New to having headaches but already tired of being in pain

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/30/2010 7:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, my name is Tricia and I have been having this headache off & on (mostly on more recently) since April 20th. I am not really familiar with my family history, but I don't have a personal history of headaches, other than an occasional (rare) mild headache in my forehead that doesn't usually last long. I am too tired and in pain to rewrite it all, so I hope it is okay for me to copy what I have been writing on my facebook page this past week & a half. I am just wondering if anyone here has ever had experiences like this before, and if so, did you find out what it was, and what did you do that helped? Thank you!

***April 22***
Does anyone know what would cause a pain in an area that is about 1.5-2 in. behind an ear & about an inch below the level of the ear? Sometimes it feels throbbing like a headache, but then it also feels quite sore to the touch, although there is nothing there that can be seen & I don't remember hitting it or being hit there. It's been a few days & is beginning to bother me. It was bad enough last night that I had to buy a bottle of Advil & a bottle of water as soon as I started my Walmart trip.

I recommend against googling symptoms of certain things. Eek! It comes & goes, and seems to be alleviated by taking 4 Advil. Just now I wasn't really feeling it and then I felt a sudden throbbing/stabbing sort of pain. I just took some ibuprofen, hopefully it will help soon.

Found this:

<<< Swelling of lymph nodes generally results from localized or systemic infection, abscess formation, or malignancy; other causes of enlarged lymph nodes are extremely rare. By far the most common cause of lymph node enlargement is infection. As a rule, when swelling appears suddenly and is painful, it is usually caused by injury or an infection. Enlargement that comes on gradually and painlessly may result from malignancy or tumor. >>>

I suppose since this is rather painful, it should make me feel better. :-( I just took a few more ibuprofens about an hour ago. It would probably feel better if I would stop feeling it, too.

***April 23***
Ugh, my head is hurting worse this morning! It hurts to look up as that puts pressure on the area. It also hurts to squat as somehow that puts pressure on the area. And I have to work 12 hours today, 9 hours tomorrow & 5 hours Sunday plus kid stuff at church before *and* after work! Advil, take me away!

I have an appointment Monday at 9 a.m. to have it looked at. Unfortunately there was no way to get away from work today. It is still sore, especially if I move a certain way, but I have no fever or any other symptoms. Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers!

***April 24***
I was hoping to wake up with no pain. Unfortunately, that's not the case. At least the kids were at Grandma's house last night & I was able to get to bed early, so I had a good night's sleep. I would appreciate prayers that I would make it through work today (& make it to & from safely) as I have a severe weather phobia & we are in for it today. Yikes! I can't take my anxiety pill either since I have to work. My head felt like I was in a fog much of yesterday, so I definitely don't need to take anything that might make me sleepy!

***April 25***
It is 3:50 in the morning, and if anyone happens to be up, I would sure appreciate prayers that the 800 mg ibuprofen I took about 35 minutes ago would kick in soon so I can go back to bed. I went to sleep on my non-painful side, but somehow woke up on my back and pain was the very first thing in my consciousness when I awoke. :-(
I can't wait to get to the doctor at 9 a.m. Monday so we can get to the bottom of this. It's going to be a very busy Sunday too. :-( It is Awana Sunday so the kids are singing & saying verses, and DH & I have a class of about a dozen K-2nd graders to keep in line, then it's to work directly after church, then back to church directly after work for more singing (at another church for the children's festival of praise with all the Methodist churches in the area). Thank goodness the kids will be spending the night at Grandma's house again Sunday night and DH will be able to take me to the doctor!

***April 26 (3:47 a.m.)***
I am up and in pain again... :-( I skipped my dose of ibuprofen last night because I have an appointment at 9 am and I don't want to mask any symptoms. I don't want to take it now because I have to take it with food and don't want to take eat before I go in, in case they have to do bloodwork that requires fasting. If you are up, I sure would appreciate more prayers!

***April 26 (afternoon)***
I am done at the NP. He did ask his wife (the MD) to feel my bumps too. Could be tension headaches or something else. Had to get blood done @ hospital since nurse couldn't get vein. Had CT scan. Have appt tomorrow to discuss results.
Also got rx's for midrin, lortab, flexeril. Should sleep good tonight!

***April 26 (late afternoon)***
Just got a call and CT scan was negative. Everything else was okay but sed rate is a little elevated. I have to go back & have something called CRP (I think it is C-reactive protein) done sometime. I have an appointment for followup Tuesday at 2:15. I took 2 Midrin and 1/2 a flexeril at about 2:30 today and it didn't do much for me. So about an hour and a half later, I took the other 1/2. It's been an hour since then and doesn't seem like it helped all that much (and hasn't made me sleepy so far) but the heating pad we just found at my MIL's has been far more helpful than anything else I've tried so far.
Thanks for all the prayers!

***April 27 (morning)***
I found out the Flexeril did not make me sleepy (shocking since everything else does) and the Lortab only made me mildly sleepy. Taking the Midrin & Flexeril together did not help all that much, but the heating pad was great. The Lortab & Flexeril together helped a bit more, but my head still throbbed from time to time. Again, the heating pad worked wonders. Too bad I can't go to work tomorrow with a heating pad wrapped around my head! LOL!

***April 27 (evening)***
Well, the doctor figured out what was wrong with me. It's all in my head! LOL! Actually he said it was probably musculoskeletal and wants me to go to physical therapy a time or two to learn some exercises for my neck and the back of my head. Can anyone recommend a good PT in this area, or know of anyone I should avoid? They also took more blood, so that makes 6 sticks in 2 days. Yikes! The heating pad helps most of all, but the other meds help some. I am still hurting though. Thanks for the continued prayers! Oh and he says I really need to see an allergist to get to the bottom of whatever it is that has been causing me allergies all my life. I'm really just used to them by now, but maybe they can figure out what I'm allergic to and that may be helpful.

***April 29 (yesterday)***
I had physical therapy for the first time yesterday. I had moist head with electrical stimulation for 20 minutes, followed by deep ultrasound and massage, followed by a few exercises for my neck & shoulder. I sure hope this helps, because 9 days of head pain is 9 too many! Sigh!

The NP thinks it is skeletalmuscular which basically means it could be due to a repetitive strain or something, causing tension headaches, I think.

***April 30 (this morning)***
To whomever this might concern, I think I am going to have to give up doing children's church, even on my Sundays off, until I can get these headaches under control. I have a dull aching pain in my head all day long, & sometimes it throbs which is *really* painful, & even my own kids are a bit much for me right now. Please understand that I would much rather be headache free & doing children's church. ((((( )))))
I did go to PT yesterday but it will take a few sessions to help, I think. I have to go again next week a few times. From everything I have been reading, I really think it's more of a nerve thing and not allergies. It can be caused by repetitive stress (of doing things where you are leaning forward and with your neck bent for lengths of time) and guess what I do all day at work when I am counting pills and checking prescriptions. (insert eyeroll here)

***April 30 (this afternoon)***
Has anyone ever heard of this condition? I've been doing a lot of researching on the internet, and this sounds a lot like what I am experiencing. I am going on my 11th day of pain. :( I have another appointment with my doctor in 10 days (which is actually for my yearly checkup) and I am hoping the pain meds I have will last until then. I really want to discuss this with her and see what she thinks. My head also itches, but only in the sore spot (the right side of the back of my head) and I read on another website that sometimes itching or other weird feelings could also be symptoms, since it's a nerve thing. I also notice that when I scratch, it causes the throbbing pain to occur. :( I have even had Matt check my head several times just to be sure I didn't pick up head lice somewhere or something, because it itches so much, but scratching causes such pain.

Anyway, I made an appt for next Thursday, May 6, as I don't think my pain meds will last till the 10th which is my yearly appt. I also read somewhere that one of the possible treatment options for nerve pain is Cymbalta, which is also an antidepressant/anxiety med, and I already take Lexapro for anxiety, so I want to see what she thinks about possibly switching me to Cymbalta to see if it helps. Did I mention I was tired of being in pain? And I am hormonal right now anyway, and I cried on the phone? I am not used to experiencing pain, have never had headaches before (except very minor ones in the front of my head, very rarely), and I know my doctor well enough to know that she knows I am not a pill-head, but I still hate asking for pain pills. :-( Also, one of the things that helps is physical therapy, which I went to yesterday & will go back 3 times next week. And this condition can be caused by spending a lot of time leaning forward with neck bent, and guess what position I am in most of the day when I am counting pills or checking prescriptions? Sigh!

These are the notes that I wrote out ahead of time to give to my doctor at my first appointment (this past Monday).

Started out with a headache on Tueday.

Took 800 mg ibuprofen.

Pain continued throughout the week and weekend, getting progressively worse as the weekend went on

Been taking ibuprofen 800 mg every 6 hours, which helps some, but not completely, and the pain starts again before it is time for the next dose.

Pain wakes me up in the middle of the night.

Pain is throbbing, but not with pulse. Throbbing varies anywhere from 3 to 30 seconds apart.

There is a hard lump on the right side of my head in the occipital area. It is quite sore/tender to the touch.

Allergies are not any worse than usual.

No visual effects.

No ear pain or pressure.

No sore throat.

No fever.

No pain or pressure in sinus area.

Have not been hit in head lately.

Teeth appear to be in good health and are not hurting.

Hurts to look up or to the sides. Hurts to lay against pillow or headrest in car.

I am sorry this is so long, but I would very much appreciate any advice you can offer.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 4/30/2010 8:32 PM (GMT -6)   

I am alarmed on your experience of such at your visit. With all of my medical issues AND medically training, I know how you feel. In all honesty, you need to get a second medical opinion. Considering it is in an unusual spot I'd suggest seeing your eye doctor. If s/he does not find anything then go to a Ophthalmology/oculofacial plastic surgery dctor. You are so right on your worries. Do not quit on finding an answer you can find those speciality doctors at any teaching hospital with a eye center.

I don't know where you live, but I recommend OHSU Casey Eye Institute.

Keep us posted.

Oh, and don't worry to much stress can induce migrainese too.
Smurfy Shadow/Desirèe 
DX: Wegener's Disease, Migraines, Diabetese Type II, PCOS, Lactose Intolerant, Benign Heart Murmer, Depression, Asthma, Asperger's Syndrome, Necrotizing Gramultous Inflamation in eye, A.D.D., Acid Reflux, Tumor Behind the Eye, Carpal Tunnel, Fibromyolgia, Clasterphobic, Arthritis
Medications:  Tri Nessa, Percocet, Metformin, Prilosec, Protonix, Zantac, Advair, Cingulair, Albuterol, Calcium + Vitamin D, Pro-Air, Pepcid, Rolaids, Zofran, Compuzeen, Refresh Plus Eye Drops  PRN: Epi-Pen, Albuterol Nebulizer, Benedryl
Undergoing Radiation Taking Lorazepam (Ativan) on Radiation Days

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/30/2010 9:25 PM (GMT -6)   
I forgot to mention I am in South MS.

I do love my doctor, although at my 2 appts this past week, I saw the NP instead. I feel like my doctor listens and takes into consideration my opinions and is very respectful and has a great bedside manner. I have an appt with her (the MD) next Thursday. Oh, the NP did say I might need to see a neurologist if I don't get any relief from the meds or the physical therapy.

What makes you think eye doctor? It's really more in the back of my head, on the lower right quadrant of the back of my head. I do wear glasses, but haven't had any visual disturbances at all. I did have a very thorough physical examination by the NP, with lots of questions that I was expecting. He did say if my pain was that bad, I should have gone to the ER, and I would have, but haven't really had any other symptoms but the pain. If I'd had any neurological or visual symptoms at all, I would have definitely gone to the ER.

I had these blood tests.
CBC, CHEM14, Sed rate and I think one other one that I can't remember now. Oh I think it was CPK. He was concerned about the amount of ibuprofen that I was taking. Everything was okay but the sed rate was elevated, and so they did the C-reactive protein test, but I don't know the results on that yet.

The MD is actually his wife, so he does consult with her if necessary. She knows me and understands me better, and she's actually the one who asked me if I needed something stronger (the Lortab) for the pain, so I could rest better at night. At first I said no, then I said maybe so, but I didn't want him to think I was a drug seeker either. She knows me well enough to know that I am not, and said she would let him know that. She gave me a prescription for xanax about a year and a half ago for my weather anxiety (hurricanes, etc.) and I requested only a few pills, so she just gave me 10 and I still have 7 & 1/2 of them left.

Thanks again.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 5/1/2010 2:04 PM (GMT -6)   
You said occipital area, and that usually generaly affects vision hence eye doctor. If its more in the back of your head, like you say now, I'd suggest a teaching hospital. I had a scarrier experience than you did, and mine turned out to be some of the worst diagnosises of my life. I can gurantee you if you do suspect it being a tumor, you will be naseauted. It will be very painful. You be be in so much pain, you will get sick every day like morning sickness but lasts all day. How I know? I have a tumor, behind my eye. This is off my personal experience, not medical training. That is why I don't think its anything too serious--but it does need to be addressed. It could be something as simple as a cyst that just needs drained or other unharmful things... :)
Smurfy Shadow/Desirèe 
DX: Wegener's Disease, Migraines, Diabetese Type II, PCOS, Lactose Intolerant, Benign Heart Murmer, Depression, Asthma, Asperger's Syndrome, Necrotizing Gramultous Inflamation in eye, A.D.D., Acid Reflux, Tumor Behind the Eye, Carpal Tunnel, Fibromyolgia, Clasterphobic, Arthritis
Medications:  Tri Nessa, Percocet, Metformin, Prilosec, Protonix, Zantac, Advair, Cingulair, Albuterol, Calcium + Vitamin D, Pro-Air, Pepcid, Rolaids, Zofran, Compuzeen, Refresh Plus Eye Drops  PRN: Epi-Pen, Albuterol Nebulizer, Benedryl
Undergoing Radiation Taking Lorazepam (Ativan) on Radiation Days

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