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THIS is why I hate getting older

Every time I hear someone get all outraged over people who hate getting old, and how they should be happy and embrace their wrinkles and changes and all that crap, I want to beat their faces in. There is nothing fun about this. Especially as I inch toward the dreaded menopause -- this perimenopause thing is bad enough. I used to battle migraines on occasion, but the pills I was taking tended to keep them away from me. The past couple years, though, it seems like almost every that time of the month is met with all kinds of body problems, the worst of which is hideous migraines the likes of which I never had to deal with before, and now I've even experienced the notorious cluster headache, which I have to say is quite possibly almost as bad as the blocked bile duct that sent me to the emergency gall bladder surgery two years ago. It's a tossup as to which one was worse.

I've spent the past few days with one long migraine that temporarily went away thanks to Imitrex (once I could finally keep it down) just long enough for me to take my friend out to dinner for his birthday. He was mocking me for not having enough energy to do something else and I said, "I started out my morning by vomiting, being blind in my right eye, and having so much pain I wanted to stab myself to death just because it would be different pain." People who haven't had these kinds of headaches, a real migraine, just have no idea. The word gets tossed around easily by people who have regular headaches (which themselves can be almost as evil), but they just don't know what it's like to have this thing take over your life for days on end.

Yesterday I couldn't even keep my Imitrex pills down but finally stopped vomiting around 11, and then I fed the cats because the poor things were just frantic for food, and had to go back to bed, not getting up till around 1. I missed not only the No on 8 rally downtown, but an entire two days of gorgeous weather that I could have so used to get out in the yard and tidy up and prune trees and shrubs. I still have some residual pounding when I move fast, but it was nice to wake up and not be blind and having to puke.

Last night, when I really should have been working on Yuletide fic, I alternated between trying to get all the stuff off my TiVo that's been piling up and playing around on fanlore. It's hard trying to create entries for my microscopic fandoms, since I know so little about the fanworks in most cases, or what I did know is now long gone. I don't want the pages to be all about the canon, but most of the time that's all I can write about.

I also popped up to PCC and decided while I was there to look at some of the herbal remedies and see if there was anything for migraines. I picked a feverfew/lavender blend. I don't know if it helped or not, but I took some first thing and am still taking some today, just to get my system used to it. The Imitrex ... I don't know. It works, most definitely, and gives me some reprieve, but for about a half hour I feel so weird that it scares me: my extremities all become numb, my heart beats too fast, I get dizzy and heavy-headed at the same time, and I can't really even stand up. I have to make sure I have a fainting couch nearby because that's what I feel like I'm going to do. It sounds like it can be a bit iffy to use herbal remedies with one of the migraine drugs, but I dunno, when you're desperate, you're willing to take chances. I may talk to my doc next year about injections instead -- I loathe the idea of an injection with my freakishly sensitive skin, but then I wouldn't vomit the (very expensive) pills right up before they can help.

Anyway, losing days of my life to this crap is why I hate, hate, hate getting older. Headaches aren't the only thing, either -- there's the skin breakouts, the intestinal distress that always follows the headaches, the aches and pains... the weight gain you can't ever seem to get off. Even your feet get bigger. What's up with that, man? I do not like it one bit. Sadly, there's only one alternative.

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Nov. 16th, 2008 09:21 pm (UTC)
Bleah, suckage!

Have you considered not doing periods? I'm in the same delightful stage as you are, and a couple of years ago my gyno recommended taking BC pills straight through for a few months at a time. FOR THE WIN. At least it would cut down on the period-related migraines.

You might also ask your doctor about trying a different migraine medication. Imitrex still works for me, but I've often heard of people having to move to a different one eventually.

It still sucks, but at least sometimes you can sort of manage it to limit the suckiness. :-P
Nov. 16th, 2008 10:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah. Me too. Although it was pretty bad in my twenties: then I could have disintegrated from emotional pain, which wasn't by any means mere. Now it's physical, and my nose is getting bigger. Feet too, but my feet aren't stuck out in the middle of my face for everyone to notice.

Nov. 16th, 2008 11:23 pm (UTC)
Have you mentioned the Imitrex side effects to your doctor? 'cause they're scary.

I've had migraines literally all my life; with the advent of CFS & fibro, they became chronic daily, and often intractable. Imitrex and the related tryptans don't work for me; neither did feverfew, but lavender, as aromatherapy, helps a bit.

I have a prescription for phenergan for the nausea; it comes in (TMI time) suppository form if you're frequently at the can't-keep-meds-down stage.

The other absolute godsend is ginger; a friend brings me store-brand 2 liter bottles of ginger beer (soda) now and then; it's a bit stronger even than Reed's Extra, but not as sweet. Also, the pickled ginger sold with sushi; the little cup of it that's 99 cents is about enough.

A hot pack on my shoulders, combined with ice on my temples, helps sometimes.
Nov. 17th, 2008 01:47 am (UTC)
I agree, aging sucks, and no one can convince me otherwise.

I'm so sorry you've been in so much pain. ::hugs::
Nov. 17th, 2008 01:53 am (UTC)
I'm really sorry you're dealing with this. I've had an odd resurgence of migraines post-pregnancy, but I've been really lucky that they're almost exclusively ocular migraines (the blinding pain ones happened during pregnancy). I gave up on the Imitrex because the fallout was actually worse than the occasional headache.

It's a piddly remedy, but the one thing I've found that helps my horrible, awful, no-good headaches is Tylenol (preferably arthritis strength, and get the real kind, no generic) and Coke. And I mean, real sugar, full caffeine Coke, at least a can worth. I bounce off the damn wall the rest of the day, but my head doesn't hurt.

And aging is seriously no fun. I was all sanguine and superior about 30, but facing 40 with arthritis and a small child? Not so sanguine.
Nov. 17th, 2008 03:55 am (UTC)
have you considered acupuncture for the migraines? Supposed to work...
Nov. 17th, 2008 04:54 am (UTC)
Oh, sweetie. I am so, so sorry. I hate that you have these, too!

Re: the Imitrex, please talk to your doctor and see if you can get the low-dose nasal spray? I am not able to take it orally because it makes me so sick and dizzy, but the nasal spray works for me 9 times out of 10. It doesn't always make the migraine go away, but it does make it much less, and also generally helps me sleep it off, and I have no side effects at all.


ETA: I have tried feverfew with no noticeable positive results, but I do hear it helps a lot of people. For me, a caffeine pill and two big glasses of water sometimes does the trick, but I have to be careful. If it's a really bad one with any kind of visual effects, I avoid caffeine.

Edited at 2008-11-17 04:56 am (UTC)
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