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48 hr headaches

Old 02-19-20, 08:36 AM
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rumrunn6
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48 hr headaches

anyone get them? wutz your cure?
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Old 02-19-20, 09:32 AM
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Imitrex is the only thing I've found that will bring relief from a long term headache or migraine. My wife and I both suffer them, but hers are much more debilitating.

You'll need a prescription from your doctor.

https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-1...x-oral/details

Last edited by missinglink; 02-19-20 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 02-19-20, 01:20 PM
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I began having debilitating headaches several weeks ago. So severe I'd have to sit up and try to sleep in a chair with no head/pillow contact.

First I had to get Drs to agree if the pain source was muscular/skeletal or nerves. After getting two conflicting diagnoses (primary care said nerve pain, neurologist said muscle pain) and prescriptions for each condition an MRI confirmed mine to be facet nerve pain from C2/C3 joint radiating upwards into the head. I'm having a consultation with an anesthesiologist in a few weeks for a possible injection for relief.

In the meantime I'm taking an anticonvulsant med called Carbamazepine. It also features nerve pain relief. It took about a week to kick in but is working well now to prevent the severe attacks. A short term dose of Prednisone provided little relief.
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Old 02-19-20, 10:29 PM
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Those are rough. I've had severe headaches that lasted up to 72 hours without relief, and had to be taken to the ER a couple of times.

A proper diagnosis helps, but good luck with that. I've seen neurologists and specialists for years and they were mostly useless. Maybe it was migraines. Maybe cluster headaches. They didn't know.

Back in the 1980s, CafErgot was the usual. Didn't help, made me nauseous. Later, Imitrex self injections sometimes helped. That ruled out certain diagnoses because Imitrex isn't an all purpose analgesic. But they still couldn't say whether it was migraine, cluster headache or something else.

I tried so many prescription meds under medical supervision. Massive doses of depakote, a multi-purpose med to prevent seizures, bipolar disorder and to regulate the serotonin level, supposedly related to migraines. Wellbutrin. Anti-anxiety meds. Nothing really helped. I quit all of them more than a decade ago when my liver enzymes became elevated from the massive doses of depakote.

Opiates didn't help. Years ago I could get oxycontin but it didn't help with the headaches. I gave up most use of muscle relaxers and opiates. They work on some kinds of pain, but not that type of headache. And I couldn't stand the side effects from oxy -- made me itchy and twitchy.

It got so bad and frequent I actually had to resign a very good job and went on unemployment for a couple of years, eventually burning through my retirement savings plan.

Then I was hit by a car, breaking my back and neck, so the headaches got worse. I ended up disabled for more than a decade from that. And still no definitive diagnosis.

The first sensible diagnosis I got was just a few years ago, from a dentist of all things. I was at a low priced public health clinic to have a cracked molar pulled. It didn't really hurt much at first, but after sitting in the waiting room a couple of hours I had a headache so bad I couldn't sit up straight. Fortunately the next patient in the queue told the nurse to see me first.

The dentist couldn't get to me immediately, but said he'd inject the anesthetic (xylocaine, lidocaine, whatever they use) now, then get back to me in about an hour. Fine with me. Almost immediately the headache was gone. The dentist thought that was peculiar and asked where the pain had been. I traced a line along the side of my skull toward my nose. He said that sounded more like trigeminal neuralgia. He injected the anesthetic in a few extra places (through the gums and mouth to make it official dental work), to numb that entire side of my scalp. It lasted for a few hours and felt great. As soon as it wore off when I got home the pain returned.

I've seen other specialists since then. No help. They've done every available imaging test of my neck, skull, sinuses, etc. No definitive diagnosis.

I've read more research studies than I can count, on PubMed and other journals. Best I can figure it's related to a lifelong chronic sinus inflammation, aggravating the trigeminal nerve. So now I take Sudafed almost every day, and at the first hint of a headache. It's the only effective decongestant that seems to prevent and relieve the headaches.

Even with otherwise good care from the VA, I've still received little attention for the headaches and chronic sinus problems. I finally gave up and tried my own methods.

I avoid any triggers that can cause or worsen sinus inflammation and pressure. That includes beer and all alcohol. I take antihistamines every day. Sudafed whenever necessary, and sometimes asthma pills containing ephedrine and an expectorant to loosen mucus. Nasal washes. Diclofenac, a prescription anti-inflammatory that seems to help a bit. Bromelain, an enzyme from pineapple that also helps with inflammation.

Ever seen "Pi", an early Darren Aronofksy movie? The main character is driven nearly insane by headaches. He also has a sort of narrowly defined genius for calculations that make him interesting to organized crime, kabbalists and shady corporations who want to exploit his genius for rigging the market. He finally becomes so desperate he resorts to self-trepanation, drilling a hole in his skull. The headaches, hallucinations and genius for calculations all vanish.

I've been pretty damned close to taking a cordless drill to my own skull a few times. But over the past couple of years it's been less bad after changes to my diet, etc.

See a doctor. And be persistent. If you see a neurologist, good luck. In my experience as a patient, and as a caregiver for my mom who saw many neurologists, that's possibly the most erratic, incompetent, unconcerned and least attentive of all medical specialists.
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Old 02-20-20, 05:10 PM
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Incidentally, there are a few medications that aren't considered analgesics that can help with some types of headaches. For migraines and cluster headaches, doctors will occasionally prescribe beta blockers and calcium channel blockers -- blood pressure and heart regulatory meds. Those occasionally work for me. And the headaches aren't necessarily related to high BP.
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Old 02-20-20, 08:34 PM
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Yeah, see a doctor. Main thing with my wife's was to catch them real early with the prescription med. There's usually some sign that they're on their way. BTW, she outgrew them.
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Old 02-21-20, 04:07 PM
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Another factor can be caffeine. For many folks, caffeine can reduce pain, and enhances the effect of some pain relievers. For that reason it's been an ingredient in Excedrin and similar OTC NSAIDs for decades. It's also the secondary ingredient in Cafergot for migraines.

A cup of coffee or any beverage with caffeine and a normal dose of OTC analgesic -- ibuprofen, aspirin, "Tylenol", etc. -- can offer work better than just the analgesic alone. There may be some stomach upset too, so try an antacid like Tums along with it.

But folks who are heavy coffee drinkers or use a lot of caffeine from other sources may experience rebound headaches the next day, so they're locked into a cycle of needing coffee to avoid headaches. Cutting back gradually to less caffeine can help. But some folks choose to cut out caffeine completely. I just cut way back and still have a couple of cups a day.
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