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.
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!
Posted on April 13, 2014, in Box o' thought, Random twirlings and tagged chronic migraines, daily migraines, dizzy, dose, drowzy, experience, migraine, migraines, result, symptoms, thirst, topamax, topimarate, triggers, warnings. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.