Personal Posting: Migraine Update

Putting aside the outer sparks for a second, I wanted to assemble a post on how i’ve been managing my brain sparks so far.
Hopefully adding some logic to the little book of migraine mysteries!

My main source of income lately has been temp jobs and they’re the bomb, I like them. No commitment, lots of new people, different challenges all around.
Though likewise you also know there will always be someone waiting right in line to snag your place when you lose yours.
And that does not play well with migraines!
I’m a fairly active person, love wrestling with dogs, being out and about, don’t mind taking care of the house, doing your dishes, etc.
If you relate to that you must know the monstrous chills it summons when someone throws a “everyone gets a headache sometimes.” in your face.
Listening to that makes me sick.
Not because of the person but because the migraine is making my stomache want to purge the world of all sound and light.
Here’s a list of personal migraine warning signs:
Yawning a lot, twitching around the temples, blocked nose, stiff neck, mood changes, retaining water, difficulty speaking and cravings: ALL the chocolate
So up until yesterday I was having migraines day in day out, feeling like a wobbling water balloon with chocolate filling.
Not cool.
Downside: urgh, upside: got to know my triggers all too well.
If you suffer from migraines everyone and Google will be telling you to keep a diary of when you get up, what you eat, when you stroke a cat, yadda yadda.
Not really how you’d imagine spending your free time huh.. but it works – kind of.
It shows you whether you can avoid attacks, in case of sensitivity to alcohol for example. Or anticipate them, in case of say.. hormonal migraines.
Because of this I learnt that triptanes don’t work on my hormonal migraines, and so I went back to the neurologist this week for some advice.
Last time they prescribed beta blockers, as with all things involving migraines “the actual mechanism of action is not particularly well understood”, but for some reason it works. Sometimes.
Not for me though, and apparently not for most people. After that I just settled for triptanes instead.
This time when the neurologist asked “what – why didn’t you come sooner?” I really felt like answering it’s a headache..
In my head it still is a headache, people treat it like a headache, and it feels weird going to the hospital for headaches!
Anyway it was severely interfering with daily life so off I went, and out I came carrying Topamax! Which apparently goes by the pet name Dopamax, charming!
Created for epilepsy, but brings chronic migraines down to a minimum as well. Even scientists were surprised. They’re again not quite sure why it works.
In any case it helps calm over-stimulated nerve activity in the brain.
Makes sense since this is a migraine brain on ANYTHING it finds mildly interesting:

I held off using it for a couple of days, because to me the side effects sounded like a magical neverending book of “nevergonnahappen”.
Forgetfulness, speech problems, nosebleeds, depression, suicidal thoughts (say what?), aggression, nervousness, thirst, kidney stones, etc.
Well that’s not entirely true, when she said losing weight all I could hear for the next couple of minutes was “much model, so flaunt, wow” and “Ebay”, but all in all it came down to NOPE.
But as the apothecary said, it’s a matter of deciding: are you going to go for the effect or the side effect?
And eventually yesterday, in the midst of sanding and painting floors for Hippo’s family, once again with a zinging head – once again I thought NOPE!
But now it was to those head invasions!
The side effects occur in 1/10 people or less, and who knows I might not be one of them.
Thankfully I have Hippo who doesn’t mind speaking the truth, so I asked him to be honest and tell me whenever he notices a change in behavior!


Yesterday I started with my first dose, and except for active kidneys and thirst (did drink quite a bit and ran off to the bathroom a couple of times that night) I haven’t really noticed negative effects yet!
In fact, I woke up super chipper because of a good rest and an oh-so-minor migraine that was solved by getting up, hopping into the shower and getting active!
Mentally, I do have to look for the right word at times it seems but it’s not as though I feel like a sloth.
Right now i’m at 25 mg/day, which the neurologist wants to crank up to 100 mg/day over the course of 4 weeks.
The apothecary however said, and i’d recommend this to anyone taking these drugs as a preventive measure: go with what feels right.
The drowsiness will subside for example, so will the forgetfulness, as your body gets used to it. So just go as slow as you want.
Improvement is improvement!
So far, I say yes!
Now that this story is out on the blog, i’ll do an update in a week, and then we’ll see how it goes from there.
Hi and congratulations on making it to the end of this not-so-peppy post!
~ Anouchka

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About LifeOfBun

I'm a student from Belgium, but raised in Holland. My life evolves around animals, games, traveling, make-up, and COLOR. I seek for cruelty free awesomeness & alternatives to my favorite things each day. ^_^

Posted on April 13, 2014, in Box o' thought, Random twirlings and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Keep us updated! Migraines are awful. My sister has them. She has for a long time.

  2. I’ll be looking out for your updates, and am wishing you lots of luck and great success with this new medication. Do you ever just feel like there is a migraine season? I’ve had the worst last few weeks of one migraine after another too, even though I am avoiding all of my triggers. It’s unfair whatever it is, and I hope that you are on to a new cure here!!

    • Feeling a lot better over here, i’ll do an update post somewhere this week! Sounds like you have some pretty nasty ones yourself. :s Some weeks it literally feels as if the days without migraines are the odd one out, instead of the migraine being the exception, doesn’t it?

  3. I really feel for you… headaches are so debilitating when they go on and on. I suffered with cluster headaches from the age of 30 until mid 40’s. I never did find any particular trigger (other than stress). Finally, I was directed to a physical therapist who was intuitive. In about 9 sessions she performed simple, non-invasive manipulations with my neck, jaw, and in my mouth (mostly the roof of my mouth). I was surprised at the improvement; less frequency of headaches and the level of pain decreased significantly! Since then, I have learned to meditate more (spending time with nature mostly) and I maybe have one headache every two weeks. I hope that you find something that works for you.

    • Oh Lori they say cluster headaches are the worst of all, I can’t even imagine what it must’ve been like living with those non stop. I think a lot of people would’ve started self-medicating pretty quickly, and i’m probably one of them. How brave of you to seek out other alternatives! And what a relief that you found some help through a physical therapist. A chiropractor helped me get rid of my migraines for a bit as well but then they’d come creeping right back after a while. I’m sure there’s a better way than popping these meds as well and i’m actually not all that happy with taking them to be honest. But i’ve been trying to get rid of them for years and this keeps the bosses at work at bay so for now it’s probably best. It’s a speedy speedy society we live in.

  4. I had a ton of ice cream yesterday and today the migraine-devil came out. I hope the treatment will work and you can beat it.

  5. You poor thing to have to balance the pros and cons in such a situation. Don’t suffer migraines but know others who do and they can be so debilitating. Hope this works and look forward to hearing good news in your next post!

  6. I took pills for childhood migraines for about 5 years and then one day they just stopped. I really hope this happens for you or the medicine works :)

    ~ Amy

    • A friend of Hippo’s also had them just stop all of a sudden. Such a weird condition, not even scientist get it do they. Super lucky that you got rid of them, let’s hoooope the same happens here..!

  7. I am sorry you have to deal with these magnanamous headaches Anouchka. Never had one but have seen how they take a person right down to bed and sleep. I hope the medication will help you 100%

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