Hey guys. I’m still here, I promise.
My last running post was my marathon follow-up, so it’s been a long, long time. I had a couple posts lined up in the interim, but they weren’t my best and I didn’t feel comfortable hitting “Publish.” During my training I was so motivated — physically, creatively, everything. I could do it all and I damn well tried. After the marathon, I hit that big ol’ metaphorical wall.
I read studies that marathoners often suffer from depression after the race due to the amount taken from the body during the race. Being one who is already a sufferer, I got it even worse. I also suffered a lot of migraines during training, but after, they got more frequent. So post-marathon up until now, I’ve put all my effort into functioning as a normal human and not letting my headaches get in the way of work and my home life, which also severely altered my mood. After that, there wasn’t much left.
I’d seen my primary care physician three times between the marathon and now. Every time, I told her about my migraines, how they’ve increased, how I’ve stopped running and they’re not going away and how they interfere with my everyday life. Her solution? Get a massage and keep taking my already-prescribed medication. Well, first of all, I’m an editor. We don’t make enough money to get massages every week/twice a week/however much will makes these headaches go away. It’s a luxury that I quite honestly can’t put into my budget. Second, I was taking my prescription every day, multiple times a day. It covered up my headaches enough to get through the work day while making me loopy and destroying my liver in the meantime.
By December, I had a headache every day. I told her this. The answer? Get a massage, keep taking your prescription.
At this point, I was desperate. My boss recommended a massage place that does chair massages at a decent price, so I went there. I could afford $10 for a 20-minute chair massage, so I started going once a week to see if it would help. It did a little, but my headaches weren’t tension headaches, so they still weren’t going away.
And my prescription? I was taking six to seven pills a day to handle the pain. Sometimes more. The maximum dosage per day is four. FOUR. I had also stopping drinking alcohol because of them. When I was taking them at a lesser dosage, I found out the hard way that they interfere with alcohol consumption. And this isn’t your typical binge-drinking Saturday night. This is two-glassed-of-wine-and-I’m-puking-all-day Sunday. These instances happened about three times before it clicked. God knows what my liver is like now after these devil pills, I don’t need alcohol making it — and my day after — worse.
On the days I did feel OK, I still did cross training. The stairmaster is a good sweat (and I can read while I do it!) and turns out, I enjoy hot yoga. Running, however, took an indefinite backseat. On a day I felt decent, I went for a five-mile run … and got a migraine halfway through. I plan on doing the River Bank Run again this May, and I need this time to train and strengthen if I want a better time.
Early this month, I started looking for a new doctor. I was fed up with my headaches not being taken seriously and I was going on a month straight of a headache every single day. I called about five offices. The first three weren’t taking new patients, the next one had an opening in July (uh, no thanks) and the last one I called had an opening two weeks later. I chose that one.
The appointment was Thursday and it went great. Before, I was used to my previous doctor listening to my questions impatiently and rushing me out after 15 minutes. The doctors I saw at my new office took time to ask me questions, as well as listen to my questions.
And those pills I needed to keep taking? Turns out they were the reason why my headaches were happening. My doctor took one look at the prescription and told me to “shelve those bad boys.” And he was right. Later, I looked up the prescription on drugs.com and found this nice description:
If you are having headaches more often than you did before you started taking this medicine. This is especially important if a new headache occurs within 1 day after you took your last dose of this medicine, headaches begin to occur every day, or a headache continues for several days in a row. This may mean that you are dependent on the medicine. Continuing to take this medicine will cause even more headaches later on. Your doctor can give you advice on how to relieve the headaches.
Hello, my name is Lindsay and I’m a drug addict.
As a solution, my new doctor put me on an everyday prescription to control my migraines, which is what my previous doctor should have prescribed. I also have Topamax, to fight an oncoming migraine, which is way less dangerous than my previous prescription. I’ve been on my new prescription for three days and probably won’t notice a change until a week later. In those three days, I’ve fought those “rebound” migraines as a result of my dependency. Sweet, right? But I’m still hopeful that I’ve finally gotten the care I need to feel better, lace up my shoes and get into training mode.
So, that’s where I’ve been.