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Monday, March 12, 2012

The Worst of the Worst

My kindergarten students will always remember me as the teacher who taught in the dark and had headaches. My son and daughter will remember their mom as having to lay down a lot in a closed bedroom, complaining of headaches. But today was the worst of the worst.

I woke up in the middle of the night with a severe headache. It was so severe, I think the actual headache woke me up. I've been having ongoing headaches for almost 2 months, so I'm used to the pain, if you can actually be used to it. But this was a different pain, much more powerful.

I somehow went back to sleep. When I woke up at 6 to my alarm, my blanket was wrapped around my head, in a mid-slumber attempt to get rid of the pain. I got up and took my Excedrin Migraine pill, and yet I was still in pain. Usually, that pill works.

I was a mess for the rest of the morning. I called my husband at work, and cried like a baby. Maybe more like yelped. I felt I had to go to work, since I had to call in sick 3 days last week to take care of my sick kids. I had to go, right?

Once at school, I was a total train wreck. When my teaching assistant came to the classroom, I told her I wasn't feeling good (which she has heard quite often with this almost 2-month headache), and I felt myself crying. The reading teacher saw me cry. My friend Kelly did. My whole Kindergarten team did. I was so out of sorts. I am usually the bubbly, happy one, so my crying was so out of character for me, and others around me knew I was in a lot of pain.

I ended up leaving school at 10:15, drove myself to Urgent Care, and the doctor there gave me an IV of a pain medication. I also have a new medication for my migraine- Topiramate, which I don't know how I feel. I also have an appointment at a Migraine Clinic in April.

I have mixed feelings about taking this new medication for my migraines. It has a slue of side effects.

I have no idea what is triggering my headaches, since I wake up with them. I had a MRI done 2 weeks ago, and it came back normal. At first, the MRI results came back as "maybe allergies, so take Claridin." But after today's Urgent Care visit, allergies have been ruled out, and now migraines are the sole culprit of my head pain. But, all the bad stuff was ruled out; brain tumors. I'm at a complete loss, putting myself at the mercy of medicine to make me better.


  1. My husband suffers from migraines. So, although I don't "feel your pain" so to speak, I have a good idea of what you are going through.

    I became a vigilant detective to determine his triggers. He ended up having cyclical migraines at one point--I wonder if that isn't what you are experiencing. They can be brought about by repeated use of the meds, so that the headache comes in expectation of the meds in a sense. My husband did not do well with any of the meds the doc prescribed. The only thing that worked was to go an entire day without anything other than water (we found this in a Native American healing book, and we aren't the type to really go for that kind of thing). After one entire day of just water and migraine (no meds, no food), my husband was cured for a loooong time. We still have to watch his triggers (mostly stress and aged cheese, go figure), but when it gets really bad, we always return to the day of water and it always works.

    I know it sounds extreme, but it might be worth a try after 2 months of headache.

    1. Christy, that is so interesting. I'm willing to try anything, but not all the medicine. I'm wondering, too, if I'm having rebound headaches from all the meds.

      Thanks for writing. I appreciate your comment. :)

  2. My brother and I have suffered from migraines. He found out that his are triggered by wheat - he's not going gluten free but he's careful about how much he eats.
    Mine have subsided now that I'm in menopause but I still have days where I wake up and I can tell one is coming. I get saltine crackers, drink water and down the Excedrin. It usually works. I've only had to miss work twice in the last 7 years since they started. (I'm 55 now)

  3. I have migraines too, though thankfully they haven't gotten as bad as yours sound. I've been on Topamax for a while, and have had great results. No migraines since I went on the meds!
    There are some side effects- mine were mostly tingling hands and feet, and some weight loss. The weight loss leveled itself out after about 6 months, and now I don't have tingling unless I don't get enough sleep. Both are manageable for me, and far better than dealing with the headaches.
    I was also warned about over-medicating; that taking pain killers could actually trigger migraines, rather than help them.
    Hope you're able to find something that works!