Halp! (And Possible TMI, Forgive Me)April 13, 2010
I'm looking for some advice, friends.
The migraines, they are getting worse. I've come to (almost) the end of the road with the doctors. And here and now, I'm going to lay it out for you, because I have very little shame when it comes to spilling things on the blog (HI!), but I do understand that some are squeamish, so look away if you need to, I won't mind. This might be too much info for some. In which case, please hop over to Hipster Puppies and have a fabulous day.
My adorable, smart primary care doctor has done what she can and has sent me away to specialists. My neurologist has ruled my migraines to be simply hormonal in nature. He's put me on Topomax, which is fine, but I don't really like being on it, but I also don't hate it. I'm on a high-enough dose, don't want to go higher, but it doesn't make me feel stupid; it just makes my fingers tingle sometimes and I have a hard time staying warm (something I'd never struggled with before).
My ob-gyn has done almost all she can, too. I have tried every single birth control out there and nothing has helped. Progesterone, both simulated and natural (even the plant-based creams) don't help and sometimes make it worse. She says, after five years of trying, that we're down to two options, neither very good. (See, I also have endometriosis, and we're dealing with that, so I've got all sorts of monthly pain, ugh.)
#1 Hysterectomy, but they won't remove ovaries at my age (37), nor would I really want them to, so even if they went that route, the headaches likely wouldn't stop, since they come from hormone production.
#2 Drug-induced menopause (like Lupron) - which would be great, except for the side-effects, and except for the fact that my doc said I could only be on it for a year, and then I'd have to go off of it. Hearing this, I burst into tears.
I'm seriously at the end of my rope. I have a hard time talking or thinking about it, actually. Lately, I've been getting four or five migraines a month, either at my cycle or at the middle of it, and they're debliitating.
What I don't need: Advice on pain management. I have Fioricet and Midrin (the triptain family of meds don't help me). These two pills sometimes help, sometimes they don't. Whatever. I get through it.
What I'm looking for (kind of desperately): advice from women who have gotten through this. My lovely ob-gyn is sending me to a Pain Management clinic within Kaiser as her next step, and I'm hoping for good things from them (but no more drugs! Hate drugs! I don't want to mask all this, I want to get rid of it).
Things I'm thinking of:
A radical change in diet? I have tried acupuncture with limited success. Exercise? Meditation? More yoga? Running (which sometimes makes it worse, or used to, when I was running more). OH GOD DON'T MAKE ME CHANGE THIS MUCH! But honestly, I can't do this much longer. This much pain a month, between the migraines, endo, and cramps, is too much. I try not to complain a lot here on the blog or twitter or FB, so I apologize if this is out of left-field, but you all know a hell of a lot about just about everything. What has helped you or someone you know?
With all my heart, I thank you in advance.
*Edited to add: I'm 37. I don't want kids. If I *DID* kick and scream and MAKE them take both ovaries in a hysterctomy (although my doctor said they wouldn't -- she also said I'm in the driver's seat), what direct experience do you have with that, if any? Besos.
** More: I'm feeling distinctly hopeful after finding this book: Heal Your Headache on Amazon. I've never seen more positive reviews of a book, EVER. I sent it to my Kindle and have already read a quarter of it, and I've made another appointment online with my neurologist (this is all done in the middle of the night! God bless technology!).
*** NEVER GONNA STOP ADDING TO THIS! The end of the night, I've read most of the book, and just found this synopsis on NPR.org. I think I'm going to give his method (elimination diet, no pain pills) a try and I'll let you know how it goes, before I try anything more radical.