migraines and nursing

  1. I need some advice here....
    Four months ago, I went to bed with a bit of a headache and woke up with a migraine that I can't get to go away. I've tried pretty much all of the different preventative medication classes; most cause such violent side effects that I can't take them(I'm taking antiseizure drugs now, but they aren't taking them away completely). I use the abortive drugs, but they are so expensive--$70 per dose, and I have no presciption coverage...my neurologist says the best he can do for me is to get me down to 2-3 headaches a month. The problem is that they don't just last for a few hours...they last anywhere from 3-10 days... I've had all the tests runL CT, MRI...there are some problems up there, swellings, strictures, etc...but nothing to be done about them.
    The advice I'm looking for is what to do about my job. In the past five weeks, I've called in once a week. I'm worried about getting fired. I'm good at my job, I love my job, Ive gotten awesome performance reviews...but I can only call in x amount of times before they fire me. I'm per diem, so I haven't got any sick time, vacation time, or PTO...what do I do?
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  2. 41 Comments

  3. by   GingerSue
    is there anything that does help you when you have the headaches?
    can you arrange a different schedule, or explain to your employer the difficulty that you are having in order to arrange something?
  4. by   Maxs
    Quote from Jen,SN
    I need some advice here....
    Four months ago, I went to bed with a bit of a headache and woke up with a migraine that I can't get to go away. I've tried pretty much all of the different preventative medication classes; most cause such violent side effects that I can't take them(I'm taking antiseizure drugs now, but they aren't taking them away completely). I use the abortive drugs, but they are so expensive--$70 per dose, and I have no presciption coverage...my neurologist says the best he can do for me is to get me down to 2-3 headaches a month. The problem is that they don't just last for a few hours...they last anywhere from 3-10 days... I've had all the tests runL CT, MRI...there are some problems up there, swellings, strictures, etc...but nothing to be done about them.
    The advice I'm looking for is what to do about my job. In the past five weeks, I've called in once a week. I'm worried about getting fired. I'm good at my job, I love my job, Ive gotten awesome performance reviews...but I can only call in x amount of times before they fire me. I'm per diem, so I haven't got any sick time, vacation time, or PTO...what do I do?
    I am a pre-nursing student, so I am not giving you an advice about your migraine, but I have done a research on this subject. I figured I can tell you about some of the treatments and studies I have encountered with. There isn't a big! different between a tension and a migraine, a migraine is just more severe than tension headache. Not too long ago researcher's at the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago, Illinois have found that caffeine may make your headache feel better. Caffeine itself was given to people who suffered from headaches. When caffeine was combined with Ibuprofen and given to headache sufferers, 70% were completely relieved. On the other hand, eating junk foods contributes to the problem. Studies have shown that when patients are put on low-protein natural plant-based diets, with no refined sweets of any type they often recover within a month. Fasting (when your not ingesting harmful food substances or drugs your body will use that chance to detoxify. So as the body begins to detoxify you might feel withdrawal symptoms of food but some people find it effective.
    So to make things shorter...these are the effective methods of dealing with it because pain medications only make the pain go away while they might worsen the situation. Basically they do not deal with the problems causes.
    -Avoid Aspartame
    -Avoid high protein diet
    -Avoid conventional drugs.
    -Avoid processed food
    -Test for Food Allergies
    -Check for Magnesium level (because One of magnesium's key functions is to maintain the tone of the blood vessels). low levels of magnesium is known to cause migraines.
    -Pressure (elastic band around the head).

    Maxs
  5. by   funtimesnmd
    I have a prescription for Duradrin and it eliminates my Migraines, it has a small amount of sedative in it.
  6. by   GingerSue
    .
    -Avoid Aspartame
    -Avoid high protein diet
    -Avoid conventional drugs.
    -Avoid processed food
    -Test for Food Allergies
    -Check for Magnesium level (because One of magnesium's key functions is to maintain the tone of the blood vessels). low levels of magnesium is known to cause migraines.
    -Pressure (elastic band around the head).

    Maxs[/QUOTE]

    This is very interesting - can you explain why to avoid high protein?
    Thanks
  7. by   KaroSnowQueen
    Go to your HR. Get a packet for your doc to fill out for FMLA.
    FMLA will let you miss up to twelve weeks a year, and it CAN BE for ONE DAY AT A TIME! And you will get NO points, NO penalization for abscences!!!!
    We have a nurse on our floor who has FMLA for her migraines and nobody thinks twice about it.
  8. by   Maxs
    Quote from GingerSue
    .
    -Avoid Aspartame
    -Avoid high protein diet
    -Avoid conventional drugs.
    -Avoid processed food
    -Test for Food Allergies
    -Check for Magnesium level (because One of magnesium's key functions is to maintain the tone of the blood vessels). low levels of magnesium is known to cause migraines.
    -Pressure (elastic band around the head).

    Maxs
    This is very interesting - can you explain why to avoid high protein?
    Thanks[/QUOTE]

    This takes you back to nutrition 101 (0.36g/1 body pound, so for a patient who weight's 139 lb needs 50 g of proteins according to the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance). Not all foods that are rich in proteins are alike. Some are high in essential amino acids and others are low. Now alpha-linoleic acid (omega-3) essential fatty acid can help reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines.

    Monoamine Oxidase often metabolizes tyramine (an amino acid). However, research has shown that patients given tranylcypromine or phenelzine which inhibits the monoamine oxidase. Basically if the tyramines are not metabolized it will cause an increase in it's population in the blood.
    tyramine's effects on norepinephrine could cause hypertensive catastrophe, pulse is around 100 bm, and people who suffered from one of these have reported the most painful headaches in their lives. Ca-blocker is prescribed for the user of the monoamine oxidase inhibitor.
    http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/maois/maois_info5.shtml

    Foods with high concentrations of tyramine (15% of the cases of the people who are migraine sufferers eat tyramine containing foods):
    -Aged cheese
    -Aged or cured meats (e.g., air-dried sausage)
    -Any potentially spoiled meat, poultry, or fish
    -Broad (fava) bean pods
    -Marmite concentrated yeast extract
    -Sauerkraut
    -Soy sauce and soy bean condiments
    -Tap beer
  9. by   SusanJean
    Quote from Jen,SN
    I need some advice here....
    Four months ago, I went to bed with a bit of a headache and woke up with a migraine that I can't get to go away. I've tried pretty much all of the different preventative medication classes; most cause such violent side effects that I can't take them(I'm taking antiseizure drugs now, but they aren't taking them away completely). I use the abortive drugs, but they are so expensive--$70 per dose, and I have no presciption coverage...my neurologist says the best he can do for me is to get me down to 2-3 headaches a month. The problem is that they don't just last for a few hours...they last anywhere from 3-10 days... I've had all the tests runL CT, MRI...there are some problems up there, swellings, strictures, etc...but nothing to be done about them.
    The advice I'm looking for is what to do about my job. In the past five weeks, I've called in once a week. I'm worried about getting fired. I'm good at my job, I love my job, Ive gotten awesome performance reviews...but I can only call in x amount of times before they fire me. I'm per diem, so I haven't got any sick time, vacation time, or PTO...what do I do?
    I feel for you - am in similar situation, similar meds but can not take the abortive drugs because of the CV SE.
    Like you, I have found the antiseizure drugs to decrease the frequency of migraines, but still find 2-3/mo too many. (but an improvement over 9-10.)
    My latest avenue of approach is acupuncture (neighbor had great success w/ this - she refuses to take any meds at all and was really suffering ) and nutrition. I have been working with my nutrition professor, and the owner of a local health food store (also a nutritionist) to modify diet.
    PM me if you would like more info.
    SJ
  10. by   palesarah
    Quote from KaroSnowQueen
    Go to your HR. Get a packet for your doc to fill out for FMLA.
    FMLA will let you miss up to twelve weeks a year, and it CAN BE for ONE DAY AT A TIME! And you will get NO points, NO penalization for abscences!!!!
    We have a nurse on our floor who has FMLA for her migraines and nobody thinks twice about it.
    I was going to recommend doing the same- a few nurses on my floor, including myself, use FMLA for recurrent headaches/migraines
  11. by   JJRN
    Also a migraine sufferer. They had gotten very bad last fall. At that time in despiration I searched online for any migraine related research and there were many articles discussing the potential benefit of magnesium supplementaion in lessening the severity and frequency of migraines, and that is exactly what it did for me. Mag/Ca combos are available in a 2:1 ratio, which I found most beneficial. Just read carefully because some are made from Mag Citrate and it will surely clean you out :uhoh21: , but those effects subside with more divided doses thru the day.
  12. by   vamclouky3
    02/18/2005

    Sounds like work related stress to me and lay OFF the caffiene at lunch or during the day. Inform your Nurse Mgr that you need to see the Employee Health Nurse to help you out and take care of it. Either switch to a unit with less patients or cut back your hours on the job to third shift, less work.

    I was having migraines and actually within a two week period missed 5 days total but my boss was not understanding the reason for missing work. So, I basically told her I cannot do all the work (transporter/N.A.) without any help and when you have the entire hospital to do -- admissions, emergencies, or just plain support person your gonna get spent...emotionally.

    With shoulders hurting, back, sciatica down one leg (me) its a battle and also a torn Rt tibia that WILL require surgery to correct it. Be down 8 weeks if I actually get it done. Tiby is work-related injury....Ouch!!!!

    WBS :Melody:
    -----------------------------------------
    Quote from JJRN
    Also a migraine sufferer. They had gotten very bad last fall. At that time in despiration I searched online for any migraine related research and there were many articles discussing the potential benefit of magnesium supplementaion in lessening the severity and frequency of migraines, and that is exactly what it did for me. Mag/Ca combos are available in a 2:1 ratio, which I found most beneficial. Just read carefully because some are made from Mag Citrate and it will surely clean you out :uhoh21: , but those effects subside with more divided doses thru the day.
  13. by   confused101
    I am a junior in nursing school right now, but I have had migranes for many years. I have tried many different drugs. Right now they have me on anti seisure drugs. The Topamax was very bad though. I didn't even get to the theraputic range and the side effects hit me. I now call it the evil drug. Going to the ER is a complete joke. No flamming please. I about killed a ER nurse that said, "Do we have alittle headache?" I told her it's a migrane. She didn't think it was funny. I have only missed one class because of migranes, but I have had them for so long that I have learned to cope through them until it gets till I can't think. When I worked on the floor, I would call off because of them. I couldn't bend over because my head would explode. They had a no more than 6 call offs in 6 months. No matter what the reason. Thanks about the mag/Cal thing. I have been on the "migrane diet" for years now. Most of the foods listed above is on my no list. That only wasn't getting it done though. 3-4 a week, but no down to that a month with preventives. I'm thankful that I"m not the only one going through this sitution. Does anyone know about how to deal with pregnancy and migrane meds? I'm planning to have kids in about two years and that is one of my worries. Thanks for this thread and maybe we can help each other.
  14. by   rehab nurse
    don't mean to derail the thread here, but could someone explain how the fmla works? if you have to call off, as i have, once a week for the last four weeks for my migraines, do you just tell them you're taking a fmla day? i actually had fmla papers filled out when i need about two weeks off last fall, and am just wondering how to go about it....
    i go back to my neuro the 23, i have been taking topamax and can barely stand it anymore, it makes me feel miserable and sure doesn't help my migraines. maxalt is my lifesaver, but very very expensive! i don't know how i would survive without it.

    h

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