Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Starting in the middle of the day yesterday, I began sporting a positively blinding headache. I beat it back with some Advil in the middle of the afternoon, but it was there waiting for me again when I woke up.

Getting whacked in the head with an axe would be an improvement.

Further, your brain isn't supposed to have pain receptors, so how come I can point to you on the stuffed Binky the Brain doll just where it hurts? It's my right middle frontal gyrus.


TJIC said...

I read last night in an Oliver Sacks book that sometimes migraines result in global transient amnesia.

That sounds kind of cool.

If that happens to you, tell us in a blog post.

...if you still remember that you have a blog!

Anonymous said...

Chug a quart of Gatoraid, then take a super hot shower, for as long and as hot as you can stand it.


New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Ees nadda toomuh.

Anonymous said...

Your brain doesn't have pain receptors, but the layers of funky stuff covering it do (pia, arachnoid, dura). Just from the brief description you gave it sounds like a migraine, although I would need more info to say that with any certainty.

Have you seen a doctor? Migraine meds are much better these days than they were not too long ago.

-Dr. N

Matt said...

Take 4 Advil. I know it sounds like a lot but its the same dosage you get if its prescribed (80 mg). Told to me courtesy of my dentist after getting a tooth ground down in preparation for a crown.

Hope it helps Tam

Rob Reed said...

If you see a Doc for your headaches ask for a sample of Maxalt. It's a migraine med. I don't know if it only works on migraines or not. I don't know if the blinding headaches I get are technically migraines or cluster headaches. All I know is that the stuff works on my headaches that nothing else will touch.

Not trying to sound like a drug spammer here, but the stuff really works for me. It's pricey though, so see if you can get a sample to try the next time you have a headache before paying for a full script.

Btw, it's not a narcotic.

Rob (Trebor)

Dr. Feelgood said...

I keep a bottle of ibuprofen and a stash of "all-natural" candy canes in my desk drawer for just such phenomena. NSAIDs for the throb, peppemint oil for the residual ache. It's not a cure, but it takes enough off the edge that I can focus on my work. And I follow it all with healthy quantities of water.

Why yes, I am in caffeine withdrawal (again).

Blackwing1 said...

Both you and roomie Roberta are having some nasty headaches...just a thought, do you have a carbon-monoxide monitor in the house?

Chronic low-level CO exposure can cause a nasty headache.

With all the snow we've had here in Minnesnowta I've had to clear the furnace fresh-air intake twice to keep it open from all the snow piled up next to the house. You might want to make sure that the fresh-air make-up vent (if the house has one) isn't blocked, either.

Tam said...


"Both you and roomie Roberta are having some nasty headaches...just a thought, do you have a carbon-monoxide monitor in the house?"

Yes, we do. :)

Also, my headache set in yesterday around noon while I was maybe 75 miles south of Lexington, KY.

Lewis said...

On two occasions I've had cluster headaches. The first time, they came and went over a period of about a week. The second time, it was more like a month, and they'd come on, nearly every day at about the same time.

If there's a worse pain, I don't want to be near it.

I found two palliative measures: first, I'd soak my head. I started with hot showers, but quickly switched to dunking my head in a sink full of water as hot as I could stand it. The second measure was caffeine. If I felt one coming on, I'd hustle into the kitchen and fire up a pot of the hot dark juice of life (i.e., coffee).

The coffee really worked. Kind of inconvenient if the headache started coming on at midnight, but I'd rather be awake with no headache than awake with a headache. (And yeah, it was the kind of pain I couldn't sleep off, the kind where I just lay there whimpering and moaning like a kicked puppy.)

If I was a rich Roman, I'd sacrifice a horse to the gods for your recovery, but I'm not, so I'll just think positive thoughts and assure you of my best wishes.

Anonymous said...

It's Not a Tumor - Doctors Find Worm In Woman's Brain Instead

Doctors removed the worm and don't believe Alvarez will have any lingering health problems. No one knows exactly where she picked up the worm –- doctors said worms can come from eating undercooked pork or spread by people who don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom, according to the report.,2933,455067,00.html

Just another thing to worry about.


Brad K. said...


Have you considered sinus as the root of the headache? Not all sinus pain, or infection, comes with a drippy snout. Maybe a dry cough, perhaps a dry or scratchy throat - and it can be light sensitive, too.

The least-invasive way to check for - and manage - sinus pain is the neti-wash (from yoga practices; Wal-Mart carries them now) or the little bottle of Saline Nasal Mist. You can wash, and share the neti-pot (used for the neti-wash; you pour a cup of warm salt water up your nose, with your head held sideways. Follow directions.) The Saline Nasal mist, you don't pass around, kind of the 'you can pick your friends, and pick your nose, but you can't pick . .' thing.

Saline Nasal Mist (Ocean is the national brand, store brands are usually just as good, if less 'enjoyable') is salt water, in a bottle that lets you spray a mist up your nose. "Twice in each side, once an hour, and blow" my family doctor told me in Arizona, would clear up to a sinus infection without antibiotics. There is no medicine or drugs in Saline Nasal Mist, it is about as aggressive as washing your hands. And, unlike the neti-wash, you can use it in public. (The neti-wash needs a sink to catch the 'outflow'.)

SNM also helps manage allergies. Not to suggest you ran into an allergic reaction or anything.

Get well soon.

cj said...

I'll throw mine in too...I finally tracked down my migraines to certain types of foods...especially MSG. It was tricky since there was often a 24-48 hour delay before the onset, so maybe checking diet might be worth looking at...especially when eating out. A lot of places who 'don't use MSG' use premade sauces or other things that DO have copious amounts.

tackdriverdon said...

I come from a family that suffers from dark brown headaches, aka migraines. When a headache begins, head for your local SPA and get into the sauna, the dry heat and cold showers work wonders on a migraine! its either that or hard core drugs like codine for real relief.
However there is good news and some bad too. You will eventually outgrow your migraines! The bad news? mid 60's when it finally goes away!

Anonymous said...

Have your blood pressure checked in a non-anxiety producing situation. High BP can produce migraines. The BP reducing drugs are pretty safe these days.

Nathan said...

I seem to have outgrown mine in my early 50's.

I used to get them two or three times a week. They started when I was in my teens and got worse and worse through my 20's and 30's. The only thing that alleviated them was copious amounts of Advil, in the 800 (not 80! That has to be a typo!) mg range (4 tablets) as suggested by Matt. Although as time went by, it could take up to 1400mg (7 tablets) to kill the light show AND avoid most of the residual pain. Coffee never helped much. I even tried avoiding chocolate for two years.

Yes, my kidneys are fine. Actually my doctor now has me on 500mg naproxen twice daily for arthritis, and Advil won't do anything for me anymore...but the naproxen seems to be keeping any incipient migraines at bay.

Thomas said...

Were you coming from somewhere that you might have had exposure to vapors from solvents and such.

I have found that (don't laugh) doing the Felix Unger... that nazaly hum until I sneeze blows out any contaminants that might be trapped in the mucus.

Sounds wacky but any port in a storm...

Blackwing1 said...

See, the carbon-monoxide followed you right out the door and 75 miles away!

(Never mind me, I'll let myself out the back door. Sorry.)

Anonymous said...

From one migraneur to another, got nitrates? Think beef jerky, bologna, hot dogs, BACON (OMG),etc. Fortunately, some companies are recognizing the benefit of "nitrate free" products (Oscar Mayer has n.f. Angus hot dogs). I have seen n.f. bacon (once) as well. Other possible "triggers" are fermented stuff (wine, beer) certain cheeses, nuts. People have different "triggers" it seems, but I suspect nitrates are probably one of the nearly universal ones. Something to consider. There's a video that hit the internet during the past week or so featuring a female CBS talking head who lapsed into gibberish "live on camera." Stroke was feared, but it turned out to be a type of "complicated" migraines. KY Jones.

Rabbit said...

I've had migraines since I was 17. Back in June of last year I had an episode just like the reporterette who was captured on tape. Not the first time.

I'm home today in the second day of one. Hydrocodone like they're M&Ms is my prescription.

Thomas said...

MSG does me in every time, chineese food and some of the crappier beers....

Kristopher said...

Avoid Mad Ogre's ( George Hill's ) error, overdosing on Tylenol while seeking relief from a migraine.

Easy to do, and it will permanently fry your liver. Damned near destroyed his and killed him, and left him with a constant battle with gout as a result.

deadcenter said...

try Excedrin Migraine or its' generic equivalent from the local pharmacy. the combination of aspirin, acetaminophen, and caffeine usually take care of my mild ones and make the severe ones tolerable.

before i found Excedrin, and a few years later they came out with migraine strength, Aleve or sodium naproxin (sp?) was the only over the counter med that could make a migraine even tolerable. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen couldn't touch them.