Living With Chronic Headache Pain
Chronic headache pain has been in our lives for years. Our Superficial Siderosis community has many fellow sufferers. On good days the pain is a dull throb pecking away, neck, eyes, and top of your head. The not so good days it feels like a hot railroad spike through the base of your skull sprinting up to your eyes. Pain that radiates into every part of your head creating excruciating agony.
It’s A Headache Not A Marathon
Gary has always tried to control his pain with over-the-counter pain medications, sitting quietly with his eyes closed and keeping his neck still but this hadn’t been working the last eight months. The severity is increasing along with the duration. This June an unusually debilitating headache took hold and wouldn’t ease up for 76 DAYS. He agreed to a trip to the Shreveport VA emergency room and even though they did the best they could it didn’t help.
They ran multiple tests, warned him of the dangers of too much acetaminophen and treated him for a tension headache with a lovely shot of something they said would make him feel so much better. His pain eased up for 30 minutes into our 90-minute drive home and roared back.
Ease On Down The Road
The trip to the E.R did help speed up our VA PCP’s request for a neurology consult at John McClellan VAMC in Little Rock. Overton Brooks VAMC had been in the process of trying to hire a new staff neurologist for months, and they realized Gary couldn’t wait.
The neurologist started Gary on 500 mg of Divalproex 24HR in August. He is still taking acetaminophen when his pain stays above a level of 6, but he has not had another marathon headache. He has been advised to go to the emergency room anytime the pain is a 9 or higher, but he insists on powering through the pain. We return to the neurologist in January, so maybe they will reevaluate his pain management plan.