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Kerrie’s Health

As you can’t help but have noticed, Kerrie has not posted to The Daily Headache in months. Her migraines have been increasing in intensity and duration over the last year, starting in our last months in Seattle this summer and continuing through our time in Boston. Since we’ve moved she’s been largely homebound, only getting out for a few hours a week to take a walk or run a few errands with me. In addition, looking at the computer has become a significant trigger which has made writing posts, responding to comments, or emailing friends almost impossible. Beyond the headaches, which have reached a new severity, she has constant nausea, common bouts of vertigo, muscle pain and stiffness, stomach cramping, and extreme fatigue.

The situation reached a head when we travelled back to Seattle for Thanksgiving. Kerrie has had an unrelenting migraine for more than two weeks which prevented us from going home on three separate tries and sent her to the ER on Friday. We never thought she’d go to the ER for her migraines but the combination of unrelenting level-9 pain and new stomach cramping/convulsions convinced us we needed to do something. They were able to reduce her pain to a 5 and get her a good night’s sleep, but the next morning the pain was back as intensely as ever.

We finally made it home on this past Wednesday by loading her up on painkillers and relaxants and shuttling her through the airports on a wheelchair. We were fortunate to have friends from Seattle willing to travel back with us to help out, and to get a row without a 3rd person in it so that Kerrie could lie down for the whole flight. (Our friends took some pictures along the way… when she’s feeling better she really wants to blog about the ER and flight experiences.)

She’s been suffering for years but I’ve never seen anything like the last few months and especially the last couple of weeks. We are forming a new plan of attack to get her help, and are hopeful for a new headache specialist that we are scheduled to see in January (and hoping to get into sooner.) I’m posting here today to let all of you know what is going on and to ask for your long-distance support. Please add a comment below wishing Kerrie well and I’ll read them to her while she’s working to recover.

Thank you all for your support, and I hope your heads are fairing better.

–Hart (Kerrie’s husband)

35 Responses to Kerrie’s Health

  1. Melissa says:

    I hope she get some help and starts to feel better soon!

  2. stephanie says:

    Even in your absence, your blog has been a great source of solace and information for me. Thank you.

    Your readers will keep your seat warm for you. Take your time.

    I want to say something deeply comforting and meaningful, without it coming off as weird internet commenter out of nowhere being all sappy and personal. But my words fail me.

    You’re not alone?

    I’m such a dork.

  3. Nikki says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about Kerrie’s latest struggle with migraines. I’ve had chronic migraines for 20 years now, since I was 7 years old, and I know all too well what she is going through.

    I won’t say too much here except to offer my support and thoughts for relief for her soon.

    Nikki

  4. emily says:

    Kerri, you’re in my thoughts! It’s awful when you think you’re barely squeaking by and then things get worse. I hope that this is a bad cycle which will resolve itself quickly. If not, I’ll be your doc will have some ideas on how to proceed. I’ll be pulling for you.

  5. Julie says:

    Thank you so much for the update, Hart! Please let Kerrie know that our thoughts and prayers are going out to her! I hope that this bad trend stops very soon and you find relief. Otherwise, hopefully this new doctor will have something to help. I know how frustrating it can be dealing with headaches on a daily basis. It has been almost four years for me. I don’t have as much of the other symptoms that Kerrie is experiencing, but hopefully they will end, or at least drastically reduce, very soon. If there is anything more we can do to help and support, please let us know!

  6. Heather says:

    Kerrie,

    I’ve been wondering about you lately. I’m so sorry you’re in a rough patch (to say the least) right now. Sounds like the last few months have been extra-miserable, but know that things can only get better from here. I’m praying for you!

    Hart, thank you for taking care of your wife and keeping her readers updated. I can only wish my husband will do the same for me if I ever take a turn for the worse! You and Kerrie are truly inspiring!

  7. R. Young says:

    Hello! I am very sorry to hear of the daily pain and headaches that you are living with. I understand the agony because my 15 year old daughter lives this life as well.

    Please take a long, hard look at Chiari as a possible cause for this. Chiari Zero is not widely known about. It is a variant of Chiari Malformation I, and is only diagnosed by true Chiari specialist. My daughter was told many times that she didn’t have Chiari by neurosurgeons and neurologist. It wasn’t until a Chiari specialist took time to look for it, did she get properly diagnosed.

    Please! It may not change your life, but it could give you answers.

    http://www.chiarione.org

    http://www.conquerchiari.org

    Rachael has tried many “migraine” medications…and none have helped. That’s because Chiari headaches are much more severe than migraines. And, they commonly don’t go away.

    I beg you to consider this, and never keep fighting!

    Blessings,

    R. Young
    (Just a mom that’s read your blog for years, now, while finding help for my daughter that suffers with daily headaches.)

  8. Julie says:

    Hi Hart, Thank you so much for updating us about Kerrie’s health. I had a feeling that she wasn’t doing well. Her blog is still the best headache blog on the internet. I miss her writing and hope she is able to write again soon.

    Hopefully, the new headache specialist will have some insight into her condition. Please tell her to hang in there and we are thinking of her and praying for her.

  9. Sunshine Watson says:

    I hope Kerrie finds relief soon!

  10. Rachel says:

    Thanks for the update! You are both in my prayers for a speedy recovery from this. I was wondering what had happened to Kerrie- I’ve been missing her wonderful posts. Take care.

  11. Carma says:

    Hi Kerrie,

    I am so sorry to hear that you aren’t feeling well. Hold on, and remember that this is all migraine. It is devastating, depressing and very difficult to get through, but you are a survivor and you will do it!

    Take Care, thinking of you and praying that you have some relief and a fabulous new doc!
    Carma

  12. sarah says:

    i just wanted to say thank you for the update as i was really wondering what had happened to kerrie. my thoughts are with her.

  13. Michelle says:

    I just stumbled across this blog the same way everyone else probably did: looking for information regarding my own headache struggles.

    Good luck to Kerrie with her new headache doctor. I’ll be hoping that it helps with this unbearable illness. Glad that she has someone supportive like you trying to help her get better.

    Best wishe.

  14. Nikki G says:

    thanks so much for this update, i had been wondering where she’d been and how she’d been doing. i’m so sorry to hear that she’s suffering so much, and i truly hope that one of her new doctors is able to get her some answers and some relief.

  15. Christy says:

    Dear Kerrie,
    When I first began looking for headache information on the internet, your blog was the most informative and the most comforting to me, and your all-inclusive blogroll started me on the path to discover more help and solace.
    I’m sorry you’re so ill right now. I hope you find the help you need soon. Thanks to your husband for updating us.

  16. Mona says:

    I just found this blog, but I wish you, Kerrie, relief and both of you respite from this stressful ordeal.

    I hope the new doctor has some insight and that things start looking up.

  17. Alison says:

    Kerrie,
    Wishing that your pain, nausea and other symptoms diminish soon and that you begin to feel better quickly. Sending healing thoughts your way — know that you are not alone.

  18. Lynn says:

    I just came across this website because I am was searching for someone who gets it. I have chronic cluster headaches and migraines. Staying home alone on a holiday is worse then being around people with a headache and trying to pretend I am ok. If it got real bad, I could have just gone to lay down. But I hate that too.

    I am a fraction of the person I used to be. The bad times really drive home that fact I try desperately not to face. Just know you are not alone. Get well soon. And thank you for letting me know I am not the only person that gets “headaches” as bad as me.

  19. ChristinaP says:

    Boston is the home of several excellent headache specialists, as well as research centers.

    I am hopeful that you will find an answer there. You are a wonderful person, and deserve a life.

    Best wishes for the New Year.

  20. Jo says:

    Kerrie, I am so sorry to hear that your headaches have been so debilitating. Your website has been a real source of inspiration to me, and I am sending you my hopes and prayers that you will find some effective treatment and relief for your headache.

  21. Jennette says:

    Oh, man, that sounds awful. Maybe Kerrie can find a bit of twisted joy knowing that reading about her experiences just made me feel a bit better about my more mild symptoms 🙂 Good luck! Here’s to better days ahead for your head.

  22. mudpiegirl says:

    I just found this site and immediately knew I found a goldmine. I am so sorry to hear of Kerrie’s current situation. I have struggled with migraines for 20+ years, but never so badly as she is now. I know my husband suffers along with me– best regards to both of you and don’t forget to be kind to yourselves as well as each other! May the new year bring a change for the better.

  23. karen says:

    She needs to see Dr. Peter Goadsby at UCSF in California. I just got back from one week of IV DHE. Others were there with the most of intractable headaches. He is world famous, recruited from England where they have been doing this treatment for years. Sometimes it is curative. in other cases. It knocks out some of the headaches in order to treat a different kind. My insurance paid, my doctor at MGH went to bat for me. Feel free to contact me.

  24. Anne says:

    Hi Kerrie
    So sorry to hear how badly you are suffering. I have been there myself. Not sure if this might be of help but I have been using naproxen daily as a migraine preventative. It is not normally used in this way but it has worked for me to some extent and given me a break. I found out it helped when I was put on it to try to break my codeine dependency. One side effect for me is that it has stopped my periods. This may be why it helps as hormones play a big part in my migraines.
    Hope you get better soon. Remember you are not alone…. Anne (London UK)

  25. Tamara says:

    I think the weather in Boston is more of a trigger for her perhaps? I know I have been researching weatehr and migraines and people say Boston is bad, California, San Diego, Hawaii and even Seattle is supposed to be better…you can google best places to live in the US for migraines and depending on the triggers you have it will tell you where to live the top 100…for me weather is a major trigger and cold dry winters are horrible for me-if the weatehr changes more than 5 degrees I am done. Hot weather is also a trigger.
    There are also different surgeries such as deviated septum and turbinate surgery,other nerve surgery’s, pfo closure surgery, hysterectomy etc. I wish you the best and all of us a cure!

  26. Bureinato says:

    Kerry,

    I have missed your posts and I’m glad that Hart took the time to post where you are. I’m so sorry to read of your current struggles and can only keep my fingers crossed for you.

    Hugs w/ cat fur
    Bureinato/Laura

  27. Leslie says:

    Hi Kerrie, I don’t know if you remember me from the migraine page (lesherb) but I wanted to wish you the best of luck in your search for relief.

    I’ve been to your blog a few times in the past. I just stumbled in today to catch up and found out about your setback. I hope it is just a step back with many steps forward to come.

    £eslie

  28. I am sorry to hear that Kerrie has been having difficulty with her headaches lately.

    I hope she will feel better soon and good thing you are supporting her Hart.

  29. Kerrie,

    I have been wondering how you were doing in Boston and just saw this post. I am so sorry to hear all of this. I hope you can get some relief soon.

    Will be thinking of you.

  30. Ali Sultaneh says:

    My migraine pressure points discovery was stolen.
    My migraine pressure points devices idea was stolen.
    My migraine surgery idea was stolen.
    My new migraine theory was stolen.
    THIS IS MY NEW MIGRAINE THEORY:
    My theory prove that migraine headache is an allergic disease.All vessels of the skin body do vasoconstriction in response to any danger (external factors as cut or heat or others or internal factors), but only vessels of the skin of the head do vasodilatations in response to any danger (internal or external factors). This is know in medicine, but no one make relation between this phenomena and migraine headache. When this response begin, vessels do active hyperdilataion that cause strong physical pressure over the very sensitive branches of trigeminal nerves that surround the branches of superficial temporal artery. To know how much pain give sensitive nerve when some thing do pressure on it, you have to know that all the pain that feel herniated lumbar disc patient caused by pressure of content of intervertebral disc on the sciatic nerve. Also anther compare must be done here: In herniated lumbar disc the pressure on the nerve take place in the back but the pain of herniated lumbar disc spread to the leg. So what we have here: Due to response of excitant factor we have an active strong hyperdilataion of vessels of the skin of the head.Strong pressure on the branches of sensitive nerve.That lead to pain in all area that innervated by this branches.This explain pain in the eyes, because the external layer of the eye take innervations from the same nerve.When blood flow go into the artery that make the diameter much bigger, because of that migraine patients feel pulsatile pain, due to waves of blood.ALL OF YOU WILL ASK WHY ONE SIDE ONLY NOT BOTH OF THEM AS INTERNAL OR EXTERNAL FACTOR DO EXCIANT EFFECT ON BOTH SIDES?I have the answer but I will tell you later (this is part of the answer: due to how brain receive information-first- ).As I said that all skin vessels of the body do vasoconstriction, but also in migraine headaches internal vessels do also vasoconstriction, that cause the aura symptoms and all accompanied symptoms of migraine headaches. Because of that I warned you for years about how danger to take anti migraine drugs that work as vasoconstriction.Just imagine young man have migraine headache, he is football player and he have to play an important game. He have migraine headache and he will take not 1 tablet but 2 or 3 tablets to play game. In this situation he is in very big danger! Because when he will play his muscles heart must work too much more than normal, but vessels of the heart are too much smaller in diameter due to anti migraine drugs! The danger of heart attack is very high due to less blood supply. My migraine pressure points not only stop the headache itself but all accompanied symptoms.That prove that all accompanied symptoms work as a reflex to the headaches itself.Even vomiting will stop to come if migraine patients do pressure on the artery from the beginning of the migraine attack.Red eyes will return into the normal color within 2-3 minutes.Photophobia will be vanished also.In migraine headache disease when we stop the pain we can say that the real solution is done.

  31. As a husband I know what it’s like to have someone you love going through what your wife is going through. My heart and prays go out to you both. I just can’t believe with all the modern medicine out there that no one has been able to find better ways to diagnose and treat chronic headaches.

  32. grapevinesoaper says:

    Just wondering if Kerrie has read Heal Your Headache: The 1-2-3 Program for Taking Charge of Your Pain By Dr. David Buchholz.

    It’s on my neurologist’s recommended reading list along with The Migraine Brain which I know Kerrie recommends.

    It goes a step further with diet than the migraine brain and Kerrie sounds miserable enough to try it. I’m trying to decide if I am…

    Hope that helps!

  33. Kathi says:

    Hart, I can’t tell you how I wish my husband was as understanding as you have been, Kerri is so lucky to have someone like you to support her. Please tell her that I am thinking of her and hope she feels better soon. I am going through something similar but, not quite as extreme as her right now. I had a surgical procedure about a week ago, and the headache has not stopped since! I have not been able to work and am worried about losing my job because my husband’s work is slow and may be laying off soon. These headaches just suck for us all, what I wouldn’t give for a normal life!

  34. Sara says:

    Hi Kerrie and Hart,

    I’m sorry to hear that Kerrie’s suffering has become so much worse. I have chronic migraines and I often come to this site when I’m feeling very down about my options (or lack of options), and I often find solace knowing I’m not the only one. Hart, I’m sure Kerrie appreciates your support – I know it can be very hard.

    I’ve tried nearly every recommended (and not recommended) abortives, preventatives, nerve blocks, and alternative treatments. I’m currently considering the migraine surgery (removing muscles in the forehead, temple, back of head).

    I’m sure you know it all, but here are a couple of personal suggestions to break “status migrainosus”: a steriod taper or injections of long acting anesthesia to the temples, forehead and shoulders (this is pretty awful but it broke my last week-long cycle and kept me migraine free for 10 days – a record by far). Also, I’m assuming you know that narcotics are not recommended in the ER and often lead to rebound headaches. The next time I must go, I’m going to ask for steriods (along with the anti-nausea, fluidds, oxygen, etc.)

    Best of luck to you both (and all of us).

    Warm regards,
    Sara

  35. Mei Mei says:

    Hi Kerrie and Hart,
    Please send your records to Dr. Ducic at Georgetown University Hospital. I am going there next Tuesday to finally consult with him and am very hopeful. I wish that I could contact all of you directly because I see that you have not checked this site very recently and hope that you will check soon and find help with Dr. Ducic.
    Sincerely,
    MM

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