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  • Week Long Debilitating Headache

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    Old 09-08-2009, 09:12 AM   #1
    bcaro1831's Avatar
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    Week Long Debilitating Headache

    Help me please!!!!! My wife has had a debilitating headache at the base of her skull for over a week now; we have seen numerous doctors and even spent this past weekend in the hospital. She got released yesterday after they got a hold of her vomiting and dehydration. But the headache still persists, they have no answer. CT scans came back normal, spinal meningitis was a negative, and all blood work is good along with many other tests. I have had migraines all my life and have never had anything like she is experiencing now and she has never had a migraine. The resident doc said he thought it was a minstrel headache that could last up to fourteen days. Nobody Iíve talked to has ever heard of it. Hydrocodone and morphine helps her rest but does nothing for the headache. Imatrex and other migraine meds just tear up her stomach and doesnít help her head. And now it seems she is getting rebound headaches to compound the problem from being so doped up. Iím at wits end and lord knows she is, she has not seen a neurologist, I guess because she doesnít have insurance. The only thing that had even a little effect was a caffeine mixture by IV, but even that was minimal. The doctor said they have ruled out anything life threatening but Iím not sure how I feel about that, I believe mentally it is very life threatening. Iím going to try to get her to a chiropractor as soon as I get paid and maybe try acupuncture as well. Please help us, we have three little girls who need their mom back as well do I. Thanks, Brandon Caro

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    Old 09-08-2009, 09:51 AM   #2
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    Re: Week Long Debilitating Headache

    i would NOT send her to a chiro until you at least have some solid info on what could be causing this. this could just cause major harm with no real good coming from it if the reason for the headpain has not yet even been identified. it would be a highly risky thing at this point. and just so you know, they have NOT actually "ruled out' everything that could be a potential life threat unless that ER actually did a contrasted MRI on her brain. a CT just will NOT show many different types of potential vascular malformations that can just exist within that heavily vascular area of the brain. an MRI done on her c spine are wouldn't hurt either since that base of the skull area is exactly the same place i get some pretty awful headaches and mine in that spot are being caused by major problems on the right side of my actual c spine(C2-3) that just kind of 'goes up" into at least the base area of the brain. i have also been getting migrane for most of my life too and what i feel with those is ALWAYS only one sided, never the base of the skull area.

    but she seriously does need the potential vascular issues looked into much more in depth with at least that contrasted MRI being done on her brain. either that or what is called an MRA which would ONLY look at all of the arteries within the brain with no other structures in the way of possibly hiding a finding like an aneurysm. sudden onset type headpain like she had just kind of dictates that more in depth type of scans being done that just show the vessels inside it. there can be many different types of possible vascular malformations that anyone can get within their brain or even the spinal cord too. but a CT is only usually done to try and rule out things like stroke or just actually detecting ANY blood products that could be stemming fromn any type of a real brain bleed that a person could have. they just should have also at least done that contrasted MRI on her just considering the type of main symptoms she presented with. they just NEED to actually fnd out what is that main generator of this horrid headpain. the one med that actually helps with the base of skull headpain i get is called fioricet, and it DOES also contain caffiene in it. that caff actually acts as a vasoconstrictor on the blood vessels to keep the vessel or over expanding and causing that horrid throbbing and pounding of this type of headache. its just the ONLY med that has really worked for mine.

    but i would seriously see her doc and ask to have one contrasted type of MRI done just to actually rule out the possibility of some type of vascular malformation such as aneurysm. if this is present, it does require attention espescially if this is causeing THAT much pain for her. i actually had a brain aneurysm that caused my NO headpain at all, just insane heat flushes that started at the top of my head and went down the back of my neck. that was it for symptoms of it. it was only because of the amazing neurosurgeon i had who just thought it odd to have that symptom that sent me for an MRA that found it when it was still fairly small. i do hope this all turns out to be siomething more simplistic that is at the casue of all this, biut she does really need that contrasted MRI done at this point if it was never done for her inthe ER. this would at least show something or rule it out. they could also just go down into her c spine too when they do that brainscan and get it all done with one test. its just very simple to do both at the very same test. this would check into the 'most likely' areas that could set off what it is she is just feeling right now. both(brain and c spine) need to be looked at more closely at this point. i hope you can find those answers soon. please keep me posted, Marcia
    3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
    11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
    9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

    Old 09-08-2009, 10:30 AM   #3
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    Re: Week Long Debilitating Headache

    Thanks so much for the advice. They told us that the MRI would show anything different than the CT scan, but Iím like you; then why would you have both and not just one if itís all the same. We spent this weekend in the hospital where there was no neurologist on call plus it was a holiday. I donít have insurance on her yet after a job change, and the family doc canít do anything and the ER just dopes her up and sends her home almost refusing to here me out. Iím not in any pain but you would think I am, just trying to figure something out. Iím really getting scared to death and if Iím not careful Iíll end up in the hospital too. I mean to me itís like sending some one home with pain killers to die. She will deal with the pain if she can just figure out how to fix it. She has never had any history with headaches or migraines and so this is a new animal to her. The only other thing is at the hospital her heart rate was around 40bpm but she is very little and young, also her blood presser has been around 90/60 or so except when she took imatrex which made it a lot higher. But they didnít seem concerned with that at all. Iím trying to figure out how to get some of these test done with a payment plan, loan or something.

    Old 09-11-2009, 03:21 PM   #4
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    Re: Week Long Debilitating Headache

    I am definatly with Marcia on this, an MRI is what she should have, CT scans are not any were near as detailed as an MRI, I can't understand why those docs told you that, they are very wrong.

    best of luck

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