Author Topic: Question for Sirs, the Headache Expert  (Read 3233 times)

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Henny

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Question for Sirs, the Headache Expert
« on: March 06, 2007, 08:16:04 PM »
HA! I guess the title of this post can be taken a couple of different ways!  :D

But seriously, Sirs, knowing that you are a long-time sufferer of migraine headaches, help me out here.

Over the past several months, I've had headaches that have gotten worse, and hurt worse than any headaches I've ever had before. I hesitate to call them migraines because they don't totally incapacitate me, I can resolve them with a hefty dose of ibuprofen usually within an hour (although repeat doses are often needed throughout the day), but they DO leave me moaning and groaning and holding my head in my hands for a while, and some are bad enough to wake me up out of a dead sleep (as the one I have now did just a while ago - middle of the night here). I can't pinpoint one spot that hurts worse than the others, but they seem to start in the back and sides of my head and work their way forward.

I looked online for more information, but nothing seemed to fit the symptoms exactly. I hoped that you might have some insight before I go make my first visit to a foreign doctor in a foreign land.  :-\

Now the weird part... stranger still, my husband has been complaining of horrible headaches too, for about the same period of time.  ???

sirs

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Re: Question for Sirs, the Headache Expert
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2007, 08:22:24 PM »
Oh gads, you caught me at a bad time Miss Henny.  I'm doing my final billing #'s, and then I'm off on a couple of errands, before reaching home.  I promise to make this my 1st response when I get home.  My apologies for not having the time to respond to this right now. 
"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle

BT

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Re: Question for Sirs, the Headache Expert
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2007, 08:31:03 PM »
Sounds environmental or dietary to me.


domer

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Re: Question for Sirs, the Headache Expert
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2007, 08:43:21 PM »
It's the Israeli's fault.

sirs

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Re: Question for Sirs, the Headache Expert
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2007, 09:38:15 PM »
HA! I guess the title of this post can be taken a couple of different ways!  :D

D'OH.  I resemble that implication       :P


But seriously, Sirs, knowing that you are a long-time sufferer of migraine headaches, help me out here.  Over the past several months, I've had headaches that have gotten worse, and hurt worse than any headaches I've ever had before. I hesitate to call them migraines because they don't totally incapacitate me, I can resolve them with a hefty dose of ibuprofen usually within an hour (although repeat doses are often needed throughout the day), but they DO leave me moaning and groaning and holding my head in my hands for a while, and some are bad enough to wake me up out of a dead sleep (as the one I have now did just a while ago - middle of the night here). I can't pinpoint one spot that hurts worse than the others, but they seem to start in the back and sides of my head and work their way forward.

Ususally the location and the "type" of pain can help identify what kind of a headache.  Not always, but ususally.  Starting in the back and sides of the head, and moving up ususally is related to tension --> tension headaches.  Did these headaches start right after your return to the saloon and dialoguing with the likes of me and the Professor?   ;)   Seriously though, that sounds close to what you describe, BUT those types of headaches ususally aren't as severe as you also seem to be describing.  If it helps, it definately doesn't resemble a migraine in any way.  Have you made any changes in your life in those last few months?  It could be physical (which would include diatary), mental, social (which would include enviroment), or a combination of those.  Simply making some relatively significant changes in your daily routine can store the stress and lead to tension headaches, IF that's the type of headache you're having.  One other lesser thought, but still plausible is being exposed to some form of noxious stimuli.  Perhaps a new cleaning product you or a neighbor are using.  Some form of construction or painting going on nearby.  Such fumes can lead to the type of severity you're referring to.  One of my worst migraines was after I spent too long in the bathroom cleaning it.  Those are the thoughts that come to my head, without doing any googling.  I hope it helped.


Now the weird part... stranger still, my husband has been complaining of horrible headaches too, for about the same period of time.  ???

Ahhhhhhhh, similar exposure to something.  Hmmmm, seriously check out the area, and see if there's any new painting/building/landscaping/gardening/cleaning going on either in your home, or nearby, that began about the time the headaches started.  And the fact it's happening to your husband as well, should negate that it's something wrong with you
"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle

sirs

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Re: Question for Sirs, the Headache Expert
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2007, 09:39:04 PM »
It's the Israeli's fault.

Actually it's Bush's fault      ;D
"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle

Lanya

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Re: Question for Sirs, the Headache Expert
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2007, 10:36:40 PM »
Henny,
I had migraines for a several years, and it doesn't sound like migraines to me.
It does sound like years ago, when I used to wake up often with very achey head, and then the gas company found we had a small gas leak.  Thank God we also had a very drafty house! 
Or, it could be from sleep apnea. 
Sirs, I didn't know you suffered from migraines.  You have my complete sympathy.  (Have you tried any preventative meds? Amytriptilene  is what has worked for me.)
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sirs

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Re: Question for Sirs, the Headache Expert
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2007, 11:51:37 PM »
Sirs, I didn't know you suffered from migraines.  You have my complete sympathy.  (Have you tried any preventative meds? Amytriptilene  is what has worked for me.)

Thanks Lanya.  I've had them since I was 12 years old.  Thankfully medication advancements have produced my miracle in Imitrex, and it's newer cousin Maxalt.  Before those medications, I was literally incapacitated for the entire day.  The pounding/piercing/throbbing pain over 1 side of the head and/or behind the eye, completely unimaginable except for folks like ourselves, who've lived it.  Now, if I feel a "fuzzy" coming on, or what I like to refer to as a migrainette, I'll take my cocktail of 1 maxalt under the tongue, followed by 2 maximum strength excedrin, washed down with a caffeine soda.  Usually (though not always) it will defuse a migraine before it blows up into one
"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle

Henny

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Re: Question for Sirs, the Headache Expert
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2007, 01:10:26 AM »
Fumes... Sirs and Lanya, you may have hit the nail on the head with the mention of fumes (and in particular, Lanya's mention of a gas leak). And it never occurred to me to consider it. I'd thought about new and strange pollens, changes in season, etc., but these headaches have been on and off for over 6 months now.

One rather bizarre thing that I've had to adjust to living in Jordan is that there is no natural gas infrastructure (although it is promised by 2010). There are a few different ways that people heat their water - a system where you flip a switch and it's heated by diesel fuel (I have no idea how this works exactly), solar power, or the most popular... one of those propane tanks that Americans use for their gas barbecues. We use the propane tank method. It's attached directly to a small water heater in our utility room. Getting to the point, when the tank is reheating, there is a very strong smell of gas. Nevermind that the door to the utility room is shut and the window is open, you smell it anyway.

Anyway, I never even considered it as a potential source of the problem. I guess I'll have to look into alternatives.

Thanks!

sirs

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Re: Question for Sirs, the Headache Expert
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2007, 04:27:44 AM »
We medical practitioners do try to help when we can.  I'm glad our thoughts may have identified the source of your headaches, and I hope you can get it confirmed, 1 way or the other     :)
"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle

Plane

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Re: Question for Sirs, the Headache Expert
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2007, 07:50:52 PM »

 We use the propane tank method. It's attached directly to a small water heater in our utility room. Getting to the point, when the tank is reheating, there is a very strong smell of gas. Nevermind that the door to the utility room is shut and the window is open, you smell it anyway.



I once gave up my eyebrows and half my hair to a situation like that , be cautious.

Xavier_Onassis

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Re: Question for Sirs, the Headache Expert
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2007, 09:25:15 PM »
Natural gas and propane are by nature nearly odorless. Somewhere in a Texas oil town a school had a gas leak and blew tha ebuilding and a whole bunch of kids to smithereens in the 1920's, and after that, gas companies add a nasty smelling odorant, a mercaptan, I think, to the gas so leaks can be detected. If you are smelling gas, you are exposed to it, and this could well be your problem.



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_JS

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Re: Question for Sirs, the Headache Expert
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2007, 09:45:47 AM »
Quote
Thanks Lanya.  I've had them since I was 12 years old.  Thankfully medication advancements have produced my miracle in Imitrex, and it's newer cousin Maxalt.  Before those medications, I was literally incapacitated for the entire day.

Wow Sirs. I guess it just proves that everyone is more alike than you'd think.

I have migraines as well and could almost quote your story. The first medicine the doctors ever gave me was Migrazone (Midrin) and it never really worked at all. I had nearly one every other day one month when I was introduced to Imitrex (sumatriptan) and it has worked for me ever since. I also take a preventative medication and I sometimes go a month without having any migraines.

When I do have a migraine I can't look at a computer screen or any bright light. I always hate the after effects too. Even with Imitrex it occasionally feels like someone has taken a baseball bat to my shoulders and neck the next day. Occasionally I still get dizzy or light-headed too.
I smell something burning, hope it's just my brains.
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Amianthus

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Re: Question for Sirs, the Headache Expert
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2007, 11:07:32 AM »
I have migraines as well and could almost quote your story. The first medicine the doctors ever gave me was Migrazone (Midrin) and it never really worked at all. I had nearly one every other day one month when I was introduced to Imitrex (sumatriptan) and it has worked for me ever since. I also take a preventative medication and I sometimes go a month without having any migraines.

My wife had migraines, usually associated with her period. She used Imitrex to control them.

Then she noticed something.

Whenever her period was about to start, she would crave red meat, especially steaks. Most of the time, she would ignore those cravings. However, recently she has given in to those cravings, eating BBQ or steak when she craved them just before her period. And she has not had a migraine in the 6 months or so she has been doing that.
Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. (Benjamin Franklin)

sirs

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Re: Question for Sirs, the Headache Expert
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2007, 11:46:14 AM »
Whenever her period was about to start, she would crave red meat, especially steaks. Most of the time, she would ignore those cravings. However, recently she has given in to those cravings, eating BBQ or steak when she craved them just before her period. And she has not had a migraine in the 6 months or so she has been doing that.

Well Ami you have touched on something that most Migraine sufferers are aware of in 1 way or another.  I did a fair amount of research into headaches, and in partcular migraines.  So Miss Henny wasn't too far off on how I both tend to cause headaches around here, but know some about them, as well. 

Every migraine sufferer has "trigger factors".  They can be things like eating lots of junk food, being exposed to loud sounds, bright lights, obnoxious fumes, poor sleeping, too much sleeping, stress, etc.  It behoves the migraine sufferer to attempt to identify their own personal trigger factors, and then by design avoid them.  I can almost guarantee giving myself a migraine if I was to sleep really late some morning, but jump out of bed very quickly to rush to someplace I believe I can't be late to, and perhaps eat donught or 2, as I run out the door. 

Interestingly, a few years ago, I put myself on a very rigid diet, ended up losing nearly 60pounds, and thru-out that time, I might have had 3-4 migraines over that 2year period.  So food and eating habits, along with sleep pattersn are huge on my trigger factor list.  Alas I'm no longer on that very rigid diet, and the migraines have returned in frequency, but thanks again to the Imitrex/maxalt, as Js has referenced as well, those migraines are no longer the severely intense, completely incapacitating monster, it used to be


"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle