14 days with no sign of breaking...

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14 days with no sign of breaking...

Post  susan99 on Mon 20 Oct 2014, 9:12 pm

hi guys, i haven't been on the board in quite a long time. don't know if anyone will remember me lol. but i made some big changes and moved, and decided to go back to grad school. have the chronic daily head pain/transformed migraine stuff. but i've been in a horrible cycle going on 14 days today, this full on migraine keeps coming back. i went to the ER last week cause i couldn't take it anymore, but no real relief yet. prior to that i had a couple of migraines two weeks before that had knocked me out for a while too. sooo packing this last bout on if quite exhausting.

unfortunately, this kicked up a week before midterms set in, i had to delay 2 (they only gave me a week to make them up), and i'm not doing well because my brain hurts aghhh. i had a test today and i'm praying it went ok. i guess i should have delayed this one too, however, i was starting to feel better last friday and thought it would be best to just slug onward. i've had 24/7 head pain going on 15-17 yrs now, but man i'm not being able to power through it. and you know, they charge you to reschedule an exam? even with a note from the ER. when did this happen? my goodness.

so basically have a midterm every day for the next three days. i know we need to be our own advocates, but it's so hard when you're hurting, as i know you all know already. sigh Sad Sad i think i bit off a bit more than i could chew without allowing for leeway with the headaches, this timing didn't leave my any cushion. but i left my job to go to school full time the first year, so really was trying to get as much under my belt as possible.

susan

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Re: 14 days with no sign of breaking...

Post  Sara79 on Tue 21 Oct 2014, 12:47 am

You have my sympathies. I've recently been a student while dealing with migraines, and I remember how hard some days could be. You're talking like you're in an extremely active flare, every now and again I get stuck in one of those patterns. You mention the ER, have you been in contact with either your neuro or your primary care doc? For me, a short course of oral steroids can help to break my flares, have you ever tried it or has it helped in the past?

Also, while you're with your doc, you might ask for their help to get some academic accommodations. I know students who use these services so that they're able to take their exams on a better day, or with extra time, on different colored paper (I know somebody that was helped by having pale green paper, less glare), or even just in a different setting, so that you can control your lighting and noise while you take your exams. You'd need to get your student counselors or whichever department helps with accommodations in your school. They would be able to let you know what services are available for you, and would help get them implemented with your instructors. It may not help this semester, but it would be good to get the ball rolling for next semester, so that you have a safety net in place. Hopefully you won't require it, but I know it helps to know there's something there, just in case.

I had to sit down with my anatomy instructor and ask for help. I had began topamax partway through the semester, and prior to titrating up on it I was making high Bs to mid level As. The first exam I took on topamax I barely made a D. I was titrating off of it while preparing for the next exam, and was worried about my final grade. He was willing to work with me, so long as all of my non-topamax scores were in my normal range, he was willing to use my final exam grade in place of the score I had while on the medication. My final grade was an A! Very Happy

I know not every instructor is so willing to help without the proper paperwork from your doc, but I wanted to share that there could be options to help you, and throw out a possible thought that might break the current cycle.

Let us know how you continue to get on!

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Re: 14 days with no sign of breaking...

Post  susan99 on Tue 21 Oct 2014, 5:53 pm

thanks sara! congrats on the anatomy A! that's awesome turnaround! esp with dealing with dopamax Smile

a course of steroids usually does help in the past. i'm on one now, but it seems to be taking some time to kick in, yeah this is a really bad flare. fingers crossed it starts working soon!

i had a great neuro and primary care before, but moved this year. it's been hard to find some good docs. i went to one neuro who was so awful i cried afterwards, so derogatory, and frankly the roughest physical exam i ever had... you know those roller balls under the feet? owwwww. i know it wasn't me, but yikes. and the gp, also a case where she just didn't know what to do with me either, and tried to make you feel like you are somehow in the wrong.

oh well time to try again! that's true, if i can establish some docs as soon as possible, i can maybe then maybe work on a safety net of some sort for next semester.


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Re: 14 days with no sign of breaking...

Post  Sara79 on Wed 22 Oct 2014, 12:23 am

I know it can be really hard to find a neuro you really like, if you're willing, we're all over the planet, so if you're up to mentioning a major metro in your area, someone here might know a good doc. I'm glad that you've gotten some help, and I hope the steroids kick in soon.

I figured I'd mention the class/exam options, since I've seen many people who could use the knowledge, but either don't know the help exists, or only think it's for people who have a know 'disability' (usually a diagnosed disability such as physical limitations-deaf or blind as an example)

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Re: 14 days with no sign of breaking...

Post  milo on Wed 22 Oct 2014, 11:25 pm

Welcome back.

I'm going through the same lovely time, only I'm down to my very last final. I should have been done six months ago but I got a medical extension. Out of my whole time at school it was the first time I needed to get special help.

In two weeks I write my final and I'm freaking out because I can't seem to retain anything. I too am a Dean's list student but am freaking out I won't pass. I need to pass the final to be done.

I let them know I was having issues and they tried to help but not much. For my three hour exam I have special permission to get up and go into the hall as well as to take meds but that is it. I can't move the exam or do an alternate assignment to replace the final. I guess I should be happy that I can get up and take meds if needed. I've got my fingers crossed that the exam is early morning.

I agree for you to talk to your advisor. I'm very sure they could help for next semester so it is worth checking out. Best of luck with that and also in finding some relief and proper docs.
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Re: 14 days with no sign of breaking...

Post  milo on Wed 22 Oct 2014, 11:32 pm

Oh, I forgot, last semester I was able to submit a paper instead of writing the midterm. I had my Botox and nerve blocks the day before the exam so there was pretty much no way I could have written it. I needed a doctors note but it was as easy as handing it in.
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Re: 14 days with no sign of breaking...

Post  Platypus on Sun 26 Oct 2014, 12:45 am

Susan, are you in the US? If so you are protected under the ADA. You can ask for reasonable accommodations -- as a student you can ask to have your exams rescheduled, and without any additional payment.
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Re: 14 days with no sign of breaking...

Post  susan99 on Sun 02 Nov 2014, 6:02 pm

thanks sara! i'm in the san diego area.

milo, all the best of luck for your final!!! is it this week? i've got my fingers crossed for you that it is in the morning!

platypus, i am in the US... i shall ask again about those fees. in the meantime i've got a referral from someone with migraines for a GP. going to make an appointment, so at least can start from there.

pain is evening out now, exhausted from all the makeup test from this past week though oh my goodness... thanks you guys!!

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Re: 14 days with no sign of breaking...

Post  milo on Fri 07 Nov 2014, 10:25 am

My exam is first thing tomorrow morning. I couldn't have asked for a better date or time so I am happy. Sadly, I'm in rough shape so studying today may suck. Nothing wants to stick in my brain today. Oh well......just one last hurdle! Glad you are working things out.
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Re: 14 days with no sign of breaking...

Post  susan99 on Sun 16 Nov 2014, 4:39 pm

Hi Milo, how did it go? Hope it went well!

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Re: 14 days with no sign of breaking...

Post  milo on Sun 16 Nov 2014, 5:33 pm

For the first time in my life I know I did poorly. I've yet to get my results back but I fear I may have failed it. If I get 50% I apply to graduate and if I get under 50% I will need to take another course in January. I've got an A in the course but you must pass the final to pass the course. I totally blanked out. It really sucked but I stayed the whole three hours and tried. I didn't finish the exam and for sure missed a 19 point question.

I guess it is kind of letting me know I need to take a break from school. My concentration is blown at this point. I'll keep my fingers crossed for that 50%. It's a hard pill to swallow for someone who is an honours student but I'll take it as a lesson in humility. I sure do hope it's at least a 50!!!!!!!
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Re: 14 days with no sign of breaking...

Post  susan99 on Sun 16 Nov 2014, 7:29 pm

aw milo i'm sorry. my fingers are crossed for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you had an A going in and it's miserable with the head pain. no matter what, it sucks but you carried on like a trooper! that's something to be proud of. Like a Star @ heaven

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Re: 14 days with no sign of breaking...

Post  Sara79 on Mon 17 Nov 2014, 2:57 am

I'm crossing my fingers and shaking my chicken for you Wink Let us know what ends up happening, Take care!

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Re: 14 days with no sign of breaking...

Post  sick of pain on Tue 18 Nov 2014, 8:41 am

I feel so bad for you! Here you are trying to go back to school to make positive changes in your life and you have to deal with this horrible pain. My job so stressful too. I have thought about going back to school as well but don't think I can do it with migraines day in and day out. I hope this cycle breaks and you are feeling better . Hang in there. Im rooting for you!

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Re: 14 days with no sign of breaking...

Post  milo on Tue 18 Nov 2014, 10:11 pm

My friends........I DID IT!!!!!!! I honestly cannot believe it! I just, just, just passed the exam by a hair.

I completed my application to graduate. It seems I was supposed to do it long ago but I had no idea. Frankly, I don't care at all because I'm done!

I don't know exactly, but it has been at least four years. I've worked about sixty hours a week and did school on top. My migraines are the worst at night so most of my studying was through a migraine. Shoot, I even managed to do some on campus night courses and still survived. I honestly can't believe it. I won't lie, as most of you know, it was really hard. Getting great grades wasn't hard...but getting everything done sure was.

I've had my life on hold, missing out on vacations, parties, weekend getaways, time with friends and family and a whole lot of sleep. My partner has been counting down the seconds to me being done.

I'm so thankful the last course I took wasn't the first one I chose to take, as I don't think I would have stayed the course if I had this struggle up front. I am great with numbers, I just couldn't retain what I needed to this last semester. Thank goodness it's over! I think it was all the positive vibes from you all.

Thank you all so much for your support!
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Re: 14 days with no sign of breaking...

Post  susan99 on Tue 18 Nov 2014, 10:43 pm

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Whoohooo you did it!!!! That is so awesome! cheers cheers

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Re: 14 days with no sign of breaking...

Post  Migrainegirl on Wed 19 Nov 2014, 5:18 pm

Milo, congratulations!! That is a real accomplishment for anybody. It's all the more achievement doing through chronic migraine. You have a lot to proud of!
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Re: 14 days with no sign of breaking...

Post  milo on Wed 19 Nov 2014, 8:21 pm

Thanks friends.

PS...I feel like I hijacked this thread. Sorry. Sad
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Re: 14 days with no sign of breaking...

Post  Sara79 on Thu 20 Nov 2014, 3:31 am

Don't worry, we're all soooooooooooo very happy for you...I don't think any of us who've been students would begrudge you your celebration!

Very Happy Cool Surprised Razz Exclamation What a Face cyclops cat pig sunny albino cherry santa rendeer queen jocolor geek flower afro

^ All the happy people cheering that you made it!  Congrats!

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Re: 14 days with no sign of breaking...

Post  susan99 on Fri 21 Nov 2014, 2:08 pm

yes don't worry, we are all very happy to hear your good news!!! Very Happy

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Re: 14 days with no sign of breaking...

Post  Cluelesskitty on Thu 11 Dec 2014, 4:06 pm

Congratulations on your achievement, Susan, woohoo!! cheers
To pass an exam is quite  a feat in itself, let alone with a raging migraine on - let alone multiple  exams with a raging migraine on! -
I am so impressed! wow!
kudos to you, girl! sunny   queen


I was wondering, what do you take for your migraine episodes? does anything make even a tiny difference?
for me, it was combination of triptan and oxycodon that maybe not always knocked the M down cold, but at least reduced to a bearable level.
Another thing - looking back (I am almost 58 now), I am pretty sure the huge majority of my M was hormonal in nature - the worst episodes oscillating during ovulation and menses. and it's quite a stretch considering these hormonal changes - the rise, the drop in estrogen and progesterone can begin and end days before/after an actual event. for that, my dr recommended taking birth control continuously for 3 months. then take a break for period, the begin again. (sorry if any guys read that)
It did helped somewhat. what truly helps, though  - a menopause, lolololol  bom  drunken  but that perhaps not yet for you albino

Experiment with medication combination? - triptan + painkiller of your choice?
with the help of a doctor and pharmacist, of course, so you are safe.
also, may I remind you that on the contrary what the attached triptan leaflets say, and sometimes many doctors as well,
if the first triptan dose doesn't helped with the pain DO take the second, and third within recommended period of time.
It always worked with me. It is that sometimes the pain is too great for the first pill to work immediately, but the more you take the more you have it in your system, and the vessels  begin to be constricted at last,  and  the drug  finally start to take effect.
I believe everyone should at least try this.
At the same time, please remember these are serious medications, know your body and how do you respond to the meds,  and make responsible decisions.

I hope you find the right and effective combo for your problematic episodes, Susan. Do let us know if anything works.
Keep up the excellent  work! and I wish you continuing success!

Ris


Last edited by Cluelesskitty on Fri 12 Dec 2014, 3:48 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 14 days with no sign of breaking...

Post  tortoisegirl on Thu 11 Dec 2014, 8:30 pm

Congrats!

Risa-Agreed that having a good migraine abortive plan is very important. I too also combine Oxycodone with a Triptan for bad migraines (plus Diclofenac, and NSAID, if needed). Best wishes.

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Re: 14 days with no sign of breaking...

Post  Cluelesskitty on Fri 12 Dec 2014, 3:50 pm

Hey, Tortoisegirl, nice to see you, too! Smile cheers

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Re: 14 days with no sign of breaking...

Post  susan99 on Sat 13 Dec 2014, 8:56 pm

hi risa, thanks!  just finished final exams and am done for the semester.  whew!  Smile  

unfortunately triptans don't work for me.  i've tried a number of different triptans but i get rebound HAs.  know that can be a controversial issue lol, but sadly they stopped working for me.  i've tried so many combos, afraid i don't really have a go to anymore.  a steroid burst does help.  cambia, the diclofenac power in an NSAID form was helpful sometimes f i caught it at the very beginning/right moment.  however my insurance doesn't cover it anymore and it's over $200 for 9 packets.  i have not found a correlation with my cycle.  oh well, what are you going to do...

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Re: 14 days with no sign of breaking...

Post  Cluelesskitty on Sun 14 Dec 2014, 4:06 pm

Hi, hi TG Smile
that really sucks when one of the best drugs for M fails. most people who doesn't get relief from triptans usually are successful with ergots, then - have you ever tried going this route?
and yes, medication for M can be very expensive Evil or Very Mad  this monster truly robs us of everything, even our pockets.
these are probably next after thoroughly bashing our heads, who knows...

Congrats on finished exams, and have fun on your break!

Risa

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