Recovering from Hysterectomy and Chronic Migraine
I have had stage four endometriosis since 2003 and chronic migraines since 2009. I was never informed that the two conditions could have any connections until I began my own advocacy for chronic migraine. The only time I had a doctor mention these two conditions together was regarding one of the medications for controlling my endometriosis, and he simply wanted me to stop it because there was a possibility that it could be increasing my migraines. My endometriosis was the only condition I had under control until 2018, in which I decided to take the step and have a hysterectomy. While I packed my abortive medication in my hospital bag, I still had not considered how my hysterectomy could affect my chronic migraine.
While in the hospital
They struggled so much to control my surgical pain so much in the hospital that it was extremely hard to focus on anything else. At one point I even had my husband go home to sleep and get out of the hospital. Even with him not there, the pain from the hysterectomy was so forefront and centered. I very well could have been having some migraine issues while at the hospital but the pain from my surgery was too much to allow my body to process that pain and let me know about it. The IV bag of fluids could have also helped some as well.
Managing surgical pain at home
Once home and trying to manage the surgical pain, I was given pain medication that was above what is traditionally used for endometriosis and chronic migraine. While the pain medication was needed for the hysterectomy pain and complications that manifested, it definitely did not sit well with the chronic migraine. A migraine always followed the use of the stronger pain medications that I was given and needed for the recovery. When I attempted to ‘tough it out’ to just manage the surgical pain on my own, I could barely move but my head was much happier from not having the narcotics. A normal medication that a surgeon and neurologist would agree on in this case would generally be something like tramadol but unfortunately in my case, I am highly allergic to tramadol.
Lesson learned – the hard way
This has definitely been a lesson learned for me. It is a confirmation that when having surgery and considering pain medications for treatment afterwards, I need to make sure the doctors take all of my health issues into consideration and not just the one they are working on. It is also a confirmation for why the neurologists have certain pain type medications that they are okay with us using and others that they say are not good for us to use with migraines.
Hopefully when the hormone replacement therapy starts, there will not be any conflicts between endometriosis medications and what is the best path for my chronic migraine therapy. As I finish physically healing from my hysterectomy, I have those stronger pain pills in my basket and make sure I weigh all options prior to choosing to go that route.
When it comes to planning vacations or other events where travel is required, how much does migraine factor into your decision-making?