Wednesday, July 09, 2008

366 Days

Wow. A year since my last post. Life has a way of sneaking up on you and making the time disappear.

So, here we go with a quick update. I'm currently on Neurontin as a preventative -- just a baby dose-- and it seems to be doing well. It's not that I've been migraine free for the last year, but most of the migraines seem to be milder (and a lot less frequent). I find that I'm getting clusters of migraines when the weather changes (big storms coming in are a trigger for me), and the migraines might last three days or a week.

Most of the migraines I'm getting are easily treated with ibuprofen. I only have resort to Midrin infrequently, when the migraines feel like they've got real potential, or when I'm going to sleep with one coming on. I'm not doing the Maxalt anymore, and need to talk to the Neuro about that.

Regarding the Maxalt: the last time I took Maxalt, I had a very strange reaction. I had significant tightness in my head, shoulders, and neck. Kind of like I just "tensed up" in my upper body. It was, to say the least, uncomfortable (and a little scary).

I'll sign off for now, and get back to real life. I hope you have control of your migraines, and not the other way around.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Did I find something that works?

Wow... it's been a while since I posted-- hopefully for the right reasons.

First and foremost, life has been crazy busy. Chasing an almost-two-year-old around, working, and taking care of life in general has been a real full-time job. Second, I may have found the right med for me.

I've dabbled with a lot of different meds over the course of the past couple years, trying to find the one that would work the best, with the least side-effects. I've tried Effexor, Inderal, and Topamax all to less-than-satisfying results. Recently, I tapered off the Topamax and started taking Neurontin. Swallowing a neurotransmitter every day seems a little weird, but it seems to be having a positive effect without any bad side-effects.

The best part for me is that I'm on basically the lowest dose (or, as my neuro put it: "the baby dose"). If I'm having success with this low of a dose, and I need to titrate up, I've got lots of room to go.

I promise to check back in more often.


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Sunday, September 03, 2006

"Six Banger"

I've been nursing a migraine for the past couple days and it turned into a six banger late last night just before it was time to go to bed. God bless Midrin! The sedative let me get to sleep and the rest of the drugs worked their magic to kill the headache. Too bad I'm feeling the logy after-effects of migraine plus sedative hangover.

I'm not sure if it's the change of the weather going from hot to cold, or if it is the effect of the lower pressure from what used to be Hurricane Ernesto working its way up the East Coast, but I've been in a rut lately. I'm ready for the bellman to ring and call this round over.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Mid August Update

Things have been moving at a breakneck pace around here lately, so I'm really sorry about the lack of updates.

On the personal front, Ellie has turned one year old, has started walking and running, and takes up a heck of a lot of time. She still continues to amaze me on a daily basis as her personality continues to develop, as does her sense of humor. I know that she is a "little person," but every day she finds a new way to prove it to me.

On the pro-blogging front . . . I never knew signing up for a twice-weekly update would be so taxing! I encourage you to stop over to Migraine Connection and check out the information, along with my blog there.

On the headache front . . . Things have been pretty good with the Topamax. It's been managing the migraines pretty well. I've had a couple episodes of breakthrough migraines, but they've been manageable with my typical abortives. My primary care doc also took me off Inderal, as my BP seems to be fine, and that has given me a boost in energy overall. Side effects of the Topamax seem to be calming down, and the only really persistent ones seem to be some tingling, tremor and the occasional aphasia (like not being able to properly say the word "intricate" the other day at work-- boy was that embarrassing).

Speaking of breakthrough migraines, I've been nursing one today, though I didn't realize it until I had been in the midst of it for about six hours. It's kind of funny (funny "weird" not funny "ha ha"). . .

It was a low grade migraine, so the headache isn't what eventually clued me in. It was the other migranous symptoms. I had been experiencing an upset stomach, the "scrunchy" feeling in my scalp and a runny nose (one side only). Eventually, the head got bad enough for me to take a couple Midrin, and wouldn't you know it, all of the other symptoms went away, too.

Well, it's late, and the sedative effect of the Midrin is really starting to kick in (yawn). Until next time, keep the shiny side up and the rubber side down.


Monday, July 31, 2006

Depression? Headache? Danger!

Well our friends at the Food and Drug Administration have posted an advisory warning about the mixing of certain antidepressants in the SSRI/SNRI category along with triptans. It turns out that since both have the effect of elevating serotonin, there's a risk of something called "serotonin syndrome."

A few points regarding this advisory:

  • Apparently, this syndrome is pretty serious, but the number of cases is, so far, relatively small.
  • Not all doctors are aware of this, and the drug manufacturers websites don't seem to have been updated yet with details of the advisory (as of earlier this week).
  • Effexor (Venlafaxine) is one of the SNRI drugs that is specifically called out in the advisory, and it so happens that it is also one of the tricyclic antidepressants that is sometimes prescribed as a migraine preventative (hmmm).
If I were taking an SSRI/SNRI and a triptan at the same time, I might really consider scheduling a consult with my headache doc ASAP to see if they wanted me to switch drugs.

Here's a link to the FDA advisory:

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


What a migraine. 24 hours of hovering between Richter 2 and 5. The Maxalt might as well have been crappy-flavored candy, and the Midrin barely helped (though it gave me a good night's sleep).

The headache hit me yesterday as I left the doctor's office and stayed with me off and on throughout the night. I woke up with it at a Richter 1.5, but had to go to work, even knowing that it was going to come back (there were things that had to be done-- songs that had to be sung). By the time lunch rolled around, the headache was edging up to a Richter 3.

As I exited my pre-lunch meeting, I popped a couple of Midrin. They started to take effect over lunch, but the headache peaked at a Richter 4. By the time my post-lunch meeting started, I was back down to the Richter 3, but the Midrin sedative effect was starting to hit. I spent the rest of the afternoon nice and logy-- one might even say "mellow."

The rest of the day was most of a Midrin- and postdrome-induced haze, and the headache itself didn't actually abate until about an hour ago. It really does feel like it is actually gone, now-- at least I'll keep my fingers crossed that it is.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Karmic Komodo

Ok, so I must've tempted fate. I mentioned yesterday that I've been relatively headache free, plus, today I had a doctor's visit for a checkup, where I told him that my headaches are under control. So, what happens tonight? A damn dirty Richter 5 migraine.

Maxalt plus two Midrin an hour later, and the son of a gun is still with me (albeit a bit lower than a 5 right now).

I'm reminded of "Young Frankenstein," and the quote: "Could be worse. Could be raining."

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Sound of Silence

Ok, it's been a while.

Ok. Too damn long.

The good news is that I've been relatively migraine free. The Topamax seems to have been doing its job overall. The bad news is that the mood leveling effect seems to be dropping off a bit. Nothing major, but I feel like a bit of the old "angry Rob" is coming back a bit more.

The professional blogging effort over at is coming along well, but producing blog entries on demand twice a week takes more effort than I imagined it would. Even though I'm writing about something I know a lot about, coming up with interesting topics one hundred and ten times a year is going to be a struggle at times. Thank God for the news-- hopefully there will always be something out there to comment on.

On the personal front, my little girl turns one year old in about three weeks. She started walking last week, and can say a few words already. She even called me a monkey once. I love her.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Migraine Connection: Excerpt


"I was on the couch in the living room. Alone in the house as Mom worked in the office up the street, and Dad drove a truck for the local newspaper. I writhed in pain wrapped in my black robe with red piping, cocooned in a green afghan crocheted by my grandmother, shivering despite the heat, sweating despite how cold I felt. The belt from my robe was wrapped tightly around my forehead, twisted at one end, trying to calm the pounding of the demon that was trying to get out."

Read more at my blog on Migraine Connection

(Excerpt copyright 2006 Choice Media)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Migraine Connection

I'd like to put a plug in for the site where I've begun a supplemental blog. That site is, part of the family. Come on over and read what I have to say there, as well. Feel free to join the community, comment, and talk on the message boards too!

See you there!

(Oh, and fear not-- you'll still get your oddly-frequent dose of me here, too).


Contents Copyright ©2006 Robert M. Streno
This blog is intended as a journal of my own personal experiences with migraine, and should not be used for any type of self-diagnosis. If you believe that you have a medical condition that needs addressed, please see a doctor.