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Not giving up

I’ve been living with migraines since I was 19. I’m 41 now and they became chronic several years ago with the inclusion of a nasty friend diagnosed as-tension headaches. I began a headache diary several months ago and found as I suspected that I was experiencing headaches daily with approximately 12-15 migraines a month. I’ve tried chiropractic, massage therapy, acupuncture, counseling, special diets etc etc with no long term relief to speak of. My current gp and I are really trying to taper me off of some of my Meds which may be causing rebound headaches beside all of the symptoms and side effects I experience. I’m a literal walking zombie. No worries though I have no appetite. My current Meds are: phenylephrine-sinusitis, lexapro-PTSD/anxiety, depo-provera-hormonal med, norco-tension headaches, topamax-migraine prevention, baclofen-spinal stenosis, Xanax-PTSD-Anxiety, zofran-nausea with migraine, atenolol-migraine prevention, aleve-acute migraine attack, imitrex-acute migraine attack, Zyrtec-allergic rhinitis and omeprazole-GERD. I was referred to a neurologist which my insurance approved, whom I saw today. The last time I saw any type of specialist for headaches was over 15 years ago. The one I saw today left me a lot more confused and frustrated than I was before I talked to him. We discussed Amitriptyline as I’ve never been prescribed it and it is supposed to help with sleep? And migraines? Which I suffer with issues from both. When I got to the pharmacy there was a completely different medication prescribed by him waiting for me. A try-cyclic but not the one we discussed. I told him I really wanted to reduce medications due to some of my symptoms possibly being medication/side effect related. He made no response to that except to tell me to not change my medications. He was really trying to push me to add depakote when I already take an anticonvulsant. When we discussed alternatives to imitrex he stated it didn’t matter because they all worked the same. Would not even discuss any possibilities of my spinal stenosis, hormones, cyst on my neck or previous head injuries contributing to any of my conditions or symptoms as a matter of fact he shooshed me. Said there was no way any of these things were contributing factors. Told me he was going to recommend a nerve block next thing I know I’m signing the form and he’s shooting me in the neck. So I get these nerve block shots and I start to get a tension headache while I’m driving home. All in all I’d say he spent about 10-15 minutes actually discussing anything with me. Anyone else out there experience anything like this before? Is something off here?

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  • Hollygo2 author
    5 years ago

    Thank you so much for everything! I as well check my Meds for interactions at WebMD. I kicked the norco and guess what my daily vicious 8-10 tension and migraine headaches appear to be gone for the moment. I’m getting daily headaches still but nothing compared to the chronic disgusting daily 8-10s I suffered from for years. I was sicker than a dog the first week off of the norco. I’m sure withdrawals. I couldn’t keep taking them and suspected they were contributing to rebound headaches. I am not making any other changes to Meds until I see my gp next week. Having had migraines for well over 22 years I feel I’m a lil versed on these things and know there are alternatives. I’ve been a member of several of the headache and migraine research organizations and receive publications. Thank you for your personal experience documentation with depakote. Sometimes we just need examples of how a med would be used. Amitriptyline is the med the neurologist and I discussed nortriptyline is the med that was at the pharmacy. I won’t be taking it until I discuss with my gp. I want off of the Xanax as I mainly use it to sleep. If one of these triptylines would do that and help with depression/anxiety I’d gladly go off lexapro and Xanax under the advice of my doctor. As far as the beta blocker goes I would not be opposed to trying a first line (migraine) one either. Thanks for your help really. I think I have my whole conversation ready for my next gp appointment.

  • Migraine in Albuquerque
    5 years ago

    Hi! I understand your frustration. Mine became extremely chronic in my early 40s and now I’m 45. Based on what you were saying, it sounds like your doctor isn’t really hearing you. It doesn’t make him a bad bad doctor but sometimes they don’t always get it. I would recommend looking for and doing some research on finding some of the best migraine neurologist in your area. What part of the country do you live in?

    And Depakote on top of the already existing anti-seizure drug would turn me into a zombie!

  • Hollygo2 author
    5 years ago

    Thank you so much for your reply. While it’s sad to know others are suffering it’s encouraging to know were not alone. It gets to feeling very frustrating and alone in this fight. I don’t believe the neurologist I saw is a bad doctor, I did feel like I was very rushed and not very attended to as far as my specific diseases/conditions and what may be contributing to daily pain and fatigue. I forgot to mention in my original post and was especially concerned when the neurologist followed me out to the waiting area and told me I was cured and could go back to normal living now. I live in Shasta County which is in Northern California and as far as I can tell there are no “Headache Speciliasts” in the area. Pretty rural area. I was out of it for most of the day today with a 10 migraine. But so appreciated hearing from someone. I will be speaking with my gp at my next appointment regarding further care, assessments, Meds etc. as I don’t really feel comfortable adding any aditional Meds at the moment. Thank you again for your kind words they are so appreciated.

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