Posted by Harriet (Federal Way, Wa, Usa) on 08/21/2009
This is for someone who may have tried EVERYTHING. My daughter had a 2 1/2 year long headache. She lost ages 11 1/2 - 14 because of constant pain. And I do mean constant. It NEVER STOPPED OR ABATED. The headache would be a 3-4 on the pain scale ALL THE TIME but would 'spike' several times daily to 7-8-9. We had CT & MRI which showed nothing.
Believing in alternative care we had her seen and treated by two chiropractors, one being our regular who knew this child's body well, a cranio-sacral massage therapist, theraputic massage, acupunture, and in addition was seen by her own GP, 2 neurologists, was given drugs that did not work: for blood pressure control (hers was fine, but they were throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what would stick), muscle relaxers, vasoconstrictors, migraine meds, OTC remedies, hot packs, cold packs, had her eyes checked, had her dentist look at her, consulted with her orthodontist, had Hashimoto's diagnosed and treated by a specialist, even went through the biofeedback program at Seattle's Children's Hospital. NOTHING worked. She dispaired for her life and we found that she was cutting to relieve the pain.
Thankfully we homeschool and she wasn't under stress of public school's rigid structure. One school year she did nothing more than read 8 books and turn in book reports to me. Yet her year end SAT (require testing) were above average and she isn't an 'A' student!
We didn't do food allergies as we saw no correlation there. After Thanksgiving when she was 13 1/2 the headache level went to an 8-9 all the time with spikes of 10 (or 12 as she put it!). She began throwing up. Over the next 2 weeks she had an urgent care visit with some sort of injected pain killer that didn't help at all. Then an ER visit that helped marginally. During that 2 weeks she ate little, drank little and slept even less as the nausea was everpresent. At the end of that 2 weeks, and on the eve of our final conference with the biofeedback doctor she began throwing up again. She couldn't stop and after a sip of water would egress more than she ingested.
We were so pleased with Children's Hospital's ER staff. She was attended by 4 neurologists including the dept head and was eventually admitted. Morphine did not help; Dilauded helped marginally. She was nearly dilusional by this time, terribly hungry, dehydrated and sleep deprived. It took 4 days of IV Zolfran to calm the nausea to where she could take her thyroid meds and not barf them up.
After about 3 days of constant flow of neurologists, p-shrinks, etc, they came to a diagnosis: "Chronic non-progressive headache w/o migraine". I thought it was a garbage can diagnosis. But they told us they were going to try the anti-depressant "Amitriptyline" with a low dose as they'd found that it raised Serotonin levels in some patients and alleviated the headaches. We even had a neurologist asked us if we'd investigated food allergies and when we said 'no' he retorted "Good! You wouldn't have found anything!"
After 6 1/2 days in the hospital she was released and found that this prescription began to work. Within 4 months her pain was down to a 1 or 2 on the pain scale. They upped the dose slightly and she began living with NO pain. Two days of not getting to the pharmacy for a refill, however, produced the 7-8 pain again for a whole week!
After about 16 months of faithful use she was able to wean off and for 5 months now has had no recurring headaches.
So, yes, this site is about alternative methods, which we tried. But the remedy for this was rather obscure and all alternative methods failed. Doctors were clueless though compassionate while attempting to help with the exception of one neurologist who, after her sample prescriptions didn't work (and had consultated with us for 20 minutes on the 2nd visit) told us that she "had no magic pill...you need to take your daughter to a psychiatrist". We left and never returned.
I submit this for the one or two desperate persons out there who are reading this headache page dispairing of finding something that works because they have exausted all other avenues yet still have themselves or a family member incapacitated. Maybe our child's story will help them find another avenue to pursue. And yes, I may be contacted by email if someone wishes more information. Thanks for this great site. It has been a help to me and I only found it last week.