be TIA's, that my doc is concerned about that. However, the scans have come up okay. My migraines seem to be changing, but I also have a type of ankylosing spondylitis which could cause the nerve symptoms and be responsible for some of my migraines which have increased in some frequency this summer.
I'm tired of taking meds---take so many already that I think adding more is not a good idea. I'm 43 and was just diagnosed with high cholesterol (avoided a statin, but even so, still have to take a prescription med). Hemiplegic migraines??? Complex migraines???
Has anyone here with severe migraines tried this book:
Heal Your Headache: The 1-2-3 Program for Taking Charge of Your Pain
If anyone here has some insight, I would so appreciate it!!! Thanks for sticking with me through this book.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 7/27/2008 6:54 AM (GMT -6)   

 Hi EHM!

I am sorry to hear  you have been suffering for so long!  While I cannot speak to your meds at all, perhaps I can speak a little to your latest condition.  I have had migraines since I was 15.  They have been really bad the last ten years or so, but since we were in the 'family way' and tryin to be in the family way, preventive meds were out of the question so , I just suffered.  about five years ago, I ended up in the ER with the most bizarre of symptoms.  My whole left side was numb, pins and needles and it my leg would not hold me up, I couldn't walk.  From my face all the way to my foot, draw a line right down my center.  It was really , really weird.  Then my vision started to go, and my husband had been on the computer having suffered a heart attack the month before (yes..what a pair...lol) kept saying..you are having  tia...I need to take you to the hospital.  I kept saying...PFT!  I am only 35 how could I POSSSSIBLY be having a stroke.  So, long story short, my vision started to go funky, I let him get me to the ER, CAT scan, overnight at the hospital, they thought TIA.  Several years testing.  They thought TIA, MS, maybe a few other things.  No conclusive diagnosis.

This year, I finally had a doctor who referred me to a Neurologist who is a headache specialist.  When I took my stack of MRI, MRA, CAT scans and various other tests, told him my tale - he just blinked and said...you did not have a stroke, that is a typical complex migraine.  blink blink.  hmmmmmm.  Well, he has now successfully found me a preventive med that works and I am quite happy   And there were spots o' plenty on my scans...lol...typical white lesions found in a migraine patient. 


So, thanks to the folks here who suggest this to others, might I suggest to you as well, that you seek the same? A Neurologist with a specialty in headaches.  I see you said you have a PCP (primary care physician?)  Do you have an HMO style of insurance?  They may balk but I would push and kick and scream until they allow you to see this type of specialist. I would start with your insurance company...call them ask which of those doctors in your area are covered and who you could go to....then go to your physician and see who he/she recommends.  It may be an uphill battle.  That referal comes out of your PCP 's monthly stipend as I understand those insurance plans to be set up.  Please be an advocate for yourself and don't give up!    Sorry for writing you a book back...lol!!! tongue

Post Edited (Parrotrosie) : 7/27/2008 5:57:27 AM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 7/27/2008 8:45 PM (GMT -6)   

Thank you! I've wondered if this might be a complex migraine among the other possibilities. LOL I've been to a neurologist who put me on the gabapentin. I trust my PCP a lot and he will probably be sending me back after my appointment this week. Last night I broke down and finally took something for my migraine. I hadn't taken anything since Wednesday. I woke up with no headache this morning, but the pain is back on the right side of my head tonight. :(

I'm worried about rebounding on my rescue meds and I've read that the only way to get out of that cycle is to not take them. I can't handle headaches for days on end, but I may have to.

Until I read here, I didn't realize that people had these kind of headaches. I'm glad to hear that you are better. I don't mind your book at all! :D

Thanks again,

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 7/28/2008 6:32 AM (GMT -6)   

My doctors and I have worried about the rebounding issue as well, but its easy to tell someone about it, its very difficult to push away a pain med when you are in great pain! mad

I am glad you are happy with your doctor as that is half the battle!  I have learned a great deal her as well...I hope you find relief soon as well...keep searching tongue    Don't give up!  Take care!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 617
   Posted 8/5/2008 12:41 AM (GMT -6)   

Hey Elaine,

I checked out that book about six years ago, but I just didn't find it helpful in my situation.  It didn't offer any information I didn't know, and having had migraines since I was eight(35yrs), I've been through all the steps.  Unfortunately for me, my most significant triggers are changes in weather/temperature and hormones.  Neither of which I can do a darn thing about.  If you don't know what triggers your migraines, the book might be helpful in figuring out if you can eliminate some of your triggers.  Hope you find out something useful.

Leigh Ann cool

Basic info:
  • On Disability for: Chronic Migraines, serious Back and Knee problems (will need surgery eventually), moderate Depression, Anxiety/Panic disorder, TMJ, stomach problems 
  • Divorced, 43, spawn-free 
  • Surgeries: Gastric Bypass, Gallbladder Removed (followed by a week in the hospital for a Blood Clot), Impacted Kidney Stone Removed, Broken Ankle, Major Dental work(ten molars pulled, multiple cavities, root canals) 
  • Current Meds: Prozac, Klonopin, Atenelol, Stadol Nasal Spray, Lortab/Percocet, Trazadone, Buspar, Protonix, Tramadol, Visteryl, Carafate Suspension, Co-Q10, B2(Riboflavin), Remifemin(Black Cohosh)
  • Current Problem: Mysterious Internal GI Bleeding, possible ulcer in location of Gastric Bypass
"The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful."
                                             - Jimmy Buffett

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