Wednesday, May 12, 2004

I just realized that I never gave an update about my trip to the Headache Clinic.

It went well...we (Michael drove me) were there about three hours, which was what I was told. At first we just met with the doctor to discuss my headaches. Then she gave me a quick physical, but that first she wanted to run tests. Immediately, I thought "Oh great...now I have to schedule more appointments and leave work and drive back down here," but then I realized that they were going to do them right then and there! Yay - no second/third/fourth visits! So, we went back out into the waiting room for about twenty minutes before I was called to the back again. They ran three tests on me - an EEG, a Doppler Ultrasound, and a visual stimulation test. All three required goo to be put on my scalp to attach wires to me!! When I came out all I could think about was getting home to wash my hair! It was pretty yucky!

After the tests were ran I went back out to the waiting room again - this time for about ten minutes before I was called again and we went back into the doctor's office. She said that all the tests came back normal, which is good, but also means that I have classic migraines and there really isn't an exact way to deal with them. So, like I expected, she put me on more drugs: Effexor and Nadolol to take daily and a Triptan called Relpax to take at the onset of a migraine. Apparently the two daily drugs taken in combination have shown to help keep migraines from coming on. The relpax is supposed to relieve migraine symptoms. I have only taken one of those so far...and at first I thought it was going to be awful. I don't react too well to drugs. It made me feel like someone had given me a narcotic at first. I started going a bit numb and felt like I just wanted to pass out, then after about twenty minutes I felt 1,000 times better!! So strange...I guess I just need to be sure when I take it that I can lay down for about half and hour or so to let it do its job, but I'll only take it when I cannot function b/c of a migraine!

As for side effects from the two daily meds...well, the first couple of days I couldn't sleep (I started taking them on Sunday). Monday night I only got in about two hours of sleep...so I called the pharmacist to see if that was a side effect that I should expect to go away. He told me the Effexor caused that and to give it some time, that it would get better. So, that's what I am doing. Last night I slept most of the night. I still woke up once or twice, but it wasn't like Monday night...I just lay there all night staring at the ceiling!!

I have felt good all day today, though. I have headaches everyday (no joke), but I have learned to suppress them as much as possible...it's like a constant dull ache in my head. The daily ones aren't bad enough to where I cannot function, but if I think about them they can get that way. The migraines (severe ones) have been coming about two to three times a month - with these I either leave work or if I can make it through the end of the day go home and straight to bed until morning. In some cases, if I can't drive, I have shut my door, turned off my lights, and laid down for a while. I called in one day last month and just said I wasn't coming in at all b/c I woke up with one. That day I was in bed until around noon. I have heard of people going to the emergency room with them and getting shots, of what I don't know, but I haven't done that - yet! Hopefully these meds will help and I won't ever have to, but I don't want to be on medications for the rest of my life either. The doctor told me that over time I might be able to see what kind of changes can be made in either my diet or activities to help reduce them naturally. She gave me a list about four pages long of foods that I shouldn't eat - most of them I avoided anyway b/c they made my head hurt, but others I was really surprised to see on there! She also said that I should learn some relaxation techniques to use and mentioned coming in for biofeedback, but I think I'll just schedule myself a spa day once a month instead!!!

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