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I'm dubious about my head today. Sunday was mostly headache free, with but the occasional pain spike which I threw nurophen at with a vengance. Today, though, I'm concerned. Not a whole lot of sleep last night, combined with that ominous pressure at the temples, behind my eyes, and at the base of my skull. It doesn't hurt yet, but it feels like its warming up to it.

And, you know, I'm not saying that it is the usual migrane you hear about. The "you must only whisper in my darkened presence, lest the pain of my head consume the world" kind of migrane is far, far removed from the dull, creeping ache I seem to have. But I'm beginning to understand how awful it must be for people with chronic pain.

I'm distressed at the possibility of having to go without caffiene, which I may have to if I start getting migranes a whole lot. Last time I tried to do that, I went through awful, awful withdrawl symptoms. Caffiene is the only drug I imbibe at a constant level (unlike the occasional drink of alcomahol), and I'd like to think that I do the addicted thing properly. No getting distracted from my beloved caffiene by any other silly chemicals.

As an aside, one of my supervisors just came in to check on me and my aching head. He thinks I should go back to the doctor, and I think I agree with him. I'll wait and see how I go today... it may just be a lack of sleep thing. It may not. An optometrist may be the way to go as well. We'll see.

And! Jye has convinced me to use some of my mountain of DnD gamer-crack miniatures for the next DnD session. I'm going to need to get some building models if I'm going to do that, and as I recall I can download fold up paper buildings from the Wizards of the Coast website.

Mmmmm - folding and sticky-taping paper. My favourite.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 11th, 2004 05:30 pm (UTC)
Sounds a little similar to what I get. Ask the doctor to check you for spinal problems and also problems with your trapezius muscle (the big ones across your shoulders and up into your neck and scalp). I've found that a course of acupuncture treatments can work wonders.
I feel like a course of something similar like kinesiology or even reflexology will help clear some of the blockages that are causing your headaches as well.
Jul. 12th, 2004 01:54 am (UTC)
Second this - there are all sorts of nerve point issues which can lead to significant and chronic headaches. Get a physio or chiropractor to check out your spinal alignment and that you don't have anything pressing on an important nerve.

As for the caffiene thing, I have one per day, maximum two. But if I skip a day I tend to get withdrawl symptoms. The result of drinking way more than one a day for many years while at Uni (in the region of 30+ cups per day).
Jul. 11th, 2004 07:08 pm (UTC)
I would seriously reccomend skipping caffeine for a while. They are responsible for a large percentage of migraines.

Trust me, after they'v haunted you for a while, its worth braving the caffeine withdrawl.
Jul. 11th, 2004 07:48 pm (UTC)
I've had 'chronic pain headaches' for, well, ever, really. They're not technically migraines, and mine rarely last longer than a day, when they're really intense, but low, constant aches can last longer (eg: I'm now approaching at least a weeks worth of constant headache). I'm fairly well versed in the many different varieties in which they come..

At some point, I went through all the full on tests - I'd been living with them for a while, and while taking something like asprin/panadol might work for a while, efficiacy starts to lessen the more you take the same drug. I find nurofen, at the moment, is my friend in many, many, ways. Two of them basically knock me out, and are saved, as such, for special occasions. I also try to avoid taking many painkillers, firstly because I don't think its good for you in the long term, and secondly because I don't want to lessen their effectiveness for when I've got the really bad headaches. Anyway, having gone through x-rays to check spinal/muscular alignment, catscans to check my head, screening blood tests, etc., and having no cause ascribed, they started me on a combined course of anti-depressants and anti-epileptics. Not cos I was either of those things, but because the chemicals in those drugs when combined were supposed to help reset a pain level in my brain - which was the neurologists pet theory as to what caused these headaches. It didn't help, and after 12 months of constant medication, relaxation/meditation techniques, and keeping a chart of my headaches, I just gave up.

What does help is basically stress management. Nothing you haven't heard before really, but be aware of where you carry stress. If you tense your jaws/shoulders/neck, that's likely to be a big factor in your headaches - chewing gum, of all things, can help there. Herbal teas can be good, massages, when they can be afforded, are all good, not asking too much of yourself on days you do have it bad, making sure you keep hydrated (drink lots of water, they really were right about that), and keep blood sugar levels relatively constant. In my case particularly, water and food are big factors. Unfortunately, so are hormones, and there's jack shit you can do about that - if you're on the pill, you can chat to your doctor about maybe finding something to adjust there, but that's about it. Application of heatpacks to shoulders/jaws, baths rather than showers, time to really relax, just sit on the couch with a blanket and the television, a cup of tea and a wheat bag, make that boi rub your shoulders, chill out. Oh and check your eyes too, but you already know that.
Jul. 12th, 2004 06:08 pm (UTC)
The first time I gave up caffeine the withdrawal was horrendous. It lasted all of about six months before I caved and went back on. In that time I'd put on 15kg, which haven't gone away, although I've been converting them to muscle this year. The second (and current) break from caffeine was surprisingly easy. I only had withdrawal for about the first week and since then I've felt the urge every now and then (note that I was more addicted to coca cola than caffeine) but it's not nearly as bad. Coming up on one year since my last mouthful...
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )