trade-offs

19Jan13

In December, I was put on yet another new medication to try and control my (waaaayyy out of control) headaches. I’ve been getting migraines for years, likely unrelated to my MS. I even remember getting migraines back in junior high, but my doctors then said they were sinus related. (Common misdiagnosis. Took until I was 30 to learn they were bona fide migraines.)

I’ve controlled my migraines–mostly–with fairly high-dose medication for years: I take 100 mg Imitrex when I get a migraine, and I take 250 mg topirimate every day (plus 400 mg Mg glycinate) to ward them off. Interestingly, for the month prior to my Sept ’12 MS relapse, I had a low-grade headache every day that did not respond to Imitrex. (The breakthrough migraines that I got 2-3 times weekly responded initially, then came back ~2 hours later.) The MS symptoms hit mid-Sept, and the headaches went away entirely. I think I went a good three weeks without a headache. Amazing.

Then, my flareup tapered off. I started regaining more motor function. And–you guessed it–daily headaches started coming back. (How I got voted “best teacher” by some of my students at the end of last quarter… bless their souls. I pushed through the pain…)

Several doctors tried mild (other drugs) and ore drastic (botox shots) measures. Finally… I was given low-dose daily nortryptilene. And… while I’m not headache-free (I still get a couple of regular migraines a week), I don’t get those daily nagging ones anymore.

Victory?

Hmmm. I dunno. Ever since starting to take the new drug, I’ve gotten plumper in my center. I always used to put on weight more in my hips and thighs, not around my waist and just under my ribcage. The scale is up 5 pounds, and I am virtually beating my body into the ground with ~2 hours of working out daily. (I’m afraid of the loss of strength from MS. Obviously.) I’m keeping a fairly close eye on my diet, so… the drug is really the only thing that’s changed.

And now, my clothes don’t fit too well. So do I keep on taking a drug that’s making me lose my mind and–honestly–sending me back toward exercise-obsessed ways? Or do I put up with daily headaches so that I don’t muffin-top over my size 8 pants?

I guess part of the answer lies in the answer to my “gluten free=headache free?” experiment. I haven’t had gluten in a week, but I’ve had 3? maybe 4? headaches. I’ve also had a sore throat all week, and the weather’s been a mixed bag, so I thik I’ll just continue the experiment.

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3 Responses to “trade-offs”

  1. Have you been tested for vitamin D deficiency? Just a thought.

    • Yes, I have, and I’m not too low, so I’m told. I also take 1000 IU daily (I know that there’s controversy about whether taking more is better, but I worry about going too much over the UL for fat-soluble vitamins)

      • Many doctors still recommend a blood level of about 30, but the Vitamin D Council says a level of 50-70 can prevent a lot more than rickets. I took 10,000 per day for months before getting my level up to to 70 and noticed lots of benefits along the way.

        My resource page has some information at http://www.howtostopcolds.com/resources


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