I’ve been fighting severe migraines for the past few months.  And I mean severe.

After three trips to the ER last week, I pulled some strings and got into the Cleveland Clinic Thursday morning to see a neurologist.  Dr. Appleby was a genius.  She took me seriously and worked with me to create a true treatment plan.

We added Neurontin/gabapentin, a medication used for all sorts of different pain, and we added Imitrex to take only when I have a migraine.  (I don’t find it works well.)

We also set up a regimen of IV infusion therapies to destroy the headache I’ve had for a few weeks, and an MRI is in the works for a few weeks.

In the ER, they gave me things like Benadryl+Reglan, Benadryl+Reglan+Toradol, and even Benadryl+Reglan+Torodol+solumedrol+magnesium (burns!!)+something else (I was asleep… thanks, IV Benadryl.)

Dr. Appleby said I need to have 5 consecutive days of 5 hour treatments which is impossible with my schedule, so we’re doing what we can.  During my first treatment, things were going well and I was resting with boyfriend by my side when they gave me the DHE – dihydroergotamine.  Within seconds, it was hard to breathe, and my chest tightened up unlike I’ve ever felt before.  The drug causes brain blood vessels to narrow, thus reducing migraine, but as a part of that, blood flow slows down everywhere else.  We were at Medina/Cleveland Clinic (not 100% Cleveland Clinic) and the nurse didn’t know how to handle it. I pretty much had to tell her to call my doctor and that this was a reaction from the DHE.  I then told her she needed to take my vital signs.  It’s not good when an IV medication is giving you chest pain and as a risk of heart attack and stroke and the nurse is just sitting and chatting at the desk.

Needless to say, we went to Hillcrest Hospital today for my second infusion.  The nurses Teresa and Jennifer were fantastic, and the infusion center was very nice.  Teresa was even able to get me a bed vs. an infusion chair because of my back.

We’ve revamped things and removed the DHE, this time replacing it with an injection of Imitrex (burnnnns!!) For those of you who suffer with migraines, here’s what I got today (all IV except Imitrex): 25mg Benedryl, 10mg Reglan, bolus of saline, dexamethasone (steroids – reduces inflammation), Keppra &/or levetiracetam (I fell asleep by the time the Reglan was infusing so I’m not positive on this one – both are seizure medications that work on migraines), 1 gm Magnesium Sulfate, and at the very end, 0.5mg of Imitrex injected subcutaneously (and let me tell you it was the most burning shot I’ve received in my life!!)

I go back Friday again, and I’m praying for relief.  Please join me in that.  If you have migraines, listen to me right now. be persistent.  Go to whoever it takes for your symptoms to be treated.  No one should have to live with migraines!!  No one should have to take migraine medications that give them rashes, hives, or cause weight gain, and no one should have to settle with “second best.”  It’s 2012 and someone can help you with modern medicine – some doctors just aren’t willing to take the risk.

Also, some of you may know that Haylie ingested approximately 1 days’ worth of my transplant pills last Sunday (9 days ago) and was on the edge of fatal doses.  I almost lost her, and watching her suffer like that – having no idea what the prognosis was going to be – was truly agonizing.  We rallied and prayed for my little fur ball, and God confirmed that he cares about even the smallest things.  My baby couldn’t keep her eyes open and had serotonin syndrome and was literally running in circles because she couldn’t walk straight.  They said the Prograf (immunosuppressant) was a major fear and it would take one week to see if she processed it okay.  Praise God, she did.

Haylie is now in the clear, and I want to thank all of you who prayed for her or would have if you had known about it.  It’s unbelievable how nothing in the world matters when your “baby” is sick.

So to all of you who live around here and like me, can you please just join my team already? We have a lot of participants but WE NEED YOUR HELP!!  Check out lots of information here: Team Race for Amanda and clear your calendar for Saturday, August 12.  If you want a unique, amazing (free) Race for Amanda tshirt, you need to register soon so I can get them designed and ordered.  This is going to be a huge day, an amazing family-friendly event, and you are not going to leave feeling disappointed.  I’ll get a video up soon to work on RECRUITMENT.  😉



2 thoughts on “Migraines

  1. Hi, Amanda. I know this is a very old post, and I NEVER comment on any Internet posts, but I was searching for “keppra for migraine treatment” and this blog entry came up. I am currently sitting in the Medina/Cleveland Clinic infusion center receiving day 2 of IV migraine therapy after being sent by Dr. Appleby! This is my 14th WEEK of an excruciating migraine that had responded to nothing- not even painful steroid nerve block injections into my face, neck, and head! My pain is currently a 9 out of 10 : (. I hope you have since found relief from living nightmare of chronic migraines! Best of luck to you!

    • I’m so sorry to hear that, Beth. Dr. Appleby is a great doctor! I’m now seeing Dr. Kriegler at main CCF and she does Botox injections – have you tried that? And finally, we found out my migraines were from TMJ so my dentist made me an orthotic to wear, and the headaches have decreased by 90%. Just a few tips. I hope you find relief! Thanks for stopping by.

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