Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I'm going to take a moment today to write about headaches/migraines because, well, for the past eleven days I have been developing a headache during the day. Sometimes, they'll go away with a two Advil. Other days (like Friday, and last night) they bloom into full blown migraines.

I am so tired of this.

I started getting headaches when I was around eight. I remember the first migraine clearly. My father was being transferred to North Carolina from Massachusetts and we were down for a week house hunting. I remember my head hurting so much when I woke up. My mom had given me some Tylenol at the time and her sunglasses to wear while we sat in a dimly lit hotel restaurant for breakfast.

Headaches, for the most part, I can tolerate. They may be a nuisance, but I try to just medicate and get through the day. Sometimes they go away easily. Other times they get worse. Migraines, on the other hand, start severe and become extreme.

The last doctor I saw wanted to prescribe anti-depressants for the migraines. I refused to take them. She was upset at me because I refused to and since then I decided she was not the doctor for me (plus I never felt comfortable in her office -- like I was always being judged). My theory is that there is an underlying cause for the headaches/migraines. She just wanted to write a script and go from there.

Did she care about the fact my B12 is low? Or the fact I am apparently severely anemic? Not really. After she finally did some bloodwork at my pleading (to confirm the above which I kind of already knew) she told me to take B12 (which I am doing) and iron supplements. I asked her if I could do a low dose of iron to start because the last time I was on prescribed iron, it felt like my gut was on fire (imagine driving the snowy mountains of West Virginia with a fire in your belly, no place to pull off and silently praying to please get to a rest stop safely and quickly). She didn't care about past experiences. It was "Order these iron pills and take them and the anti-depressants and you'll feel like a brand new person.". That's when I thanked her for her time and didn't come back.

Dale suggested I take feverfew tincture for the head pain and for a while now it seems to have reduced the severity and helped in getting past them more easily. But I have no idea what has happened lately that is triggering them. I recently had my eyes checked (before all of this started again) and my vision is fine (no eye strain, etc). I'm drinking the same amount of coffee each day, haven't started/stopped eating anything different. They start doing random times mid-morning. I could be knitting. I could be washing the dishes. I could be napping. Or at the movies. They come whenever. There just does not seem to be any rhymn or reason to them.

All I know is that my head hurts and I am so tired of it being so. I disliked having to put myself to bed early when my friends were here because the pain was so blinding. I disliked last night having to rely on Chase to get me settled on the couch (which he did with no complaint -- he's a great caretaker) only to have to crawl into bed an hour later praying Steve would be quiet when he came home from rehearsal.

I decided since we have new insurance, it was definitely time for a new doctor. I called a practice that is part of the University and have an appointment set for 8 am Thursday. Chase and I will head up there, and hopefully the new doc will listen to my complaints and will be able to offer a suitable solution.

I feel bad when a headache/migraine forms when I am doing something. I read back on my post from last night and there was so much more I wanted to mention (plus add pictures) but it was a bare minimum post. Enough to get some points across, but nothing more. I just could not focus last night. My brain hurt, my thoughts were jumbled, and I didn't think I was making too much sense to even Chase.

For now, I am going to "chill". There's a foggy pain on the right side already, tolerable, but it's there. I don't want to do anything that will set it off again. I have plans, by golly, and I am tired of having to put things on hold because I am not feeling well.


  1. Emily, hopefully this new doctor will help and soon you will be headache free. Take care and rest.xx

  2. @Tracey Thanks Tracey! I'm hoping that the visit will go well. I'm actually feeling really good today so I am hoping the headaches are at bay again.

  3. Aren't they terrible! It's a rare day when my head doesn't hurt to some degree. I hate when they turn into migraines that get so bad I throw up from the pain. I think you might have better luck with the new doctor. Hopefully you'll get a nice young doctor that's ready to try new/different treatments. One thing I have found that often works is taking one Tylenol and one Advil -they are different kinds of pain relievers. That's what my friend's doctor recommended for her migraines. I find that can usually knock them back to regular headaches.

    Hope you are feeling better soon.

  4. @Paula

    Hi Paula! Usually when I feel a migraine starting I take an Excedrine and then an Advil (sometimes 2). I had a doctor in the past explain that one goes for the pain and one for the inflammation caused by the pain. It typically works on low grade issues, but the full blown migraines I think need time and something else.