Really bad night last night. Though the meds I am on provide brief periods of relief they still do not allow me to visit with many people (even 2 sometimes) without having a full blown, pain level 9+, headache. That is what happened last night. After company had left, I was left with a headache, pain level 9+ That lasted from about 5:30 until I was finally able to fall asleep. And then I was awake on and off all night with headache pain. I took a shower this morning and that seemed to help a bit. In addition to the headache yesterday I also made the mistake of not checking the ingredient list of Jelly Belly jellybeans. They are one of the few jellybean makers that do not use artificial flavoring. I tasted the
coconut and thought it’s just a tiny jellybean. Well it got me and for some reason it took awhile to figure it out, oh yah my head felt like it was splitting open. Once I figured it out I took my antihistamine and within
about 25 minutes the stomach cramping had resolved and I only had the head to deal with. Better one problem at a time than two.
I have been feeling like I am going to pass out every time I stand and walk and then I get extremely weak feeling from head to toe. Like I am having to lift a bar bell. I wonder why they never said anything in the hospital before I left. They just said drink lots of water. When my blood pressure plummeted to 83/43 they put me back on IV fluids but didn’t really instruct me how to manage when I left. So all of this advice has been ever so helpful.
So my doctor apt today couldn’t have been timed better. God is in Control …relax. I have to keep reminding myself of this.
Safe trip down. Praying for good direction from Dr Masih
Update from Dr: He agrees with the resident dr who had been treating me in the hospital that this is “just” a migraine. But he also agrees that I am an extreme case. So he adjusted the meds I am on (Increased Keppra, increased Elavil, and stop neurontin). I am to call him back in a week but in the meantime he wants me to look into 2 in patient headache clinics in case the increase in meds does not work. One of the clinics is in Chelsea, MI (Michigan Head-Pain Neurological Institute: MHNI) and the other is in Chicago (Diamond Headache Clinic).
It doesn’t seem like much of a game plan but at least it is something. In the meantime I need to keep overstimulation to a minimum and try to start getting some exercise as I can handle it.
Nathan Gillikin: Heather, have they diagnosed your headache as hemipalegic migraine? Do some research on that. Hemi headaches are as debilitating as what yours sound like. My wife had a few of those. She had slowed speech and partial paralysis as well. One hospital tried to push meds for stroke one time. I had to step in and tell them about hemi-headaches. Not much is known about them and they are hard to diagnose.
IV is back in. Apparently they don’t like it when your blood pressure drops to 87/43. I failed at drinking enough water. Wish they would have told me how much I needed. I drank my water bottle (24oz) over the course of the evening but it wasn’t enough. Oh well. Not really a big deal. It’s just crazy to see your blood pressure so low. And they repeated it several times. They don’t really seem concerned which is really weird to me, because I kind off am??? I think they are just ready to get rid of me. And I believe they will get their wish today. 😦
I just called the headache/migraine clinic at U of M and the wait is over a year and 6 months for just a general neurology consult. We just have to pray that the meds and the nerve block injections will do the trick.
I think I must have been clenching my teeth on my left side last night because it feels like someone punched me in the jaw. No pain on right side. It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t leave the hospital with something
After the neurologist came in for the last time, he added one more medication to my ever growing meds list: Neurontin.
Neurontin (gabapentin) is an anti-epileptic medication, also called an anticonvulsant. Gabapentin affects chemicals and nerves in the body that are involved in the cause of seizures and some types of pain. Neurontin is used in adults to treat nerve pain and has been used to treat migraine.
So I leave the hospital today on the following medications:
- Elavil (1x per day)
- Flexeril (as an abortive)
- Neurontin (3x per day)
- Keppra (2x per day)
- Magnesium oxide (2x per day)
- Birth control (1x per day)
- Prilosec (2x per day)
- Zofran (as needed)
- Topomax (until I have titrated down and off)
And of course I can’t leave the hospital without something else weird happening, besides the very low blood pressure. I woke up on my day of discharge and my ear was hurting on the outside edge. No idea but it sure did hurt..but as with my last stay at Sparrow, they just dismissed it and sent me home.
UGH!!!!! How am I going to keep this all straight!!! Oh and let the side effects begin 😦
I’m Outta here!
It was wonderful to see Dianne Clone this morning unfortunately it would have been better to meet up under better circumstances. Wayne came into the hospital yesterday and is just 4 floors below me so I got a visit and it was wonderful.
Dianne Clone It was wonderful to see you today & pray with all my heart that they have found the right med. we are actually getting home – the AFIB med was low dose so didn’t need to spend 48 hrs being monitored. PTL Enjoy your boys, sleep well & hopefully you get to go home tomorrow.
Heather Loose Johnson Great news Dianne! Thank you Joy! Too bad all the commotion of the evening spiked a headache with a vengeance. . At least there is a med that might knock it back down. Now just to get neuro back in to check on me to give that order. I have decided..headaches suck
And now I am looking forward to a visit from my boys. I have missed them a great deal over the past 2 months but especially when I am in the hospital. At least when I am home I get lots of hugs from Gideon. So I am looking forward to their hugs. And to seeing Dan too of course I am also looking forward to another visit from Melinda Richmond. She had been a lifeline while I have been here. It us so wonderful to look back over our friendships in the ways we have been there for each other. I will be ready to sleep tonight for sure. Oh and we think we found a med that may have knocked out the headache. Fingers crossed! Hoping to go home tomorrow if pain continues to diminish.
It was good to see my boys!!! Unfortunately all the commotion resulted in a very bad spike in my migraine. Good thing I got to see them before it started.
Abortive medications are not working…Keppra is not working….Elavil is not working.
Today they started a new preventative medication and another abortive medication.
Zyprexa (Olanzapine) is an intermuscular medication that they were using as an abortive to try and give me pain relief. Too bad it didn’t work.
Keppra (Levetriracetam): They gave me a 1500mg dose through the IV to try and stop the migraine cycle. Unfortunately it gave me severe anxiety…and I mean severe. I kept trying to tell the nurses that this was happening but it was an intern and she just asked me if I wanted some Benedryl. “I don’t know, you’re the nurse, ask the doctor, can’t you see I am crawling out of my skin” It was awful and I was pissed off at the nurse to boot. I finally had to call in the main nurse on staff and have her call the doctor to come…I was very serious about needing help. So they just added another medication to my list of medications: Elavil.
Elavil (Amitriptyline) is a tricyclic antidepressant. So when they put me on this medication they took me off of Prozac, the antidepressant that I have been on for 5 years and was working very well. The anxiety never really did go away from the Keppra.
However at the end of the day I still feel like I am crawling out of my skin.
I went to my family Dr today. It was supposed to be the apt that would clear me to go back to work and I would be all better. No such luck.
The new game plan is two fold. Part 1 is if I experience anymore of the unbearable pain I go straight to the Sparrow ER. The other part of the new plan is that he is referring me back to the neurology team that treated me in the hospital. My leave from work is extended for 6 weeks as far as my dr is concerned. It still has to be approved but hopefully it will be.
My current medication, Topomax (Topiramate), has so many side effects it’s crazy, so my family dr said I could start stepping it down if I wanted too. On the flip side I finally got a couple of days of minimal relief. So it is a toss up!! so I pray specifically about this. The meds are only just helping and only a little, but the relief is welcomed. I did figure out that when I got my first dose of 25mg Topomax at the hospital (Wednesday), I woke up the next day and the photo sensitivity was a bit better and the headache wasn’t so severe. Thursday the doctor upped the Topomax to 50mg and I felt a little bit better. Friday they added Elavil because my anxiety was really bad and sent me home on 50mg Topomax. By Saturday the tension part of the headache was gone but the pain over my right eye was still there, just a little bit better. This continued for Monday/Tuesday. But by Wednesday the headache returned in full force and continued to increase in intensity through Thursday and Friday (when the cognitive disabilities began). The intense pain continued through the weekend into Monday. On Monday March 2nd I increased Topomax to 75mg and during the next 3 days the headache pain level had decreased to manageable. I believe there is a trend with the Topomax but with every increase in dose, the side effects begin to increase as well.
Side Effects of Topomax: At times I don’t remember where I am or how to turn something off I have turned off 50 times (all brief but scary). My mind gets so jumbled I can’t answer simple questions. I have great difficulty starting a conversation. I switch words around. I can’t do simple math problems. In other words cognitively, Topomax isn’t so good for me. So weird that medication can do such strange things to the brain.
How could an allergic reaction to an allergy shot have landed me here? That’s all we want to know!! And when is someone going to help stop this damn headache.