Sophie’s Choice: What are the toughest treatment choices you face when balancing Migraine/Headache Disorders with other health conditions?
Ah the Comorbids. Fibromyalgia causes problems simply because of its nature. FM really is the sort of syndrome you can do very little about medically speaking… but it is also one that can have a pretty large consistent impact on migraines. Now I do have treatment in the form of Lyrica which can also be used as a migraine preventative, so you can go for the two birds on stone approach, but it didn’t do anything for the migraines… nevertheless there are a few medications you can try that the aim is the same in regards to this. Problem is you might get the same result it seems, one is affected while the other isn’t, or neither is. And then if like me you are on an FM med like Lyrica well then when it comes to migraine prevention you get that whole stacking of medications which can be nasty. But you have no choice because you need to stay on the Lyrica. But that isn’t the real problem. The real problem lies in the fact the issues FM has often are things that trigger migraines as is. Like already being photophobic, phonophobic, sensitive the chemicals and scents and having insomnia, sleep dysfunction and IBS-D.
Although I would say that my toughest choice came about because of triptans. Tripans cause shortness of breath and chest pains with me, which can be a real problem most definitely when I take them twice in one day or two days in a row so I definitely avoid that. But I had a real problem with Imitrex shots and more severe chest pains, angina, episodes on it. So a doctor took me off it which obviously was not a great choice because the alternative was toradol pills. They did not work as well or as quickly and the side effects for them, while different were just as severe as they aggravated by IBS-D. I’d get horrible abdominal pain, cramping and then, well, go to bathroom until I had nothing left in me. I had no other option and was working a the time so this got worse and worse. My doctor switched me to Arthotec which is an anti-inflamatroy with a coating but it did not help and the adverse reaction got… severe. I ended up on a leave from work just because of that and because I was left with no treatment. And as a result now to this day I cannot tolerate even OTC anti-inflamatories which is rather unfortunate because they are a good treatment at times. My next doctor put me on a triptan again… and I just accepted that because apparently no other option. I understand other doctors and ER doctors said I should not be on them but when offered no other solution I needed some treatment to function at work. So… I am just really careful to spread them out. So that is a treatment choice that might bite me in the well heart or lungs one day, but it is better than literally nothing and since just triptans is really, really not sufficient nothing would be far worse wouldn’t it? It is disturbing I have to make this choice and that I ignore chest pains when they occur, and that I just assume taking more asthma medication is a good solution if breathing problems are an issue, even though no idea what is causing the breathing problems. But I did make the difficult choice not to use triptans that one time and that turned out so not well and then that doctor really didn’t seem to think the side effects triptans have on me was a concern so I pretend it isn’t as well, but I am just really careful with them. I think the next choice will have to be being pretty specific about these side effects with the new neuro and see what options he has, but to be honest unless I take the triptans as recommended and consecutively and then inevitably when I get a real severe chest pain bout and then actually go to the ER like one should do for them to say ‘yeah, don’t take these’ and have that on record Again… I don’t think they really listen to a damn thing I say. And that is a freaky way to prove a point to be honest because what if my breathing goes wonky too, that isn’t always something that bounces back as quickly.
June 2013, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The 2013 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project of FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.