Thirteen hours. 13. One-three. That’s how long I slept Saturday night. It felt amazing. and I think it helped cure my latest headache issue. It was a rough week last week, not feeling well. Dwelling on the worst. Because that’s what I do best. I always get headaches. I practically live on ibuprofen (although i try not to take it daily because I like my kidneys). But these headaches are normal to me.
I’ll never forget my first migraine. Man, that was awful. It was not long after we moved up here. Brian picked me up in Seattle and all of a sudden, I asked him to pull over on the side of East Lake Sammamish. I had to throw up. I had never had a headache make me want to throw up before. I felt like I was going to die. The head pain was so intense. I couldn’t function. I went straight home and slept. It was gone when I woke up. Ever since, I get migraines every few months. And all I have to do is sleep them off. Or if I can tell one is coming on, I take migraine medicine and kill it before it starts. I’ve learned to deal with migraines. And my daily headaches, I’m so used to them that I have several ways to deal with them. But this new headache thing has been a pain…
About four weeks ago, I started getting a new type of headache. This headache is only around my right temple. It moves slightly but not much. At first, it was off-and-on. Happening multiple times a day. About two weeks ago, it became a constant headache. Like I would wake up with it and go to bed with the sucker. No amount of ibuprofen or migraine medicine helped. I was convinced it was a brain tumor or aneurysm… which I totally know how ridiculous this worry was, even while I was worrying.
I tried everything. Sleeping it off, relaxing it off, running it off, medicating it off… nothing helped. It was always there. Sometimes painful, sometimes dull. Always annoying. I emailed my doctor and made an appointment. I couldn’t get in until the 13th. I made the appointment and was told to call daily to see if he had a cancellation to get in sooner. I felt like I was harassing them, and no cancellations happened.
Thursday morning, the day before my appointment I had had enough. My head was still hurting and I was done with the pain. I called my doctor one last time in hopes there was a cancellation. Nothing. To Urgent Care I went. I’m not a rush to the hospital type person but I was desperate. Blaise, Laine, and Saige were all at outdoor school, so Baby was my nurse.
I actually like Urgent Care. Is that weird? It’s nice knowing everything is there and any care needed is just a room away. And the doctors and nurses are always really nice… even if they are faking it thinking I’m nuts for going. After waiting a bit, Baby and I made it to a room. And I actually think it works out to be cheaper than going to my doctor for a new issue. I’ll have to look at the paperwork when it comes.
The nurse did her thing, and then the doctor came in to chat. I told her what had been going on and thankfully, she said it didn’t sound like anything serious and most likely cluster headaches. Awesome. Apparently there is a headache injection medication, Imitrex, they gave me that would help within 15 minutes. I did NOT like that stuff. It went straight to top of the back of my head, and I got this weird hot, tingly feeling. It almost made me nauseous. I felt worse between my constant headache and then this medicine stuff, before I started feeling better. The tingly and nauseous feelings went away, and my constant headache was feeling better. It was still there but very dull.
I left to pick up all the kiddos, my head feeling slightly better. I’m pretty sure half the problem was having major anxiety over why the hell my head was constantly hurting. The head pain never fully went away and was present over the weekend even. The Urgent Care doctor also suggested picking up some Zyrtec even though I don’t have allergies. She said there is so much stuff in the air that it could be causing some congestion. And she prescribed a pill version of the injection. I didn’t pick that up since I didn’t like how I felt. I did get some Zyrtec that I’m taking daily… I have no idea if it is helping. She said to give it a week.
I went to bed Thursday with a headache, woke up Friday with one, and it was still there Saturday. It was much less intense, so I felt better about that. I cancelled my Friday appointment since I felt like I had answers and a plan. And, it was with the nurse practitioner… whom I think is wonderful. But my doctor knows me and I’ve been seeing him for over eight years now. He knows my history. Saturday we drove up north to see the tulips. After a long day, ending with my frustration of the kiddos, we made it home around dinnertime. I pretty much stayed upstairs until the kiddos went up to bed. Brian took them on so I could enjoy some alone time. I lied on the couch about 7pm and the next time I looked at the clock, it was almost midnight. I took the pups out and went up to bed. I don’t even remember falling asleep… and then it was 8:27am Sunday morning. I haven’t slept that long in ages. It felt amazing. When I woke up Sunday, my head felt so much better.
The headache came back slightly Sunday afternoon. And I went to bed with it last night, but this morning I feel amazing. Granted, it’s only the first hour I’m up but no headache yet so I’m hopeful. I’m still seeing my doctor tomorrow to chat about this some more. And to see if there are other treatment options should (when) it comes back. Fingers crossed these awful cluster headaches are gone for now. I read that they can come for a while and then leave for a while. Please don’t come back. Please don’t come back. Please!
UPDATE: April 28, 2018
My right temple pain came back, but not for long. I went to my doctor April 17. The run-down, simplified:
My headaches sound muscular related since when Brian massages my head where it hurts, the pain goes away… even though briefly.
Likely tension headaches. My neck muscles are tight which can pull on the head muscles, causing tension headaches. I asked for a muscle relaxer. I take one every few nights about an hour before bedtime. These suckers help even though they knock me out.
High blood pressure could also be causing my headaches. Because my blood pressure was elevated when I first arrived at urgent care, I’m back on high blood pressure medication. No surprise here. My mom’s side of the family all started having high blood pressure around my age. And I was on high blood pressure medication after Vaile… high blood pressure is why I had her three weeks early. But it significantly went down less than a year after I had her and I was taken off the meds. When I first started getting the headaches, I checked my blood pressure. It was still within range but higher than it had been.
I asked for an MRI to be certain my headaches aren’t because of something more going on (really, for peace of mind). I had one back in 2012 when I wondered if my regular migraines I’d been having for a few years were anything more. Looking back, I clearly started getting health anxiety after having kids! The MRI in 2012 was considered normal. Out of 100+ images, three images had a little spot that they noted may be a nerve cell cyst. I had the MRI last Monday morning at 7:30am. My doctor emailed me Monday just after 3pm saying all was clear. And bonus, the possible nerve cell cyst is no longer there.
I’m taking my anxiety pill in the morning and evening now. When I first started taking it, my doctor said to take one 10mg pill in the morning. And if I felt it wasn’t working, take another in the evening. I decided I needed to start taking one in the evening after all this headache nonsense.
He also said he’d prescribe me massages or chiropractic care if I want. I’ll probably take him up on the massage prescription. I used to get monthly massages but I just don’t have time for that now. Well, I have time but I’d rather do other things. I suppose my health should come first.
So that’s where I stand. So far, so good. I’m certain much of the right temple pain has been treated with my new medications and knowing all is okay in the head (physically, mentally is questionable, ha!). And my daily headaches, almost non-existent.