Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Want to do a blog update, but...yukky MIGRAINE. Again!

I've missed a lot of doc appts. recently due to the long recovery period for my surgery.  A total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, to be precise!  I'm working on week 5 now of the recovery period.

But now I am going to have to contact my neurologist.  I've been having some horrific migraines which concern me, since it looks like the Lyrica I'm taking every day isn't working as well as it once did to reduce migraine frequency/intensity.  For example, I remember I had a horrific migraine starting the day before my birthday, in October, which lasted many days.  

Now I'm having more of these high-intensity migraines.  I've only had a few days migraine-free since the day I had my surgery, on Jan 22.  And I have no idea why this is happening. I do know that frequent migraines may be actually a serious problem.

Often if I take Maxalt (as long as my insurance is paying for it; I can't afford it on my own of course!) I get some immediate relief. I do better on Maxalt than the other migraine early-response medications. I can often knock out the headache if I take one Maxalt, then another a half hour later, and if necessary one more if symptoms reappear.  But I certainly don't obtain enough of the pills to be doing this daily.  Also, this new round of migraines respond to the Maxalt for awhile... but then return.  Boomerang.

NSAIDS do nothing for my migraine pain and most of them are contraindicated for me anyway due to severe GERD.  GERD complicated by a large hiatal hernia (inherited maybe?  my slender mom has one as well), and GERD nasty enough to have given me pneumonia before. The  only NSAID I can tolerate,  Celebrex, I am already taking for lupus arthritis.  I was taking Vicodin for migraine pain, but now that I know I have a liver problem I am concerned about taking too much Vicodin because of the acetominophen in it.  This means I'm actually better off with hydromorphone, even though I have several of the "discuss with your doctor" list of conditions for the drug.

My neurologist kindly takes the trouble to get hydromorphone for me.  However, the migraines I'm having now seem to need more of this medicine than what I was taking in the autumn.  I need more medicine in order to get the pain down to a level where I can at least minimally function.

I'm lucky that my mom happens to be staying with us right now because she has been helping out with my recovery from surgery.  For example, she is now the official taxi driver!  Usually I play that role since Dburr's vision prevents him from driving.  But I can't drive while taking hydromorphone, which means that usually I have to tough it out when I have migraines at times when we need to do important errands, or when we have doctor appointments (most of which are in other cities!)  

However,  I could never have driven anywhere with these particular migraines, even while, of course, going without pain medicine. The migraines have been accompanied by vision abnormalities, photophobia, sound and smell sensitivity, and sometimes dizziness and nausea.  

But one really odd thing is that the bizzare "half-vision" mystery thing I often get in my left eye with my migraines is not showing up at all in the current batch of headaches from hell.  A symptom I can't say I miss at all!

Sadness. I'm so frustrated.  I'm finally able to be up and around a little bit. I could have started to catch up on email...and blogging...and special projects--at last. Even though I'm stuck in bed a lot.  I do have this computer, thanks to Dburr, and I would be crushed without one! It is my lifeline when I am sick, which is too often, IMHO.  But the headaches I'm having incarcerate me.  In fact, looking at the screen just for this blog entry has made the pain worse, so I now need to spend some time yet again in total boredom.  Prison. A dark, silent, lonely  room with an ice pack on my head for company. Sigh.  

My life, right or wrong!  Actually, though, I'm  very grateful to HAVE life.  I'm just acting a bit weird  right now because it feels like someone took an ice pick to my head without me even seeing them do it.  If I ever find the one who did it...well...I guess there's nothing I can do to them! Rats! But it's Lent, after all.

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I've travelled the distance from an Ivy League college to decades of enforced poverty--because I've needed to qualify for government health care in the U.S., since being diagnosed with lupus at the age of 23. I have a personal blog at that I've had so long I'm probably stuck with :) My other blogs are here on blogger...