How can I help my doctor help me?

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/14/2009 10:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone,

I have dealt with my migraines for about 2 years now. I had one everyday, from morning till night. It varies from a throbbing pain to feeling like there is a vice grip on my head. The majority of the time the pressure is around the front of my head, but I have felt it in random spots as well. The pain is usually tolerable in the morning and builds up so that I have to go to bed when I get home from work. I used to take extra strength advil, only to realize that it did nothing. I am very sensitive to light and sound. I don't go outside unless I absolutely have to because of the sun. I don't listen to the radio at all anymore or even watch tv. I don't usually feel nauseous from them, but it happens occasionally.
I have been speaking with my doctor for the last few months and he sent me to a neurologist for a CAT scan. He told me it was normal and prescribed some medication for me to take before bed, (cant remember the name atm) which has a sleep aid in it. I take two each night, giving myself 8-10 hours of sleep. The medication makes me very unaware for the rest of the day. I cannot focus, and I can still feel the headache. It just makes my brain feel like its been numbed.. very uncomfortable.

At this point I am just trying to find an effective way to communicate with my doctor so that I can put this behind me or at least control. The medication that I currently have is not doing anything for me, and I feel that if i go back to him he will not know what to do. How can I make this process easier for both of us? I describe as much as I can what I am feeling and I try to keep track of what causes them but it seems to be so random anymore..

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated <3

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 4/14/2009 11:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Two years of daily headaches and your doctor has only tried one, so far ineffective, medication? I'd say it's time to find a neurologist who specializes in headaches. There are lots of possible preventative medicines out there, and a good doctor would be methodically trying them with you to find out what works. The American Council for Headache Education and the National Headache Foundation (I think i've got the names right) have lists of member physicians, which is a good place to start if you don't know of any headache docs in your area.

Even a nonspecialist should be trying several meds with you. Unless you haven't been back since he first prescribed whatever it is you're on. You can read through this message board and other headache sites to get ideas of what other people are using and ask a good doctor if that would be an appropriate thing for you to try. Some meds that come to mind are Topamax, tricyclic antidepressants, beta blockers, tryptans, Neurontin, Lyrica -- the list goes on and on. All of these tend to have some side effects, but they affect different people differently. Headache medicine seems to be a lot of trial and error, unfortunately, which is why you need to find a doctor with whom you have good communication.

Good luck!

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 4/16/2009 7:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Do u have a stiff neck? Does caffeine help? You say from the minute you wake up until you go to bed. Does it get better when you lay down? What you describe sounds exactly like my headache. I am guessing the med they put you on is amytriptiline, which is most commonyl used for tension headache. I have been diagnosed with a spinal fluid leak. Again hearing your symptoms is like looking in a mirror. If your headache is positional, better whe you lay down, this is not normal. Get a headache specialist and ask him about these spinal leaks. Feel fre to ask me any questions you may have about these leaks.
"God won't take me to what he can't take me through"

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/16/2009 8:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the responses :) I think I will be asking my doctor to speak with someone who specializes in this. I do have a stiff neck often actually.. I'm not sure if the caffeine helps but I find myself eating sweets when I do have a headache. I'm not sure if that would bring them on or relieve them. Laying down does help a bit but it doesn't make it disappear. Thank you both for the suggestions :) I am definitely going to mention both of these to my doctor :)
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