Serious headache paralyzed me for 3 days?

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  • Full Question:

    I am asking if you can help me determine my condition and how to help me please: I recently had a bout of serious headache that paralyzed me for 3 full days and nights and I realize this happens about twice a year. I am a 55-yr old woman, happily married with little stress, easy schedule and good health otherwise. I get 8 hours of sleep per night and eat healthily.  The headache comes on and after a few hours I realize it isn't going away but getting worse, so I take 2 Ibuprofen. 4 hours later it is gripping my whole head and a small bit of nausea feeling, so I take 2 more; this continues. I had trouble sleeping with the pain, waking each hour and tossing and turning. Next day it is same or worse, so I take 3 Ibuprofens every 4 hours and can only lay in bed hoping it will get better. When the headache finally lifts, it feels like my whole brain is bruised and battered and it takes at least another day to fully recover.

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    I haven't contacted a doctor yet because I don't think a doctor will take me seriously. Looking forward to your response, thank you, Cheryl.


    Full Answer:

    Dear Cheryl;


    We would dearly love to help you determine your condition. The problem is that there are so many things that could cause the symptoms you describe, and it's quite impossible to sort through them and determine which applies to you without being able to sit down with you, discuss your symptoms, review your medical history, and examine you in person.


    Do you mean "paralyzed" literally or figuratively? What you describe could be severe tension-type headache, Migraine, another headache disorder, or something else entirely. We DO understand your concern about a doctor not taking you seriously, but any doctor who is worthy of being your doctor will take you seriously and get to the bottom of this problem with you. Start by seeing your family doctor who knows you and is familiar with your medical history. He or she can refer you to another doctor if necessary and, as your primary care physician, will help you through the process.


    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert



    If you need help finding a  Migraine and headache specialist,
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    About Ask the Clinician:

    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and  Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and  Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.


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    We hope you find this general medical and health information useful, but this Q & A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. For all personal medical and health matters, including decisions about diagnoses, medications and other treatment options, you should always consult your doctor. See full Disclaimer.


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    Last updated November 12, 2012.

Published On: November 11, 2012