HEADACHES EVERYDAY FOR 4 YEARS

What would you suggest as a solution?
7
See another doctor AGAIN. - 50.0%
6
Keep trying different medications - 42.9%
1
Just deal with the pain - 7.1%
0
Quit working so much no matter how much you like it. - 0.0%
0
Dont ever sleep again - 0.0%
0
Chop your head off and get a new one - 0.0%

 
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tiger2626
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/9/2007 8:52 AM (GMT -7)   
I am hopeing that someone can help me.  I have been haveing severe headaches for over 4 years now.  I get them almost guarenteed everyday.  Usually at night when I lay down in bed.  I have had 3 MRI's, a CAT scan, been to an Ear Nose and THroat doctor and have been put on all kinds of different medications.  Nobody can even come close to figuring out why I am getting these.  Sometimes they are so bad that I want to go to the emergency room.  The pain is comparable to drinking a frozen drink too fast and getting a "brain freeze".  Except it last for 1-2 hours, not 30 seconds.  For the last year, I have been getting alot of them late at night while I am sleeping and it wakes me up.  I am currently taking either 3 Ibuprofins or an Imitrex (depending on how bad it is).  My vision is great 20/15 so I dont think its that.  I do have very bad eating habits (eat whatevery I want, whenever I want).  But, I am 5'-7" and 150lbs.  So, I am not overweight.  I have a 45 hour/ week job as a manager for a small engineering company, I am also a (new) real estate investor now with 6 rental properties and growing 2-3 a year and I do construction (remodeling) jobs on the weekends (because thats what I used to do). I have probably seen 6 or 7 different doctors about this and they all say that they have no clue whats causing it and just give me a new perscription and say it could be stress.  Yes, I have alot of stress in my life but I love what I do and dont want to give it all up.  It is very frustrating that with todays technology, they cant even remotely narrow it down. I hope this is enough information for someone out there that can relate to my suffering and can help me with what I should do.  I have had friends suggest everything from allergy tests to checking for diabetes to vision tests.  Any ideas?
 
painfully waiting,
 
Cameron

Annuk
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1308
   Posted 1/9/2007 11:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Cameron,

Welcome to Healing Well. Sorry you have been suffering with these headaches. Is it a Neurologist that you have seen about them? Do you only experience these headaches at night, or do you sometimes have them in the day as well? Do you get any other symptoms at the same time as these headaches that go away when the headache goes away?

Is the pain on one side of your head or all over your head or in one particular place? Sorry for all the questions but there are so many different types of headaches I am trying to get a clearer picture of what you are going through! However, I would point out that I do not have any medical qualifications but am merely a sufferer myself and can only speak from expereince.

take care

Ann

tiger2626
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/9/2007 11:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the reply Ann.  I get the headaches on my left temple.  Always in the same place.  When it gets real bad, it hurts behind my left eye and my left side of my throat/neck.  Right before I get them, my left eye will get bloodshot and my nose will feel stopped up.  When it goes into my throat/ neck, it feels like its swollen.  I feel as if i have a cold.  When the headache goes away, the cold-like symptoms go away too.  I get most of them at night.  But I also get some in the day while I am at work or just doing things around the house.  I rarely get them in the AM.  Yes, I have been to a neurologist.  They are the ones that recomended all the MRI's and the CAT scan.  But they said that everything looks ok.  They tell me that nobody REALLY knows what causes headaches and they can only keep trying new medication to see if something will help keep it under some kind of control.  They get so bad that I cant concentrate, I pace the floors and to be honest, they have gotten so bad that I have literally wished that I would die.  I know that sounds crazy but I would not wish that kind of pain on anyone.  Its not an easy thing to get used to and unfortunately, it makes me NOT look forward to going to bed (because that is when I usually get them).  My wife thinks that I am such a work-a-holic and stay so busy that when my body tries to relax, the stress comes out.  I am very introverted.  I wouldnt say that I bottle things up but my my wife and a doctor said that not letting things out can cause the headaches.  Who knows...

Annuk
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1308
   Posted 1/9/2007 12:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Cameron,

Again I am going to say I am not a Doctor, but it sounds like Cluster Headaches to me, and I am amazed that your Neuro has not suggested this, check this website out and see if anything here fits in with what you are experiencing http://www.ouch-us.org/index.shtml.

Let me know what you think! Take care

Ann
Co-Moderator of the Migraine/Headache Forum


tiger2626
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/9/2007 12:42 PM (GMT -7)   

Ann,

For a very long time, I thought that i was haveing cluster headaches.  The symptoms are EXACTLY what I am having.  When i read some stories from people who were having them, it was as if I had written it.  When suggested this to the doctor and later the neurologist, they both said that was NOT what I had.  They said that cluster headaches dont come and go with in an hour or 2.  They said that they stay for a few days or weeks and then they will stop for a period of time.  Once they told me that, I was very confused.  I thought after all these years, I finally figured out what was going on.  But, I was wrong.  Even with clusters, they dont know what causes them or how to stop them.  You are on the right track though.  You know exactly what I am going through.  What kind of headaches do you have?  What are your symptoms?  Anything making them better?


Annuk
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1308
   Posted 1/9/2007 1:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Cluster headaches come in two different types, Episodic which come as the name suggests in episodes and Chronic, which is all the time!!!!! I think that your Neuro needs to do some homework.

May I suggest you get yourself referred to a Neuro who is a Headache Specialist as then you will get the treatment you deserve. One of those treatments is high flow oxygen. Cluster Headaches typically last up to two hours, their onset and cessation is rapid.

Hang in there Cameron, we will support you as best we can.

take care

Ann
Co-Moderator of the Migraine/Headache Forum


gardengate
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 1/9/2007 1:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Cameron

Sorry to hear of your headache symptoms -- from your brief history and explanation it does sound like cluster headaches...cluster means cycles that they come often in a pattern....the episodic clusters can last for 6-12 weeks (usually) and reappear the year after or may miss a year. As you hav ehad yours for so long as already suggested in ANNuk comment - there is also chronic cluster headache that does not follow the periodic pattern but happens daily......whatever you have (and it doesnt sound 'serious' in the sense of tumour/bleeds') it sounds chronic...could ? be chronic migraine?

Are you on prophyalaxis?? propranalol or pizotifen for example?? pizotfien good for cluster headaches

I would go back to neuro/headache specialist- where are you based?

all the best!

GardenGAte

tiger2626
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/9/2007 1:40 PM (GMT -7)   
my wife is the organized one and handles getting a perscription if i need it so I am not sure what all I have tried.  I know for a fact that propranalol was one of the things.  It may just be a coinsidence but, the first day i took that, i got a headache so bad that night and i lost my temper i was cursing the doctor and threw something across the room.  I never get upset or lose my cool.  the whole night was hazy and my wife said I was so mad that I wanted to drive to the DR house and beat the crap out of him.  I never took it again. 

Annuk
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1308
   Posted 1/9/2007 2:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Cameron,

The correct treatment for Cluster Headaches is Verapamil BP as a preventative and high flow oxygen and Imitrex injections to abort attacks. Imitrex tablets do not work for Clusters!

I have home oxygen myself and would not be without it now, the flow has to be from 7 -15 litres per min regulator with a non-rebreather mask (a mask with no holes in). Having the correct mask and flow is vital or the O2 will not abort an attack!

Please keep going back to the Doctors until you get some answers, but preferable get yourself to a Headache Specialist!!!

take care

Ann
Co-Moderator of the Migraine/Headache Forum


mommyto3
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 1/9/2007 4:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Cameron-

I suffer from cluster headaches and have for about the last five years! It took me almost 4 and 1/2 of those to get properly diagnosed, mine are episodic, and I know the pain you are going through!!! I am considered episodic, however I cycle 3-4 times a year, so I take continous meds, some people start and stop between cycles...

There are several different treatments out there and Ann is a wealth of knowledge! Verapamil at high doses (and I mean high) can help, some people have found relief from Topomax, there are also several others that I can go through if you'd like... I use to abort with Imitrex 4mg stat dose (injections in my leg), pretty quick relief within ten minutes--but I am no longer allowed to use d/t medical reasons. I also use Oxygen at high flow right usually 12-15 litres for about 10-15 minutes mask as Ann described. There are also others out there....

I would be more than happy to talk more with you about it if you'd like. If you have any questions, just ask! A good headache doc, has definently helped get a good treatment plan in place!!

Take Care!

tracydadms
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/9/2007 6:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes was looking thru the forum and come across yours my 6 year old daughter has had migraine headaches ever since she was born.They say from birth trauma and also foods and caffeine make them worse and she has partial seziures.Have you ever had an eeg test done to see if there is seizure activity.She can not have alot of imitation meat like hotdogs........anything with red dye. I dont know if it will help but thought maybe.
Good luck Tracy

Post Edited (tracydadms) : 1/12/2007 9:36:09 PM (GMT-7)


kaseyrenee
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/27/2007 7:53 AM (GMT -7)   
my suggestion which helped a little bit:
 
thyroid function test: everyone doctor 'forgets' to do this, its so simple and helps so much if you do have thyroid disease.  mine was functioning 120 times more than what it should have been.
 
CT Scan or sinus': blocked sinus' are bad and make tension worse. my migraines now arent as intense.  I was on 2 lots of medication for 6 weeks and have had one (very bad, possibly the worst) migraine in 2 months, which was better than twice a week!!
 
i have been told and experienced it, that even messing the smallest amount with your routine will throw your body off..eg- from working to a relaxing holiday and vice-versa.  get into a exact routine, do the same thing every day and see how you go!  good luck..i know how your daily pain feels!

CRANKY 1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 1/29/2007 10:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Cameron,
 
The information that ANNUK gave you is really what you need to explore.  I agree that it does sound like you have CLUSTER HEADACHES, which are excruciating, but they generally don't last more than a few hours at a time.  They do usually bother your for several days or weeks, then go away for a while.
 
I think your problem is that you have unknowingly gotten yourself into a cycle of "rebound headaches", which come from overmedicating yourself.  If you are taking Ibuprofen or similar OTC mediation, basically you are creating a cycle of feeding the headache to help the pain, but as soon as the medication decreases in your bloodstream, your body interprets it as withdrawal and the headache returns.  This is probably masking the correct diagnosis of cluster headaches.  If you are in a continuous cycle of the rebound headaches, you are never going to get a break.
 
The rebound headache, also called an overmedication headache, is only stopped by breaking the cycle.  The rule of thumb is that you never take more medication than recommended, and never more frequently than suggested.  You should never take prescription or OTC medication for more than a couple days a week, no matter how bad the pain feels.  You have to cut back on the medication, or you will never break the cycle. 
 
Once you get the cycle broken, you could have breaks from the Cluster headaches for weeks or months at a time.  Now doesn't that sound better?  It's not an easy thing to do, but think how bad it would be if you were trying to kick crack or heroin.  Maybe not so bad after all.
 
Let us know how you are doing.
Leigh Ann cool

"The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful."
                                             - Jimmy Buffett

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