Really sorry you are feeling so lousy at the moment. If it helps at all, I really know where you’re at in how you’re feeling. I’m in a chronic state at the moment too, weaning off SJW, constant headches, some dysequilibrium, and feeling flat as a pancake – and thinking all of the stuff you are. My current contract runs out in April and then I’ll have to be really pro-active and find a post-doc position somewhere, maybe in another Aussie city or another part of the world. Once upon a time, the thought of just moving to a brand new place excited the hell out of me but now it’s a massive burden because of this migraine garbage.
And the GF issue. I too lost a long-term relationship partly because of this … and dating when this thing is hanging around just goes into the “too hard” basket. I actually went out with one girl earlier this year who, after a few weeks, said she had “issues” with the fact that I couldn’t drink wine with my dinner! Couldn’t bloody believe it. To be fair she had just come out of some divorce and her ex had some horrific neurological problem that makes MAV look like a cake walk but still. I hit the trap door on that one.
But I think a plan of attack is needed now before your trip next year - something that will give you some hope and make you feel excited about travelling. I’d like to tell you that it will just vanish once you start travelling but given my experience it doesn’t pan out like that, and might in fact give you more shit with plane flights, different foods, lack of sleep here and there etc. So, thus far you’ve tried pizotifen, amitriptyoline and one other old class AD correct? Would you consider trying Topamax? I ask because not only is it the first choice of Prof Hain but I know of another guy who has had amazing results on it (50 mg/day). He went from total armageddon 6 months ago to feeling about 95% now. In fact, if this hormone program thing I’m doing doesn’t work, I might revisit Topamax but start at an even lower dose than last time. Here’s what Hain says:
— Begin quote from ____
The author of this review (Hain) usually starts patients with topamax, and proceeds on to try effexor, verapamil, propranolol and then ami or nortriptyline. It is very unusual that headache control is not attained. When one “group” doesn’t work, he may combine two or 3 groups simultaneously (anticonvulsant, blood-pressure agent, antidepressant).
Topiramate (Topamax). Very effective but expensive. Unlike most headache prevention medications, Topiramate often promotes weight loss, even with low doses, due to anorexia (loss of appetite). Typical doses are 25mg/day to 200 mg/d. In the author’s clinical practice in Chicago, 50-100 mg is the usual target dose, as this amount seems to have the best combination of cost/benefit. Topiramate is expensive and in large doses has peculiar cognitive effects, such as trouble finding words (Mula et al, 2003). Topiramate is not a good drug for people whose job involves manipulating words. About 50% of patients develop tingling in hands/fingers on startup. This effect usually fades out in about 2 weeks. Peak effect doesn’t occur till 3 months, so trials must be made over long periods. The author has encountered a few patients who became severely depressed on topiramate – they were also on Effexor, so this may be a drug-drug interaction. On the positive side, small doses are usually side effect free. Also, topiramate does not affect blood pressure.
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This drug seems to work wonders or isn’t well-tolerated. It gave me suicidal thoughts but it may have been because I was also taking SJW. So the guy I know on this stuff has zero SEs. My brother’s wife takes it and has zero SEs. Both are migraine free.
Have a read of Hain’s page again here to have a think about what your options are:
dizziness-and-balance.com/di … ntion.html
Also have a listen to this mp3 recording made by a North Carolina guru, James U. Adelman, MD, about migraine prevention. He is at the Headache Wellness Centre in Greensboro, North Carolina. This guy is on fire:
There are some accompanying notes here:
mvertigo.org/articles/migrai … digest.pdf
Let me know what you think.
Hang in there … Scott 8)