Posted by: Honey | 2008/10/01

Permission to be put down

I get headaches all the time, like 5 days of the week. My face hurts, I' m sesitive to light and any noise gets to me. I can be a throbbing pain or most of the time it' s just a constant pain. I get nauseous and I feel like passing out. I take lots of pills daily to try and relieve my pain but noting seems to work anymore. I really need some advice and alot of help. My life is falling apart and I am concerned for my future. I' m only 24 and I feel like I' m going to suffer forever. I recently found out that I have high cholesterol and blood pressure. I' ve suffered with headache my entire life but I am not worried more than ever, I' m getting married soon and I feel like I' m going to miss the most important day of my life because of this. Please help me or just sign the permission slip.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear Honey,

I’m not going to sign the permission slip because most people with your kind of problem can definitely be helped. To get to the root of the problem, you need what is called a “multidisciplinary assessment”. There are so many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the headache process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For instance, a neurologist will examine the brain and nervous system, a physiotherapist will look at the muscles, a dentist will examine the teeth etc. For this reason, the “multidisciplinary assessment” combines and integrates the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This assessment must include a thorough examination of the head and neck muscles to determine the presence of abnormal tension. This enables the different members of the team to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg) on 0861 678 911.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Anakin | 2008/11/01

To: Headache expert

Hi. I have just read your standard reply for people really suffering from Migraines. I am concerned that
not everyone (INCL. myself) can afford to see various practitioners (dental/neck/eye/neurologist) i.e. the “ multidisciplinary assessment”  that is referred to.
I have had Migraines since I was at Primary School, and I still get them. Those who get them will know that only the strong prescription drugs stand a fair chance to get rid of a Migraine. I have to use Migril if I wake up with a Migraine, and then my day is ruined anyway. I have a prescription for an analgesic (S5) but find that even these cannot ABORT a Migraine quickly enough if I wake up with a Migraine.

Here is the ' kicker'  though : I cannot afford the
“ multidisciplinary assessment” , as I' m unemployed (the white male syndrome). Therefore I have to do
a lot of research myself, whilst studying IT. What
bothers me is that no-one wants to make any specific recommendations as to what one can do in
the meantime. The responses are always standard and (in my opinion) unhelpful. The ones that suffer,
as e.g. " Permission to be put down"  need help quickly, with two routes :

1. An immediate suggestion of what can be done
now, what medications are available, the pro' s and
the con' s (I find this info extremely difficult to get
hold of) until ..

2. The long-term assessment can be carried out.

My personal experience has always been that other
people do not and cannot understand the inconveniences that Migraine can cause. These
include broken relationships, having to call in sick
(when employed), moving appointments around,
not been able to drive on a ' Migraine'  day, etc.
I have specifically refrained from mentioning which analgesic I use, due to the inherent danger of been criticized for it (again) :
(the Analgesic Rebound Headache Syndrome ).

The people that DON' T get these type of headaches always feel they must adjust the patient' s dosages to make themselves ' feel better' .
These are unfortunately NOT the people that have to put up with it, and neither do they make any useful suggestions.

As someone that is just trying to cope one then
gets labeled as an addict or something other. Hence
the ' suffer-in-silence'  stigma. In my case, since I have had it from 10yrs old (I' m 44 now), at least once/week I think it' s safe to conclude it' s in the genes.

To conclude, I would like to see some more OPEN
debate on this issue, and some really helpful tips and
suggestions. We still seem to be in the ' apologize for
everything'  mode here in SA, I don' t know why.
In Canada you can order what you want, online, no
Q& A sessions where you have to explain everything
and then end up apologizing for your own condition.

Not impressed and not going to apologize.

For other Migraine sufferers : I' m looking at Topimarate (Topomax), for e.g. (Generic is Toplep) to prevent Migraines from starting in the first place.
(I do not see this useful suggestion here..)

May the force be with you.

Reply to Anakin

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