Holiday Headache

Last night was the first night in weeks that I slept 9 straight hours without waking up once.

Normally I wake up anywhere from 3 to a dozen times over the course of the night while I’m trying to sleep but last night I was so exhausted from the Christmas whirlwind that within minutes of laying down I was completely out. That chunk of sleep left me feeling more relaxed than I have felt in weeks.

I had a pretty fierce migraine for the duration of Christmas day but enjoyed myself as best I could. By the end of the day I was having some trouble speaking and my mind’s eye, like looking down a long paper tube into the living room, had shut itself down and was residing a comfortable distance from the action.

Thinking about that pain today brings back my concern about the mega-headache.

Not long after new year’s this last year I had a headache that had me almost completely incapacitated for six weeks straight. No amount of CT scans, MRI’s, injected pain medication, or migraine medicines were able to pinpoint or solve what it was, and for months afterward all my neurologist would say is, “well we’ll just have to see if it happens again.”

Since then the headache broke up until I went from having a headache for 23 hours a day, to 22, 21, and so-on until it dissipated, leaving me with random, more sporadic crippling, migraine-like headaches.

I was very thankful to hear that I don’t have a brain tumor or something of that nature, but it is very frustrating to be living in fear of this phenomenon recurring without warning. Any time I feel that unrelenting pain like knives in my head, it brings with it the concern that it might not end.

Otherwise, Christmas was good. Lots of good food, good stories, and family time. No particular bipolar-type episodes, which is lucky because those migraines can trigger them for me.

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4 responses to “Holiday Headache

  1. Many of the medications that are prescribed for bipolar are also used for migraines.

    It’s a paradox. I’ve taken a few and they gave my migraines. There are more than a few medications that have this inverse side effect.

    I had a similar situation. They called it “idiopathic” …bla bla bla. “Idiopathic” means they don’t know what the heck it is or how to treat it.

  2. I know the problem. *Sad face*. Headaches are the most mysterious medical problem ever. I’ve landed myself in the ER twice because of that. The randomness of the headaches is terrible. The worst is when you know you can’t avoid one.

    I get them almost on cue when my stress level gets to a certain point. It’s unavoidable – like when I’m getting close to a show and it looks like a complete disaster. It’s crippling at the worst possible time.

    I hope these headaches don’t last too long for you. Horrible migraines! Bad head! Bad!

  3. Recently diagnosed with BP and just reading this had no idea until now there was a connection between BP and migraines. I have suffered migraines for as many years as I can remember. Very interesting.

    • It is difficult to make any sort of definitive connection, but in my experience a lot of people with bipolar disorder (and many I know even with just depression alone) also have migraines. What I do know for absolute certain is that migraines can act as a trigger for me, any severe pain or discomfort for any period of time will trigger an episode of depression on my end. I have to be very careful about managing my health in its entirety, as opposed to managing bipolar disorder and ignoring the rest.

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