I've gone through remarkably similar things at Jefferson. Last June I had my second hospital admission at Jefferson. Before Dr. Nahas became an attending doctor, my treatment was supervised by Dr. Young as well. I remember really well being in my hospital room last August (my first visit). I had been taking highish doses of methadone before my admission and they made me detox during my admission as well. I also have been diagnosed with daily persistent headache. It's kind of what they say you have when you have headaches all the time and you don't respond to treatment well.
I remember when I was first admitted that they told me the same thing that they told you. That most patients only need one admission to breakthrough their headaches and that it typically takes 3-5 days. Well, I was there for almost two weeks and would've been there longer if I didn't have school starting 2 days after they let me out. Like you, however, it's been about
2 years since I've been able to work or take classes. I've been told that I'm a very difficult patient to treat, that my biochemistry doesn't respond well also. During my first visit I was given DHE, phenergan, klonapin, benedryl, thorazine, maybe zyprexa and many other medications. The thing with zyprexa, haldol, and thorazine (all medications that I have sitting in the other room) atypical antipsychotics. They can cause anxiety, shaking, weight gain, drowsiness and a whole host of other things. Sometimes they're effective though, as abortive medications. Haldol, if I take enough, will take the edge off of a very bad headache for me. Zyprexa, sometimes also.
As you've probably noticed about
the Jefferson headache center, they're very rigid with their policies. For example, you had to be admitted after your office visit, they won't allow narcotics and they have a very formulaic way of trying to stop your headache. When I first started seeing them, they told me all of the treatment options that they had to offer and I was willing to come off my narcotic painkillers to try something that might be more effective/curative. As with many other headache facilities, their go to med is DHE, whether it be through an IV, nasally administered, or injected IM. They're also keen on nerve blocks (injection around the nerves of local anesthetic), botox injections, and a ton of other meds to try. We did (daily) the antiseizure medications: topamax, zonegran, lamictal; bipolar type drugs: lamictal, depacon/depakote/divalproex, abilify, thorazine (abortive), zyprexa (abortive), haloperidol (abortive) and droperidol (abortive); antiinflammatory: too many to count honestly but very strong, both daily and abortive; antidepressant: zoloft, neurontin, lexapro, effexor, Wellbutrin, Emsam, cymbalta; odd assortments: mexilitine (oral lidocaine), nasal lidocaine spray, methergine, namenda, provigil, klonapin, reglan, zofran, phenergan, verapamil and more. I also have tried ever triptan (imitrex, axert, maxalt, zomig, etc.) with no success. They also had me try biofeedback training with the headache center psychologist.
During my first few office visits with them, when they told me they wanted me to stop taking narcotic medications (which were the only things that had ever worked for me), I asked them "in what situation would we use these medications again?" they told me that they'd consider it only after they had exhausted all of their other options. I don't know what you've tried before other than the percocet, but Jefferson does have a lot to offer. Coming off narcotics that you've been reliant on for a long time can indeed be very painful, mentally and physically. If you find that you're getting anxious, ask for some Klonapin. Don't get too upset that their impatient remedies aren't working on you because they're just the tip of the iceberg. If they can find another medication that will calm your headaches to replace the narcotic then believe me you will be better off. But I know what it feels like to feel like there's no hope. Being in the hospital for a prolonged time is hard enough, but when nothing's working it drives you up the wall. I assume that the psychiatrist you saw was Dr. Tramuta. I never really liked the guy personally. So if you're really depressed or suicidal, talk to Dr. Young about
it. He's a lot more likely to be helpful. As I said, I know how you feel, having gone through every weapon in the clinic's arsenal. Now that they feel like they've been through everything, they agreed to prescribe narcotic pain medication under very controlled circumstances. My life has been really tough trying everything else and not having anything work, but it was worth trying. Even though my head is a lot better than it was before they prescribed these meds recently, I do wish they had found something that would've worked better.
I'm now 23 and I've had headaches for five years now, constantly. A year and a half is a long time though too. But don't forget that there's still a lot left that could help you, could manage or eliminate your pain. Try to look on at the positive side, considering how many options you now have and the really high likelihood that something will work. Don't worry about
your weight, with the zyprexa or anything else. I've put on a lot of weight with all the drugs I've been on (god, I used to be thin?!). You really just need to focus on finding something that'll help your head and worry about
the rest some other day. Although Jefferson wasn't able to cure my migraines, they're a very good clinic with a lot of caring and intelligent doctors. It won't happen overnight, but they WILL find something to make your life better.
My email address is email@example.com. My AIM screen name is korbnep14. If you shoot me an email, I'd be happy to even send you my cell phone number if you need someone to talk to (though I'd prefer to not post it publicly). Best of luck
I'm sorry that my post is so long and that it took me so long to get back to you.
DX: NDPH, Recovered CRPS