Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Medications: A Love-Hate Relationship

I look forward to the day where medications do not rule the roost as much as my Migraines and NDPH do. Months of trial and error, dealing with side effects, and waiting months to even see if the new preventative I'm taking is effective makes this whole medication ordeal quite exhausting.

Medications and I have a love-hate relationship. If I have found the right medication to treat what is ailing me, it is like someone has flipped a switch in my body. I'm not "normal" by any means, but I am able to start to experience my life. For example, when taking Frova (an acute migraine medication called a triptan), my menstrual migraines are extremely decreased in severity. Finally, I do not have to experience weeks of unending pain surrounding my menstruation that keeps me bed bound any more.

However, the flip side is that I am extremely sensitive to medications. While Frova is a godsend, my body is very sensitive. It does not seem to like any medication that messes with my serotonin levels. So, at the end of 4 days of taking the medication, I experience mild-moderate anxiety.

Through trial and error, I have found that tricyclic antidepressants, SSRIs, SNRIs and most recently Zonegran induce severe anxiety and panic in my body. These medications are supposed to be helping my body, but my sensitive body revolts at ingestion.

Other medications such as Zofran (for my nausea) let me be. They treat my symptoms without raising any difficulties with unwanted side effects. Oh, I wish it were so easy with all medications.

I feel as though I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. How do I find the right medicaiton for my head if my body continues to revolt? It is a frustrating question for me to face myself, much less the parade of questions I get from those who love me and only want me to feel better.

I feel helpless being at the mercy of the medications. I have a rescue medication I vowed I would never take again because of the awful side effects it gives me. But, increased severity and frequency of my migraines this week (most likely because I stopped the Zonegran, a migraine preventative), it was my only option that I knew would halt the pain. I suffered tremendously from the side effects. But in those moments of severe pain, I will tolerate almost anything to make the migraine halt. It is basically survival mode. I have stopped living and I am only surviving.

I am currently in a holding pattern now. I have a cervical nerve block for the pain in my neck on Friday. And I see my headache/Migraine specialist on Tuesday. But, getting through each moment is a struggle.

And when I see my specialist and start my new preventative, it is hard to be optimistic. It is hard not to be scared of the possible side effects. Usually, I get them! This will be another trial in a list of unending trials. I wish I had hope enough to know that this next medication is the one. After suffering so long, it is difficult to muster up the hope. But, I will. Any change is progress. I tell myself that if this next preventative does not help or the side effects are too awful, it will be one step closer to discovering the medication that will help me.

I know this is only one part of my journey toward better management of my migraines. And, I tell you, I am ready to be done with this part.

1 comment:

  1. Aww, Kelly, I could have written this post. I'm sensitive to meds too, and I've been having a lot of trouble with them lately. It's made me extremely nervous about trying anything new, or even anything I've used before.

    There is something out there for all of us, it's just a matter of holding onto enough hope until we find it. (Easier said than done, I know.)

    Hang in there, hun. *hugs*

    Be well,