Chronic Migraines, anxiety, panic attacks

As I have mentioned before, I grew up without any major medical issues.  I rarely took any over the counter medicine, or had to go to the hospital.   When I first started getting major migraines, they weren’t as frequent as they are now.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but when I think back on the times when my migraines were really bad, the common denominator in all the situations I can think of, is Air Conditioning.  When I lived in Los Angeles, air conditioning is not something that you have to have on all the time, so that sort of explains why it wasn’t as bad as now.  I live in Henderson, Nevada now.  Here in Henderson, wherever you go the air conditioner is on pretty much all the time aside from winter time.

 

When I first started going to the hospital for my migraines, blood tests and MRI came back good so the doctor had me try Topiramate (aka topamax).  It was the worst thing ever.  After taking topiramate, my arms and legs became tingly and numb, and I went straight to my bed and had to lay down.  After telling the doctor how it was, they switched me to Sumatriptan.  Sumatriptan didn’t help me either, if anything I felt worse.  Few weeks later, I had 2 panic attacks.  First one wasnt too bad.  I was at a busy restaurant waiting to be seated, when all of a sudden I had breathing issues, and I starting hearing things isolated.  I stepped outside for a second, went back in the restaurant and was ok.   The second time however, was at the movie theater.  While watching a war movie, there was a scene where machine guns and grenades were going off during battle, and when one of the main characters got shot, the movie went dead silent for a while.  When that happened, my heart stopped beating too ( Or at least felt like ) and couldn’t breathe.  I had to run out of the movie theater.  Now I was super scared, and stopped taking prescription meds.  This is the point in my life where I stopped smoking, vaping, drinking and even cut out coffee for a while.  Through other peoples blogs and forums, I found ways to deal with my migraines without these strong presctiption meds.  Sitting in a dark room, drinking lots of water, what foods to watch out for, sleep, etc.

 

Since then, I haven’t had any panic attacks.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are people out there who have had success with sumatriptan or topamax, however it didnt work for me.  Do I still get migraines?  Yes I do.  Does the air conditioner still bother me?  Yes it does.  However some days are better than others.  Im not sure if it has to do with my sinuses, or maybe I even have asthma that I never knew about?  I don’t know, but when my doctor had me try Prednisone (Steroid) for 5 days, for the first 3 days the air conditioner didnt bother me at all, and I was able to breathe through my nose again.

When it is really bad, I cant look at my computer monitor for more than 5 minutes at a time.  My job requires me to use a computer from start to finish.  When it gets really frustrating is when the dizziness starts, and I cant drive properly.  Sometimes I’ll move a foot, but it feels like I moved 10 feet.  And vice versa, I’ll stop at a red light, and it will feel like I’m still moving.  My primary care physician has me waiting to meet with ENT (Ear Nose Throat Specialist) to see if they can help me with that.

It may be sad and funny at the same time, but for 13 months straight now I have been sick.  In the last 13 months of my life, there was only 1 day that I didn’t feel sick at all.  Yes there were days when it was more bearable than others, and days where it wasn’t all that bad, but I mean really perfect, not sick at all, was only 1 day in the last 13 months.  And that was the day I got released from the emergency room.  ER kept me overnight, and whatever they pumped in my iv, I didn’t feel sick at all the following day.  Of course the day after, I was back to square one.  If I remember correctly, it was their own mixture of medicine for inflammation, migraines, and to give me rest.  Whatever it was, they sent me a bill for $8000. =)

 

So as with my GERD, Migraines, and breathing issues, I have found ways on my own to deal with some of the issues.  I take hot baths regularly now.  When the air conditioning, or even cold air in the winter time bothers me, I wear a face mask.  When the bright lights bother me, I wear sun glasses.  When my body temperature is off, and my GERD is acting up, I drink warm/hot water which helps a lot.  I was eating tums regularly, because I heard from a few doctors that they are safe to take, but my doctor was getting concerned about me taking too much so he put me back on omeprazole daily.  It seems to helping a lot, but I dont think it would be a good idea to take omeprazole for months either.

 

I also tried acupuncture for a while.  For me acupuncture helped temporarily.  I felt great right after, but it wasn’t a permanent fix for my issues.  Im not too big on working out.  I used to do push ups but I stopped doing them.  There were a number of times when I felt my blood pressure go up, and I started getting light headed.  I now stick to stretches and 30 minutes on a cycle daily.  On days that I eat more than normal, or have digestion issues, I’ll add maybe 15 minutes of walking on top of that.  But for now, no push ups or fast running.

 

D.I

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