I cannot believe that your doc said no when you asked him if their is anything else out their. Docs like to try Topamax because it is one of the most effective, but their are litteraly tons of medications that are used for headaches. Have you seen a nuerologist? I myself have been on AT LEAST 8-10 different preventative meds, plus trying them all in different combos with different stuff for acute pain. The point i am making is that their are lots of meds to try. I definately recommend going to a nuero if you have not yet because they may be able to help you more. It can be a long process finding a med that works. I have very severe chronic daily headaches so I understand what it is like to want to find something to just get them to stop, eventually I ended up on pain medication and I am doing much better, but I still am looking for preventatives. So understand there are lots of preventatives to try.
Also I am currently on topamax and going to college, though I just started. As long as my pain is under control I do fine in school, the topamax seems to affect my thinking some but it is not too severe, though I did lower the dose before coming into college. I also had the hand and feet tingles but they went away. Other than that I dont seem to have any side effects, except I often forget the word I am looking for in the middle of a sentence. Like I am about to say it, and then I cant think of the word, but that could be from the pain meds or from the lyrica I am on, I dont know. I know for a fact however the other side effects I mentioned come from the topamax because they were present before I started the other meds. Overall i dont do too bad on it, though I do not think it helps really.
Good luck finding some help for your headaches, make sure you either talk to your doctor about other preventatives (mention nortrypaline,gabapentin, lyrica, depakote, though depakote was a nasty one for me,and Inderal) or, even better than talking to your current doc, because he sounds like he knows little about treating headaches, is to have your doc refer you to a nuerologist or a headache specialist.
Good luck and may everyone have a great day.