Posted 11/27/2008 11:51 AM (GMT -7)
I am sorry you are in the middle of this, I have had the same problem, though in the last year I have had several good months instead... maybe it is passing. Rural area, limited resources, and perception of neverending pain drove me nuts, plus I could not work. It was terrifying, and the neuro dismissed it as she had so many other worse patients that a little daily migraine was of no significance to her. Drove me crazy.
Some of the things that caused my headaches were food, TMJ and neck problems.
Food: simplify your diet drastically to avoid additives like MSG, perfumes, colorings, allergens and preservatives. MSG, it's not listed in every food that contains it per FDA rules. My Doc says it's strongly viewed by researchers as a neuro toxin. This means no fast food, flavored chips, barbecue sauce, canned sauces, frozen tv meals, anything that seems too good to be true. Try a boring simple diet with a grain like good bakery bread, rice, or homemade biscuits, veggies you prepare, meat you grill in your own sauce, stuff like that. Organic MSG free soup stocks. Stuff is getting better, at least here in Portland I can buy MSG free foods at the regular stores now for a dime or quarter extra.
After the pain goes gradually get small amounts of the food you really want to eat, wait a few days and see if it bothers you, write it all down, a food diary helps, and in the end you will know what you can and can't have. I have reason to hope that MSG will go away in the next decade so this is not a culinary death sentence if you love good food (:
TMG: use a mouthguard, try to sleep on your back or a very soft pillow that will not press on your jaw's nerve. Consciously relax your jaw every chance you get til it sticks.Keep a space between upper and lower molars, it's slight but enough with me. Do you have facial pain before or with your migraine? mine is excruciating, feels like the teeth are going to explode and the jaw is in a vice grips on one side. It is in my case trigeminal neuralgia was the problem, successfully managed by an ever increasing dose of neurontin. I dread the day when they decide neurontin is bad or that my tolerance is too high, but hey we learned something and for now it works. The face pain was the worst, and led to daily contemplation of suicide.
Neck: investigate abnormal curves, crunches, posture during tasks. My neck bends forward due to my bad vision, I try to look more closely. This pinches a BAD nerve. Keeping your neck in imaginary traction might help. I pull my neck and back as tall as possible periodically and try to keep my spine healthy now, it seems to help. Use pillows to support the curve of the heck and back while recuperating from migraine, watch that curve of the neck in particular. I find it more helpful to sleep on the couch than bed for this during a migraine, the nap of the couch helps the pillows stay in the right spot. I have to sleep on my back with support only under the neck or I wake up with a migraine. Don't actually know if it is the pinching of the neck or the TMJ in that case. I don't think chiropractic care is necessarily good or bad but if you use them they should be a be to help with only a couple sessions, not a "come back 3 times a week for the next 3 years" kinda chiro. Good thing about a small town is you can ask around about that and people wil know what the local DC is good for.
Since I have been taking neurontin a lot of my neuro stuff is under control, but I have good and bad months. One doc said I should use prozac, another that prozac causes migraine. I guess every doc is different, as is every patient. Some things take a while to work as well. I am not saying take neurontin, only that you may find something similar soon, I hope you do. Your problems may be totally different from mine and since nobody really knows the reasons behind a migraine even the medical community can be a mixed bag resource. You might have to try a couple neurologists and GPs to find a good one. I prefer docs who keep digging if a treatment does not work out. Physical therapy might also help. The good news is there are new treatments and researchers hacking away at this, so it may be if we can hold out a bit it will get better.
In your present case I would consider the ER too. Might get you a referral quicker. ER docs usually like to send you out with one. If you start to feel suicidal you need the ER immediately. If nothing else they can knock you out. When I was in your shoes I know I was thinking that way. Look at it like this: if your hip hurt that bad you would go, it may not do any good but it could get you into a referral and it may give you a break. They will ask about rebound headaches too, which sucks. That means going off what may be helping a little to get over the hump. I hated that.