Topiramate Hell

Tuesday 7th I went to bed with a headache. This I thought was due to having eaten too many sweets.

Wednesday 8th I woke up with a Migraine. It took an hour to open my eyes and get up but once I was up I was ok. The migraine was bearable, I took Ibruprofen at 8am as I got up and when the migraine didnt improve I took Rizatriptan at 8:30 as I was leaving the house.

At 9:30 I began to feel very nauseous. I went to the toilets and opened the window. I took to deep breaths until the feeling subsided and then I noticed I had a tingling sensation in the right corner of my mouth. I returned to the office. Within moments of returning to my desk I had a panic attack, I had enough warning to alert a manager. This lasted a few minutes and after I felt calm I went outside for some air. I notice that whole of my right side had started to tingle. Aware I was alone I returned to the office. I rung my doctor surgury and went to make a cup of tea while I waited for the triage doctor to return my call. I explained that I had been taking the new preventative medication (Topiramate) instead of Epilim Chrono, for a week and the Neurologist had suggestion the Rizatriptan for acute migraine attacks. I explained what had happened at the doctor requested I go into the surgery for 11:10 that morning.

By the time I saw the Dr. I was feeling much calmer, she checked my blood pressure and my pulse and said everything was fine, and that I did have a migraine. I went home. I called work and told them if I felt better later in the day Id return to work. I then went to sleep. I woke up at 3pm, with what is described as a Migraine hangover, slight fuzziness but no longer migraineous symptoms, and returned to work for 4pm.

Thursday 9th I work up with an intense headache. Again it took me an hour to open my eyes. But because it was my lieu day I was in no rush. As the headache subsided the tingling sensation started in the right corner of my mouth and rapidly swept over my cheek up around my eyebrow and forehead. Then my right side suddenly lost the sensation and strength. As I tried to clench my fist my arm was shaking and when I walked down stairs I had to hold the banister because I couldnt put the weight in my right leg. One of my personal tests is my ability to write and hold a pen (because I am right-handed) and I couldnt feel the pen in my hand. I rang the surgery called back almost immediately and suggested that I go to A&E.

I had an EEG, my blood pressure pulse, listened to my heart, etc was all completed by a nurse as I was admitted. By the time I was seen by a doctor the symptoms had gone. She completed a full neurological response exam and consulted with the on call neurologist who was happy that the symptoms were that of migraine and said that due the change in medication I was to expect some new variations in the migraine, he suggested that the Rizatriptan may not have been the cause of the panic attack and therefore I should take it again and to continue with the Topiramate as prescribed.

Friday 10th

I woke up with a headache. Not as intense as the other morning and it went away much quicker. I was aiming to work but my concern was that Id woken up with intense pain in my right hand and forearm. It was as though Id had my fist clenched all night and it was incredibly painful to wiggle my fingers. I rang the surgery and as I waited for them return my call I had a nose bleed. Dr. suggested I go into the surgery and they check me out.

I went in to Trainee GP at 10:30, I went through everything with her. She performed a thorough neurological response examination, noticing that my right side had a reduced sensation to the left and there was indeed pain in the right hand, wrist and elbow. She was concerned and would have felt more confident if the hospital had performed a scan. She requested that Supervising Dr. (my usual Dr.)  give a second opinion. As we waited for Dr to finish his consultation she asked what I would like. I said for my right side to go back to normal, because as it was I was losing the sensation and strength with no warning and that scared me.

The Supervising Dr, knowing me and my migraines, suggested that Trainee GP contact the on call Neurologist rather than sending me straight to the hospital for a scan. The on call Neurologist suggested increasing Topiramate quicker. New instructions on how to take the Topiramate, it was agreed that I would no longer take the Ritatriptan, and scheduled a follow up appointment in a week. I began taking the increased dosage of Topiramate at night.

Saturday 11th I felt a bit fuzzy when I woke up, a bit dazed, disorientated and very lethargic. This is not unusual with a migraine. I still hand the pain in my hand and arm. I got up and got in the shower. While in the shower I lost the strength in my right side and it took an hour before it returned. I had already rung and said I wasnt coming into work, but because I felt up to coming into work once my right side felt normal again I rung back and said I was on my way. I got to work for around 9:45, at 10:05 I felt very ill. I ran to the toilets were I began to retch. This brought on a panic attack which left me very shaky and unable to continue at work. I called my mum to pick me up from home and I spent the day at my parents house because I did not want to be alone and my partner was at work.

Sunday 12thThere was no change and I spent the whole day in bed.

Monday 13th I felt fuzzy when I woke up, a bit dazed, disorientated and very lethargic. I still hand the pain in my hand and arm. So because there was no change I spent the day in bed resting. The pain I was experiencing in my right hand and arm was easing off.

Tuesday 14thI felt less fuzzy when I woke up, a bit dazed, disorientated and less lethargic. I noticed that the pain I had been experiencing was also in my toes and ankle, just not as severe. I sat watching television and sleeping on the sofa as required.

Wednesday 15th – Again I attempted to get ready for work. I got in the shower, and lost the sensation in my right side. I had to lie down for forty five minutes before the strength had returned. I didnt feel that the migraine had settled enough for me to return to work. I was concerned that I wouldnt have the strength in my right side to walk long distances or type for a long period of time and I was still struggling with a pen in my hand at times.

Thursday 16th Throughout the night my right side was trembling, I woke several times with this sensation. I called my GP, although I intended to return to work Dr. decided that I was still struggling with the migraine and that I needed more time to recover. She provided me with a Not Fit for Work note and said she didnt want me to return until Monday. If I felt well for Monday then this was okay. She wanted to ensure I was covered in case I had a bad weekend.

Friday 17th I experienced the trembling sensation again throughout the night. I saw Dr. again, who performed a neurological assessment again and was satisfied. She also checked my stomach because I have been experiencing a feeling of permanent indigestion which is worsened after eating or lying down. She has asked that I have some blood test and provide a stool sample for a bacterial infection just in case. I have to increase the Topiramate again today.

Saturday 18th I woke up with a fuzzy and tight headache at the top of my head, as though I am wearing a headband. It was not bad enough to take pain killers although it has lasted throughout the day. I still have weakness in my right side. I cleaned the bathroom in three stages needing to recover between each stage.

Sunday 19th The headache was much worse when I woke up this morning. Ive taken Ibuprofen with breakfast. We went to see my step dad as its fathers day. This is the most I have done in two weeks and the noise levels were horrendous due to my nieces and nephews. I had to come home and go to bed. The headache was worse for the rest of the day. I have continued to take Ibuprofen.

Monday 20th I dreamt I had a migraine all night, in between the waking up with the weird trembling thing. I woke up with an intense migraine. I woke up took the co-codamol and went straight back to sleep. I didnt wake up until four hours later, still with an intense headache, the migraine had gone. I had something to eat and went back to sleep.

Tuesday 21stI have woken up with a headache again this morning. I feel washed out. I have called to surgery and they have had me in to check me over. They have suggested this may be my body adjusting to the increased dosage of Topiramate and it may happen again on Saturday when I increase the dosage for the final time. As this is the tail end of the migraine the doctor would prefer to see how I get on rather than take any further action now.

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