This is going to be quite long winded and i'm sorry but it's a long story. It would be really nice to see if there is anyone in the same boat as me or to get some advice.
I've just turned 33 years old and have pretty much got to the point where i don't know where else to turn. I'm now trying the internet to see if i can come up with some help or answers as to why i suffer so much as i do.
Since i was about
12 years old i began getting headaches. They started quite mild, and usually would subside on their own. As i got older, the headaches seemed to get worse. By the time i was 16 i was having to take painkillers regularly to get some relief. The usual school work or studying too much seemed to be enough to make the headaches worse. The doctors never seemed too concerned when i got the the point that it was affecting my daily life, but to be honest the doctors where i live have never had a great reputation.
You could say i am a worrier, and i put it all down to that and tried to get on as best as i could. The doctors had no real explanation and as there had been quite some time since the headaches first started in my life, they naturally ruled out anything serious like a tuma.
My father suffered with migraines, and two other members of my family have neck problems. My father "grew out" of his migraine problem and rarely had any later in life.
As i got into my twenties, pain killers seemed to have less of an effect to my headaches (at times when they got really bad) and they were changing drastically. When they got to a peak I began feeling nausea, light sensitivity, hated loud sounds and found that my neck, shoulders and mid-section of my back would feel tension and aches/pains. Pressing the into the muscle in the side of my neck would be very painful where i feel the tension. The headache pain especially was becoming too much to cope with. I remember the doctors trying me on different pain killers, but i kept pressing the point "could this be migraine?". It took 3 GP's before one finally let me try a "Triptan".
For the first time i took this tablet, i remember laying on the bed thinking how grateful i was to finally feel some relief. The "Triptan" took the pain away after an hour or so. However, a few hours later, it was creeping back.
I asked the doctor what i should do, but the obvious solution for me at the time was to take more? The doctor ended up prescribing the "Triptan" called "MaxAlt" to be taken up to twice a day. It took quite a long time before i found out that taking "Triptans" this often was a really bad thing, but i'll come to that later.
The "MaxAlt" worked well, but it did make me feel groggy. The problem was though, that despite being filled to the brim with "Triptans" every day, if i started doing any work or stressing myself out i could easily burn through the relief of taking the "Triptan" and gradually bring the headache or migraine straight back on again. I was at that time, studying at home for a University Degree.
After i finished University i wanted to start my own business. However, my situation was that i was still suffering. My best descript
ion is that i would endure a constant background headache 24hrs a day, and a migraine could be triggered quite easily be overdoing physical daily activities or taking on too much stress. As the years went by, i was noticing other triggers as well. If i were too hot (especially in the summer) i could start a migraine. Driving with the sun flickering in my eyes from the trees as i drove by, would aggravate it. If my neck or back was under tension such as leaning over a table too long, or my neck tilted reading a book, it would start.
I had never been a super strong build of a person and it was clear to me that my back and neck felt weak. If i were to lay flat on my back and try to lift my head, it would shake from the lack of strength i had to do so. I tried going to the Gym and continued that for a couple of years. I felt better for it in myself, but none of it helped my problems.
I read about
"Rebound Headaches" after a referral to a neurologist (which was a very long time coming) and tried my hardest at that time to cut the "Triptans" down (which was his first request). I struggled to do so, and it was so debilitating that i sucked up all of the pain i was enduring for a few more years until at around 25 years old i went cold turkey on the "Triptans" and Codine based painkillers i had been taking since i was a child. Needless to say the experience was the worst in my life.
After 2 weeks there was a moment of euphoria where i felt pain free and invincible, but it was short lived and the only reason i felt "ok" was because i was living my life doing nothing. I had 2 weeks of practically being in bed and i had stopped working, so there was nothing to stress me. None of the triggers were being encountered. After easing myself into trying to do some work, i was noticing a headache again with back and neck tension/pain. I took the odd painkiller to try and combat it. Getting back into working life did also bring the migraines back on but i would only get one perhaps 2-3 times a week which was a far cry from the 1-2 a DAY that i was experiencing before.
The good thing to come out of this was the fact that my medication dosage was now a lot less, and my pain was lessened because there did seem to be some rebounding going on. I was far from cured though.
During all of this time a neurologist suggested that the stamina or strength in my back and neck muscles were very low (which i already sensed). They suggested that building up those areas MIGHT help.
A Dextor scan revealed that i have osteoporosis. I take the appropriate prescribed vitamin/calcium pills to keep it at bay.
An MRI scan was clear.
So where am i at now?
I'm 33 years old. I take "Triptans" probably 1-2 times a fortnight unless i get a bad attack from being under too much stress or overworking my neck/back. I still suffer a regular background headache which feels like a tension headache from my research (i take codine painkillers for this still).
My neck and back issues are seeming to become much worse and in my job as a computer engineer, even just 30mins lent over a desk is enough to produce immense tension in my neck and back. This then seems to lead on to a worse headache and eventually migraine if i continue. I try to discipline myself by stopping when i feel too much tension, but when it takes so little time to develop, you naturally carry on sometimes to get the job done... but the headache then gets to the point where there is no going back and the migraine eventually develops. It's not just work either. I can't go for a long drive or go out and try to enjoy myself with friends because an hour is more than enough for me to start feeling the effects and for headaches to become worse. It's like my body is over-sensitized that literally anything makes it worse!
My doctors have always pledged that "muscular/back/neck issues are unlikely to cause migraine" but when i read on the internet, it seems more than plausible that this could be "Tension Mixed Migraine"?
To top things off i now seem to have developed some anxiety issues. As the migraines and headaches have worsened over the years, the throbbing of the headaches have began to be accompanied by a pounding heart/racing chest. My energy is lacking and i have had a few occasions now where i have become short of breath just by attempting to lift something that would at one time be no problem at all. I was admitted to hospital last year with this issue and it's loosely been labelled as anxiety with no extra explanation. I take an occasional Diazepan as prescribed (1-2 times a week) if i feel the chest weightiness, panic, and shortness of breath becoming too much to handle.
I'm booked in to see the Doctor in 2 weeks time but i don't know what else to do. As you have already read, there are so many things going on i don't even know where to start. I think its safe to say that one of the headache types i suffer is definitely migraine because of the symptoms and the fact that the "Triptans" take the pain away. The daily headaches i'm not sure about
, but because of the issues with my back and neck feeling achey with pain and tension i'm inclined to believe that it might be Tension Headache? Now the anxiety problems are just an extra thing i could do without.
Am i ready for the scrap heap? Has anyone suffered like this before? Does anything I've said ring any bells or can anyone make see a picture of what this could be?
I'd be so grateful if anyone takes the time to read this.
Post Edited (jesterace) : 4/2/2018 5:32:26 PM (GMT-6)