afraid of doctors, help!! daily headaches

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 11/10/2005 8:32 AM (GMT -7)   
i'm new to this forum and need all your help. about 5 yrs. ago i started taking excedrin because I have been living with headaches since i feel like i was born. was told 10 yrs. ago i may have a degenerative disk in my neck. I have been taking 4 excedrin a day for 5 years, whether i had a headache or not, just so I wouldn't get one. about 6 mos. ago i started feeling really strange, like I'm off balance. I'm really not, i can do all the balance tests dr's give you but I feel like I am. Then about 2 mos. ago i started getting shooting electrical shock pains going thru my head, scared me to death, I thought I was having an anuerysm, I get these quite a bit all over my head. I also notice my headaches have been coming on a daily basis. There is also a spot on the top of my head which feels like an enlarged blood vessel sticking out, not huge or anything but there.. I woke up with a killer of a headache today, took 2 excedrin and it never really goes away, not as bad as it was, but i can still feel it. I have a family and this is interfering with it so much, my husband tells me to just go the dr. but i am so scared of what i might find out, that i'm forced to live like this, does anyone else feel like i do and have similar symptoms? please help!!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 921
   Posted 11/10/2005 6:39 PM (GMT -7)   


Please read the post about rebound headaches...I know you are terrified about going to see a doctor and what they might potentially tell you. I can tell you that it is better than sitting around worrying about it and it is better than the conflict and strain that it is causing you and your family.

Empower yourself and learn what you can about headaches and how to prevent them. Go see a doctor so you can ask the right questions. Keep a diary so you can tell them the right things and take someone trusted with you so you feel safe and have some security and backbone.

Know that the degenerative disk in your neck may set off some of your problems and that the excedrin may be adding to it, and that may "simply" be it...(not saying that is simple, but that it won't be more than that) So, please don't be overly worried for no reason, that is enough to set off another headache!
Talk to your family and explain what is going on, open communication is enough to make you feel better and will help them understand what is going on with you. It is hard for us to expect other people to know what is going on with us and for them to be sympathetic or understanding if they don't know or comprehend the full scope of our suffering.
Please see a doctor and let us know how you are doing and what the doctor says. We care and we are your extended family...we all are going through the same type of things...
Sara-Migraine/Headache Forum Moderator
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laura l.
Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 11/11/2005 11:17 PM (GMT -7)   
With the regularity with which you have been taking Excedrin medication overused headache is certainly a possibility. But if your headache has suddently changed in character or severity you should see a doctor immediately because you need to be examined and an imaging test (like a CT scan) is needed. Don't put it off. Disc problems in the neck can definitely contribute to headaches, but a sudden "killer headache" can be caused by other more serious things and for that reason you need to be seen. Your complaint (if you still have this killer headache) is completely appropriate for an ER visit. If you are feeling better, I would still see a doctor at an office visit (a neurologist if you can!) Keep us posted.
Laura L.

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 11/12/2005 3:10 PM (GMT -7)   
what would the possibility of it being a brain tumor or something? that is why i won't go to the doctor for fear of what i might find out, because i don't think there is much hope if that is the case, i wish i were as brave as many of you are to go and get checked out sad

Jon R
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 325
   Posted 11/12/2005 6:31 PM (GMT -7)   

C'mon case..

First off, If it were a brain tumor they can do unGodly ammounts of things now (ie Gamma Knife).

Brain Tumors believe it or not are pretty rare.  You would have more symptoms than what you have, and probably a headache would be on the bottom of the symptom list.

If you won't get checked out to give yourself a once over then (in all honesty) you shouldn't go looking for a diagnosis from the internet.  Headache is a symptom of probably every dang disease that is out there.

You are mainly stressing over the fact of not knowing what is causing the headache.  Do yourself a favor and have a DR check it out (a guy who has gone to school forever to learn about this stuff) maybe that will cool your jets.  If on the slightest chance there is something actually abnormal; catch it early.  God forbid one person has something that is treatable but a stubborn person wouldn't get it checked out and then it was too late!


Keep us posted.  We are all decent, normal, caring people on here (friends helping friends) and would like to see you get better quickly!


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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 11/14/2005 6:50 PM (GMT -7)   
jon- thanks for being very honest with me, what would the symptoms of brain tumor be?? if i knew this, and could rule out some of my symptoms, i may go and get some help!! please let me know, i need your advice!!  thanks  case

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 921
   Posted 11/14/2005 7:07 PM (GMT -7)   


You should go and see a DR. regardless of what you think the results might be...that way you know what you are up against and you know how to treat PROPERLY.

Sara-Migraine/Headache Forum Moderator
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Jon R
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 325
   Posted 11/14/2005 7:58 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree. Check with a Dr first. There is no point in trying to self diagnose yourself (even though we are all probably guilty of it one time or another).
Here's an snwer to your request but go to the Dr.  These symptoms are also symptoms of 50,000 other things.

The signs and symptoms of a brain tumor depend on its size, location and rate of growth. A brain tumor — primary or secondary — can cause a variety of symptoms because it can directly press on or invade brain tissue, damaging or destroying areas responsible for sight, movement, balance, speech, hearing, memory or behavior. Pressure from a brain tumor can also cause surrounding brain tissue to swell (edema), further increasing pressure and symptoms.

Signs and symptoms can include the following:

§                  New and aggressive headache — especially upon awakening

§                  Unexplained nausea or vomiting

§                  Vision problems such as blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision

§                  Gradual loss of sensation or movement in an arm or a leg

§                  Difficulty with balance

§                  Speech difficulties

§                  Confusion in everyday matters

§                  Personality or behavior changes

§                  Seizures, especially in someone who doesn't have a history of seizures (as with epilepsy, for example)

§                  Hearing problems

§                  Hormonal (endocrine) disorders

The signs and symptoms of a brain tumor initially may be vague and come and go, making the diagnosis of a brain tumor difficult. Other diseases can cause similar signs and symptoms.

Diagnosing a brain tumor usually involves several steps. Your doctor may perform a neurologic exam, which among other things includes checking your vision, hearing, balance, coordination and reflexes. Depending on the results of that exam, your doctor may request one or more of these tests:

§                  Computerized tomography (CT) scan. A CT scan uses a sophisticated X-ray machine linked to a computer to produce detailed, two-dimensional images of your brain. You lie still on a movable table that's guided into what looks like an enormous doughnut where the images are taken. A special dye may be injected into your bloodstream after a few CT scans are taken. The dye helps make tumors more visible on X-rays. A CT scan generally takes less than 10 minutes.

§                  Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. This scan uses magnetic fields and radio waves to generate images of the brain. You lie inside a cylindrical machine for 15 minutes to an hour. MRI scans are particularly useful in diagnosing brain tumors because they outline soft tissues of the body as well as bone. Sometimes a special dye is injected into your bloodstream during the procedure. The dye sometimes makes tumors easier to distinguish from healthy tissue.

§                  Angiogram. This test involves injecting a special dye into your bloodstream. The dye, which flows through the blood vessels in the brain, can be seen on X-ray. This test helps show the location of blood vessels in and around a brain tumor.

§                  X-rays of the head and skull. An X-ray of the head may show alterations in skull bones that could indicate a tumor. It may show calcium deposits, which are sometimes associated with brain tumors. However, a routine X-ray is a far less sensitive test than brain scans and so is used less often.

§                  Other brain scans. Other tests, such as magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) or positron emission tomography (PET) scanning, help doctors gauge brain activity by studying brain metabolism and chemistry and blood flow within the brain. These scans can be combined with MRIs to help doctors understand the effects of a tumor on brain activity and function, but doctors don't typically use them to make an initial diagnosis of brain tumor.

If your doctor sees what appears to be a brain tumor on a brain scan, especially if there are multiple tumors, he or she may test for cancer elsewhere in your body before making a definitive diagnosis. Letting your doctor know of a prior history of cancer anywhere in your body, even many years earlier, is important.

The only test that can absolutely make a diagnosis of a brain tumor is a biopsy. This can be done as part of an operation to remove the tumor, or can be done in a separate procedure where only a small sample of tissue is obtained. A needle biopsy may be used for brain tumors in hard to reach areas within your brain. The surgeon drills a small hole, called a burr hole, into your skull. A narrow, thin needle is then inserted through the hole. Tissue is removed using the needle, which is frequently guided by CT scanning.

The tissue is then viewed under a microscope to determine if it is a tumor, and if so, what type of tumor. Additional tests on the tissue are often done to help determine the exact type of tumor, which may help in guiding treatment.
Pics of me, wife, stepson, and the King.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 2433
   Posted 11/17/2005 1:37 PM (GMT -7)   
i read something that less than 2 people out of 1,000 headache cases will actually have a brain tumor. and jon is right - you would have many more symptoms than just a headache if you had a brain tumor. i also read somewhere that people who have brain tumors rarely mention a headache as a symptom.
rebound headaches from all the exedrin or pain caused by your degenerative disks would be my guess - but the important thing is getting it checked out to know how to properly treat it!
i get daily tension headaches with no relief from OTC pain killers, so now i am trying amitriptyline. maybe you could ask your doctor if that might be appropriate for you as well - its an antidepressant but it is used for chronic pain in low doses because of its analgesic effect.
anyways, i hope you find some answer! best wishes :)
"You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for our own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful." - Marie Curie
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." - Winston Churchill

Nicky (coquitlam55)
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 11/25/2005 10:16 PM (GMT -7)   
I understand your fear of doctors. I have a health fear of needles to go with it. As a child I had a hip disease and spent a lot of time in hospital which led to both fears.
It takes a lot to get over both fears but it is possible. Keep looking for a doctor until you find one that you are comfortable with and will answer your questions. Educate yourself, prepare your questions and take a list. That way when the fear starts you don't forget what you come to ask. Don't ever be embarassed about going to the doctor. Sometimes I go weekly but that's because I forgot something from last week.
Do you have a family member who you trust to go with you? I take my husband. I trust him completely and he protects me. He asks as many questions as me and doesn't let the doctors do anything I'm not okay with. It puts me at ease. I don't go to the neurologist without him.
Go prepared to the doctor, know your questions, take a friend or family member you trust to protect you, don't be afraid to say no. If the doctor wants to do something you're not comfortable say no. Just because a doctor is a doctor doesn't give him or her the right to barge ahead without your say so, it's still your body.
Make your plan, find your potential list of doctors, make your appointments and take someone with you.
Let us know how it goes.
You can do it.
PS It really does sound like you're suffering from rebound headaches and it sounds like you need to see a neurologist.
Good luck!
Fall seven times, stand up eight.
                 --Japanese proverb

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