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Day 643- Time to See a Doctor

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

One great thing about losing weight, was a lot of my health issues went away.

I used to get upper respiratory infections every other month, sinus infections every other week. I was just an overall sick person. But one thing has never left me.

Headaches. I've had headaches since I was in kindergarten. I remember having medicine in the nurse's office that I could take. It was Tylenol until 8th grade when I suddenly became allergic to Tylenol.

Then in high school, I got a bad case of vertigo and after an MRI and Catscan, they discovered I had a Chiari Brain Malformation. It's nothing really serious, and many people live their entire lives without ever knowing they have it. I was born with mine, and had I not had vertigo, we may have never discovered it. However, my headaches never really could be clearly connected with the malformation, so we never had surgery.

I mean, who really wants to have brain surgery anyways.

So, since I lost weight, I've also had less headaches. But with a tradeoff. The headaches I get now are debilitating. They are behind my left eye and just excruciating. I got one last May, and didn't get another one until a few weeks ago. When I went to the doctor, they prescribed me a type of Percocet without Tylenol after I went through the long list of headache medicines I have been prescribed before to no avail.

Now I'm all for pain relief, but I don't want to have to rely on Percocet to deal with these headaches, which after some research, I believe are "cluster" headaches. The last one lasted for 5 days but finally went away.

Well then last week, in my office, I was reading something on our bulletin board, when for a few brief seconds, I completely blacked out. I leaned onto the wall, scared of this experience, because I've never blacked out or passed out before. The blacking out has happened a few more times since then. Never for more than a few seconds and I've never fallen or anything, just grabbed on to whatever was close.

Well this morning, I woke up to another cluster headache.

And I just feel so broken and depressed. So many things have changed in a positive way due to my weight loss and I'm so glad for that. But these headaches are unbearable.

And my silly mind keeps saying " you didn't get them like this when you were fat."

It's probably not related, but I'm wondering if my calorie restriction is too much, or I have low blood sugar, or something. I truly don't know.

I just want to feel well and not have any health problems for once in my life.

You see, growing up, I had over 20 doctors. I had orthopedic surgeons, cardiologist, pulmonary specialists...and the list goes on. And most of those problems were probably due to my unhealthy lifestyle.

Which I guess is why I'm so frustrated. I feel like I'm doing so much good for myself, and yet these headaches are making it so hard for me to function.

I just want to feel well.

I called and got an appointment with a family doctor for Friday morning.

My last headache lasted 5 days so maybe I'll still feel terrible Friday too.

Ugh. I love you SparkFriends. Thanks for your support.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    922 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1682 days ago
    Headaches are the worst. I am so sorry you are going through this ,specially now that you are looking after yourself. Hopefully your Doctor can come up with a solution you can live with. Fingers crossed. Take care of yourself. emoticon
    1685 days ago
    I don't mean to spill my problems on your blog, but my mother found out she had a chiari malformation. She had numbness in her hand, very bad vertigo on a multiple daily basis, and extremely bad headaches. She ended up having the brain surgery and is fully recovered. I don't understand your pain, but I know what she had to go through. I wish you the best and your boyfriend will be wonderful support for you.
    1686 days ago
    Hang in there! You are in my prayers!
    1686 days ago
    Prayers and hugs!
    1687 days ago
    I am reading this blog on Friday. I hope your headache is well over and that your doctors are able to provide some answers. Never, ever, ever doubt the value of your weight loss. That is immeasurable. Good luck. emoticon
    1689 days ago
    I hope that they can do the right tests to find out what's causing your headaches. I get mild migraines, but not the cluster headaches, and they're usually related to either that time of the month or eating too many sugary items or if I accidentally have something with added caffeine since I never have caffeine in my diet.

    Good luck! emoticon
    1689 days ago
    I had cluster headaches for a while that happened at the same time every day. It was to do with my food and the TOM. I added more protein to my diet in the morning and the headaches disappeared.
    1689 days ago
    I have had a type 1 Chiari Malformation since I was born but was only just discovered in a recent mri an scared the crap out of my Drs but Nero told me had muffin to do with tm head as for years I was having migraines everyday my nuro told me it was chronic daily headaches and I'm now on Topamax a havnt had a bad headache in weeks I really hope U can get help I know just how hard it can b an if it helps I found that when I pushed myself to much on cardio it would make things worse
    1689 days ago
    Sorry you're having these headaches. Glad you are seeing the doc and hope things get better for you very soon! emoticon
    1690 days ago
    hope the Dr finds a solution
    1690 days ago
    Scary post. I hope you find some answers soon.
    1690 days ago
    I agree. See your doctor about it.
    1690 days ago
    Whether you feel horrible or not on Friday morning, you need to see that Doctor. I am shocked that they didn't want to see you sooner since headaches that severe are not something that should be taken lightly. I hope your headache goes away and the Doctor can determine the cause and treat it long term rather than just prescribing Percocet.
    1690 days ago
    Hope you get to feeling better!
    1690 days ago
    See if you can find a Nature-path that will work on the plates in your head. Loosening them back up may help a lot. It did me. Even a slight bump of your head can cause them to jamb causing not only headaches but learning problems and anger issues. It doesn't hurt, it's so gentle, you could almost fall asleep on the table.
    1690 days ago
  • KARAW531
    Hang in there. It really sounds sucky, but I hope it gets better emoticon
    1691 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1691 days ago
  • JENNY888
    So sorry about the headaches. I hope the doc finds a solution for you.
    1691 days ago
    Blackouts are scary! So glad you are seeing a doctor. Prayers for non surgery options for you!
    1691 days ago
    So praying you find a solution!! emoticon
    1691 days ago
    You are doing the right thing checking this out with your doctor. Blackouts need to be checked out, especially new ones.
    I'm so sorry about the headaches, it is so unfair to have a condition actually worsening after making so many positive changes in your life. I believe they are unlikely to be related to weight loss, though... I hope your doctor finds a solution that helps you.
    1691 days ago
  • GABY1948
    And I am praying that you start feeling better too! emoticon
    1691 days ago
    I have suffered from cluster headaches for years. It is truly hard to describe the severity of the pain. I am so sorry you are having this problem. The last time I had a cluster cycle, I discovered high flow oxygen. The first time I tried it, it cut the headache off in THREE minutes! My doctor combined this with beta blockers to cut the cycle short. It was amazing to finally find something that would help. You might suggest this to your doctor and see what he/she thinks.

    Fortunately I haven't had a cluster cycle in a couple of years, but even now, when I start to get a headache behind my eye, it get that panicky feeling - afraid they're coming back.

    I hope you find something that works for you. Best of luck!
    1691 days ago
    Yikes, it sounds awful. I am glad you were able to get an appointment.
    1691 days ago
    I think you have made a good decision in getting to the doctor. Hope you feel better soon!
    1691 days ago
    Wishing you luck Jan-Marie, I suffer from migraines so I do know how that goes. But yours sound different than mine, as when I exercise a lot, they do get much, much better, and I don't black out from them. But sometimes they do drain me sometimes to where I have to lay down. But they've improved greatly. I am hoping that a doctor can tell you what's causing these headaches and that you can get them under control and be able to manage them to where you can at least function with one. That's how mine are, I have them often still, but they're on a much smaller scale. *Hugs*

    1691 days ago
    Hope it goes away quickly. Have you had your eyes checked? The same thing started happening to me in grad school and it turned out that I needed glasses. The intense studying worsened the strain on eyes and that was my brain's way of telling me!
    1691 days ago
    I hope they find some answers for you. Good luck!
    1691 days ago
  • GINA180847
    One thing for sure the fact that you are no longer obese has to be a good thing but yes the headaches are awful. I sure hope your Dr. can figure this out. My husband had excrutiating headaches for many years and when Tylenol came along it was his salvation. But now he has used so many that he is starting to see some damage. Oy vey! I used to get sinusitis so much but moving from a coastal environment cleared that up and the final best remedy was to quit smoking. I have been clear for over 20 yrs. now. None of this helps you though and my heart goes out to you. Here you are at the threshold of a wonderful life and these things should leave you alone to enjoy what is rightfully yours. Keep us posted!
    1691 days ago
    so sorry! I get nasty migraines too (have one right now!) so I totally understand. When they did all sorts of those tests on me, their conclusion was... you get migraines! Hopefully your doctor can find something that works for you to get you some relief!!
    1691 days ago
  • TIGER_LILY_613
    So sorry to hear you're having these headaches. I hope the doctor can figure it out soon !
    1691 days ago
    Hope they figure it out once & for all as all of that really sounds like no fun!.
    I've had brain lesions that effected my vision temporarily & have suffered from black outs on many occasions so i know how scary it must be. again my thought are with you & I hope they find a solution. xo
    1691 days ago
  • JEREMY723
    I hope that everything works out for you, and soon!
    1691 days ago
    Good luck to you! It can be scary not knowing, but it's always better to have it checked out. Fingers crossed. emoticon
    1691 days ago
    I feel you --- I've been fainting multiple times per day for the last year and it's terrifying when the world goes black on you. I've also got the history of multiple specialists, and totally understand why you don't want to get back on the medical rollercoaster. It bites, but they're the only ones who can help you get this under control so that you don't have the pain and fear any more.

    When you see your doc, make sure he orders a full vitamin/mineral/electrolyte panel including folate, B12, D, iron, sodium, and potassium. Your symptoms could be a sign of a deficiency in any one of these. Since your body stores a goodly amount of them, it can take up to a couple of years after a change in in diet for stores to drop to a point where symptoms occur. It's not something that is common, but one of the things that our "healthy lifestyle" usually includes is going low sodium - not a problem for most, but if you're like me and have low blood pressure, then too little sodium causes massive problems.

    You might want to ask for a referral to a neurologist who specializes in headaches. I just saw mine yesterday (migraines - not clusters), and her recommendation was to try taking B2 (200 twice per day) and magnesium (300-600 twice per day). I didn't get the study information from her, but she mentioned a few studies that have shown this helping prevent migraines (although they can cause some stomach upset). She knows that I'm not a huge fan of meds (or supplements, for that matter), but she's seen enough good results in her own patients that she strongly recommended that I give this a try.

    Strong thoughts that you doc can figure out a fix for you and that you'll be feeling better soon!
    1691 days ago
    Good luck!

    Medicine changes often so it's good to try to get to the bottom of this again. Who knows, there may be a new treatment or protocol that will work for you.
    1691 days ago
  • KIMBERLY19732
    1691 days ago
    Wow. Definitely time to get to the bottom of your headaches. Keep pushing to get the answer. . .I think your family doctor is just your first stop. I do hope that you review your nutrition with a dietician, to be sure you're getting what you need. Hang in there, and I hope you find some relief soon. emoticon
    1691 days ago
    My husband was having cluster headaches with constant migraines about 2 years ago. We saw a neurologist who prescribed a drug used for seizures. Hubby took those pills for a year. When he went off the pill, no more clusters OR migraines! I'll try to remember to ask hubby what it was. It's something they put you on temporarily then wean you off of it, and it's supposed to alter your brain function slightly to stop the headaches.
    1691 days ago
    It is definitely time to see a doctor: and make sure they do more than just hand you a prescription.

    I've had headaches all my life (well, I've had the same headache for 8 years, so ...?) without a cause, but it's always important to go get an update. Perhaps your malformation has changed... or maybe it's something more serious.

    If it does turn out to be cluster headaches, it won't be fun. But there are things you can do to make life a bit easier. The blacking out period could have been something serious, or it could have been a warning that the headache was coming. If you know they're coming, you can try to head them off at the pass with massages and hot baths (to ensure there's no tension to contribute to your pain), prep tea, easy food, and painkillers so that they're nearby, and try to be active (but not over-exerting yourself) and eat really healthily. Any of these things could potentially head off the headache, but if they don't, they'll make a crappy situation a bit more bearable.

    Sucks that you're going through this. Luck!
    1691 days ago
    1691 days ago
    I hope they can find you some relief... I'm sorry to hear that you're going through so much pain :(
    1691 days ago
    Tell that voice to SHUT UP!!!!

    I recently went though some medical issues myself. As I sat talking with the Dr we were discussing how after losing 80+lbs AND quitting smoking, I start having all these medical issues. It just didn't seem fair. I let them get to me so bad, and let that voice in my head say it wasn't that bad when I was fatter, and guess what. This year I put almost all the weight back on. I can hardly believe that happened to ME. I was so focused and happy in my new lifestyle. I'm back now, medical issues or not, and I will get it all off again and keep it off this time. But please, tell that voice to SHUT UP!!!

    And good luck at the dr. emoticon
    1691 days ago
  • NEWMOM20121
    I hope you are able to get some help. So sorry.
    1691 days ago
    You need a good neck massage, but you're a bit far away. I have long arms but not quite that long!
    1691 days ago
  • AMY4593
    How terribly frustrating not to have answers. I will be sending positive thoughts your way and lifting you in prayer!
    1691 days ago
    Oh I'm so sorry that you are going thought that. I know many women who deal with frequent migraines and know how hurtful headaches can be. Hopefully you can find just the rot combination of doctor and medicine that will help you feel better. I'll be thinking about you on Friday.
    1691 days ago
    good luck with the headaches mine never go away some are just easier to deal with
    1691 days ago
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