Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Migraine Fail

This is supposed to be my year to win the migraine battle. So far it's a bust. Last week Sunday, I woke up with the dreaded pinging on the right side of my skull above my eye. Immediately I took my migraine meds, which didn't kick in until after my brood left for church and worked long enough for me to go to orchestra practice and eat supper. As the Engineer and I were climbing into bed, he suggested I go to the emergency room to get more permanent relief since he was headed to Houston in the morning and I was already reaching the point that I couldn't relax. He took me. I got enough relief from the IV, and meds to sleep well, but Monday morning I woke up to pounding instead of pinging. Ugh!

When I wake up to pounding, nothing works to relieve the pain except maybe another visit to the emerg. Unfortunately, it was not a school day for Peanut, and the last thing I wanted to do was go to the emerg. with a five year old. I pushed myself through the day -- and the night, because not only was the Engineer not home, but Bub was near Toronto swimming in the Provincials. I was not comfortable with the idea of leaving six sleeping girls home alone. I am also a wus in the sense that I do not want to bother any of my friends or family with a late night phone call, so I always fight it out as long as I can.

By Tuesday morning I was done! Between vomiting and laying down to regain a little bit of strength, I got the girls out the door early to wait for the bus. Normally I watch them until I see each one climb those awkwardly high steps into the bus, but not on this particular morning. I'm pretty sure I was walking through the emergency room doors by the time their bus pulled up.

This time I was given medications I have never received before. An anti-nausea drug they use for chemo patients. A pain killer that is very strong, but is not a narcotic and therefore doesn't carry with it any icky side effects, and a shot of steroids to the derriere. Ouch, did that one burn and ache! I walked out twenty minutes later feeling like a million bucks! Okay, that's a lie, but it was far better than I'd felt in days!

I drove home, slept for a couple hours and then puttered about making sure I didn't do anything too strenuous. Through the night I woke with a pounding headache, but not a migraine. I actually thought that maybe I was having a stroke. I wasn't sure what to do, but I took my headache meds that I use for stress headaches. They make you sleepy, so within half an hour, I was asleep again and woke up feeling energetic and best of all pain free!

By Wednesday evening, I had a low grade headache again and battled low grade headaches for the rest of the week. Sunday was the first day that I did not have a headache at all. Monday, I had one again. Yesterday, I was good again.  Today so far so good again too.

Believe it or not, there are still positives that come out of these migraines:

1} I  am reminded that I have a very wonderful husband who does a whole lot on my rotten days to keep life as normal and sane as possible for the children -- and me.

2} Maverick is extra watchful of me and I get to feel his warmth against me when all I want to do is bang my head on a wall. His furry presence helps keep me a little calmer.

3} Our small town emergency room really is top notch, and the doctors and nurses there are fantastic. (It's a little scary when the male nurse knows you and the doctor on call well enough though that he {yes, he} pulls your entire file for the doctor because he knows the doctor will find you an interesting case. Yep! I'm a case alright! ;o).)

4} I learned when my nurse pulled my file, that the last time I had been in was in December, so the duration between visits was much longer than the usual 6-8 weeks that normally occurs. Hooray for the little things!

5} I have new medication to try again when I wake up with the dreaded pinging. It's one I used many years ago before babies. Back then I could take it in injector form. It was very good stuff! Now it only comes as an oral. I'm not sure why I never went back on it after babies, or maybe I did. I can't remember.

So, now I wait. I'm going to keep working  on drinking lots of water, trying to get enough sleep, exercising outdoors and maybe, just maybe, I can go a good few months again before I have another week of feeling rotten.


  1. Oh that sounds dreadful! My dad goes through the exact same thing, except he never goes into the emergency room. He does medicine and he takes lots of excederin PM, but it never really works. We call them his mini comas because he literally will not get out of beds for days. It is so hard to watch.

    Through moaning, vomiting, and rubbing - NOTHING seems to bring relief long or fast enough.

    I'll be praying you can find routine again and that those little things to keep you healthier will work. :)


  2. Oh sweet friend, I love how you can find blessing amidst the pounding! What a great way to fight the battle :-)

  3. Oh, Deborah, I'm so sorry! Two of my sisters-in-law have terrible migraines, as did my mom (until she had a hysterectomy). One of my SILs has been helped by getting shots of Botox, of all things. I hope you can find something that will give you longer term relief. I'm glad you have such a great husband and a great emergency room!


  4. Yikes. This is so hard and then having your husband gone, too. You have such a positive attitude. I've suffered from headaches my whole life, and migraines not quite as bad as yours but pretty bad. You know what is weird? I have not had a bad/nauseous/want to die sort of headache since we moved almost two years ago. I've still had the regular headaches but none that sent me to bed sick. Isn't that strange? I'm not sure what to make of it.

  5. How beautiful that you included a 'things to be thankful for' list in a migraine post.. I'm so sorry. My mother suffered from migraines until menopause. So, there's hope! It's funny, migraines were so much a part of her (and our life) and I had completely forgotten about them, as I said, "there's hope!" So, we pray for immediate and miraculous healing first and early menopause second. ;) In all seriousness, I am praying for you.

    Blessings, Debbie

  6. I am sure you've tried a lot of things for your migraines but I am going to list a few things that I know trigger mine in the hope that one might be something you've not yet tried. # eye strain (get your eyes checked) # jaw tension (learn to relax the jaw) # neck out of alignment (see a chiropractor or a physio for a proper massage) # stress # water intake # food reaction (usually caffiene either not enough or too much) # hormonal changes # allergic reaction to food/pollen # sinus issues.

    1. Kerrie, you are right, I have looked at all of these as triggers to no avail. I've even had an MRI to rule out other factors. The only real trigger seems to be life and possibly a combination of not drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, and being too busy all combined. I have never checked the neck out of alignment though. Hmm, that could be worth a try. I've also thought of getting weekly/monthly massages in the hope that I will be more relaxed.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts!


  7. Oh gosh Deborah those are horrible... you get them really bad. I have gone through them too... the whole program just like you, but not as long, not as frequent. I went to the emergency room once. I was so thankful for it, oh my goodness you feel so thankful to just feel better. I have a good Chiropractor now, He even lives close by. In times past when I was really bad we would call him and he would say... bring her over. He has helped tremendously. I haven't had any serious ones since I started going to him. I have found the same things that Kerrie (above comment) said to be true for me as well. I know they can all be triggered differently. I also find that when I am working intently on something (particularly lengthy computer work, my neck and base of my skull begins to tense up without me realizing it... then comes the beginning of migraine... I am learning to keep myself in check in that department too, and that helps. I will be praying for you... I just feel for you; especially when you have little ones to care for... love the dog's comfort, that's very sweet.

  8. Oh, my dear FRIEND... my heart goes out to you. Wish I could give concrete help (you know, wave the magic Mommy-wand...)

    glad you're feeling better NOW, but good heavens - give your local friends the privilege of helping you :D


  9. Deborah,

    I read this with such concern for you. I am praying for you, and that the Holy Spirit wil bring you to my mind throughout the day so I can continue to lift you up. (He did when you were in the process of getting your three daughters).

    You are an amazing woman. God works through you, in inspite of weakness!

  10. Thanks for reminding me that the best thing about menopause is that it took my migraines away. There are some advantages of aging, but I suppose you have to wait a while yet. How you manage all those kids, even without a headache, amazes me, but to do it with a are nothing short of amazing!

  11. Oh Deborah, I am so sorry you are suffering with these migraines!! How awful, but I love that you still have positive to say even after a horrid week of pain. How I would love to know you IRL :) I pray you are done with migraines for a long while now and that the new (old) meds will continue to work very well.

  12. Oh dear. I can't imagine what you must go through with those headaches/migraines. My heart goes out to you. Have you ever looked into magnesium citrate and vitamin D3?

    During this hard times, what a comfort to have your hubby and kids helping you out and caring for you. What a blessing.


  13. Oh, that does not sound fun!!! My heart goes out to you...

    I hope they stay away for a long time....

  14. Thank you all for your kind and comforting words. I'm thankful that they're a little more infrequent than they were when I had a passel of wee ones. Truthfully I am rather looking forward to menopause. I am told they should likely disappear altogether then. I really hope and pray that's true. Until then, I know I have a wonderful group of you ladies praying for me and thinking of me.



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