My Week Long Migraine

imageI have to say this last week has been pretty rough…which isn’t saying much these days. I have been having way too many messed up days lately.
The train wreck that I’m calling my “new headache” started on Saturday 1/2/16. The morning started with a normal small hangover. One that I new wouldn’t last all day….as long as I got my burger and soda (works for me every time). We hung out, watched movies, took the kids to the park……and then it hit me. I was starting to get a migraine. I get migraines quite often (especially this last year).  But I could feel it. It wasn’t a hangover headache….this was a migraine.  I took an excedrine and I reminded my hubby that I didn’t get my burger yet. The hangover was going away on its own…..but I need food. Now.
We stopped by the park on the way to get the food but I didn’t last long….I told him seriously this time….we need to go and get food. So we did. I got my burger but it was too late. The migraine was all ready full force. I was trying to eat my food but it was hard to hold down. I was trying so hard not to puke in my hubby’s car that I was crying and shaking.
We finally get home (which only took 10 minutes but it sure did feel like 60) and I really wanted to take another excedrine. But I waited. I waited the long and torturous 6 hours and I finally got more excedrine. Then an hour goes by and nothing. No relief. Two rounds of excedrine and no relief. I was tempted to go to the ER but I didn’t. I tried to sleep it off. Well that didn’t work. I woke up with the migraine. (And when I say migraine – I am talking a 9 on the pain scale. And I only say 9 because I cried a few times. When it’s a ten there are more tears.) So all day Sunday I laid in my dark, quiet room praying for the pain to go away. I even took another excedrine but to no avail. The pain was still there and my only choice is to go to the ER or go back to sleep. So I slept. I probably should have gone to the ER but I just paid off my hospital bills from last year. I don’t want any new ones if I can help it.
So I get through Sunday. Monday comes around and I wake up with a migraine but it’s now at a 5 on the pain scale. Ok….I can handle this. So I got dressed and went to work. I couldn’t really focus (like i thought I could) so I made an appointment and saw my doctor.
I get to my appointment and she tells me “yeah you have a migraine. I will order you Imitrex and you can take it today. It should help.” So I fill the med and take it. Within 20 minutes of taking the drug the pain started to get worse. My head felt like it was going to EXPLODE! It was a 20 on the pain scale. I was rolling around on the floor holding my head and screaming. And as I think back – I am really glad my kids weren’t home to see it because they would have freaked out. So finally, 30 minutes later, I stop screaming and I call my doctor. I explain what I was feeling (because I don’t think I should be feeling worse) and they said to take another Imitrex. I was really nervous about that. So I waited and waited. The instructions say you can take a second pill 2 hours after the first. And by the time it got to the 2 hour mark….my headache went from a 20 to a 7 on the pain scale with no light and sound sensitivity. The pain was still there but I didn’t have to hide.  I still felt worse than I started but better than the 20. So I take it. I was hesitant but I took it.
20 minutes after I took the second pill my face started to feel numb. My blood pressure shot up to 130/90. And I only know that because I happen to be at a doctors office. The sensitivities were gone. The throbbing was still there but it was getting back to a 5. All I could think was “ok….I can take a 5.” I get home and a couple hours later the 5 pain scale goes back up to a 9. The throbbing was back. It was like an ice pick was being jabbed into my face, from my left ear to my left eye. I, again, tried to sleep it off…but it didn’t work.
So now….it’s Tuesday….and I still have a migraine. This is not good. At 4pm today….I will have had a migraine for 72 hours. Everything I am reading is saying having a 72 hour migraine is REALLY bad. That means I am heading into “stroke zone”. So I make another appointment to see my PCP. By the time I get to the appointment I am in REALLY bad shape. Now…I have:

  • Ice pick pain from left ear to left eye
  • Slight throbbing in back of head
  • Numb left side of face
  • Sharp pain in left side of boob/ribs
  • Left arm tingling and going numb
  • Can’t form a full sentence
  • Can’t think straight
  • Dizzy

So the doctor made that face like “oh shit – this girl is in trouble – but don’t say it out loud” as he nods his head and patiently listens for me to try and explain what’s going one. I finally finish (like 25 minutes later) and he says “ok well…first off NEVER take Imitrex again. And now we are going to give you a shot of Tordol to help with the headache and all these other issues. And we are ordering you a head CT ASAP.”
An hour later I was getting a CT and then headed home. The headache was going away. There was no more light and sound sensitivity, the throbbing died down to a minimum, my arm wasn’t tingling anymore, and my brain was starting to function again. My face was still numb but so far that was it. I went to sleep again and woke up to a very light headache (like a 2). My face was only a little numb now… It was like I was starting to get normal again. I think because I slept wrong my light headache turned into a tension headache in my neck. And all I could think was…I will take it. I will take this tension headache over what I just experienced. The side effects from the Imitrex were finally fading. My ice pick headache was gone. My brain was working. So I could deal with this. The only problem was I couldn’t take anything for the tension headache. I just had to deal with the pain. (If I took anything then I risk the migraine coming back – rebound headache) and I didn’t want that. So I dealt. I functioned all day with a tension headache.
I went to sleep and woke up with the same tension headache only lighter so I caved. I wanted to take something but not a true headache medicine. So, I took an Ibuprofen 800. And it worked. I went all day with no headache.  Finally a day with no pain. Sad but now it’s Thursday and it’s my first day with no pain. Friday comes along and I have the tension headache again. I took  an Ibuprofen 800 again. And it worked….but not as long. Around 3pm it slowly started coming back but this time its in the back of my head and working its way to my right eye.    I just cant seem to win.

(Keep in mind all of this started on Saturday.)

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