First I would ask what kind of doc gave you this information. Are you seeing a headache specialist, or migraine specialist, or is this information coming from your neurologist or other kind of physician. Before I went into the hospital I would make sure I was seeing a migraine (if that is your diagnosis) specialist, and if not get another opinion. I would get a second opinion in any case.
I have had taken many medications that over the years have given me rebound headaches (now referred to as Medication Overuse Headaches [MOH>). I prefer the term rebound myself, because MOH puts the responsibility on the patient for taking too much medication, when what is happening is that your body is rejecting the medication as a method to stop the headache/migraine.
I was hospitalized once to undergo tx to stop my migraines - at that time I had daily migraines with acute flare-ups. An IV injection was used, and it never broke the migraine during my 8 day stay, and eventually I was given steroids to get me off the IV med. It is certainly faster to go off all your meds in the hospital, because it is done all at once, using other meds to control the withdrawals, and I don't know what kind of meds or how many you are on. But it is also a very expensive way to get off the meds, so make sure your insurance will cover the costs before you do this.
I have suffered from debilitating intractable migraines for 43 years and have had many "rebound" migraines caused by a medication my body is rejecting. There is nothing to do if you are taking a medication that is causing another headache except stop taking it. If you are taking more than one med, who knows which one is giving you the trouble. I can tell now when something is giving me a rebound migraine because of the intensity and type of migraine I get. I have suffered through my share of rebounds at home with no medication to take the pain, and use ice, and other remedies to help the process. It is primarily a question of time, and some have lasted over 60 hrs before I get relief. If you are a type A personality with a high pain tolerance, you may be able to do it at home, but with supervision of your doc, one med at a time.
This has been my experience, and it is only my experience. Everyone is different, and everyone handles pain differently. What has worked for me may not work for you. There are a lot of meds I cannot use because of their rebound effect, and trial and error is the only way I have ever found out.
Good luck, get a second opinion if you are unsure about it, and make sure you are talking to a headache/migraine specialists.View Thread
To Warrior Maiden - just to add itmatsb's reply. I was told the same thing you were, and my migraines only got worse. I am having stomach & intestinal problems now, and have been reduced to a chicken broth, white chicken, white bread, white rice, banana & apple diet for at least 4 months now, and you can imagine how boring that is! If I don't stay on it, I have the runs badly, and there seems to be no in-between diet that works. I don't have the added meds that you have been on, but I do know that chocolate, coffee, or even decaf tea will cause a migraine for me. I have also had to cross out milk & milk products, including yogurt, which was a staple of mine, and certainly all vegetables are out, unless it is just 1 leaf of lettuce. My gastroenterologist is trying to figure out what is wrong, but so far we at a standstill. I have just been taking out foods that seem to make me feel bad, cutting them out of my diet, and then trying them in very small amounts after a 3 mo. vacation. I can say for sure that caffeine is something I will never try again, but am hopeful about veg and fruit - even in small amounts. I know my body better than any doc or test by now, and can feel what is wrong long before a test will tell me, so I am paying attention, and writing all that stuff down.
Perhaps that would work for you, without all the intermediaries. I am sure a lot of my problems come from 43 years on every med you can think of to control the migraines. My body has had it with me, so I just have to be more careful.
Hi Michelle - I have migraines that wake me in the middle of the night - some of them start before I go to bed, and I use ice to try and stop them before taking meds, but within 3 hours I am awake and in more pain than I was 3 hrs. prior. Some wake me around 4:00am - it varies.
As for your doctors, you need to find a migraine specialist, not a neuro who has no specialty in migraines, and certainly not a primary care doc. Neither of those doctors will really be able to help you get control of your migraines, and the very fact that a neuro would stop seeing you because all your med needs could be handled by a PC doc is horrifying to me!
Most migraineurs go through lots of trial and error finding a medication regimen that will work for them. Everyone is different and what works for 1 person won't work for another. Also your body may become used to the medication, and it will no longer work for stopping the migraine, but instead cause a "rebound" migraine, which for me, are more painful and harder to get rid of. I usually have no other rescue med around to get rid of the pain, and rather than go to the ER, I just use ice packs, hot packs, stay in a dark room, and wait it out. This can sometimes take up to 60 hrs. but sitting in the ER for 10 hrs. with that kind of pain waiting to get seen, is not my idea of a good time.
Look on the NIH (National Institue of Headaches) website for neurologists that are certified to specialize in Migraines. Find the one closest to you (may be in the next state over), call, make and app't, and they probably will send you an application to fill out and return before you come. You may have to wait for the app't up to 4 months, but don't be discouraged. Use the time to keep a very specific diary of your migraines, when they start and stop, how much sleep you are getting, possible triggers for the migraine - such as weather change, sleeping pattern, or food), what meds you took, how much and did they work, the severity of the migraine on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest, 1 the lowest). Add any notes, or questions you may have as you go. This will help you when you get to see the migraine specialist. These docs are neurologist with specialties in migraines, and they will help get you a correct diagnosis because there are many kinds of migraines, and also put you on a regimen that will start helping you control the pain and severity, and also frequency of your migraines. The more information you have with you, the better your app't will be.
Do not expect everything to be solved with 1 visit, but it will get you on the way towards leading a more normal life.
Hi Marie - I am coming to this discussion a little later, but I do know how frustrating all this is, and most primary docs and neurologist know little if anything about migraines. Here you will have to be your own best advocate and do some reading and searching on the web to get the correct information.
First, migraines are heriditary. Not sometimes, or part of the time, always. That has been shown scientifically. That does not mean every one of your children will have migraines, but it is passed on from parent to child. The majority of migraine sufferers are women, not men, and they are varying types of migraines, with and without aura, and many others as well. Some go away on their own, some continue on in different forms. If you are having problems getting your doctor to give you proper support, find yourself a migraine specialist. This will be a neurologist that specializes in migraines and migraines only, and all neurologists are not migraines. Look for the Migraine Headache Assoc. on the web, and go to their site. They will have a list of specialists, and you can find one nearest you and call for an app't. You will probably have to wait, so talk to the PA and find out what to bring with you, and they will most likely send you a packet of information, including a diary they want you to keep until your appointment. Go to Amazon and look at the books about migraines. There are many - some written by Drs., and some written by patients. Read as many of them as you can so you are informed. Also look for support groups where you live, to get some support for what you are going through. None of it is easy, and every person's migraine is different which makes it more frustrating. Good luck, and keep us posted.View Thread
Great attitude! Everyone is different and it will take time for you to figure out what works for you. I have be at this for a long time and as soon as I think I have something that works, it stops working and I am back to square 1. Really, really, frustrating!
Keep yourself hydrated, make careful notes for about a month of what you eat, exercised, work, where you went, your schedule, everything you did, and when your migraines started, stopped, and what meds you took and when you took them, and if they were at all effective. Look for a good certified Neuro with a headache specialty, and the specialty in headaches is important and the doc must be a neuro, not a person who works with headaches who is not a neuro. You can Google the National Headache Institue (I think) for a list in your state. Be prepared, because you will have to wait a while for the app't and your insurance may not cover it - it will be $5-600 up front. It will be worth it, and you will get an accurate diagnosis. If you are already working with a headache neuro then you are on the right path. The daily record you make will be a big help. Bring anything you think will be relevant with you to the app't including another person to take notes.
I don't know how long you have had your headaches 24/7, but probably a while so you may know all this. Good luck managing them and I hope you find a bit of relief soon!View Thread
Migraineurs are always fighting dehydration, I know this from experience, and from my own research. Make sure you get enough fluids each day, and this means water, not coffee, tea, juice or any other kind of beverage. Lack of water, will bring on dehydration and so will the vomiting an nausea, so the water is important to keep all of that away. One trick I have found over the years (42 and counting) I have been dealing with this disease, and yes it is a disease without a cure, is to make sure you have some kind of white bread (not multi grain or whole wheat) or cooked white potatoes in the refrigerator at all times. The frozen ones don't work as well. Take a piece of white bread with no butter - jelly if you cannot stand it - and eat a piece as soon as you feel the nausea coming on. If one piece does not do it, have 2. That will usually quell the nausea and stop the vomiting unless it is really bad. Sometimes it is hard to get even the bread down, or some warmed mashed potatoes (my fav), but keep going until it is in your stomach. Vomiting is caused by too much stomach acid and the potato or flour starch is a quick way to even that out. Then keep drinking water, or weak tea if you must, and lie down with an ice pack and try to rest. Take your meds a half hour apart so they do not upset your stomach so much and call your doc. Try not to end up in the ER dehydrated if possible. Keep drinking water. Tea has caffeine in in and will put you on a rebound cycle of headaches caused by the caffeine. I am a big proponent for anyone with migraines to be off caffeine of any kind, and that includes chocoloate! Some people can tolerate a little, but as you get older your system gets more sensitive and you may have to let those go, just keep it in mind. The bread/potato trick should help you a lot - do it as soon as you feel it coming on, don't wait. Most of us wait too long, and then no medication has a chance to overcome anything. Good luck, and keep us posted!View Thread
Imitrex does not work for me, but I would definitely not go to the ER for the imitrex. First I would go to your doc to get samples, expecially if you are financially strapped. After that I would go to the manufacturer for coupons. They may only give out 10% coupons, but if you write to them and plead your case, they may give you free drugs or 75% off coupons. The other place you can look into is getting your drugs from Canada. There are many places to go to and the prices are significantly cheaper. Your doc has to send a scrip to them, but that should not be a problem. Caffiene is a drug, and will give you rebound headaches. If you are still drinking coffee or tea, wean yourself off both, because they may be contributing to the frequency of your migraines. You may be able to handle the caffeine, everyone is different, but I have found it to be one of the most powerful drugs around, which is why most people in this country is hooked on Starbucks and cannot start the day or get out of the house without at least 1 cup. JanDrugs.com is a good place to start for a Canadian source. I hope this helps. Good luck and I hope you feel better soon.View Thread
On the Prednisone issue - everyone is different - the first time I took Pred. it was a nine day course pack starting with a high dose and then decreasing every day until I was off it. I must say it was the best 9 days I ever had. My doc was out of town and I was in such bad shape. My other rescue meds did nothing and I had been in pain for about 5 days so the on call doc ordered the pred. pack. It worked like a charm, but had no long lasting effect, I gained no weight because I was not on it long enough, and the next time I took pred, it gave me a migraine, which was typical for me and any medication, including imitrex and any other triptan. Perhaps if I had been on a longer course it would have broken the cycle I don't know. For a few days, I felt like Wonder Woman, and experienced what it was like to have NO PAIN. It let me know what kind of pain I was living with, which was a lot, and made me actively seek out a headache specialist to really help me get rid of my headaches. So here I am 20 years later, still trying to get my headeaches managed. Onward"026.View Thread
Has anyone suggested that you might have had a stroke? Nowhere in your description have you descibed the headache portion of the migraine, which to my knowledge is the basis of the syndrome/disease. I will do some inital reading myself on hemiplegic migraines but your description - especially the drooping left eye, left face and arm paralysis, as well as the dragging left leg are so particular to right brain strokes that I am surprised this has never been discussed with you!
I would, if I were you, go to your neurologist post haste and ask. I am not a doctor, and can only go by my own experiences, but that is what I would do If I were you. I hope you get an answer soon. Best of luck!View Thread
Hi Michelle - Have you been to a headache specialist - that is a neurologist who specializes in headaches? I don't think your primary or even your neurologist will be able to help you with the kind of headache you have, and you need to find a neurologist in your area that specializes only in headaches. There are a lot of places around the country that have large hospitals and clinics that will accept you for tx on an inpatient basis where they will get you a real diagnosis in about an 8 day to 2 week span where they can do more within an in-patient setting than is possible on an out patient basis. This is something to look into if you have insurance and it will cover it. There are good clinics in all the majore cities - just google National Institute of Headaches for some Doctors in your area to try.
Based on my own experience, which is similar to yours, I was diagnosed with "hemicrania continua" which simply means a one sided continuous headache. I described it as 2 headache, but it was really 1 headache with intermittent flare-up or acute attacks. I was given indocin, which is an arthritis medication and is a super aspirin mixture. The proof of the diagnosis is in the medication. If the medication stops the headache then the diagnosis is correct. That is why you need a headache specialist neuro to help you get a proper diagnosis. It is not just a case of moving from one med to another to see what works, and then walking away if nothing helps. You may have to wait a bit to get in to see one of these docs, and if you have good records of your headaches, when they come during the month, when the acute attacks come, what you eat, how much sleep you lose, how much work you lose, etc., all these are helpful for correct diagnosis. There is a lot of help out there, you need to keep looking, but look for specialists, and drop the ones you have been using. I hope this will help you get out of the pain you are in. Best wishes for success and keep in touch.View Thread