Monday, February 21, 2011

Just Say No to Headaches

I feel like I have some wonderful exciting glorious news to share, and I wrack my brain trying to think of what it is and then I remember: Drugs. As in, I found one that has changed my life for the better. Well, it did once (so far). Let me back up.

For years now, I've been getting headaches. Ones that will start at the top of my head and then spread outward and settle behind my eyes. Tylenol doesn't even touch them. If I take 4 Advil early enough, they might help. But I often play that game of chicken where I think, "I don't need to take anything" that usually ends with the pain going beyond those 4 Advil and me kicking myself for wishing I had just up and took the pills. This will surprise Joel, who thinks I take Advil for a hangnail.

And they'll last not hours, but days. Sleeping doesn't help. Napping seems to make them worse. Few things really ruin my mood as much as waking up, but not yet opening my eyes, and feeling the pounding in my head that signals either a headache has already begun, or remains from the night before.

In the past few years, I've come to the conclusion that they are hormone-related, since they seem to occur in cycles and are even worse for the months following childbirth. I mentioned them to my doctor after I had Gemma and he said, "Sounds like migraines." Um, no. Notice how I didn't say flashing lights? Or nausea? I don't get migraines. But he proceeded to tell me the other symptoms I described were right in line. He even prescribed me migraine medication. And I ARGUED with him.

I'm an idiot. I mean, why was I so opposed to naming them? I think I was afraid that if I said, "I have a migraine," my symptoms would suddenly get 10 times worse and my head would explode.

So last weekend, amid a 4-day fever and general malaise and Joel being out of town, one of those head-pounding beauts settled in for a visit. As my ability to mother and will to accomplish anything began to spiral downward, I recalled my Mom recommending Excedrin Migraine. In a last ditch effort on Tuesday, I hauled the kids to the grocery store and bought a bottle. I took said medication at 11:40.

At 12:15 I suddenly had that giggly feeling Ainsleigh talked about last week (consequently, right as this headache was gearing up) and thought, "What is this feeling?" Oh yeah: happiness.

Joel got home that afternoon and cautiously asked, "How are you?" And I threw out my arms and squealed, "GREAT!" I told him about the Excedrin and he retorted, "'re high?"

Look, buddy, I have energy I haven't had in DAYS, I've done laundry and mixed up sugar cookies, I've made dinner and played puzzles with Gemma, and the thought of making plans and organizing my schedule actually makes me happy - I can think in terms of weeks, not just minutes! I'm not saying I advocate drug use per se...

All I know, is that in the past, those headaches were debilitating. And now, I have a weapon that actually WORKS. So yeah, this is big news for me. When (let's say IF) I get another headache/migraine/whatever, it's not going to ruin the next 3 days. Whee!!

Now, if only there was a medication that would keep me from locking my keys in the car...


Lisa said...

Yay! I'm so glad it helped!

And waking up with a headache is just about the worst feeling in the world.

Becca said...

Come did you not know about this?? Caffeine is a miracle for my headaches. But maybe I'm just getting headaches because I need caffeine. Whatever.

Annie said...

YAY for relief!!!! So happy for you.

Allison said...

Yay your feeling better, but you don't remember Mom and Dave singing the praises of Excedrin? It's amazing. Dave's like you, though; in denial about migraines, and hesitant to take anything before it's terrible. Just take the meds and be happy.

TheKunks said...

Competitive family! You will do great! I have no desire to run that many miles at one time...sounds like you are determined. You go girl!

Melin said...

Excedrine is my go-to for migranes also---I actually really enjoy the contrast of being in soo much pain and then suddenly it is lifted...also, if it helps I have noticed sugar really triggers my migranes Glad you found relief.