Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I haven't had to endure a migraine's full wrath in quite a while because a medication called sumatriptan works for me. When I feel the thing begin its evil squeeze I take the pill and within an hour or two, I'm released.
I used to feel euphoric when the migraine lifted. Now I'm left with a kind of brainlessness. This is because I'm also taking a migraine preventer called a topiramate. It works. I was having 15 or 20 migraines a month and now I have about four. But topiramate has its drawbacks.
In some people, topiramate suppresses appetite. In some it causes paranoia or fainting, rapid breathing or blood clots. In me it causes sluggishness of body and mind. The worst thing is I have trouble remembering words. This would be no big deal if I were, say, a professional wrestler. Or maybe a neurologist.
I've told my neurologist how the topiramate makes me feel, how the word recall problem makes it hard to, um, you know, write words. He suggests I try different doses. He suggests I take it at different times of the day. He adamantly insists I quit drinking coffee. I tried that for an anguished six months, during which I was more sluggish than ever and had more migraines than ever. If I didn't drink coffee John would have to do all the laundry and grocery shopping and dog walking and that's not fair. I'd be a hazard on the roads. Hell, I'd be a hazard in my own house.
John suggested I get a second opinion. Duh! (If I wasn't taking this drug would I have thought of that myself?) He also suggested I research migraine preventers on my own. The first place I looked listed seven--SEVEN--alternatives to topiramate. I haven't had a chance to research them yet. Maybe they have side effects, like paranoia or blood clots or the urge to sleep with a moose.
But the doctor never bothered to mention these alternatives to me. Perhaps he doesn't know about them. He knows he wants me to stop drinking coffee. I begin to wonder if he went to college.
Obviously I don't have a migraine today or you'd be reading a shorter post. Anybody know a good neurologist?