Go to bed with headache, get up with headache

So after having the neck and back trouble yesterday, it lead to a headache. It’s the typical “starts at back of skull, down into neck and shoulders, creeps up your face, into the trigeminal nerve and forehead, always on the left side” type of headache that I always get. (Your trigeminal nerve is by your TMJ) It’s always throbbing pain. I sat in the jacuzzi with the jets on for about a half hour, and it loosened up my back. I felt better for a little while but it came right back. When it was time for bed, it was a full-fledged headache again. I took some medicine before bed, but I can’t remember what specifically.

I woke up with the same headache. I’m always surprised by the fact that I can sleep and be in that much pain. I guess I’m just used to it. I’ve been getting these headaches for years. I took Rx-strenghth ibuprofen (duexis), and a headache medicine called Fioricet. There isn’t a whole lot that helps this kind of headache though. It’ll probably take the edge off, but I have a feeling it’s going to be a battle all day today. Once your trigeminal nerve gets fired up, there really isn’t any medicine that helps that. It’s very VERY painful. I’ve heard of others refer to trigeminal neuralgia as “the suicide disease”. I don’t have nerve damage(as far as I know), but I have an idea why they call it that. The pain is very intense and relentless. The only relief I can get is to distract it by putting a really hot hotpack on my face, I mean like “almost burn you” hot. That pain feels better than the nerve pain.

This time, I’m positive the trigger for this headache was straining my back and neck muscles. Stress and sitting too long (especially in a movie theater) trigger these headaches too. But a lot of the time, they happen for no real reason. I usually get them in clusters. I’ll be fine for a few days, and then the first headache starts, and it turns into this 4-day battle. I wish I was exaggerating, but I’m not. When you have Chiari Malformation, it’s not going to feel good.

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