What is wrong with me?!???
I am writing this question out of complete frustration with my headaches and lack of care I have received from the medical community. I have suffered with chronic daily headaches for the past eight years and have been to several doctors and been prescribed several (19!) different medications. Some have taken the edge off the pain, but none have provided complete relief.
I have seen two Neurologists who are "Headache Specialists". However, both of them immediately prescribed medication and did not send me for any type of tests. The most recent Neurologist says he "thinks my headaches are vascular" and the symptoms are somewhat related to migraines, but are "atypical".
I am frustrated because no doctor has told me what is causing the constant daily pain and has not diagnosed me. I have eliminated all known "triggers", including overuse of OTC medicines, but I still have a headache. It is always on one side, behind my left eye and at the base of my skull. It is a daily dull ache and when I have "episodes" several times a week, it literally feels like someone is sticking a knife or ice pick through my eye socket. Sometimes I have nausea and light sensitivity, but not always.
Also, my headaches disappeared COMPLETELY both times I was pregnant. I have been on birth conrol pills and had the Mirena IUD and the headaches did not change or get worse. But, my headaches ARE worse the day before / of my period. Go figure...
I have an eye exam including dialation, been to an ENT, treated for sinus problems, had a CT scan of my sinuses and everything has been normal. I have told every doctor that I had a head injury - I was hit in the eye (the one that hurts) with a softball and knocked out when I was 12. None of them have thought that was important or noted it in my chart. Could that be related? Is this a "variation" of a migraine? Could an MRI help?
I feel so helpless and hopeless. Everyone says "change doctors", but I have seen so many and I am tired of being the guinea pig for new drugs! I am currently on Zanaflex and Depacote.
Please help, if you can. I appreciate your time and attention. Thank you, lolah.
Your question is somewhat confusing as you first say you've had chronic daily headaches for eight years, then say that you don't have a diagnosis... one doctor "thinks they're somewhat related to Migraines... one doctor "thinks your headaches are vascular." Bottom line is that there's no diagnosis here.
You mention seeing two neurologists who are "Migraine specialists." Sadly, some people have the experience of seeing someone who is supposed to be a Migraine specialist, but isn't. Please read Migraine and Headache Specialists - What's So Special?
Your symptoms of daily, dull headache headache with other "episodes" some days could be transformed Migraine (TM), but nobody can diagnose via the Internet. It is, however, something worth discussing with a doctor. See Transformed Migraine - The Basics for more information on TM.
It's not unusual for doctors to prescribe medication without ordering tests such as an MRI when a patient's symptoms, exam, and medical history are consistent with Migraine, but when treatments don't work, it's not a bad idea to do some testing to rule out organic issues that might show in testing -- stroke, aneurysm, tumor, etc.
If you're not already doing so, start a Migraine and headache diary to help you and your doctor spot patterns and triggers. You can download a free diary workbook from our article Your Migraine and Headache Diary.
We know you don't want to hear, "see another doctor," but that's really the best advice we can offer. Seek treatment from a true Migraine and headache specialist. There's a link below to a listing of patient recommended specialists.
Don't lose hope, lolah. There are excellent doctors out there who can diagnose your headaches and Migraines and help you find an effective treatment regimen.
John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert
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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© Teri Robert and J.C. Krusz, 2008.
Last updated July 21, 2008.
Published On: July 21, 2008