Your Headache Stories, Part 1: From Jantha

All of our stories are unique, yet the similarities run deep. By reading other people’s headache stories, we can learn from and get comfort from each other.

Jantha describes the moment her headache began, the diagnosis and drugs she’s tried, and the impact it has had on her relationships.

On March 6, 2001 at about 8 p.m. I developed a severe headache. It felt like like a giant was holding his hands against my ears and pressing with as much strength as he could on my head. This pain has not ceased since, five years and counting. I have been diagnosed by a specialist with NDPH [new daily persistent headache] caused by thoracic outlet syndrome.

I have taken Migranal, Epidrin, Cymbalta, Depakote, Fiornal, Elavil, Effexor, Keppra, Valium and all of the triptans, to name a few. That’s all I can recall, given my reduced mental capacity due to the aforementioned substances! All in a year and a half. I am currently on Lyrica, Veralen PM and Effexor with Topomax thrown in lately (Dopamax or Stupemax as it is known).

For reasons that are obvious to me, I am just about to lose my low level job and my few remaining friends. After all, five years plus of hearing someone whine about their pain is more than just about anyone can take, however noble they may be.

On the plus side, I have finally received some relief from Lyrica and Verelan PM, and Topamax seems to help with the pain also, although it wipes my memory. I find myself groggy, stupid and fatigued but relatively pain free… as opposed to awake, sharp, energetic and ready to cut my head off due to pain. I guess 0=0 in this case.

I can’t understand why they can’t just hook me up to their fancy machines and determine what’s wrong with me and fix it. I alternate between hope and despair.

Jantha ended her e-mail to me by saying, “It helps to know others are going through similar experiences and coping somehow.” And this is why it’s so important to hear stories from many different people. If you’d like to share your story with me and/or readers of The Daily Headache, please e-mail me.