These are the Facts

Please know that this is all about girl innards and headaches. If you’re not interested, may I suggest you go over here instead? Really.

1. On Sunday, September 26th, I was hit with a migraine, so I did what I always do—I took a Maxalt. This normally kills it within a few hours, but for some reason, on September 26, the Maxalt didn’t even begin to touch the migraine.

2. On Monday, September 27th, I began to cycle, which has absolutely nothing to do with putting on shiny shorts and a helmet. Interestingly enough (it’s really not interesting at all), that was my first cycle since being taken off my BCP nearly a month ago. (I’ve been on the pill for nearly 20 years, and we have breast cancer in the family which puts a capital R on my risky. My doctor and I have been throwing around other options for several months now, and I’ve balked at every one. In September, she played hard ball (as she should have) by not renewing my prescription.)

3. On Tuesday, September 28th, I took another Maxalt. No relief. Terrible headache.

4. By Wednesday, October 6th, I had taken three Maxalt and two of my other migraine pills. (Not all at once, Silly. Spread out over eleven days!) Still paining. SO, I went to see the nurse practitioner at the headache center. She gave me a Toradol shot, which basically made me feel really high and nasty. It did nothing for the headache. She also told me to take anti-seizure drugs that have not been approved by the FDA for migraine prevention, but supposedly work for migraine prevention. (I didn’t take them. I’m weird about just throwing crap at my head—especially if that crap comes with a long list of side effects.)

NOTE: I’ve had the migraines where I end up in bed crying with blankets pulled over my head. This (Thank God) is not one of those. It’s just a constant pain that radiates from my shoulders up to my right eye and sometimes my left eye (sometimes both) and it affects my concentration, and it makes my stomach feel nasty and I feel all hazy and yeesh.

5. On Thursday, October 7th, I attended the most heart-wrenching event I’ve attended in many years. Out of respect for everyone involved, I won’t go into any details. BUT, I will say this: on the drive home my headache was so unbearable that I actually called my gynocologist and BEGGED her to put me back on the pill so that I could get some relief. She didn’t want to do it, but she did it.

6. Monday. October 11th. Now back on the pill for five days. Still no relief.

7. On Tuesday, October 12th, I spoke on the phone with my migraine doctor. She promised that we would get rid of this thing. She told me to go off of the BCP. No more BCP. EVER. She prescribed a steroid that should take care of this headache. She told me to start taking the anti-seizure drug (Zonisamide) that the nurse practitioner had given me the week before.

8. Sunday. October 17th. The headache is now 21 days old, I’ve taken 21 steroids, and am now on anti-seizure drugs. The inside of my head feels hot, my entire body feels tingly (in a not so good way), and I’m feeling like I’m not very sharp (I’m making silly mistakes, forgetting things, etc.). I’m able to keep appointments (mostly), I’m still able to get work done, but I’m just not Me. (I didn’t make it to church this morning because the thought of up and down and sing and up and down and smile and so forth did me in. I was all dressed and ready to go, but then I simply Could Not Do It.)

So, Gggggrrrrrrrrr. I’m now The Girl With the Neverending Headache. (Call Limahl. I’ve got a remake idea for him.) And she’s not interesting or funny. She just sort of sits around in a robe eating apples and looking like your sick old Aunt Marie. Plan for tomorrow: Call the Headache Clinic again. (They’re really very good. I’m actually knitting a pair of Nemesis socks for my doctor, because when/if this headache is conquered, she deserves a prize.)

I offer my apologies to you. Fluid Pudding is not normally a place for such melancholic melon complaints. I’ll probably privatize this number in the next day or so. (Mainly because I’m scheduled to be happy on here tomorrow morning.) Tell me a joke. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

45 thoughts on “These are the Facts”

  1. If you’d like, I can talk to you more about headaches and prevention. I had suffered with them for several years (5 or so) non-stop until I was put on a preventative medication that changed my life!

    I hope that you get some relief soon.

    I have no jokes this morning. :( sorry.

  2. I am so, so sorry to hear you’ve been dealing with this. I get very infrequent migraines and they are just awful.

    Alas, I am terrible at remembering jokes on the fly, so no jokes from me. Just commiseration. xo

  3. I think it would be hard to function as a human being with such a headache. I don’t know how you manage with two young girls.

    Hoping you find relief soon.

  4. I have no jokes either, FP, but I did just make a big pot of chicken soup. If you were here I’d make you stand over the simmering steaming pot, inhale rhythmically, and let me apply ice to your throbbing temples. The embarrassment alone of standing in someone else’s kitchen dripping in chicken steam would surely fix *some*thing!

  5. Oh, I’m so sorry. I’m fortunate enough not to have migraines, but my Mom & the Stooges do, and it’s miserable.
    Mom does bio-feedback and makes her hands hot via concentration – that helps.
    I hate to ask, but shouldn’t your doctors consider an MRI with contrast?
    hope you feel better…

  6. Oh, man, 21 days? If you could handle somebody touching you, a massage might help. Or gouging out your eyes, but that’s a little drastic. Hope you find relief soon!

  7. I’ve been dealing with severe chronic migraines since the age of 16. If there is a treatment or a medication that has been used, I’ve tried it. Very few have worked.

    First thing, you need to halt the current migraine before you start throwing what are basically preventative measures for future ones. With a migraine that’s gone on that long, you are now in a situation where your brain lining is inflamed. That’s hard to treat and quite dangerous, and I’m slightly shocked that one of these docs who keep throwing drugs at you hasn’t sent you to an ER. They’re putting themselves at liability if you were to have a stroke (sorry for the bluntness, but it’s an increasing risk.)

    Toradol is, quite frankly, crap, but some doctors keep using it because of stupid regulations to prevent drug-seeking addicts. The best treatment I’ve gotten for a migraine of that magnitude is a triple injection of morphine, Imitrex and an anti-nausea medicine to keep the first two from hitting you too hard. Ask your doctor if they can give you that combination or, if unwilling or unable to administer narcotics in a doctor’s office, would give orders for it on an ER visit. If they balk at the morphine, at least get an Imitrex shot.

    I would not try anti-seizure medication unless you have a very, very good reason (i.e. a neurologist sees evidence of seizure activity.) They have bad side effects and if your migraines are primarily hormonal, they probably won’t help. It’s very easy for doctors to prescribe stuff like that but not so easy for them to explain how they affect your brain chemistry.

    If you haven’t already tried it, I would recommend getting a prescription of Imitrex (which is generic now) and if the pills don’t work quickly enough, consider getting an injection kit. I have been injecting myself for about five years now, and while it certainly is not fun (feeling your blood vessels constrict in your brain is hard to describe) it does the job. Also, I have been taking Treximet (basically a high-dose mix of Imitrex and Aleve) by mouth as soon as I start feeling one come on, and it’s helped. It’s also expensive, but you can get coupons online from the company that cut the price a lot.

    As far as the hormone trigger, I wish I could give you some sort of magic cure, but I would agree that BCP won’t do it. I myself got a Mirena (an IUD with a low-dose hormone that prevents your cycle) about four years ago, and that has certainly helped mine (I have pretty much every trigger known to man, unfortunately, so it wasn’t a cure, but every bit helps.) Some doctors are leery of IUD’s for various reasons, especially if you have never given birth, but this type is very safe and as a nice side advantage the chances of getting pregnant using it are pretty much nil.

    Sorry for the novel, but I hope some of my experience can help someone. If you need to talk further, gimme a yell.

  8. Please gut out the side effects from the medications for six weeks. They’ll all be gone in six weeks, they won’t last forever, and if you jump away from the side effects you might have a headache forever instead.

  9. I haven’t had a migraine since my hysterectomy last fall. Not that I’m recommending that sort of thing as a cure of course.

    I hope you find some relief soon. I didn’t get migraines very often but then I did, they were doozies! Auras, vomiting, so much pain that just thinking hurt. I found numbing my head with ice packs helped along with the meds.

    Good luck!

  10. I don’t often say “Oh, honey,” but I think this warrants it.

    Oh, honey, that sounds horrible! I don’t really have any helpful advice, but I did want to reply to Dana’s comment regarding the Mirena implant. I’ve had one for about three years, and I’ve had lots headaches that’ve hung around for days (or weeks or months) in those three years. I very rarely had headaches before. Maybe it’s just that I have two kids now, but I’m leaning toward the Mirena having something to do with it. This is just to say: Weird how medications affect people so differently. (And I really hope I used the right word there, affect/effect-wise, but I’m too lazy to look it up right now.)

    I hope your noggin feels better soon.

  11. Headaches are THE WORST THING. I swear, I can keep it together for horrific coughs and/or stomach ailments and/or … hemorrhaging, or whatever, but not for a headache. They are all-consuming.

    SO. I hope all that gets 100% better immediately.

    And this is the only joke I know: one person says, “guess what?” and the other person says, “what?” and the first person yells, “CHICKEN BUTT!!!” and hilarity ensues.

    It might not be as funny with a headache. Or if your kids are young enough that yelling “CHICKEN BUTT!!!” at them is a bad idea.

  12. Oh boy, that sounds just awful. I know how hard it is to keep up with two little girls when one’s head is doing that. My migraines were definitely hormone related – and when perimenopause started (and went on and on) that meant a migraine every ten days or so, for five days at a stretch. I tried Imitrex when it was new but had such a severe reaction (felt like my head and neck were going to explode) that I said never again. What worked for me, and still does when the very occasional migraine strikes, is IMMEDIATELY ATTACKING THE PAIN ITSELF with codeine. A doctor recommended this and it actually worked. He also said to stay away from red wine, cheese and processed meats, and that advice also helped.The ancillary symptoms are still there, and the headache is still sort of there underneath, but with the pain gone, it is such a relief, and that makes everything seem better. Good luck.

  13. Oh, Angela! I’ve never had a migraine, but DUDE. That’s awful. I hope something works, and soon.

    This: “up and down and sing and up and down and smile and so forth” made me smile…and I’ll probably think of it when I’m doing the same again next Sunday. :)

  14. I’m sorry, hon. I’m calling you hon even though we don’t know each other. But the situation called for it.

    Stop hurting, FP head!

  15. I had that same headache for a year and a half when I was a teenager. I went from “National Merit Scholar” to “kid with a GED”. While some of my advice might be slightly different than Dana’s above (Imitrex does exactly nothing for me, for example), I agree that the most important thing they need to do is stop this headache cycle. If you have to go to the ER and even be hospitalized for it, that’s what you need. Trust me, 18 month migraines are no fun.

    Here is a joke:
    A duck walks into a bar and asks, “Got any grapes?”
    The bartender, confused, tells the duck no. The duck thanks him and leaves.
    The next day, the duck returns and asks, “Got any grapes?”
    Again, the bartender tells him, “No — the bar does not serve grapes, has never served grapes and, furthermore, will never serve grapes.” The duck thanks him and leaves.
    The next day, the duck returns, but before he can say anything, the bartender yells, “Listen, duck! This is a bar! We do not serve grapes! If you ask for grapes again, I will nail your stupid duck beak to the bar!”
    The duck is silent for a moment, and then asks, “Got any nails?”
    Confused, the bartender says no.
    “Good!” says the duck. “Got any grapes?”

    I hope you feel better soon.

  16. Hi
    Just concerned for you. Headaches suck. I get occasional migraines.

    But headaches that change are always a concern.

    Have you been tested for Lyme Disease? A long untouchable headache is often a symptom.

    A neighbor had a two day unbearable headache (Altho not a regular sufferer) and whe nshe told her dr a Lyme test was one of the first things they tried.
    Also if you don’t already try to limit yourself to real food. Nothing premade in a box at the store. Not easy but you may have a sensitivity, my migraines were.
    Here’s to a simple,safe solution.

  17. Maxalt never helped me. I take Imitrex when I get one and works for me. I hope you get relief soon because migraines suck.

    Now for the joke…

    What’s invisible and smells like carrots?

    Bunny farts!

  18. Two elephants in the bath, back to back. One says to the other “pass me the soap”. The other one says “what do you think I am, a typewriter?”

    Hope your head stops orbiting the moon soon!

  19. Oh God, that is so miserable. I am an occasional migraine sufferer myself of the mildest kind – patterns, nausea, stabbing pain but never more than a day’s worth. To imagine struggling on through 3 weeks is just horrific. Not feeling very jokey, I feel but someone more talented might be able to work up something with “banging your head against a brick wall”. Yours in useless sympathy, Anne

  20. Oh, migraines suck, don’t they? I’m so sorry. I hope this one breaks soon. Would it help to imagine how happy you’ll be the first day after, or is it too painful to contemplate now? Fingers crossed for you!

  21. Oh, Angela … I am so sorry. My husband has been having a lot of migraines lately, but not a continuous headache like yours. I know how much his take out of him, I can only imagine what suffering like that for so long has been doing to you.

    I hope your doctors can break the headache soon. I am amazed that you haven’t been hospitalized yet … it seems as though it is (past) time to bring out the big guns.

    Thinking of you, and hoping you get relief soon.

  22. Ohhh, Mrs. Pudding I am sincerely sorry to hear that you have been having such a rough time lately.

    Sending you a sad smile and a 45 degree hug.

    (you know those one-armed “I really care and I nautrally feel the need to express compassion but at the same time I don’t to cause trouble just because my concern is being misread by on-lookers” kind of hugs.) :)

  23. I’ve had migraines for the last 25 years. A lot of mine are hormonal also. You need to stop messing with your doctors and go to the E.R.
    A nice phenergan/demerol iv injection might
    help, although if you’ve had the headache this long it might not. I feel so bad for you, I wish there was something I could do for you.

  24. Good news! I just heard on the news this morning that the FDA has approved BOTOX for treatment of migraines! So you know…uhh…you can get shots of botulism in your neck and head and there’s a slim chance that might help!

    Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? ;)

  25. You poor thing! I had about 7 years of constant headaches (starting at puberty). Sometimes horrible spectacular pain and the rest of the time ongoing and able to screw with my life bad but at least walk around able. What worked the best for me was ergotamine injections that I did myself. Oh those fun and carefree teenage years! Hormones were the biggest among a long list of triggers for me and I had such side effects to most medications that I was extremely limited that way. However, for me, what ended up curing me (since ’93 I have had three very light end of the spectrum migraines that I could easily function through, big improvement from daily) was acupuncture. I thought I wouldn’t be able to go back to college or lead a normal life, but it was my third acupuncturist who figured it out. (First one 5 years prior just for pain management, second one a year prior who was just not a great diagnostician and focused also on pain management, then the third who brought my liver and spleen into it and quickly resolved the whole thing.) I don’t know if you are open to trying acupuncture, but I highly recommend it. I was out of options as my medication choices ended up being “well there is one more thing but it won’t be approved by the FDA for a few years” or codeine. I also second staying forever off the BCP and that toradol is crap. For your current headache. Go to the hospital, get some relief and rest.

    I hope that whatever finally does the trick that you won’t have to face this over and over, it can do a number on your life.

    Joke overheard on the playground, spoken by a kindergartener: “what do you call a chicken that goes up on the roof?”

    answer: “a football egg” ?????

  26. Ugh – the functional migraines are the worst. I had one for… hmmm, to cheer you up, I’ll just instead say, I don’t have one right now!!

    I don’t know if it will cheer you up or just distract you, but I spent an alarming amount of time looking for–but not finding–a video of Mick Jagger singing “I’m a Little Teapot.” Just because you can find anything on the internet.

    Except that, apparently.

  27. A little old man and lady are traveling to see the grandkids. On the way, they stop at a diner. Several miles down the road she remembers that she’s forgotten her prescription sunglasses at the diner. He berates her all the way back “you’d lose your head if it wasn’t attached! I swear, how have I stayed married all these years! etc.”
    Finally they are back at the diner. As she starts to go in, he says
    “while you’re in there, could you get my hat?”

    Sending good thoughts your way – feel better soon.

  28. I’m so sorry. Before I discovered sinus rinsing–for most of my teens and 20s–I had some kind of headache at least 4 days a week. Often more. Regular appearances by light-sensitive doozies too. His name was Leonard.

    What do you call a cave man who is covered in black birds?

    A Cro-magnet.
    (Yay, children’s joke book “about dinosaurs” that my child does not understand at all!)

    Bonus round:
    What do you call a cave man who you find wandering around in the street?

    A Meanderthal.

  29. Angie, I get migraines too just before I begin my . It is interesting how they treat yours. I live in Germany and they give homeopathic stuff (which is usually not effective) but I have never had one for more than 2 days either, so I can ride it out if necessary. I am glad you commiserate on your blog. It is REAL. That is what I like about you.

  30. I’m sure you’ve tried this before– BUT last fall I had a three-month long migraine and tried all of the drugs (Toradol actually took it away–for six hours). What ended up working was a chiro who also did cranio sacceral (sp?). After three visits in one week, the headache was GONE!

  31. Wow, a 21 day headache? I had a three day headache last week and by the last day I was biting everyone’s head off because it was making so grumpy! I hope they find a solution soon!

    I’ve been practicing my bad jokes for Halloween:

    How do you find a dog with no legs?

    He’s right where you left him, silly!

  32. Duuude, I too suffer hormonal headaches and ZOMG , horrendous. The only way mine goes away is if I catch it early enough and throw a bucket load of codeine at it. If I think, ‘oh it’ll go away’ or ‘I’ll be fine’ then it will drag on and on for days with me at some stage ending up in bed thinking I’m about to have a stroke and/or that my head will literally shatter into a million pieces.

    But I’m really impressed you have headache clinics. That’s amazing.

    I’m liking Dana for her advice and experience.

    Can’t think of any jokes because I’m always ever so helpful like that.

  33. I third the codeine idea. Nothing else worked for me. Ask for the good drugs. Fiorcet with codeine literally has make me functional.

  34. I am so sorry to hear you are dealing with this! Migraines are AWFUL.

    I have no joke, but I will tell you a migraine story from the past that I can laugh about now.

    The worst migraine I ever had occurred on vacation (of COURSE it did!). The husband and I were away from our 9-month-old twins for the first time, and apparently I get tension migraines in addition to hormonal ones.

    I woke up the first morning with a migraine that hurt so bad I tried not to move. We had to change rooms, and I threw up in a maid’s cart on our way there. When I pulled my head out of the cart’s trash can, the maid stood very calmly next to me and offered a towel.

    I’m guessing that’s not the first time that has happened to her, although those other people probably had a more fun reason than me.

    Also, one of our toilets is clogged because my son used half a box of toddler wipes on his tiny behind.

    Are you laughing yet?

  35. Yeah, so migraines are the worst. People who have never gotten them just can’t understand how different they are from your normal variety headaches. If my husband has a “normal” headache, you would think someone was literally cutting his b@lls off. It’s hard to feel sorry for him. That being said, I second, third and forth the suggestions to throw the heavy drugs at it. I infrequently get migraines, but when I do, they are the lay in bed, screaming in pain, throwing up until you are just dry-heaving migraines. The only thing that has ever helped me (when the prescription meds weren’t cutting it) was going to the immediate care center (we live in a rural area) and getting the wonderful conconction of fluids, phenergan and demerol. I’m usually there for a few hours, but it has been the only thing that has ever helped me.
    Please know that I so feel for you. Here’s hoping it gets better soon!

  36. Oh I am so so sorry to hear this. In my entire life I’ve had one migraine that lasted a few hours and, given that I wanted my mother to cut my head off (SO. NOT. JOKING.) I can only imagine how much hell you’re going through in having to suffer so deeply and for so long. I hope you find relief soon Dear Fluid Pudding because NOBODY should have to suffer that way.

  37. Oh my. I get PMS migraines too, but I didn’t like the nasty drugs that made me feel high and tired and judgment impaired which meant that I ended up taking to my bed just like I would have without the drugs. Luckily, mine are very easily controlled with Excedrine, a large diet Coke, and sometimes a little deep breathing.

    I can’t imagine how I’d endure 21 days and counting. The migraines make me a little stupid and judgment impaired (especially when driving) and with some aphasia (fun!).

    Here’s a not-at-all good joke that my sister made up when we were kids. It always works when one of us is having a bad day:

    Knock knock.

    Who’s there.


    Werth who?

    Werth erm!

    And then we laugh hysterically. Just say “werth erm” out loud. It’s just naturally funny.

    She was going through a phase of being interested (very interested) in worms. She’d dig them up and look at them and play with them and kiss them. She’d relocate them from the sidewalks after rain. It was odd.

  38. Hi,

    Just found your blog via Twitter. So sorry about your headache. That’s awful. Hope you feel better soon. Also? I think your blog is great, even if you say this isn’t the normal great stuff. I’ll totes be back.


Comments are closed.