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Migraine & Nerve Pain

  • By kellygasque

    Hey guys,

    So I get migraines regularly (about 2-3 times per week) and also have chronic daily headaches. I have had intense headaches since I can remember, and then started getting migraines when I turned 16. My father and my sister both get them, and my grandma and great grandma got them as well. I recently got kicked off my parents health plan when I turned 26 in February, and have not been able to get health insurance since then. I have been consistently denied health insurance from various providers because of my migraines. Currently I am paying for all medications and neurologist visits out of pocket, which is why I’m turning to this forum to get some advice.

    I’m in northern Virginia, and we just got hit by hurricane Sandy. I always get migraines when the weather is poor, so of course when Sandy hit- I got an insanely awful migraine. This time my head pain was only about a 6 (usually it’s a 9-10). What was really strange though, was a few hours into the migraine I started getting shooting pains in my back and arms, and the most excruciating pain all over my legs, from my hips to my feet. It was like I had white hot knives stabbing every inch of my legs. I seriously have never been in so much pain in my body before, I couldn’t move or speak- I could only moan. I don’t have the option to go to the hospital because I don’t have the money, so I called my neurologist. He had no idea what was going on with me, but called in some painkillers and steroids (vicoden and prednisone) to the pharmacy. This helped a lot, but I’m really scared that this will happen again, and I don’t know why it happened in the first place. Has anyone ever had serious nerve pain associated with a migraine before? I’m worried that there is something else wrong with me and I don’t have the financial capabilities to get any tests done. I would appreciate any feedback from you guys- thanks!!!

    Kelly

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  • By kellygasque

    Oh and just to add, I am on nortryptyline and baclofen for my preventative meds, treximent is the only triptan that works for me (but i’ve been surviving off of free samples because it’s too expensive for me to afford- $62 a pill!), and my only other option for rescue meds are narcotics- vicoden ES and percoset help somewhat. The only meds I’ve taken that have ever gotten rid of a full scale migraine are morphine and diladid- which I received in the hospital. I can’t even begin to tell you how much migraines have affected my life. I haven’t been able to get a job for quite some time because I’m so sick all of the time. I had to move back in with my parents and they have been helping me pay for medications and doctors visits. I am just so tired of all the pain. I have suffered from depression since I was very young, and I am just so low right now and struggling so much. I just don’t know what to do anymore.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Kelly,
    I’m sorry to hear you are having a rough time right now. Being denied insurance is always difficult. Did you happen to appeal the insurance company’s denial? I wish I had a good answer for you but not having insurance is a very difficult problem for many of us. We have a good article about making it through migraine without health insurance in this link; https://migraine.com/blog/no-insurance-you-can-still-take-care-of-your-migraine-disease/. And please take a minute to read this piece by Diana, you may have some options; https://migraine.com/blog/information-for-uninsured-migraine-patients/. In addition, I was able to find an organization in VA called Virginia Health Care Foundation that may be able to help you. Here is the link; http://www.vhcf.org/
    There is also http://www.pparx.org/ for prescription drug assistance. And our page on prescription drug insurance, https://migraine.com/migraine-health-insurance/prescription-drug-insurance/.

    Now – about your migraine pain. It sounds like the preventives you are taking are not very effective. There are times when we need to adjust the dose of medication we are taking due to this very problem. That would be one conversation with your doctor. It was good that you called your doctor due to the new symptoms you were having. Yes, some people have similar symptoms when they have a migraine attack, but always good to inform your doctor when things change. I’ll have Ellen come in an see what she thinks too.
    Keep us posted, OK?

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    kellygasque – Nancy has given you some really good links – I hope you have an opportunity to read them and that they are helpful to you.

    We aren’t doctors and can’t diagnose what’s going on here, but anything new should be mentioned to your doctor which you did. It’s likely that your doctor doesn’t expect this to be a problem again and treated you just to get you through *the moment*. Did he say anything to that affect? Unfortunately, some doctors don’t necessarily think outside the box too well, and I’m wondering if that might be what you want in this instance.

    For example, did the Migraine cause spasms that may have caused a spinal issue that may be putting pressure on nerve roots causing the burning, shooting pain? Something as simple as a chiropractic adjustment may be enough to help with that. Or, might there be another comorbid condition that could be causing trouble? Nerve pain can be caused by many different things, and since Migraine doesn’t usually cause shooting, burning pain down the legs, it makes me a little wary. Inflammation can cause irritated nerve roots that can cause burning, shooting pain, and is often fairly easily treated when you know the cause, however, at this point if that’s what’s going on, you don’t have a cause pinpointed.

    The good news is that this only happened once. Sometimes strange things happen. You saw your doctor, which was the smartest thing you could have done. Try not to stress yourself about the nerve pain, but if it happens again I would suggest a conversation with your doctor so together you can figure out what is going on.

    I suffer a lot of nerve pain myself, for various reasons. It can be excruciating, and to add that on top of a Migraine really is just about more than a person can bear. I feel for you. Please, let us know how it goes <3

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