Monday, October 27, 2008

Asking for Help

Okay bloggy internets. I need help. Shut up - not like that. So the last few posts have been over the top. This is a different need for help.

Seventeen years ago I was preparing to get married. Finishing my wedding dress, ordering flowers - all the fun stuff. I also visited my doctor (the first in a long string of horrid physicians, broken only since moving to Tulsa) to discuss birth control. He started me on the pill. No big deal, right?

Except I got a migraine. And another one. And another. I'd never had migraines before. I thought I'd die. I got them every week, with three or four headaches a week. I didn't like it very much. At all.

So I went back to my doctor and told him I'd like my dose decreased, please. This was, after all, why I started the pill a few weeks before the wedding - to make sure it didn't disagree with me. Couldn't we do something? His response was so sweet and loving. Take some Tylenol. Um. I did. It didn't work.

This went on for a bit, my having migraines and near daily headaches. Still not liking it. Doctor still not listening. So I stopped taking the little pill. Lessee ... I'd been married about six months at that time. Maybelline came along about 10 months later.

Funny thing is, while pregnant I don't recall ever having a headache. While nursing I had killer migraines that would take me out for DAYS. All three kids this happened. Worst headaches of my life were while nursing. Since then, and between babies, the migraines have occurred about once a month. I looked it up this weekend. It's called a hormone migraine. Something about fluctuating estrogen.

For awhile I went along in pain, popping Excedrin, experiencing relief. I could keep them at bay. Excedrin was my friend. Then the tension headaches started. Occasionally at first. Then weekly. Now I get headaches several times a week. Not debilitating, but not pretty, either. I don't like them.

These headaches, they congregate in my neck and jaw. The migraines wake me about four AM. They last about three days. All others come at any time of day. One side of the face, into the neck and jaw, to the back of my skull. Heat is helpful. Excedrin is sometimes helpful, but no longer always works.

I've gone along thinking it's still infrequent. But it's not. It's often now. I make excuses, attributing it to different things. I'm not a big picture person, as a rule, so it took the Hunny pointing out the frequency of the headaches for me to realize it.

Being who I am, I sat to Google. It seems that, yes, I'm victim to the hormone headache. Mean, rude thing. Good to know, after all these years, that it's real.
I also get nasty tension headaches. The good thing about those is that if I talk things through or cry, they tend to go away. The bad thing is, I don't really like to talk things through or cry. It also seems I'm victim to the rebound headache. That Excedrin is its slave driver. That I have to put down my little green bottle of pain relief and walk away.

So I'm wondering if anyone else out there has experienced this? How you weaned yourself from your pain relief? Because I am NOT looking forward to it. It hurts, people! Just last week, during one of the headaches, I waited and waited, trying to relax, for about four hours, before reaching for the green bottle. It was too much. I'm thinking of just taking one tablet for awhile instead of two. But I'd
really appreciate input from someone who's been here and done this.

Thank you all. I know this isn't the Monday funny you might have expected. I think I broke my funny last week. Over and out.

Until I write again ...


P.S. For the one person who will ask about my wedding dress, yes, I did make it myself. Took three months. I'm grateful to my mom, who made a mock up in muslin to show me what it would look like on. The pattern was very Princess Di, even though her wedding was ten years earlier. The sleeves cut me at the hip, making my ample CBH's (child bearing hips) look even larger. The filmy ruffles were gross. Several things just weren't right about the original pattern. So once it was on, Mom pointed out the flaws and suggested fixes. I think I listened in every instance, and the result was a dress in which I felt like a queen. Here's a photo of a photo. And yes, there were 40 yards of satin ruffle.


Mental P Mama said...

That dress is beautiful! And I cannot believe how you have suffered those headaches, and not one doc could diagnose this? Gah. Squared.

Anonymous said...

That is a beautiful dress! Wow!

And the headache thing is awful, especially since we can't escape the hormone roller coaster!

I'm with Mama. Gah!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful dress and look at y'all!!! Ooooh La LA!

No help here. I've had problems with migraines off and on and for a couple of years was able to give myself Imitrex shots. That stuff is awesome! They also have a nose spray. However, the last time I went in because my perscription ran out the doctor told me I could no longer take Imitrex because of the kind of migraines I have (cluster) that Imitrex could be deadly....uh.. huh? I told him I'd had no problem and I'd had those migraines before I was given the Imitrex. Oy. I've only had two of that kind and they give me stroke like symptoms to where it is visible in my face to others. All the other migraines are a different type. I've only had two migraines since moving to CO six years ago. I do get very bad headaches though.

Trisha said...

You are one talented seamstress! The dress looks great and your mom is wonderful for helping you out that way!

As for migraines . . . I never got them until I started working with a mentally ill student in my second grade class about nine years ago or so. The principal would ignore the fact that this child needed HELP and would just tell me that I needed to work on my discipline. Yeah, right! The kid would roll on the floor biting his toenails and yelling that the dinosaur on his spelling book was going to kill us all.

Anyway - those I got daily and NOTHING helped except sleep. After that year I would get migraines maybe onece a month or so - LOVE that excedrin stuff. Now that I am not working, I only get a migraine about every two to three months. Mine are not hormone related - they are usually stress and weather related - fun!

I wish I could help you out more because I know how much those darn things suck! I would say keep talking to doctor and maybe check out a doctor who works with pain relief?

Good luck Flea!

Mom Knows Everything said...

That's a gorgeous dress!

It's the pills that give you the headaches? My sister can't take them because of that and got an IUD instead.

Anonymous said...

I love that picture. I don't think I ever knew that you made your own dress. It is a beautiful dress.
I hope you find someone that can help you with your migraines/headaches. I never had a headache of any kind until after my last baby was born. Now I have them monthly. It took me a long time to realize what was going on. I stillusually forget why I am getting them until the second day when I finally remember @@ I have never been one to take anything for anything so I don't even think of taking anything. I just suffer for a couple days. Sometimes IF I realize it is happening AGAIN I will take something, but not much helps. Oh, and I don't do doctors.

Burgh Baby said...

I'm simply in awe that you are such a good seamstress (she likes it, btw--photos coming soon, if I can just find a shirt she will wear under it).

I have no recommendations for the migraines, just sympathy. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

My only advise would be to find a doctor who will do the blood work to see if there really is something going on with the hormones. Seems like there would be an pharmaceutical answer to that. I had a migraine every day for three months until I realized it was my happy pills making them happen. Before I quit teaching I would have them several times a month, but I can't say it was hormone related. The only thing that would help them was sinus meds and darkness, and even then I had to take enough to knock me out so I could sleep through it. The person who introduced me to Excedrin got a free pass on her stupidity for a while. Now a pre-emptive strike works best. I get hints that one is coming, and hit it with a basic dose of Excedrin before it can. Other than that, I got nuthin'.

Anonymous said...

adice. geez.

Anonymous said...

I have to ask if you've tried Imitrex or Midrin? You really need the prescriptions stuff honey. I, bad terrified 21 yo me was cajoled into birth control before I got married, too - same results. Migraines for the first time ever. Oddly, the kiddo seems to have made them disappear.

Ellyn said...

Your skill with a needle is amazing.

I am sorry to offer no advice. I am lucky not to have them. I do agree with the above commenters though. You should try the persciption stuff. I will keep you in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful dress. all that toime and effort...WOW.

I have suffered for years with migraines. Mine however are caused by TMJ.

Look into natural remedies @ the local Vitamin Shoppe or GNC. They have natural hormone replacement and usually someone who is knowledgeable.

Feel better Flea.

The Sports Mama said...

I'm surprised no one has mentioned it....

Have you tried keeping track of your caffeine intake?

I get migraines with a frequency that would kill an elephant. I average about 2 a week, and I get them ALL.THE.TIME. However, I can control them somewhat with limiting my caffeine. I had a doctor once that actually was really patient at helping me figure a lot of it out. The higher my caffeine intake, the worse the headaches got, especially at "high hormone" times. (The caffeine also created some other hormonal effects that we can talk about via email if you want.... might not be something the whole internet wants to see)

Tanya Brown said...

Isn't your wedding picture lovely! You (and your mom) did a great job on the dress.

Blasted doctor. There are people who just don't get it, do they? Of course the headache was real! Unfortunately, there are people out there who, rather than admitting that they don't know and sending you to a specialist, become hard of listening.

I don't have any ideas for the hormone headaches, but I'll poke around and see if someone else does. The fact that the condition has a name means that you aren't the only one who's experiencing it. Surely some of the other people have chatted about it online and maybe there'll be some ideas for relief.

Karen said...

Ok, I'm up to date now. The dress is gorgeous!!! This is the first time I have seen a picture of Hunny that I can actually see his face. (Quite the looker you caught yourself!)

Sounds like you are talking about two different headaches. Is that right? The tension headaches and the rebound is something I know just a teeny bit about. The health food store has an herb called Valerian Root. (It smells like stinky feet.) It works really well for me for tension headaches. Can make you sleepy though.

The rebound headache is something that my SIL has been through. Hers got so bad she thought she was having a stroke. I believe her doctor told her now more tylenol, asprin, excederin or ibruprofin for a while and put her on some thing else. She was highly skeptical because she survived on these products. Whatever it was, it worked. She rarely has headaches now. If you are interested I could ask what the perscription was that she was on.
As far as the hormone headaches....I've got nothing.

I hope you are feeling better.

Chelf said...

I agree with the thought of tracking things you can control. Keep a record of your intake of caffeine, chocolate, milk, eggs, wheat and other food things you might be allergic to. My worst headaches come mostly from changes in air pressure. The wonderful "weather headache". Sinus infections are mean too. Advil Cold and Sinus (with real pseudoephedrine, you have to get it at the pharmacy counter now in OK) helps me.

I have a friend who used to take a Pepsi and two Excedrins to get rid of headaches. She later found out she was allergic to the aspirin, and the caffeine was making the rebound headaches worse.

A little minor knowledge of acupressure may help a bit. There is a spot in the web of your hand between the thumb and the forefinger, and if you rub/pinch that, it helps headaches go away. (then your hand hurts...) Also massaging the sides and pads of your fingers helps.

I hope that you get some help, from all our bloggy advice and a new doc who really listens. Keep us posted!