Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mind Zapping Monkeyshines

The Klonopin Must Go

The last few months I have been taking clonazepam in order to sleep better [which in theory will decrease my overall pain levels] starting at .5 mg, then 1 mg, and this last week have been increasing it by .5 mg every other night until I was up to 2.5 mg.  The instructions were to increase it until I got a good night's sleep without waking up at 2 AM and without feeling drugged in the morning when I got up to go to work.

My overall headache pain levels have been increasing all summer long and last night I finally made a correlation between the increased dosage of clonazapam (Klonopin) and the growing pain.  Not only did I have a headache on the bad side of my head but I was starting to get an overall headache all the time.  I stopped the clonazepam last night and woke with much less head pain.  Headache, or a hangover type headache, seems to be a fairly common side effect for this medication.  Just my luck.  If sleep comes in short shrift (like last week) I may try taking it again. 

Got a good day's work done today, even though I had to delay going to work in the AM because The Headache itself was not behaving.  My "entire head" headache was gone, but The Headache decided that this morning was its day to play.  I finally lulled it back to semi-sleep with ice and then drove to work.  It's always a gamble on days like today if I will make it home from work, or just make it to the ER.  Hoping that when the clonazepam totally gets out of my body (which may take a day or two) The Headache will calm itself down, and I won't feel like such a wilted lily.

Have been trying to control my nervous system with my biofeedback CD.  Mostly I am just having trouble controlling the CD player which is wanting to skip.  Of course this is not conducive to being in a meditative state so I guess my nervous system is just railing about out of control wrecking havoc throughout my body.  I did changeup my occipital stimulator settings today to see if that might jog the brain cells to quit colliding.  It's somewhat like a nuclear explosion - when the bouncing brain cells collide enough times I hit critical mass and The Headache explodes.

In the news today was an article about the discovery of a genetic difference that many common migraine sufferers (like me for years and years) share concerning the storage/usage of glutamate. Glutamate and nitric oxide work together, and apparently glutamate can start cascades of neural signalling which effect diseases such as epilepsy and autism.  The article states that an overload of glutamate may be why the migraine begins, essentially sending too many signals to the synapses and starting the migraine process. The researchers hope to find a way to inhibit the overload or to prevent the resulting signals in order to control migraines without aura (common migraine).  Since a lot of research and  many medications are geared to migraine with aura because there is a warning that a migraine is going to occur, new medication options for migraine without aura would be a great stride forward towards controlling this disease.


  1. That's an interesting article. A big step in the right direction - I actually had a doctor try to tell me once that I don't have migraines because I don't get a visual aura before. Fortunately, I knew better and just never returned.

  2. Back in the day I was diagnosed with migraines (late 1970's) they were called common migraine (now migraine without aura) and classic migraine (migraine with aura) and I was told many more people have common migraine than the classic version. It was why mine was so difficult to medicate because I had no prodrome, just all of a sudden I would realize I had been in pain for hours and now I was seasick (which did not bode well for me). Now the progression was always the same: approximately 8 hours from start to finish, with one day of hangover. But all the medication I had to take was most effective if taken early in the headache process, and I never knew until I was about 4-5 hours in. Guess I just wasn't very observant?? I think I just got used to the lower level pain.

  3. Man i love your illustrations you put up Winny. Interesting read. Thanks for sharing dear one. Blessings.

  4. JBR: Most of my enjoyment from the blog seems to come from comments and decorating my head a different way for each post!!! Hope you have great care free non-picnic oriented labor day weekend!

  5. Winny,

    Hello! I'm glad your head pain is decreasing. Thanks for sharing the exciting article on migraine research. There's always hope! :)

  6. Heather: At last someone is saying there is proof of the genetic component of migraine. We all know sometimes it runs in families. Maybe that's why migraines can be so resistant to medication - I believe the triptans work with the nitric oxide part of the migraine cascade. Maybe some of us need to stop the glutamate build up before the nitric oxide is given the signal to begin the migrainous episode?? Maybe that's why a lot of us are sensitive to monosodium glutamate (MSG) which is an enzyme that contains a glutamate component.