Help me figure out what to do. Please!

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Mircutio04
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/10/2011 9:34 PM (GMT -6)   
This may end up being rather lengthy, I apologize in advance.
 
History:
I have no known medical conditions or food allergies.  I have been sick once in the past 18 years (aside from the sore throat now and then and occasional minor sinus infections probably brought on by spring allergies).
 
I have had headaches ever since I was young, starting in early high school if not middle school (so 12-13). I had bottles of aspirin in my locker and would take them quite regularly.  After high school the frequency and severity of the headaches went down considerably, although never dissapeared.
 
From high school on until my mid 20's I had headaches maybe once or twice a week, a double dose of tylenol taken at first sign of symptoms could help make them bareable, if I waited too long I would usually take about 3-4x recommended dose just to alleviate the pain a little bit. Typically it began as throbbing pain in my head and would escalate to my right eye.
 
In my mid 20's I went back to college and the frequency and severity almost immediately increased drastically.  After a year or two of severe constant pain I came to the realization that my headaches may be related somehow to when I wake up. Back in high school I had to be up early, afterwards I worked evening shifts and typically went to bed at 2am and woke up around 10am. Now that I was back in school and up early again the headaches were more severe than they had ever been. By the end of the 2nd and 3rd year school breaks and summertime meant a shift back to the 10am wakeups, and saw a decrease or outright return to the 1 or 2 a week I was accustomed to. During this time is when I first experienced dizziness and nausea, even throwing up once during a particularly painful episode while I was on vacation.
 
However my final year was very demanding, I worked a 30 hour job to pay for school, had full time classes, and a 16 hour internship, I had a full time 7 days a week schedule that saw my headaches skyrocket. Every day from waking till I fell asleep felt like a pressure on the top of my head, dizziness and veritgo became a daily event progressively getting worse during the day. After a few hours the pain would become severe usually focusing on my right eye and making it impossible to function. This completely debilitating pain does not lessen or dissapear, it only gets worse and worse unless I go to sleep, sometimes being in the dark and closing my eyes for several hours can allow me to function again as well, but that is extremely rare usually even after several hours the pain dissipates, but will come back if I start to move or talk again. I began taking excedrin migraine as tylenol and aspirin ceased being able to even take the slightest edge off the pain. However, the dizziness and vertigo is untouched by Excedrin. During the few breaks that year when I was able to return to my normal 2am-10am sleep cycle, the pressure in my head along with the vertigo would not dissapear. I am unsure about whether this was a new symptom, but I suffered during my college years chronic fatigue and a lack of motivation to do anything
 
I graduated at 29 and moved that summer. I took a job working nights and evenings. I have lived here for 2 years now, and the pain is truly debilitating most of the time. The pressure on the top/forehead is there every day, after several hours unless I am extremely careful to manage myself (no turning my head fast, no moving fast etc) it becomes completely debilitating. Several times a month, it becomes focused around my eye even with careful management and is debilitating, the only relief I get is when I go to bed, it almost always resets back to just pressure and vertigo the next morning. Some months I get debilitating headaches around my right eye almost every day, some times the dizziness is so severe I almost fell once getting up out of a chair. One month I had basically nothing all month long, no pressure, no pain, no vertigo, it was like I finally found out what "normal" is like.  The chronic fatigue is definitely still there.
 
I'm 31 now, I have health insurance, but my salary sucks and unless insurance will cover a good portion I can't afford a lot of out of pocket expenses (which is why I have yet to have an MRI).  What are your thoughts on what kind of headaches I have, and what my steps should be in trying to alleviate this, hopefully the pain and vertigo.
 
Edit: I seem to be more sensitive to almost everything, and have been as long as I can remember, smells frequently can give me headaches (dating back to when I was in high school). Bright lights, even pressure on the bladder that I normally wouldn't even think about and wouldn't need to urinate for hours later can cause my headache to worsen (bladder pressure has never caused me to have headaches though, it only appears to worsen headaches that are already there).  Breathing in through my nose especially when its stuffed up can worsen my headaches, as well as cause them.
 
Thank you for those taking the time to read this and help me, I sincerely appreciate it.
 
Nate

Post Edited (Mircutio04) : 7/10/2011 9:54:16 PM (GMT-6)


Mircutio04
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/10/2011 10:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I borrowed this from WebMD.
 I'll highlight in green symptoms I have, and in red the symptoms I don't have.

Tension Headaches

People with tension headaches commonly report these symptoms:

Episodic Tension Headaches (occurs less than 15 days per month)

  • Pain is mild to moderate, constant band-like pain, pressure or throbbing
  • Pain affects the front, top or sides of the head.
  • Pain usually begins gradually, and often occurs in the middle of the day
  • Pain may last from 30 minutes to several days (mine lasts months/years)

Chronic Tension Headaches (occurs more than 15 days per month)

  • Pain may vary in intensity throughout the day, but the pain is almost always present
  • Pain affects the front, top or sides of the head
  • Pain comes and goes over a prolonged period of time

Associated Symptoms of Tension Headaches include:

  • Headache upon awakening

  • Difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Disturbed concentration
  • Mild sensitivity to light or noise (moderate to severe sensitivity at times)
  • General muscle aching

Migraines

The symptoms of migraine headaches can occur in various combinations and include:

  • Moderate to severe pain (often described as pounding, throbbing pain) that can affect whole head, or can shift from one side of the head to the other
  • Sensitivity to light, noise or odors
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea or vomiting, stomach upset, abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite (I eat a lot normally, but when my headache is severe I have little appetite)
  • Sensations of being very warm or cold (I get warm when my more severe headaches occur)
  • Paleness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Fever (rare)
  • Bright flashing dots or lights, blind spots, wavy or jagged lines (aura)

Cluster Headaches

  • Intense one-sided pain described as having a burning or piercing quality that is throbbing or constant
  • Pain is located behind one eye or in the eye region, without changing sides
  • Pain lasts a short time, generally 30 to 90 minutes. But, it can last from 15 minutes to three hours. The headache will disappear only to recur later that day (most sufferers get one to three headaches per day during a cluster period). (mine will last until I go to sleep, very rarely it will continue upon waking but it usually is gone in the morning)
  • Headaches occur very regularly, generally at the same time each day, and they often awaken the person at the same time during the night. (I never develop them in the middle of the night)

Sinus Headaches

  • Deep and constant pain in the cheekbones, forehead or bridge of the nose
  • The pain usually intensifies with sudden head movement or straining and usually occurs with other sinus symptoms, such as nasal discharge, feeling of fullness in the ears, fever, and facial swelling. (the movement and straining part is dead on, I do wake up with some minor nasal discharge frequently, and sometimes during the day.

Reviewed by Department of Neurology, Department of Pediatric Neurology, The Cleveland Clinic.


Susan R
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 7/11/2011 5:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Nate-
Just a few things to think about, although you are very thorough, so you have probably already thought about these

TMJ
What you eat
amount of sleep you get
hydration
rebound headaches with the amount of medication you take
addiction to excedrin (sounds weird, but a girl I knew in college had to go through a medical withdrawal due to her physical addiction to Excedrin doe to her excess use for daily headaches)
when you say no known allergies - have you been tested or are you just assuming you have none?

Just some thoughts, hope some other people chime in and give you more direction.
Husband 39 at diagnosis 12/2010.
No symptoms, PSA 18 in 10/2010
one month antibiotic then PSA 12.6 in 11/2010
biopsy end of 11/2010 Gleason 6
Da Vinci prostatectomy 2/2/2011
1-2 pads per day up till around May 2011, then 0!!!
Taking 20 mg levitra daily June 2011.
1st post-op PSA less than .05
3 month post surgery = undetectable


staging: pT2aNo, Gleason6

Mircutio04
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/11/2011 7:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the response.

I eat fairly simple, rice, beans, chicken, some eggs, fresh vegetables, cereal. No processed food.

I get 8 hours of sleep every night.

I should drink more, but I drink enough, probably at least 2000cc a day.

For the past 8 months I really dont take much medicine. I will take 2 Excedrin when its absolutely necessary, I have the same bottle I bought a year ago, I've probably taken 4 pills in the past month or two. I was taking Excedrin almost every day for a few weeks last year and decided to stop to avoid the medication causing the headaches, and was surprised when I experienced almost no rebound headaches when I stopped. The same is true for coffee, I usually drink 1-2 cups a day, but Ive stopped for over a week at times with no noticeable side effects and caffeine has a very low half life (8 hours I think).

By no known allergies I mean there has never been any reaction that I can see. I have never been tested, I do not take any prescribed medications, at all, basically ever. I notice no symptom changes after eating certain foods.

kath109
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 7/12/2011 12:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I hope you are doing okay, migraines can be really tough. I was actually going through the same thing this year (16 hour internship, 30 hour job and full time class). My migraines are under control now with preventative pills. Have you ever considered those ? Also, i no longer take any tylnol or advil or maxalt...etc.. the only thing i take when i have a migraine or headache coming along is Naproxyn as you are less likely to get rebounds from it and it lasts longer.
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