We'd planned to go out for the day last Wednesday, but a migraine arising in the night and lasting 24 hours put a stop to that. It was the worst since going back onto amitriptyline, but these are not as bad as those earlier in the year. I'm convinced the drug is making life easier, at least for now. I have to admit I had been eating rather a lot of fruit in the preceding days.
Today I awoke with a headache which paracetamol eased. Fingers crossed.
If I get several more I guess we'll be upping the dose again for another few months respite. I'm told 70 mgms is normal so my 10 mg can be doubled if need be.
I almost forgot to record it, but last Saturday, 11th July I woke up with another bad one. Naproxen and paracetamol together, which gave some relief once, failed this time. So I sat it out, literally, and by Sunday morning it had faced to manageable proportions.
Last Sunday was my first bad migraine since going onto Amitriptyline in early June. This is progress and I can probably cope with one a month if that's how it stays.
My husband points out that in the week before Sunday, feeling confident and craving fruit, I started eating apples and strawberries again and after a couple of days without ill effects overdosed (as he puts it) on nectarines.
I'm off fruit again for now but maybe an apple a day would be a more sensible approach!
After a clear week on Propranolol, I suffered a series of what I first thought were classic migraines (4 in two days) but these had very little headache associated. I went back to the doctor and he took me off Propranolol (visual disturbance and headache are amongst the listed side effects!) and re-sold me on amitriptyline which is now well accepted as a successful migraine prophylactic.
Being about to go on holiday and in need of sleeping better this was quite welcome. So, I'm back on 10mg amitripyline at night, sleeping well, but have had two common migraines since starting the course on May 26th. These seem to be reduce in intensity by a combination of Naproxen and Paracetamol.
Apparently it will take a few weeks before any improvement can be expected. The downside so far; dopy mornings feeling unsafe to drive, but this I'm told will wear off.
I decided I could not start taking the Topiramate yet. If the Propranolol I took a few years ago stopped working because my use of Solpadiene simultaneously reduced its potency (as the consultant had told me) then I should try Propanolol again now that I'm off the codeine. My GP was happy to agree with me and so I started a course of propranolol on May 15th. So far so good...
We went to a smashing 65th Birthday Party in the village on Saturday night complete with large bonfire and fireworks. Plenty of food and wine, although as always I was the only teetotaller in the room. This is never a problem for me; I don't need alcohol to get merry, but I often suffer the following morning with a hangover worse than my husband's. Sunday morning was no exception and a full-blown common migraine erupted in the early hours. We had family coming for Sunday lunch, so lying down in a darkened room was not an option: it had to be fought. Naproxen proved useless again and really upset my stomach. Could it have been triggered by party-food or elation? Neither explanation would be acceptable, but maybe the few spoonfuls of chili on an otherwise bland plateful was a mistake.
It lasted through Sunday night and all-day Monday (spent in a darkened room) despite another go with a Naproxen and Omniprazole taken together early in the day. It's shadow was still there on Tuesday morning but by lunchtime I was back to normal.
I had a relatively manageable classic migraine on Monday, took a Naproxen, felt better, but suffered stomach pains such that I decided Naproxen was no longer a good idea.
Today's classic stopped my going out this morning because I decided to take nothing stronger than paracetamol. I was feeling almost normal by the evening and we went out for an enjoyable Chinese.
During Thursday night I felt strange and by Friday morning had a full-blown common migraine of the sort that has followed Chinese food in the past. I had to take something so doubled up the ulcer treatment and took a Naproxen, apparently without relief. During the afternoon it became manageable and we went out to the cinema in the evening as planned. So, not as bad as in the past, but by most counts, 3 in a week.
Yesterday I woke up the headache and numb arm and decided to take one of the naproxen. It worked well for about 2 hours and then the headache returned with a vengeance. I'm allowed 3 a day if I double the ulcer treatment while I'm taking them but I decided to stop at one and tough it out. The day was not as bad as the last migraine day, and while I slept OK last night, the "dagger" part of the headache was still there this morning. So I took another naproxen and things eased sufficiently to allow a trip to the supermarket in the morning. These painkillers are better than nothing and if they don't kill the headache they certainly kill the ever-present arthritis pains!
If I get another inside 10 days I'll need to think seriously about starting the topiramate.
Last night I had some of the symptoms of a classic migraine arriving: feeling of elation followed by a numb left arm and visual disturbances. I went to bed expecting the worst, but despite not sleeping well, woke today without a headache. Now, at 9pm nothing has yet developed.
I got the Naproxen and Topiramate prescription from the neurologist today but as the Topiramate were in capsule form and I was supposed to take half a 25mg tablet to start with, I asked the pharmacist to replace them with tablets. These should arrive tomorrow. The Naproxen are to take if I get a severe headache which would normally have me reaching for the Co-codamol. I also have extra Omeprazole to take along with the Naproxen so that my gastric problem is not exacerbated.
Whether or not I start the Topiramate immediately or wait and see what the headache frequency is as I come of Co-codamol remains to be decided (by me!)
I woke up with a migraine, or maybe codeine withdrawal symptoms if the neurologist is right, at 3:30 am on Saturday. Not yet having the medication which he thought would reduce the suffering of avoiding co-codamol, I decided to avoid it anyway and spent the day in a darkened room with the severe headache waxing and waning until it became more bearable in the late evening. We'd booked to see "Australia", but I couldn't make it. Slept well that night and had a nice day on Sunday including lunch out at the Old Butchers in Stow: a fine restaurant, full to the brim.
The migraines did not go away: I just began to feel that writing the blog was keeping the problem more alive than it should be. Since June 2007, I've had fairly regular migraines despite taking tight control of the diet, and the sleepless nights have been fairly common in the absence of amitriptyline. The only medication which offers any headache relief remains co-codamol. A couple of weeks ago I had a really bad classic migraine which left my left arm feeling numb for several hours and worried me sufficiently to go and see my GP. She refererred me to a neurologist and the appointment came through for last Sunday a.m.
The self-proclaimed headache specialist gave me a thorough check-up, and wanted an account of the progress of the migraines since they started at the age of 12. He turned out to be a fan of amitriptyline and anti codeine-containing analgesics. I haven't got his letter summarising the diagnosis and treatment yet but the first thing he wanted to do was to get me off co-codamol. Even at the rate of no more that 4 tablets per migraine, and a migraine every 7-10 days, he suspected that I had become dependent on the codeine and was suffering from codeine withdrawal symptons after a week without any. The new regime will involve a three week course of an NSAID to allow coming off codeine without too much pain, a doubling of the ulcer-preventative to stop the NSAID aggravating the ulcer problem, and then a new anti-migraine prophylactic in conjunction with a minimal dose of amitriptylene to improve sleeping. I'll provide the details when I get the letter.