Migraine changes

Long term readers of this blog (and the other one… and the long departed even older one) will know about my migraine issue.  To recap for those new(er) to the blog.  I started having really horrible vertigo attacks.  These attacks are awful.  In the worst cases I end up where I feel like the world is revolving at 1000mph.  With my eyes open it feels like what I’m looking at goes left at a very high rate of knots and then flicks back ridiculously quickly and the rate of that can go from a couple a second to many many times a second.  I can’t stand up, I get extreme nausea and then start being sick.  The worst attack I had lasted like that for 18 hours.  Normally before an attack I get a few days of feeling “wobbly” (as I call it) I feel not quiet steady and upright as I walk about.  After an attack that can last for weeks and other shorter attacks happen.  In 2009 I was debilitated for about 6 weeks with it.  It has been diagnosed as migraine associated vertigo.  Now I didn’t see the migraine bit as I didn’t get crippling headaches like I’ve heard of others but I now know I get a “pressure” feeling normally in my left skull around the eye socket and down and back from there.   That is the sign I’m starting – so I’ve learnt some tricks.  Firstly – don’t battle through (see below for an update about this), stop and relax.  I’ve found Ibuprofen Lysine is a good first attack – take that and it helps.  If after say two doses of that it is not cleared and feels to be getting worse I hit Migraleve – now this contains Codeine – so I’m wary of it due to my history.  But the docs recommend it (it is even manufactured by my old employer) and so I take it carefully.  Never more than two days in a row – the patient leaflet says no more than three, but normally one is sufficient to kill the attack off.   I share this here for one reason there is a lot of talk in AA rooms about people taking drugs that can cause dependency issues.  Be aware is my advice.  I only take this when I need to – I try the first non-codeine approach first.  I stick to the rules.  I don’t kid myself.  I tell people, normally my wife, when I feel it is necessary for me to take it so they can challenge me about my consumption later.  Honestly I fought the doctors for some time, cos I was convinced I had Meniere’s Disease which my Grandmother had.  Through not listening and not taking medication I had that 6 weeks in 2009 that could have been avoided.

The update… over the last three weeks my migraines have changed significantly.  Now I’m getting this visual disturbance thing early on in the headache.  It is like I am looking through a cracked pane of glass that is moving – i.e. somewhere near the centre of my sight is a bit that is not right, out of focus, just wrong, when I try to look directly at it … it moves of course.

So what do I do?  Stop and relax (see above)…  NO! I just battle on – stupid! Yesterday one started as I came how from the grocery store.  I tried to carry on with my list of stuff to do and it was not getting better… worse in fact.   So…I did stop and took the tablets – sat for 10 mins… gone. Simple but why don’t I listen to my body more and remember the lessons of the past.

Is this just alcoholic thinking?  I doubt it but I hear many alcoholics with the same trait this level of stubbornness and desire to just march on regardless of personal cost.  I may have stopped the wreckage of the drinking but that trait still stays in me.

About furtheron

Music and guitar obsessive who is a recovering alcoholic to boot
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Migraine changes

  1. Elsie says:

    I could write a novel here, Graham. That stubborn thinking you talk about – totally me. As you know, I get migraines too. I’ve had them for over 25+ years and they keep getting worse. Why don’t I heed my body’s advice when it’s telling me it’s time to quit for the day? I think it’s part guilt and part stubbornness (aka ignorance is bliss). For me, I feel if I stop being productive than I’m just some schulb on my couch while everyone around me is busy, busy, busy. Also, I think that ignorance – denial – stubbornness – is easier to accept than the fact that I’m about to succumb to my pain. i.e. I lack control and you know how I hate that!

    I’ve heard the same thing in the rooms about meds. I avoid narcs and stick with migraine specific drugs too. There have been times when I was prescribed narcs and I do like you. Stick to the label and keep myself in check. I am under no illusion I’m not at risk. My choice of drug was not pills, but it’s good to just keep a weary eye out.

    Feel better soon!

    AJ’s wHooligan in the A-Z Challenge

  2. Have you ever been in a dangerous situation when one of these attacks occurred? Behind the wheel of a car or out camping in the middle of nowhere?

    You have an admirable amount of self-awareness about your situation. Well done.

    You’d better get this looked into. Have you ever seen a neurologist? It’s worrisome.

    • furtheron says:

      With one exception I’ve been hit when not in a dangerous position. Once I had one when I was driving. I managed (some how) to get home but it made it worse. Again I’d have been better to pull over onto the hard shoulder of the motorway and called for help really.

      Yes I’ve had loads of test including more than one MRI of my brain which came back saying “NOTHING FOUND” – much to the amusement of my wife. Luckily there is a balance clinic at my local hospital with a neurologist who specialises in these kind of conditions – it is he who diagnosed the MAV

      • I don’t know how your healthcare system is structured out by you, but here in the U.S., you could go bankrupt trying to diagnose and treat this condition.

      • furtheron says:

        The beauty of the NHS – free at the point of delivery – i.e. didn’t cost me a penny. I have to pay for the drugs but they are low cost OTC ones here – of course if I qualified for free prescriptions then I’d get them gratis as well – e.g. if I was under 18 or under 25 and in full time education or over 65 and a pensioner or on welfare income only or had a long term chronic condition on a list that allows you to get all prescriptions free etc.
        One of the reasons I’m so lucky to live in the UK

      • It’s our national tragedy that we don’t have something similar here. The profit mongers have corrupted the medical industry. It’s irreversible.

  3. daisyfae says:

    Have to agree that your level of self-awareness is absolutely wonderful! i had a brief bout with recurring ocular migraines — i’d get weirdness in my peripheral vision, eventually seeming as though i was looking through a cardboard tube! this was followed by a skull-splitting headache. medication solved the problem – with only a few later episodes…

    It seems the crushing deadlines, and stress, may have been working on you even more than you realized! Hoping you are through this soon…

  4. I think to a degree, we want to be well and self-sufficient. Not taking the rest we need because we feel guilty or weak. It takes a lot to switch the brain to understand that taking care of ourselves is the smart thing to do. I need to do better at self care :p

  5. runningonsober says:

    Ugh, I’ve suffered horrible headaches, but I’m sure they don’t compare a bit to migraines.
    So sorry they’re getting worse.
    Be gentle on yourself…

  6. byebyebeer says:

    My boss’ wife suffers migraines and recently had a bad case of vertigo. I wasn’t aware they were linked, though this makes sense. I’m really sorry you have to suffer these. I like that you’ve learned how to manage migraines, and I also get how sometimes self-care falls by the wayside. Progress, not perfection, I guess.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s