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Severe migraines after concussion - help!

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Unread 02-02-2012, 01:29 PM   #1
3CKCS4me
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Default Severe migraines after concussion - help!

Hello everyone. I am new to this forum and am looking forward to meeting everyone. My name is Jodi, and I live in the Eastern US.

I am at the end of my rope, and I am turning to any of you for some advice or feedback. I have had several bad concussions in my life, but the most recent (and the most signficant) happened when I was in a car wreck 3 yearas ago. It was snowing that day, and I was required to get to work. (I work in a hospital as a patient sitter, and the job has no health insurance. Our boss required us to come to work that day, despite the fact that there was 2 feet of snow on the ground.) I only had a front wheel drive car, and I tried my best to get to work because I couldn't lose my job. Unfortunately, I lost control of the car on a hill, and it slid out of control and hit a snow bank. I hit my head hard on the side of the car, and I got an instant severe headache. A CT scan showed a mild TBI and a bad consussion.

I thought the incident was over until about a month later when I began having severe migraines. Ever since, I have had migraines every few weeks for 3 years, and it's interfering with my life greatly. Has anyone else had migraines since suffering a bad concussion? I never had migraines before I got the bad concussion from the car wreck.

Because I don't have health insurance, I can't get any treatment for the migraines, so I have to suffer through them. My doctor gives me migraine meds when he gets them free from drug reps, but he often doesn't have enough to cover the amount of migraines I have. With my min. wage salary (and with no prescription drug coverage), I can't afford the huge prices of the migraine meds, so I'm up a creek.

Anyway, yesterday morning, I woke up with another severe migraine; in fact, it was one of the worst ones I've ever had. I had to call in sick to work, which I hate doing because the hospital really frowns on people that call in sick. We get punished at evaluation time every time we call in sick. And, because my head still hurts today (but not half as bad) and I'm extremely fatigued, I had to call in sick again. I didn't have a choice. I'm now at the end of the rope with these headaches, and I want to ask if I'm alone in having bad migraines after suffering a concussion. Does anyone relate, and if so, what do you do about your migraines?

I wish I hadn't tried to get to work in 2 feet in snow in a front wheel drive Honda Civic. But, that's overr with, and I need to figure out what to do from here. I would appreciate any suggestions!! I just see a family doctor, and he doesn't know what to do with these headaches. And, it's hard for him to refer me anywhere because of the lack of insurance.

Thanks so much for reading this. My job is on the line becuase I have to call in sick with these migraines. I'm worried to pieces. These headaches need to stop taking over my life.

Thank you, and best to all of you.
Jodi
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Unread 02-02-2012, 06:20 PM   #2
Mark in Idaho
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Welcome to NeuroTalk. I am so sorry to hear of your migraines. I have a TBI friend who suffers TBI migraines and fully understand what you are going through.

Have you tried a combination of Tylenol (acetaminophen or paracetamol) and aspirin? Combined they give very good pain relief. You can take maximum doses of both at the same time. The Tylenol should not be taken at maximum dose for more than a week without a few days to allow your liver to clear. The suggested maximum dose is 4000 mgs per day. Aspirin can be taken in an enteric form to reduce stomach upset.

I routinely use this combination for my more severe head aches.

You should also get your blood pressure checked during thees migraines. They may be blood pressure related. A blood pressure lowering med may help. Propanolol ought to be available at most major pharmacies for minimum cost. Walgreens and Walmart have good no-insurance discount plans.

Stay away from caffeine and MSG (MonoSodiumGlutamate)

My best to you.
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Mark in Idaho
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59 years old, retired due to disability, married 34 years, father of three, grandfather of four, Suffered a serious concussion at 10 years old (1965) stopped most driving after concussion at 46 years old (2001), Post Concussion Syndrome/Multiple Concussion/Impact Syndrome with PTSD, immediate/short term visual and auditory memory problems, slowed processing speed, visual/auditory processing difficulties, insomnia, absence seizures, OCD, 14 concussions since first concussion at 8 years old, Taking paroxetine for 14 years and gabapentin for 12 years. Added L-Tryptophan and stopped paroxetine after 3 months of tapering. I currently take 500 mgs of L-Tryptophan AM, 500 mgs noon, and 500 mgs PM.


As of Nov 15th, Due to high stress issues resulting in PTSD, docs put me on 3 meds. Clonazepam but only for 30 days ) .125 mgs twice daily (Doc presc. .25 mgs 2x daily but half a tablet is good) , citalopram (Celexa), an SSRI , and olanzapine (Zyprexa), an atypical anti-psychotic that usually causes weight gain before bed. I lost over 30 pounds since mid July. It just stopped the weight loss. Took me off the gabapentin. I am feeling better than I have in years.

This great feeling only lasted a month. Back to the same old PCS doldrums.

May 2014, I am off the olanzapine due to a 6 fold price increase. Back on 600 mgs of gabapentin before bed.

I am also taking L-Theanine to help with GABA regulation


"Be Still and Know That I am God" Psalm 46:10
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Unread 02-03-2012, 02:16 PM   #3
Eowyn
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I never had migraines before my concussion. After my concussion, they have been one of the biggest and most enduring problems.

Have you consulted a lawyer? It sounds to me like your injury was work-related and there might possibly be some liability on your employer's part. Since you are having difficulty paying for treatment, it might be reasonable to see if you can get the employer to do so, by legal means if necessary.
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mTBI and PCS after sledding accident 1-17-2011

Was experiencing:
Persistent headaches, fatigue, slowed cognitive functions, depression
Symptoms exacerbated by being in a crowd, watching TV, driving, other miscellaneous stress & sensory overload
Sciatica/piriformis syndrome with numbness & loss of reflex


Largely recovered after participating in Nedley Depression Recovery Program March 2012:

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Eowyn Rides Again: My Journey Back from Concussion

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