15 June 2009

New doctor's ideas

Just got back from my appointment with the physiatrist. No major breakthrough yet. He and the nurse-practitioner both checked my spine for signs of misalignment or whatever, but everything looked fine. Since I've already had all the usual tests he would order, no more tests right now. They had several suggestions, so we're going to try them one at a time.

First, I may be allergic to something in the home, like dust mites or something like that. So, I'm going to try taking Claritin every day for a couple weeks. If it's an allergy-related headache, I should notice a difference.

If that has no good result, he will try some trigger-point injections. Apparently, this involves injecting small amounts of a lidocaine and saline solution into various muscular trigger-points around my head. He said many headaches are alleviated this way and they can be repeated fairly often, if necessary.

The other thing that he suggested was Botox injections. No, not for my face! (Like I'd really care about wrinkles at this time). He said there's no explanation as to why it works, but injections of small amounts of Botox in areas around the head have worked miracles for many people with headaches. The problem is most insurers don't cover the procedure and Botox is expensive.

The plan is:

  • Try Claritin for 2 weeks to see if there's a noticeable change in the headache. I have an appointment in 2 weeks to follow up with that. If it's working, I'll stock up on Claritin!
  • If Claritin doesn't work, I'll try the lidocaine/saline injection thing. (Hmmm, lidocaine is a numbing agent......will my brain go numb? And how would we tell?) :-)
  • If that doesn't work, we'll find out if my insurance will cover the Botox thing and go on from there. They'll also let me know how much the Botox would cost if the insurance doesn't cover it.

Meanwhile, I'll have my eyes checked again, just to make sure there hasn't been some kind of massive change. Since the headache is around all the time, even when I'm sleeping and when I wake up (no glasses for hours), we don't think this could be a cause, but it could maybe be making it somewhat worse. It's time to get them checked again, anyway.

So, no miracle cure, but at least there's a possibility of getting rid of the pain if it's not some type of home-related allergy. Sounds better than trying another long list of drugs, anyway.