cure for the pain

Posted on 05.10.2013


My headaches tend to last for a minimum of a week. I’m not complaining, because I have a friend whose sister has had a headache for over 10 years. That, I imagine, might reach a specific level of bearability after a while, the same way that women tend to ignore pain that isn’t life-threatening. I once thought the three month-long event of my left ovary dying was just ‘period cramps’. Seriously.

So when I happen to find a painkiller that works, I like to stick with it. Normal ibuprofen, aspirin and paracetamol don’t do it for me. Well, they do, but to take 1500 mg of paracetamol JUST for the first two hours makes me look like I’ve got an addiction problem, when apparently all it is is really just a high tolerance for pain and painkillers in general. That may have something to do with the prescription painkillers that came AFTER the dead ovary was surgically removed like a baby during a c-section.

photoThe thing that works best for me is actually caffeine. This in itself is pretty hysterical, since I’m not supposed to have it. I’m not supposed to have it because it accelerates the growth of cysts, which in turn can kill ovaries. I’ve only got one of those, and I don’t use it, thankfully. Just after the operation a decade ago, I was put on a strict no-caffeine diet: no chocolate, no tea, no soda. I was also put back on the original birth control pills which controlled cysts, so I was covered two-fold.

So for the most part, I don’t actually drink caffeine, or take it in. Yeah, I like dark chocolate sometimes and drink a caffeinated beverage once in a while, but overall I’m to the point that if I have caffeine after 6pm, I’ll be awake with the shakes all night.

Enter: these headaches and painkillers. I started to get week-long headaches around the same time as getting diagnosed with MS. I might have had them beforehand, but I know I’ve definitely had them the entire time I’ve had the MS. My neurologists haven’t been able to link the headaches to the MS, but MS is such an odd and varied disease that everything and nothing could be linked to it at any given time, depending on where the lesions on your brain are. All I can say for sure is that they show up when the temperature or pressure changes quickly, and they last for the ENTIRE front, most of the time.

These aren’t debilitating, but they certainly do suck, and make things like interacting with family and friends, reading books, watching tv or being outdoors difficult.

Screen Shot 2013-10-05 at 09.59.14I realized quickly that regular painkillers weren’t doing it, so I started trying out ‘migraine’ painkillers. A lot of them came with caffeine as an active ingredient, and it seemed that they were the only ones that worked. In the states, I was taking Excedrin extra, and those worked. Then when I got to Germany, I tried a lot of different painkillers, but it was only Thomapyrin that worked. That, too, is caffeinated. Annoyingly enough, Germany doesn’t seem to feel the need to make anything a gel-cap, so even painkillers the size of horse pills are chalky tablets that are hard to swallow and taste terrible.

I just ran out of that excellent stuff last week. I’ve got some sitting in the US, but that won’t help me here. So I went online to try to buy some from Germany on Amazon and have it shipped to me in England, except it won’t ship to England for some reason that probably has a lot to do with drugs and borders. So now I’m on to trying new meds in a third country.

I stumbled upon Anadin Extra over here, which has the same active ingredients as Thomapyrin and is ridiculously inexpensive by comparison (England has notably cheap painkillers, and I don’t think it’s just the currency exchange, oddly enough). So tonight I’m loading up on coke with cherry juice (because for some reason we can’t find grenadine anywhere in England?), Anadin and chocolate to try to keep the headache away. If I medicate it enough, it won’t come back. Worst case scenario, I’m up all night. Here’s hoping I can keep myself occupied.

To make matters slightly more amusing, I’m still having the MS shakes which make me look like I’ve got MD instead of what I have. Add to this the shakes that come with caffeine, and it looks like it’s time for me to take more illicit drugs. The only thing saving me in public is the MS shuffle, which clearly alerts the world that there is definitely something wrong with this chick’s legs, at the very least. Otherwise I might have already made it onto the Thatguysonheroin site.

Am I the ony one who needs caffeine to get rid of a headache? It’s really the only thing that actually seems to work, and it directly goes against needing to sleep. Can someone please make a drowsy version of caffeine, maybe by mixing it with benadryl? Like a red bull and vodka?

Posted in: life, medical