Dear Stormy Weather,

There are storms brewing. The air is heavy, clouds are swirling, humidity’s rising. Air pressure is changing. The sky is dark and menacing.

“Look, Pa! It’s the gate to hell!” “I told yer Ma I didn’t lose it in the couch cushions!”

And my head hurts.

Storm migraines are my least favorite. Where I live, we have an active spring storm season, so I have a lot of these, and they can last for days as a pressure system sits atop us, fussing and spitting. We might not get a drop, but I’ve still got the migraine.

I swear storm migraines hurt differently than the others. They hurt from the outside in, as if they’re trying to carve and pound their way into my skull.

I’ve been taking Dilaudad/Hydromorphone all day, and it takes the edge off for awhile. I can take more and be completely stoned and pain free, but it doesn’t hurt enough to go that route, and I hate, hate, hate that feeling. If it gets bad enough tonight, I can take a Thorazine to knock me out, but then I’ll lose half the day tomorrow, which might not be too bad, since those storms, they’re still a’comin.

These are the crappy choices we make. Is it bad enough now to take a painkiller? We only get so many a month, so we’ve got to dole them out so carefully. Did I wait too long to take the pills? If I did, I’ll have to take more to compensate for that, damnit. Did I take them too soon, and the migraine just never got that bad? Or was it the early painkiller that prevented it from being a bastard of a headache?

I’ve asked doctors over and over and over: When should I take the pills? The only real, solid answer I got was the scariest. She said I should take them early and in a large dose to cut the migraine off at the pass.

It’s a good idea in theory. But then I’ve taken a large dose of painkillers. So I’m wiped out, my drug supply for the month has taken a hit, and I flirt with rebound headaches and addiction.

If these aren't tic-tacs, then this young lady is not  making smart life choices.

If these aren’t tic-tacs, then this young lady is not making smart life choices.

There’s no way to win.

If anyone has a magic answer on when to take the painkillers, I’d love to hear it. I’ve had severe migraines for 18 years, and I have no good answers and still fly by the seat of my pants.

Anyway, I’m still

Payne.

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7 thoughts on “Dear Stormy Weather,

  1. Hey, love. I’m completely with you on the storm headaches and pain pills. I have percocet at home, but dilaudid is my ER med. I have to ask about Thorazine. Like, wow, that seems like a good idea for those 10+ times. Did a Neuro prescribe it for you? Hang in there. ~elizabeth

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes, this is exactly the same here on the UK. Only we don’t often tend to visit A and E, we have access to neurology nurses who work for our neurologists and tell us what the neuros would tell us. I hate them and they make me cry. I’ve stopped phoning them and now just work with my GP who is amazing and he phones my neuro and I have a new one of those who is nice. She doesn’t like me having opiates but understands that I still have a need for them until they can get the preventatives to get my pain under more control. I’m starting to feel hopeful that we may be heading that way now that I’m finally on topirimate. The drug I’ve been adking to be on for a year! But it’s making me so drowsy I mostly sleep like a teenager. Migraine life is a fine line between zombie, pain and pain free/bearable. Our storms are probably nowhere near as dramatic as yours but I’m still definitely affected by them.

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    • Did anyone warn you that in large doses Topirimate (Topomax) can cause severe memory problems? No one warned me, and I started forgetting the names of people I worked with. I thought I ‘d had a stroke. Totally freaked out. Asked my (previous) PM doctor and he said, “Oh, yeah. That’s one of the side effects.” Grrrr.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you I will keep an eye out for that. On very small doses and increasing gradually. On so much meds and in so much pain that I can’t work or drive anyway. I’m virtually housebound so main priority for me is to get pain under control and if that means I forget things then so be it. I have been warned but my iih has brain fog as a symptom anyway so my memory is already shot to pieces before you even as in my collection of drugs. Tooa max is only one. I also take amitriptyline:side effect, memory loss/brain fog; pregabilin:side effect memory loss. Let alone the daily diazepam and oramorph I take. I’m a functioning zombie to a point but I’m pretty happy and it’s starting to control the pain. I’d say this last week that it’s been a daily 6 on the pain scale instead of a 7/8 but who knows what’ story come. It’s very unpredictable!

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      • I’ve been on all of those, too. There are some herbal remedies my Pain Management doc added to my regime that have been helpful. If you’re interested, let me know. I also know the thing I HATE most is other people offering medical advice when they know shit about me and my situation. So, should you want to talk about that stuff, I’m here. If not, still here for other stuff. I hope it gets better.

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