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Old 11-04-2010, 09:20 AM
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Sharp pains in my head..


Hi Everyone.

I've been finding an increase in headaches lately, and I'm not sure if it's related to E or not. Mostly they are the ice pick headaches, like sharp stabbing pains in the side of my head. Most often on the left side.

They last for a few seconds, but can repeat every 10 seconds or so for a minute. It comes and goes, varying in severity. I won't feel them for a few days and then they just come back out of nowhere.

They're really painful and almost debilitating in nature. I haven't slept well in weeks, so I wonder if it's related to that.

Has anyone else experienced these?

My epilepsy is right temporal lobe and I have no history of migranes.

Thanks!
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:42 AM
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What you describe sound like a kind of migraine. There is definitely a crossover in symptoms between temporal lobe epilepsy and migraine; sufferers from temporal lobe epilepsy can get severe headaches. The fact these headaches are new to you suggests that your seizure pattern is changing, and/or that something in your environment may have changed as well

Sometimes they can be caused by a shift in the weather/seasons. Maybe that and the fatigue have brought on the headaches? Here's a list of common triggers:

Hormonal changes
Certain foods and drinks (including red wine, beer, aged cheeses, chocolate, caffeine and aspartame)
Stress/Fatigue
Sensory stimuli (certain scents, sounds and bright lights)
Weather shifts (including high humidity and changes in barometric pressure)
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:24 AM
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My SIL was having multiple migraines per week. She tracked it down to some food allergies/intolerances. Avoiding the foods helped but not 100%. She then started seeing a chiropractor. This has helped greatly along with still avoid the foods that cause problems.
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:52 AM
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Thanks Nakamova and hootie!

Great suggestions Nakamova. I'm leaning towards a changing seizure pattern, as I have had many of those in my life. Periods of only complex partial's, periods of only simple partial's.. one time I went into remission for two years and one day the simple partial's came back out of nowhere, and I was having them almost daily.

Then they left one day and I've been only having tonic clonic's ever since.

But it could be from the other triggers, or perhaps a combination of both.

I have been experiencing a lot of stress and fatigue in the last few weeks so that may be contributing. But my routine never changes so it's likely not food or sensory. I'm seeing my neurologist today so maybe he can recommend a medication..
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:24 PM
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Hi, Chris.
Oh, man. I am so sorry you are going through these headaches. In my opinion, migraines suck even worse than some seizures.

The ice pick kind of headache can definitely be a migraine. Here's a string on another site that shares what treatment some people got for it: http://forums.wrongdiagnosis.com/showthread.php?t=3553

Sometimes mine start with icepick, and then morph into a giant cleaver through the left side of my head. It's excruciating.

My migraines are almost always postictal. Think yours might be?

I can have even a small seizure and then the migraine follows. I haven't figured out yet the difference between a migraine aura and a seizure aura, because they are much the same - weird smells, seeing things, hearing things, AIW syndrome, etc. I think the major difference might be that a migraine doesn't necessarily make me feel exhausted and depleted. A seizure definitely does.

Be sure to tell your doc about your headaches. He might be able to give you a prophylactic drug for them.

Feel better soon, okay?
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:48 PM
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Feel Better Chris,
I had that kind of Headache when I was on Lyrica, I had never had migraine type headaches before in fact I wasn't a headache person.
They would appear Random and not associated with other pain, nor progress too
more migraine pain either.

Since going off the drug though Now I find myself painless but suffering from Numbness in the same area.Again Random, not trigerred by anything nothing takes it away it will come and go in a few seconds or a few hours on it's own.
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Old 11-04-2010, 04:50 PM
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I get those kind of headaches too. My epilepsy comes from the right and left temporal lobe, and the headache feels like someone's just sliced an axe in the side of my head, above my ears.

It normally only lasts a few seconds, but it's nearly blinding! I mentioned about it to the neurologist and he just basically said that it might be something to do with the epilepsy. Cheers for that doc *thumbs up*
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:50 AM
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Chris,
You are the first person who has described what I experience perfectly. The pains I experience are very severe, but they are not long in duration at all (Thank-goodness!) I can put a single finger on my head and point to the exact spot where the pain it-it is very sharp, and pinpointed to a very precise spot. (Does that make sense?) I, too, have not been sleeping well, and they seemed to have increased--wonder if there is a correlation.

I also am a migraine sufferer, but these sharp pains are not associated with them, they are completely in and of themselves, and hit me when I least expect it, and quite frankly about take me down on the spot-they are that strong.

I'm sorry I can't offer you any more than that-doc has told me they are part of my E-and offered little more information as far as controlling them (They are so fleeting!)

Keep positive, and keep finding your joy-even in the midst of having an incredible mind, that has a mind of it's OWN sometimes!

Amy
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:12 AM
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Thanks everyone!

Endless - thanks for the link, it was really useful to look through. I don't think they are post-ictal, I haven't had any activity around the time I have the headaches. I do think they are related to my E somehow though.

GoFigure - yeah the pinpoint pain is what I feel too - they stop me from doing anything at the time. Sometimes my whole body twitches the pain is so bad.

My neurologist gave me indomethacin, it seems to be working well so far. I can feel them coming on but they are not nearly as painful, just a little discomfort here and there.

I hope all you guys can find some meds to help with your headaches/migranes.. the indomethacin is a good start.
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:05 PM
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Rebecca has not had a seizure in 7 months, but she has had more headaches than she had prior to her seizure activity. Her body is certainly trying to get adjusted to hormonal changes
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:35 AM
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i have recentally got pain on one side of head now too alot ..... and my sezuires came back after 4 years of being free .... i always think the headache is linked to it.... altho mine r tonic clonic
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Old 11-22-2010, 11:48 AM
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hi Chris,

What you described, it sounds exactly what kind of headaches I would get too. I have left temoral lobe epilepsy. My headaches would start on my left side, then go towards my right side. Sometimes I would have them all over. But it starts out with a sharp pain like something is taking a knife all over my head... then the sharp pain goes away, but Im still left with a small headach, which sometimes will go away with I take pain meds, but othertimes, it doesnt go away and just becomes a huge headache. I brought this up to my dr and he thought it was because I had low blood sugar! I knew that wasnt the case! But to proof it to him, I got my blood sugars tested and sure enough all came back normal. Since then that dr moved, and I am now seeing a new dr that in my opinion, is alot better... he takes the time to sit down with me and go over anything youre wanting to know about, etc. Plus, this dr said there is always a chance for everyone who has epilepsy to possibly get surgery. He set me up a Video EEG for in March. the dr I had prior, told me there wasnt any more he could do and I would be stuck on taking medications the rest of my life.

I agree with the reasons the others are saying. Stress, hormones, changes in your daily life, all can bring headahces on, which sometimes then go on to a seizure.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:25 AM
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Hi Chris; Have to agree with Nakamova but I would still pay your GP a visit for even if it's migraine, it needs attending to.

I get more intensepains after a partial seizure than a grand mal & always @ the back of my eyes. It's like walking round in a fog for two days (but I always was a contrary bugger!).

Seriously mate. Go to the GP. Make sure sure what it is & what it isn't.

Col.
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Old 11-24-2010, 03:10 PM
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momof3boys - I'm sorry that you have to experience these headaches too. Awful, aren't they.. my head still feels weird after the sharp pain recedes, and the general headache sometimes does expand.

I wouldn't have guessed low blood sugar either. Strange that he thought so. I'm glad to hear you've got a video EEG planned, I hope it goes well.

Stress and lack of sleep are the big factors for my seizures. I think there is some randomness thrown in there as well.

ColmanMac - Yeah I did see my doc, he gave me indomethacin, it is working well so far.

For me the pains are worse after a tonic clonic. That awful awful headache that just won't go away no matter what.
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Old 11-24-2010, 11:29 PM
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Im thinking stress and lack of sleep is some causes for my seizures too. I have three kids, so when they fall asleep, it seems like I want to stay up and watch tv. I have to get out of that habit. It then makes me so tired, that I get headaches from not getting enough sleep and then if Im stressed out, it causes the headaches to get even worse. My dr told me to try the Advil Migraine Medication. Ive tried it, and to me, its no different than the excedrin Migraine pills I was taking before that. Yeah, when he bought up me having low blood sugar, I didnt really know what to say. He asked if I ever had any other symptoms besides headaches and I said no. I just knew it wasnt that. To be honest, Im glad he resigned and Im seeing his partner. That dr before said there wasnt anything more he could do for me after the blood sugar tests came back normal. So thats when he increased my keppra to the max... 4000mgs! Bad idea! I will never go through those terriable side effects again! I said to hell with it after five weeks.. I wasnt even myself.. I wanted to stay in bed all day and sleep and take pain meds for the headaches. jIt was not good. With the two breakthrough seizures in that tie period, I knew it was a bad idea. So I got ahold of the nurse, told her what had happened and said I went back to the 3000mgs of Keppra on my own. Within 2-3 days I noticed a difference in my headaches and me not feeling as tired so much... I tell ya what... you really have to watch what drs say these days... I was just really suprised to hear that his partner would schedule me for a video EEG. Its like they are the total opposite!
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Old 11-25-2010, 12:17 AM
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momof3boys,
I am currently on 3000 keppra a day and have been prescribe Ambien at 10mg at night to get me to sleep. I have been experiencing slight headaches on a daily basis and have felt exhausted in the evenings. I read you may have the video test, has that happened or is it for next March? I have been thinking of requesting that to determine if I am having any seizures while I am sleeping.
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Old 11-25-2010, 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by momof3boys View Post:
hi Chris,

I brought this up to my dr and he thought it was because I had low blood sugar! I knew that wasnt the case! But to proof it to him, I got my blood sugars tested and sure enough all came back normal.
My daughters tests were normal as well. 3.5 yrs of them, but it still continued to be a consideration of mine. Even her pediatrician at the time refused to authorize a Tolerance Test.

Finally one day Rebecca had a tonic clonic and the paramedics came to her school. They tested her blood sugar at that time after the seizure, and it was at 32. If it had not been tested we would never had been able to get her in for a 3 hr glucose tolerance test. That proved that there is a blood sugar problem.
The average tests did not pick it up.

Dr Blaylock says that many nocternal seizures are usually due to hypoglycemia, and they go undiagnosed. A great way to do self research is to make the necessary nutritional changes and see if there is a reduction in seizures. However, I do believe that many meds congest the liver and cause a disruption of the insulin process.
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Old 11-25-2010, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Texasirish View Post:
momof3boys,
I am currently on 3000 keppra a day and have been prescribe Ambien at 10mg at night to get me to sleep. I have been experiencing slight headaches on a daily basis and have felt exhausted in the evenings. I read you may have the video test, has that happened or is it for next March? I have been thinking of requesting that to determine if I am having any seizures while I am sleeping.
No, I havnt had the video EEG Test done yet. Its scheduled for March 7, 2011. They had a waiting list though, so they put me on it incase someone happens to cancel. I was very suprised that this dr would even suggest a video EEG. Ive had regular EEG's done... but not a video EEG. This new dr Im seeing, told me its his way of starting the process of checking to see if I qualify for surgery. Im all on board with it! It wouldnt hurt to check into it with your dr if youre interested!
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Old 11-25-2010, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by RobinN View Post:
My daughters tests were normal as well. 3.5 yrs of them, but it still continued to be a consideration of mine. Even her pediatrician at the time refused to authorize a Tolerance Test.

Finally one day Rebecca had a tonic clonic and the paramedics came to her school. They tested her blood sugar at that time after the seizure, and it was at 32. If it had not been tested we would never had been able to get her in for a 3 hr glucose tolerance test. That proved that there is a blood sugar problem.
The average tests did not pick it up.

Dr Blaylock says that many nocternal seizures are usually due to hypoglycemia, and they go undiagnosed. A great way to do self research is to make the necessary nutritional changes and see if there is a reduction in seizures. However, I do believe that many meds congest the liver and cause a disruption of the insulin process.
Hmm, thats interesting. I know when it comes to insulin in me, Im insulin resistance. I found that out when I was told I had PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrom) when I was 18 years old... about 12 years ago. Ive been taking Glucophage XR for it, and its been helping me out alot. I dont hardly eat any sugars, Im just not big on them, and I try to stay away from the carbs, like white breads, and such and stick to whole grain. My dr that I go to for my PCOS keeps tract of my insulin, and blood sugars for me. When it comes to seizures, I had the two break through seizures when I was on the max dosage (4000mgs of Keppra) for the 5 weeks Ive tried it. With the bad side effects as well, it just didnt go good for me. Other than those times having seizures, when Im tired or stressed out, those are the times I more than likely have them. Other than that, the Keppra and Carbotrol has kept them under control.
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Old 11-29-2010, 07:49 AM
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Sounds very familiar Chris. Luckily, my are not as frequent as you describe. Mine are very pinpoint and like you said 'ice pick'. When I do have them, they can about put me to my knees in pain. I have never had them enough to have them treated or daignosed, again luckily. I wouldn't even describe mine as headaches since they are so short duration and such a sharp pain.

Hope you find some help for yours.
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