Thursday, September 8, 2011

Another 13 things to do on Vicodin

Do you have some kind of recurring ailment that knocks you flat for a day or two at a time? As most of you know, I have suffered from migraines for several years. Baaaaaad migraines. Trips-to-the-ER migraines. I currently take four different medications, with little to mild effect, to either prevent, abort or dull the pain of my headaches. I love it when people tell me they get migraines too and I ask them what they take and they respond with the name of some over-the-counter painkiller like Tylenol. They don't get migraines. They get mildly bad headaches.

I've tried alternative therapies too, with varying success. Diet change (good, but too strict to hold to in the long run), chiropractic adjustments (helped a bit) and loads of great sex (actually, that's on my ' yet to try' list).

I generally start out by taking a drug that is designed to abort them, but which never works for me. Failing that, I move on to ibuprofen and other OTC meds. Failing that, I reach for the hydrocodone (Vicodin). If I take it soon enough, I can generally get on top of the pain and it leaves me feeling relaxed, spacy and somewhat stupid.

I've spent the last two days lying in bed feeling relaxed, spacy and somewhat stupid.  This is what I've accomplished:

1. Dreamed up plans for a rockin' new website.

2. Experimented with photo applications on the web.

3. Managed one semi-coherent business call in which I proposed overseas travel for myself.

4. Sent an illicit email.

5. Ate cereal for every meal.

6. Planned a vacation here:

Banff, Canadian Rockies

7. Received an illicit email.

8. Fell asleep and dreamed I took a photo of my right boob.

9. Woke up and considered actually doing it.

10. Put the following ad on Facebook. For sale: Cute but slightly deficient head, prone to migraines, occassionally forgetful, nice hair. Wanted: migraine-free head. Pics only please.

11. No takers yet.

12. Stumbled downstairs to find my son had taken it upon himself to eat five popsicles.

13. Swore when I ran out of painkillers.

I'm holding out hope that there is a better way to do this, that the miracle cure is just around the corner. I'm certain that if I spend enough time in a semi-delirious haze I'll come up with it myself.

Do you know a miracle cure for migraines? What do you do when you're inhibitions are compromised?  Do tell.


  1. Osteopath? much gentler than the chiro and works the whole body.

  2. Oh sweetheart! That sucks. Please send photo of boob xx

  3. My uncle eats a block of cheese when he feels a migraine coming on, and if he starts early enough he can often avoid the worst of it. Which is just weird.
    My mum used to get shocking migraines, from stress; my brother got his first when he was 6 or so, poor little bugger, and he's OK once he throws up; and my sister gets them very occasionally.
    I get the flashing diamond back python, and the blind spot, and I get really sick, but no headache THANK GOD.
    They are cruel, and I hope someone's able to offer you some help somewhere.
    Take care chick XX

  4. @Woog - I'll send you mine if you send me yours.

  5. I've been on EVERYTHING, but mine tend to try to solve more than one problem, and usually it's seizures, so I'm not sure you can take any but as preventatives I've tried:

    Tegretol - the lower doses they started me on were chewable. However, they made me feel drunk. Now, they did shit for the migraines (which I apparently had all over, not just in my head) but I no longer cared because it was like being drunk. All the time.

    Gabapentin - this was Rx'd when they thought I had regular ole neuropathy. Made the migraines worse. In retrospect, I think they just made them confined to my head.

    Topomax - I've begged for this one back. Lost a good deal of weight on this post 2nd baby. Mostly because food tastes like shit. To me it was win win. (I had to stop taking it because of an interference with another drug.)

    Amytriptaline - LOVED IT! Once I figured out how to take it. WITH DINNER, NOT BEFORE BED. If taken late at night, you feel hung over the next day. BUT if taken around 6, all it well.

    There were a few others, but I don't remember them. Clearly they weren't that great/awful.

    To kick them once I've got them: I SWEAR by Imitrex injections. The only problem is the cost. They have oral doses, also pricey, but worth every damned penny. NOTHING else works on my migraines once they've begun.

    Not even Vicodin.

    I used to take a red pill, back in the late 90s... you could take one an hour, up to 5 in 24hrs. Loved it too, but can't remember what it was or why I can't anymore.

    Hope yours is going away!

  6. @Draft Queen - they just prescribed the injections for me. I have Imitrex pills, but they don't work for me. My neurologist says the injections will get into my system faster and may work. Fingers crossed.

    Tried Topamax - worked okay but made it harder to have orgasms. Decided I'd rather have migraines, thank you muchly.

  7. I've suffered from headaches and migraines all my life. So I feel your pain. My worst situation was a migraine for 17 days in a row. No f**king kidding. I wanted someone to cut my head off. I NEVER mentioned to my doctor that I suffered from headaches. Have no idea why. Told her about every other ache and pain. But one day she wondered why my kidney enzymes were so high after taking blood. She asked me if I ever take ibuprofen by chance. Uh, yeah, like candy! I explained about my headaches and she was like, "WHY HAVEN'T YOU EVER SAID ANYTHING?" So she put me on Topomax 2x a day as a preventative (and I never lost a STINKING POUND!) and Amerge - which I take as SOON as I feel a headache come on. That usually helps for migraines. So it is RARE that I have migraines any more, maybe once or twice a year. I still suffer from sinus headaches and I try to deal with those with over-the-counter stuff.

    My Italian grandmother's remedy for migraines was to soak a rag in vinegar and wrap it around your forehead. Which makes sense, if you think about it because it must open up your sinuses or something!

    Good luck finding a cure for your headaches! Hope you feel better soon!

  8. Oh Pat, 17 days??! Bless your heart. Topomax 2x/day made mine less frequent but as I said above, didn't like the side effects. Mine are triggered by hormones. Wonder if going through 'the change' will help at all.

  9. P.S. Oh, and I didn't lose any weight on Topomax either. I was on something before that made me gain weight. Would love to be on NO drugs at all.

  10. I have been on everything under the sun for migraines...topamax helped for a little while but the side effects killed me, i got them all even the aphashia. right now i am not on anything except caffeine. i also had to quit my job because i seriously had a major headache everyday for 18 months and a migraine at least once weekly. a throw up don't dare open the shades put a cold rag on my eyes because the light feels like a knife through my skull type of migraine.

  11. Wow, I have never heard of migraines being so bad that you have to go to hospital. Makes mine sound tame. Mine feel like my head will explode into a million pieces form the pressure. I have wanted to drill holes into my own head to relieve the pain. And the vomiting makes it worse.
    They are more frequent now that I have stopped breastfeeding - I think it may be a combination of stress/diet and contraception. My mum gets them really bad too. So did my grandmother.
    Hope you feel better soon

  12. @Rhonda - wow, that's pretty serious. I've had months where I have more migraine days than not. It's makes it really hard (especially being a single mom w/ a FT job). I had to look up aphasia, but I swear I had that too. Another reason I went off it, because I felt like it was making me ditzy(er). I've heard people call it the 'stupid' drug because of the memory impairment and confusion.

  13. @Photographer Mum - a lot of migraines (mine included) are hormonally triggered. You might look into that, if yours increased post breastfeeding. Mine come like clockwork with my cycle.

  14. Cereal for every meal? Now that is one of life's most overlooked joys.

  15. I learnt from a chemist out here, (I think you'd call him a druggist), that the "typical" migraine isn't the only kind. There are many variations and after discussing with him for almost an hourwe went through his sheet of symptoms and I discovered that the headaches I was having were in fact migraines. Mostly they're brought on by sinus pressure from my hayfever and I've learnt to take anti histamine all year round (because I'm allergic to different things each season) and also to take a combination of panadol and codeine as soon as I feel the beginnings of the headache. Mostly that's enough, but a couple of times a year that doesn't work and I go home from work with throbbing sinuses and a vice around my head, avoiding all light as much as possible, force down a sandwich, (codeine can't be taken on an empty stomach), then take a double dose and sleep for several hours. Usually waking up okay, but sometimes needing the next day off work as well.

  16. Can you bring me back a sack of Vicodin next time you come down?

    What works for me is sumatriptan. I take it as a nasal spray, rather than the tablet. If it works (90% of the time) the migraine goes in about 30 minutes, sometimes leaving me feeling a bit hungover/tired. If it doesn't, I dose up with paracetamol/codeine/diazepam and try to sleep it off. Or take another dose.

    I had my first one when I was about 6 or 7 and have gone through periods in my life when I've had them a few times a week. Mine are triggered by stress, chocolate, alcohol, relief from stress, hay fever, and usually a combination of any of these.

    I'm so sorry you have to go through this, but it makes me feel less like a weirdo. I haven't met anyone else who gets migraines as often, or even more often as me...

  17. @River - I've heard too that most headaches can actually be classified as migraines. I was just exercising my right to be dramatic.

    I have the same issue of not being able to take meds on an empty stomach, which sux if I wake up with a migraine. I have to take thyroid medicine every morning an hour before I can eat, so I have to wait. :(

  18. @Dorothy - that's awful. I didn't realize yours were so frequent. Sumatriptan tabs don't work for me, so we're trying the injections. He thought that would work better for me than the nasal spray, since mine are a bit stubborn. May we all find a cure. x

  19. So with you there on the frustrations of those that talk about their “migraine” that was cured with some paracetamol! Good to see those drugs are the same the world over; I nodded at so many of the other comments! Mine are diet/hormone related but after a 5 day stint in hospital continuously vomiting, chiro eased that one up. I’m yet to try acupuncture, but it’s on the list. Chocolate gives me a “hangover headache” in small doses now but OJ is off the list completely (can you ever get rid of chocolate???).

    Funnily enough, pregnancies have eased mine significantly. Now, I’m not advocating you rush out there and get “knocked up” but, well spaced hormone craziness seems to have held back the worst of them! I go off the “preventative” due to the risk to the baby, but they seem to hold them back from being once a month minimum to a couple a year. I breastfeed for a fair while and have managed to get 7 years so far. Here’s hoping menopause comes early, ‘case I don’t think I can afford another kid, lol!

  20. Hi Sonya, nice to meet you. I'm passed the knocking up phase so I have to hold out hope for menopause. Mine actually started when I got thyroid cancer and had a complete thyroidectomy. Must have fubared my hormonal balance.

    And no, won't give up either chocolate or orgasms. Or blogging for that migraines. So there, take that migraines.

  21. Ahhh can't wait to see your search engine results after this :)

    I've had two migraines in my whole life. The first time I ended up in hospital and everyone thought I had meningitis because I had no history of migraines. I have no idea how people cope with them regularly.

  22. When I was 14 a 260 pound boy fell on my head whilst jumping on a trampoline. Ah the stories I have in this wee brain of mine...anyway, that night I might have almost died (not sure..don't remember much...though I can proudly say I made it to the toilet every time...or I slept there...whatever).

    After that about once a month I'd get these hellish headaches that prevented me from doing things I didn't really need to do anyway like...walking. I always knew when they were coming because I'd get the hazy loopy feeling a few hours before...lovely. When I got to college I met someone that said "ugh, I have a migraine" and I was thinking..."'re walking!" So I completely get the first bit :).

    I'm lucky, they've since subsided to just really bad headaches that still allow me to function as long as I have an entire bottle of excedrine migraine with me. I've begun to wonder if my liver is a personal super power actually.

    Oh, I read somewhere that a shortage of vitamin "D" can cause these things...just in case.

  23. Dear Wanderlust,

    What you are experiencing may be cluster headaches, and although it sounds unorthodox (not that it would deter you), and a bit crazy, LSD or psilocybin mushrooms can help with cluster headaches. Seriously, google search it. When I first heard this I was skeptical as well but after exhausting every other resources I tried it. Not only did it stop the one I was experiencing at the time but it prevented them from happening for a month or so. At which point I dosed again. Same results as last time but even longer duration. The first two times were with LSD, but after some more research I found the same effect can be achieved with "magic" mushrooms, so I tried this next and it was true. So as a more cost effective way I stated to grow my own, albeit illegal, it is worth the risk to not experience these debilitating headaches anymore and have a great time in place of them. I'm not even sure if you do have cluster headaches, so you should probably be diagnosed before trying this (although it's a real fun time regardless) but for me and many others this has been the only real cure for this terrible affliction. Just my two cents.


    p.s. see what I did there?

    p.p.s. I realize this is an old blog post but I stumbled upon it doing research on another drug "Vicodin" for non-migraine related pain


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