Monday, January 24, 2011

Recuperating

I have suffered from migraines since I was 15.  (I'll never forget my first migraine, which started just after riding a tramway in Banff National Park in Canada.  I didn't know then that high altitude is a common migraine trigger.  Actually, I didn't know what was wrong with me and thought I was going to die.)

Although I have tried various things over the years to control/reduce them--eliminating triggers (SO many things, including hot dogs, alcohol and caffeine and, ironically, birth control pills), taking daily medications, drinking lots of water, always getting a full night's sleep, regular exercise--I still get them. . . . sometimes for no obvious reason.  Even regular acupuncture and massage have not really helped.

Fortunately, more often than not, when I take medication at the first sign of a headache, I can head off a full-blown migraine.  I might still feel "off," but I am able to function.

Unfortunately, yesterday was not one of those times.

I was in agony most of the day yesterday and could do little more than lie prostrate on my bed or the couch with my eyes covered and an ice pack on my head.  (In addition to almost-unbearable pain, my migraines include light sensitivity and nausea, too.)  The entire day, from about 10 a.m. on, was wasted; I was either lying still wishing for death, sleeping, or worshipping the porcelain god in my bathroom.  I was in bed by 8:30 p.m. and asleep before 9:00.

Today I woke up feeling tired (despite over 9 hours of sleep), weak and a little dizzy.  My stomach was a little iffy, but after two liters of water and some oatmeal for breakfast, it seems to be OK now.  I'm still not 100%, but I am improving.

I worry about what I will do to treat my migraines if I am ever able to get pregnant.  None of the medications which actually work for me (most of the time; yesterday being a notable exception) are permitted during pregnancy, and taking plain Tylenol is as useful to me as eating a couple of jelly beans, in other words, no help at all.  I suppose I would have to take some type of mild narcotic, but that would leave me non-functional, as I would be too drowsy to work or drive.

I have read that some migraine sufferers don't get them during pregnancy at all, but I think that is a little too much to hope for.  Despite long periods of keeping headache diaries, I have never seen a correlation between my cycle and my migraines, so I don't think they are due to hormone fluctuations.  Who knows?

So that's my "news," such as it is.  MM ran a fever from Friday night into Saturday evening (as high as nearly 103 at times), so we were a real pair this weekend.  He seems to be recovered now, thank goodness.

7 comments:

  1. I also suffer from Migraines, and haven't taken the meds for a long time as although they cure the headache, I get other side effects that are really bad.

    You will be able to take codeine if you are pregnant so don't worry about the headaches.

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  2. That is interesting about pregnancy and not getting migraines. I haven't had one yet and wonder what I will do if I get one. I had the stroke-like migraines where I had a huge headache and the other side of my body went numb. The only thing the worked well was Imitrex. I have also used Excedrin Migraine and it did help. I notice mine tend to be triggered by light. Light hits my eyes in a weird way and then I get a migraine. I try to shield my eyes away from sunlight and its reflections as much as I can. Hope this helps.

    T

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  3. Yikes, that sounds really rough. I spent my day on Friday in bed with a raging headache and a bad cold. I hate being sick and I feel for you. Migrants seem debilitating. Don't worry about when you get pregnant, after all this bullshit hopefully you will have a smooth pregnancy.

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  4. I'm so sorry. (((hugs))) I've only had a handful of migraines in my life & that was enough. :p I too tend to light sensitivity and nausea -- I have to lay very still in a darkened room. Usually if I throw up, I start feeling better.

    I did have one migraine during my unsuccessful pregnancy. I was told I could take Tylenol but nothing stronger.

    My former boss used to have them all the time -- she found imitrex helped, especially if she took it as soon as she felt the first symptoms. I can't imagine how people who get them all the time like that function!

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  5. I hope you are feeling better. I have only had a few migraines in my life, but they were horrible. It sounds like you are taking every precaution to prevent them! Have you thought about Botox? I have had a few patients say that it really helped reduce migraines. Of course, not an ideal drug while TTC!

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  6. Have you ever tried Topomax? I used to get migraines a lot, starting from the time I was in 5th grade. I tried everything, and nothing worked.

    When I was in college and on birth control, I had a stroke-like migraine (much like T above where I lost hearing, speech, and sensation), and the doctors put me on Topomax for 6 months. Since then, I don't get them nearly as often. I only get them now when I'm getting my period. Ironically, I have one today. :)

    I'm sorry you felt so rough. I can relate as a life-long migraine sufferer. I hope that you can eventually find the cause of them, or - if not - find something that will help them stay under control.

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  7. @Jay, I have not thought seriously about Botox (for my migraines; I've considered it for my forehead lines, LOL). My doctor does not believe that it is really effective. ?

    @Katie, I have not tried Topa.max but have taken other daily meds for migraine. No thanks. The last one I was on caused me to gain 25 lbs in six months, with no changes in my diet or exercise routine. And you can't take those meds when pregnant (and are not technically supposed to while TTC either).

    Thanks for weighing in! I guess these are just my cross to bear, and I do feel fortunate that they are not a daily, or even weekly, occurrence.

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