Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Day 12 Migraine Awareness Month #MHAMBC

I've felt like a lab rat the entire 7 years I've had chronic migraines. But, the time I felt most like I was being experimented on would have to be when my migraine doc prescribed Neurontin (Gabapentin). The drug is supposed to treat nerve pain in addition to being an anti-seizure medication but instead it made my nerves screamingly painful. 

The prescribed titration was a lengthy one as I was working up to something like 6 pills a day. Right away I started to notice an increase in pain but I chalked it up to a fibro flare. The next week I increased my pills and noticed a huge jump in my pain so I called my doc. He insisted that this was not a possible side effect from the meds and that I needed to just keep titrating up. Wanting to believe him and be a good patient, I went ahead and kept taking it and increased again on schedule. It was this final step up that pushed me over the edge. The pain was terrible and it now seemed very obvious that it WAS the medication. I called the doc again and insisted that this was causing me an increase in nerve pain (the exact opposite of what it was supposed to do). The doc still insisted that it couldn't be the Neurontin but he didn't push me to keep taking it. 

As soon as I stopped taking it, my nerve pain returned to normal levels. Conclusive proof that it was indeed the Neurontin. 

Now, increasing nerve pain wasn't in the handout I got from the pharmacy and my doc said that he hadn't seen this in any of his patients before. There's a word for that: idiopathic. Like I've said before, my migraine doc can be kind of rigid but at least he didn't push it. 

The whole experience just underscored how inexact medicine is, how complicated our bodies are and how little (the collective) we know about it. 

June 2013, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The 2013 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project

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