Follow one crying eye on

Hopes and headaches

I have had a little rush of optimism about my headaches. This may be misplaced. The jury is still out.

Having endured chronic migraine all of my adult life, with more and less intense episodes at different times, I have had a few attempts at dealing with it more successfully. In recent years, the availability of Sumatriptan has helped me a great deal, but this is a drug which does not prevent the headaches, it simply gets rid of them once they have arrived. I have found that usually, if I catch the headache early enough, this is completely successful and I weaned myself off the highest dosage a few years ago. But, I was still taking one almost every day, as I usually wake up with a headache. 

In November and December 2020, I was genuinely excited that my headache-free days each month were slightly greater in number than my headache days. This appeared to be a major improvement and I hoped that it heralded a significant reduction for my middle and later years. This is supposedly a ‘thing’ for women when they reach this otherwise frequently problematical time of life. Sadly, most of 2021 has been a complete pain in the head and I finally got round to making a GP appointment. 

I quite like the fact that currently my GP practice is using telephone appointments instead of face-to-face, and these have been useful. I am experimenting with a pain-killing drug which I have tried before but this time I’m hoping to give it a better chance. So far, it has not been a success, but we keep increasing the dose in the hope that it will suddenly settle and become effective.

In the middle of this experiment, a neurological referral magically appeared and I had a longer telephone conversation with a headache specialist. This guy seemed to understand where I was coming from, but began to talk about me being ‘medication dependent’ and explained that I needed to come off the sumatriptan. My heart sank, and I was ready to discount everything he was saying to me – but he was very persuasive and by the end I was enthusiastically agreeing I would follow his suggested regime.

The regime involves going out for my walk in the morning, immediately after breakfast. This is a huge issue – due to my general lack of energy in the mornings and the added doziness brought about by the pain drug. I have so far managed this once (out of three days) with an ‘almost successful’ yesterday when I dragged myself out around 10.30am. Today I did a short walk to the bottom of the garden, and then did the housework instead. I reckon that’s just as energetic and maybe counts because we have lots of windows open in this lovely weather.

Where I have so far failed is on giving up taking the sumatriptan when I feel a headache coming on. I have promised myself that when I genuinely have nothing else important to do, I will try to go without, but so far there have been two days in a row where other important things have got in the way. Hmm – must try harder.

A strange extra tip the consultant gave me: take 3 soluble aspirin (apparently these days known as ‘dispersible’ aspirin – who knew?) dissolved in Coca Cola. I don’t like Coca Cola, but I can drink it if needed, so I have already tried this as a remedy to my headache yesterday. (Took the edge off, but didn’t completely work.)

I realised as I was writing up my diary last night that anyone reading it would be perplexed at my sudden change of personality – “took some aspirin and some coke”. I always was one to invent a more exotic lifestyle for my staid little self.


Follow one crying eye on