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someone please help!! severe headaches (what an understatement!!)

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Old 06-15-2012, 02:30 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Rochester, NY USA
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rosef63 HB User
someone please help!! severe headaches (what an understatement!!)

(sorry for the length!) I am a white female, 48 years old, in menopause, a smoker. Both of my parents have had strokes due to high bp. First a little history of my headaches:
I have suffered from migraine type (my neurologist believes) headaches for the past 20 years off and on. These headaches would start with the "cramping feeling" of diareahha in my stomach, and last for a few minutes to a few hours. The pain would start in the back of my head/base of skull and come forward to the forehead and temples. The pain is so severe; it feels like pounding/pulsing pain. I am not light or sound sensitive, nor do I have the flashes of light or auroa or no nausea or vomitting. I have been seen in the ER for them, thinking I was having a stroke, but I did not. My BP was elevated though due to the pain (I do NOT have high bp).
I saw a neurologist/headache specialist and she thought they may be a type of strain or cluster migraine. we tried Indomethicin, but i am allergic. I was also given a sample of Sumavel DosePro (sumatriptan injection) to try the next time I experienced one of these headaches. She also put me on Propanolol 120 mg/ 1x day since that day my bp was 140/70. The frequency of these headaches would be a few a month for a month or so, and then long periods without any reoccurances, or few a year to years (+10 or more yrs without reoccurances, until the past 3-4 years) . That was in Jan 2011 and I have not had any "bouts" of these headaches until recently.
Current headaches:
**The more recent headaches began on June 3 of this month.**These headaches are different, the pain is 100 times more severe and they are more frequent and last hours longer (+5hrs). These are not brought on with the cramping feeling of diareahha, I still have none of the classic "migraine" symptoms (sensitivity to light, etc). They come on out of the blue with no "indication" they are about to start. when they hit, the pain level is immediately +10!!
Since June 3, I have had at least one headache per day, some days I experience 2+ a day and they are lasting longer, some over 3 hours to 5 hours. I have be woken up out of a sound sleep on 3 occasions, 2 in one night. They are now starting at the top left side of my head, circling over to the right side and around the top of my head, down to my jaw. The pain is so severe and intense, nothing (not even morphine administered at ER) seems to decrease the pain. I have been to the ER twice in the past week. The pain in the top left of my head is pretty much constant, but does diminish at times. I tried the injection sample the doc gave me to no avail. I was seen in the ER this past Monday with a BP of 243/110 (normal bp 126/63-140/70). The docs tried morphine, even another triptan, a different bp med, also putting me on pure oxigen for 10 minutes with no relief. to rule out a anureism sp?) in the brain, they did do a a spinal tap, CT with and w/o contrast, which with contrast showed:
a mild calcification of the intracranial internal prior arteries, A1, M1, intracranial basilar artery, and P1 segments of the anterior, middle, and posterior cerebral areteries. The venous sinuses are patent. There is a retal origin of the left PCA which is a develpmental variant. Post intravenous contrast, no enhancing lesions are noted within the brain.
the doc said the calcification was normal....
I am about at my witts end here. Can anyone please offer any suggestions or help!!! The pain is so dibilitating, I do not know what to do!!

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Old 06-18-2012, 12:01 PM   #2
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Re: someone please help!! severe headaches (what an understatement!!)

Headaches can change over the years. The administration of oxygen was a test for cluster headaches, a cluster headache pain can go away if you are given oxygen. The good news is that your CT was normal. In my experience morphine does not make the headache go away, just makes you not care about it anymore. I would believe you need to see someone who specializes in headaches. There are daily medications that can help slow down migraines.

Be careful about rating your pain as +10, doctors sometimes ignore you when you report even a 10. Some believe at a ten a person is usually too sick to report their pain levels. This was advice from a doctor. Good luck.

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Old 06-18-2012, 12:10 PM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Rochester, NY USA
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rosef63 HB User
Re: someone please help!! severe headaches (what an understatement!!)

yes, the nurse did kind of look at me with that yeah, right it's a 10, until she could not even get the machine to register a bp on me and when she finally did it was 243/110!!!
I do have a neurologist I have seen in the past for the original headaches, but she is out of the office until the 21st and no available appointments until November! needless to say, I am looking for someone else.
thanks so much for your reply!

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migraines, severe headaches, stroke

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