Post Traumatic Migraines

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 11/14/2008 2:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi All,

I'm so glad that I have found this site as it seems like a very supportive environment, from the other posts that I've read. I'll explain some of my back story...

2 years ago I had an (extremely) freak accident, where someone was lifting a table up into the air and the marble tabletop slid off and hit me on the head. At the time the main concern from everyone was that I had broken my nose. However, the next day I had a "bad" headache (not surprising under the circumstances). However, the next week I had what I now know was my first migraine where I had double vision, vomited, ringing in my ears, sensitive to light etc... I visited my doctor and he told me the headache would go away. However, inside a month I had six more of these episodes. I visited my doctor again and he prescribed beta blockers. They did *nothing* for me, except make me extremely tired and my migraines only increased. Six months after the accident, a migraine would last roughly five days and was affecting my work, friends etc. I was becomming horrible to everyone around me but was completely miserable. After 15 months I eventually got to see my neurologist because my doctor finally realised I wasn't just making it up.

My neurologist believed me straight away and finally told me that it wasn't just headaches, but that there was a reason for what was happening to me. I got and MRI to rule out further complications and she prescribed Topamax. I'm currently on 100mg and, rather than having migraines every six/seven days that last for five days I have only occasional migraines that are induced by times of exceptional stress and in the last nine months have only had roughly one serious migraine a month. I also have Zigamelt, which I use if I feel a migraine coming.

My problem is... I am feeling more and more depressed. I had not realised that depression was a side effect of the medication and it is the only thing that I can see as the cause. I know that my family and friends have noticed a difference in my behaviour over the last few weeks. They don't really realise how bad it has become as I really just want to cut myself off from everything and everyone. My neurologist had suggested after six months reducing my dose to see if the migraines had gone (as sometimes happens with PTM) but they appeared back with a vengence. I don't want to go off the medication and experience the migraines again and go back to having spend days locked in a darkened room being violently ill. On the other hand, I can see that my mood is affecting my relationships and I am not the person I was 2 years ago. But how much of that really is to do with Topamax, or how much is to do with just my situation in general?

When I have to take a day off work, and my sick note reads "migraine", it's nearly as if my boss doesn't believe me. Does anyone else find this? Some people just really don't see how migraines or headaches can affect a person's life? Only some of my friends have witnessed how bad it has gotten firsthand, I think they would sometimes brush it off as someone being over dramatic....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 900
   Posted 11/14/2008 6:47 PM (GMT -6)   
@loss.... welcome to Healing Well... you will find support here , and answers to your questions ... you will also find Healing Well is more of a 'family" than an eternet support group... people here really get to know each other well... support each other through thick and thin, sick and well.... depressed and happy... etc.
My name is Mary... I post mainly in the anxiety/panic forum, as well as on the depression and crohn's disease forums
I have suffered from migraines my whole life... or it seems... I remember falling off my bike at 5 years old or so... and really, really banging my head... I remember the headache and vomiting that night ; and so it began.... in my 20's and 30's the migraines were so bad I was always having to get shots of demerol and gravol at the ER.... my migraines would last 3-5 days as yours does.... it seemed that as soon as one would end the other began.... I don't know how I got through all those years... it seems every memory I have is attached to a migraine. Doctors, tried every prophylactic in the book ... nothing worked.
I too had a nursing director that raked me over the coals for calling in sick because I had a migraine....the woman had obviously never experienced one because she commented that it was "just a headache, toughen up and get your buns to work" I remember hanging up the phone in tears. I didn't go in to work that day and quickly found another job... this new nursing director did have migraines so she wasn't so quick to dismiss them.
I think your depression MAY be, I'm being very cautious here, caused by the Topamax... but my guess it is likely the effects of living with a chronic disease, the changes you have had to make in your lifestyle, the friends who don't always understand.... chronic disease is very isolating which is why a 'family' such as Healing Well is soooo very helpful.... it is a place to vent, cry, complain, despair, get angry.... unlike people who maybe mean well , but dont have to live with a chronic disease or condition... we here at Healing Well GET IT!!!!!!
Hang in there... I am so glad you have found us.... I found that after living with chronic pain and other health issues I became depressed also.... I fought the medication tooth and nail... but I have been on Celexa ( an antidepressant) for about 5 years and it has made a world of difference... plus it helped my migraines a lot.
The migraines have begun re-surfacing so my Dr. is actually thinking of upping my Celexa to see if that will make a difference.
sending you many, many healing thoughts and prayers.
51 yr.old retired RN,Crohn's D for last35 yrs..severe esophagitis, migraines,strictures,urethral stricture,depression,probable MS.,RLS, arthritis, PTSD ,general anxiety disorder.

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 11/14/2008 7:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so much for your reply Mary. You have no idea how much comfort it brings to read your post. The thought of actually having a place where people understand what a migraine actually is... it's just unbelievable. I'm trying to work up the courage to go to my GP or neurologist to talk about how I'm feeling but I really really don't want to change my medication and risk going back to constant migraines, especially over Christmas. I remember last Christmas when I basically was a vegetable.... it's just so hard because people just really really don't understand. I'm 24 and because I'm on Topamax, alcohol is a no-no so even socializing with friends or colleagues has been affected and every night out it's nearly an issue. It may seem like something small, but I'm actually dreading coming up to Christmas (we have staff Christmas parties etc.) and the inevitable conversations about why I'm not drinking.... it's just not the place or the time and just another reminder of the fact that I'm different. The unfairness of the whole situation is playing a role in my current state of mind I suppose, which is making me feel worse... which in turn is making people ask what's wrong with me, which makes me feel like I'm not acting like I used to and that I really am different. I *am* different to how I used to be.... and I suppose I just have to get used to that to a certain extent....
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