Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Migraine-like Pain

Sometimes tension-type headache feels like migraine, or merges into the spectrum of migraine to actually become a certifiable migraine. This week has been one of those weeks. And I know why.

I've been lazy about caffeine lately. After almost 2 years of caffeine-free existence, I have started to consume some, little by little. This weekend was a case in point. We went to visit David's Mom in the country, and as is typical of "Mom's house" there were lots of soft drinks and snack foods around. David's brother works for Coke and is hooked on caffeine-free diet Coke, which I sometimes also drink when I can find it. David did a good deed by buying us a case while we were sleeping on Saturday morning, but he got caffeine-free regular Coke by accident (he doesn't drink the stuff himself). I had a couple of these, but not wanting all that sugar, I ended up drinking a couple of Diet Pepsi's instead (i.e FULL caffeine).

I also ate a truckload of chocolate. David's sister-in-law is a chocoholic like myself, so once "permission to indulge" was given (by the fact that someone else is doing it), we consumed a container of chocolate cranberries and a couple of mega chocolate bars. Plus I had 3 (three!) slices of black forest birthday cake. I am so baaaad.

So not only do I feel like the Goodyear blimp this week, I've had a brutal headache since Sunday.

And another thing....yesterday, I also went down to the deli in my building and bought a Decaf coffee. The deli recently changed hands and is now run by a mediterranean fellow with several sons who appear to be not unlike the Gotti boys from "Growing up Gotti". They all dress in black, wear piles of gold jewelry and hair gel, and can't string a simple sentence together. When I bought my Decaf, there were no labels on the 3 containers of coffee sitting there. I asked Gotti #1 which was decaf. He said "this one" and I said "are you sure?" and he said "let me check." He opened the lid and sniffed it and assured me it was decaf. His logic was that since the first container was "regular", the second (which he didn't sniff) must be the flavoured coffee, so by default container 3 must be decaf. After several minutes trying to pay (he dug in his pocket for change) and get milk (yes, there is a difference between milk and cream) for my coffee, I left. Annoyed.

Then I woke up at 3am this morning and laid awake for an hour. My heart and brain were racing. I concluded that I drank REGULAR coffee yesterday at 3pm instead of decaf. I was ready to decapitate a Gotti this morning.

And to curb my blistering headache this afternoon, I went and bought a Diet Coke. I am evil incarnate.

Anyway, all of that to say I am now in terrible pain. Yesterday I had stabbing pain all day in my right eye and right forehead and a neck so sore I could barely turn my head. Both yesterday and today the pain has been one-sided and surrounding my right eye. This morning it felt like I had an axe in my head over my right eye. Now it feels like my right eye is being pulled fiercely from behind. I feel like I can't see clearly out of it and it seems to want to water. The neck and shoulder pain is fierce. And the pain is so bad I've been vaguely nauseous all day. It is just a sickening pain.

It's like daily tension headaches weren't bad enough even though severe. Now this. But it serves me right trying to have a life. Don't I know that my body needs 24-7 vigilance? And zero caffeine. Work has been a write-off today. I'm going home to bed...and Maxalt.


  1. Shannon3:09 am

    Sorry to hear about the severe headache, although you wrote about it with much humor and I found myself laughing out loud at times. I hope the pain eases soon.

    I know what you mean about caffeine. Diet coke was very hard for me to give up, even though it was clearly triggering some of my headaches. I suspect the aspartame contributed to the ill effects.

    For me simply too much sugar can also trigger severe headaches. I attribute this to the effect sugar has on my nervous system. In small quantities, it's an energy boost. In large quantities, it's more like an injection of caffeine, and it wires me. I can get just as jittery and agitated from too much sugar as some people get from too much coffee.

  2. First the bad advice NOT TO BE TAKEN (AGAIN NOT TO BE TAKEN) Remove axe from said eye, place aggressively into Gotti's! As to teach him HOW t decipher regular and decaf!! IDIOT! Bring duck tape with you (use much imagination).

    Second advice, this with no aggression of my own, yes I too have a migraine right now (couldn't tell I know!) Water, yuck, water!

    For me, I don't know why, but a Coke with my abortive, Toradol does the trick! Call me crazy! Really, call me crazy after that first bit of advice, but it works at nipping some of the pain away. If anything, maybe some humor will help. I'll be thinking of you today.

  3. ugh. i'm so sorry. as i was reading, i was thinking that perhaps you (like me) have migraines triggered by chocolate. maybe not. but i can't eat it at all w/o getting a migraine.... caffeine i just work to avoid on a regular basis; once or twice a month i'll have a dr. pepper as a treat. lol.

    and if i could stand it, they have caffeine-free versions of everything here, b/c many mormons don't drink caffeinated sodas. count my blessings? i don't know.

  4. this is a witch's brew of chemical triggers that makes understanding the problem difficult. in diet soda, is it the caffeine that's the problem or the aspartame? in caffeine-free diet soda, is it just the aspartame? in decaf coffee, is it the chemicals used to decaffeinate (i still need to try swiss water decaf, which uses no noxious chemicals)? why does coffee bother me but chocolate doesn't? i haven't even considered sugar as a culprit...

    this is very evil. i hate just drinking water. groan.

  5. Shannon3:37 pm

    Indeed it is a witches brew, and sad to say, water is the only thing I can safely drink. I try to hold it in the light of how much money I'm now saving by no longer purchasing beverages.

  6. Ohh Terri, that sucks. The worst thing about a migraine, is when you can trace back to "damn I shouldn't have eaten/drank that".

    One small piece of advice, since now you seam to be getting more migraine headaches along with your tension one, which is nice I might add (not reall, you get my drift), I always have a Maxalt at home, always have one in my purse, and always have one at work (at least one in each of these cases). With abortives, it's so important that you take them as soon as you can, the longer you wait to take them, the less effective they are.

    Hope your feeling better soon!!

  7. Get well and then get even with a Gotti.

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