Antibiotics + Asthma Meds for NDPH

I had not heard about combining antibiotics and asthma meds to treat NDPH patients until I posted this video a couple of days ago. Christine commented that she had never heard of it before either, so I decided to do a little research.

A quick look at MDJunction’s NDPH Support Group explained it. Now, if I had been keeping up on the developments in the world of NDPH instead of hiding out an denying that I have it STILL, I would have known about this 5 months ago. But, this does feel like it could work or me. An I mean feelas in a gut reaction to the antibiotic idea. I know that the times I have been on antibiotics over the past 4 years, my headaches have lessened, but because I was sick with something else, I didn’t notice until after the fact and figured I was just lucky to not have bronchitis and a headache.

Anyway, instinct is saying try this….try this now!So I am off in search of a doctor who will give me this combo. Many people with NDPH get it following a virus, so I guess this sort of makes sense. I will keep researching and attempting to understand how this works, and will keep you posted.

Why it works for some ( and not for others) I don’t quite understand – but I am in good company on that one. Is it worth trying? In my opinion, absolutely. The side effects are minimal – if any, which is a big plus for me. There are several medications that I refuse to try because the side effects are severe (in my opinion) and not worth the risk.

Parenting, Writing and Loving with Chronic Pain

headachegirlThis past Sunday morning I awoke with a clear mind. My head only hurt a little and I started thinking. More than two years ago I began writing a book. And then I stopped. I was missing direction. But on this clear morning, I had it. The ideas were flowing and I could finally see the big picture of what the book would be about, specifically, how I could structure it, what, exactly it would cover. I would even laugh out loud from time to time thinking about it. I could feel how funny it would be.

And then my head pain escalated. I was no longer able to think clearly, take notes or write down anymore ideas. I crashed creatively. I crashed emotionally.

Now it’s Thursday, and I haven’t had a break from the pain this week. It’s the last week of summer, before two of my three girls head back to school. The weather is perfect. I had planned a trip to the zoo, the beach and was determined to have fun with them. That didn’t happen either. They are understanding, but I am not. They are still enjoying themselves, but I feel guilty.

I think guilt is something I  have not given a moments thought to in the past 4 years of dealing with NDPH. I have it. I’m toting it around in a bag on my back. I just never noticed how it was weighing me down. I feel responsible on some levels, for my own suffering and for the effect it has had on my parenting, my writing and my life in general. I certainly didn’t ask for this, but I often think I must have done something to cause it-or could do something to stop it – maybe if I ran more or ate only raw vegetables or stopped drinking coffee…these are all legitimate things I could do – and have tried- to make myself feel better. Maybe I didn’t try hard enough? Maybe the fact that I have successfully avoided the doctor for two years (not a real victory) because I was sure there was nothing that could be done. For many with NDPH, nothing really can be done. So I am not that far off here. 

I think it is time for me to accept that this just happened. For whatever reason, I have NDPH. Maybe it’s crappy Karma coming back to bite me. Maybe it’s because I was exposed to something toxic and I didn’t turn into super-spider like hero. But it happened. And I am here now, dealing with the mediocrity of my life because of it.

I am not the mother I was before NDPH. This is what upsets me the most.

So maybe I am not an outstanding mom in the way that I don’t do super fun things with my girls. And maybe they don’t have enough time in the great outdoors because the sun and humidity drive me crazy. Maybe they watch too much TV and don’t do enough crafty little things that make my head spin, in addition to the normal pain. But I love them. They know that. At the end of the day I think they know that I am doing my best. The relationship we have, the connection I strive to maintian, is more important than all the things we could be doing.

So, am I responsible for my NDPH? No. It isn’t my fault. And if it is, well, I am choosing to forgive myself. It is my responsibility to not give up hope, to keep seeking a cure and to stay optimistic. It is my responsibility to be sure that I tell my girls I love them everyday and show them, even though I have a headache, that I can still be a great mom to them.

And sometimes, some days, they will see the old me, the happy, fun mom who likes to dance around the kitchen with them and bake cookies in every shape and size and swing high on the swing and play with dolls and read them stories. On some days, they will have her.

Sometimes I will have myself back too. I will get back to working on the book on my low pain days, when they come.

That’s just the way things go. But sometimes, they go the other way too

Spoken by Alabama in (one of my favorite movies)True Romance.

It’s time for things to go the other way.

A Short Explanation of New Daily Persistent Heachache

People ask me all the time what NDPH is and I try to tell them in a sentence or less. It doesn’t really clarify it for them. I seem to sugar coat things and downplay the reality of it as much as possible.  I can’t stand hearing the phrase “oh, you poor thing.” Drives me crazy, really.  Yet, it is important for family and close friends to fully understand what we are going though if they are going to be supportive in this struggle.

The following video explains exactly what New Daily Persistent Headache is and how it impacts a persons life.  The woman in the video finds a drug combo that works for her (after two years), but they do go on to say that some people suffer for decades with little relief.

Plastic Surgery for Migraine Relief?

How far would you go to get rid of your headache pain? Most of us with NDPH would try just about anything to make the pain go away, but I think this maybe a little over the top for me. That’s just me. Ask me again, maybe in 15 / 20  years when I will actually want a face lift!

I originally saw this as a news story on CBS / NY this past weekend. Here is a video that explains in further detail, what this surgery entails. Please take note of the fact that around 50% of the placebo group also experienced a decrease in pain.

Obviously, more research needs to be done to prove that this is a possible cure for migraines. I don’t really see it as a cure for me, because my NDPH pain is not always in the exact same spot behind the eye or in my forehead. My pain wanders…

What’s your opinion? Would you try this (even if you didn’t want the facelift to go along with it)?

NDPH and Migraine Headache Triggers

If you suffer from NDPH, chronic daily migraines or cluster headaches, you need to take the time to fully evaluate your reaction to the food you consume. Discovering my own food triggers has been a long and difficult process, but avoiding certain foods and adopting a high nutrient diet has greatly decreased my daily pain.

It’s worth the effort.

Your doctor probably went through the traditional list of common food triggers with you when you were diagnosed,  BUT you could possibly be sensitive to foods that are not on the list. How do you figure out what your food could be setting off the pain? I’ll get to that in a minute…first, here is a list of the most common triggers:

  • Soy
  • Fermented cheeses
  • MSG
  • Nitrates (commonly found in processed meats)
  • Red Wine
  • Chocolate
  • Eggs
  • Bananas
  • Ice Cream
Do you know your headache triggers?

Do you know your headache triggers?

I’ve found that making drastic changes to my diet has been the most effective way to decrease the daily pain of NDPH.  None of the medications I have tried (and there have been many)  have had any effect on the frequency or intensity of my pain. They have, however, left me with some very negative side effects. The long term effects of most headache medications are dangerous. In my opinion, they are more dangerous to my health long term than NDPH itself.

The plan that I follow – or try to follow to the best of my ability – is from Dr. Joel Furhman’s books Eat  To Live and Fasting and Eating for Health. He outlines a specific diet plan to eliminate your headache (s) and claims a 90% success rate.

From DrFurhman.com:

The major cause of both tension headaches and migraines is the retention of toxins or tissue irritants within the central nervous system. These chemical irritants may cause an over sensitivity of nerve tissues to other stimuli.

He goes on to point out that a high protein diet is one of the main reasons people suffer from headaches, and that a build up of toxins in the body from other unhealthy foods can also be to blame. Take the time to read through his website. I encourage you to also read his books and give his high nutrient headache diet plan a try. Even if you can’t limit yourself as strictly as he recommends (I have not yet been successful at cutting out all caffeine and sugar), you will hopefully see a decrease in pain. You will certainly experience weight loss and all of the health benefits that go along with a healthy high nutrient diet.

My advice is based purely on personal experience. I am not trying to sell you the book  – I just want to share the one thing that has helped me with living with NDPH. I sincerely hope it helps you as well.