Hemicrania Continua – A Rarely Discussed Headache Disorder

A 6 Year Trip Through My Own Personal Hell

It has taken 6 years to get a diagnosis. While I sincerely wish it had been far less, I am eternally grateful to be at this point.

If you are having massively painful headaches that no doctor can seem to explain, please keep reading. I am using the 6-year marker, though there were incidences of this feeling popping up sporadically beforehand. It realistically could have been a few years longer.

The Hemicrania Continua Headache – What I experience

Symptoms:

  • Pain in just one side of your head (it does not switch)
  • It comes on suddenly and is severe
  • Pain is behind the eye and can feel like a fork is being jammed into your eye socket and brain from the inside
  • Your eye on that side of your head swells, becomes red and streams water
  • Light exposure hurts (but only in that affected eye)
  • Pain can range from intense to wanting to blow your own head off to get relief
  • You may also experience eyelid drooping
  • Pain is present 24 hours a day for a minimum of 3 months
  • Relief is only found through medication or sleep
  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion

This headache would wake me up in the middle of the night with head pain that felt like an ice pick was trying to crack my skull open like a coconut by way of my eye socket, usually, 2 to 3 am. I would get up, stumble to the kitchen, microwave a heat pack, or use ice, take 800 mg ibuprofen, and for a while Fioracet in combination.

I had tried every over-the-counter medication available for pain and allergy. Tylenol, Excedrin, Advil, Motrin, not to mention every available allergy medication. Because of the watering eye, I believed, as did a multitude of doctors including allergy specialists and ENTs, that my issue was allergy-related. Singular, Xyzal, Allerga, Zyrtec, Claritin, Alavert, Pseudoephedrine, and so on. The only thing that offered any relief was pseudoephedrine. (Advil cold and sinus in particular). Over the years I took so much of that I feel lucky to have a functioning liver and I should have bought stock in the company.

The question of what was happening was a mystery.

No allergy medications worked to help, and the worst onset of this headache lasted over 2 years straight.

The headache in my case was combined with a badly deviated septum which was discovered in the process of trying to unravel this at an ENT visit. It was suggested that I have a septoplasty to correct it so that I could breathe better, stop persistent sinus infections, and hopefully get rid of this headache.

I put of the surgery for a very long time as they were not at all sure it would cure the pain and the very last thing I needed or could handle was more pain and suffering during a recovery process.

In this journey, I also discovered that I was positive for glyphosate exposure. (Roundup). Because of this, I completed a 10-day neurotoxin liver cleanse. At the end of the 10 days, my headache had cleared! I was so happy. Slowly, over time, the eye started watering again, the pain would creep back in. As it wasn’t as clearly defined as before, I wrongly assumed this was allergies.

I had one headache combined with a sinus infection just before the pandemic hit that was so immensely painful, frankly, I am lucky to still be here alive to write this…

Shortly after that I did go ahead and have the septoplasty. Which was immensely painful and a very hard experience, but the outcome has been fantastic. I can breathe freely now and am very glad I had it done.

Yet even after this, the symptoms began to come back………………….
Disappointed, let down, sad, and frustrated don’t even begin to explain how I felt.
All that pain and expense and for what? So that I could breathe a little better?

Again I went to the ENT. This time this doctor said something different. He said, if no allergy medications work, maybe it’s neurological.

So, I set off to find a neurologist.
Keep in mind I was brought up in a home where holistic was the ONLY health service type we used. Up till this whole debacle I had never even had a blood test let alone used all these medications. Knowing what kind of doctor to go see on all these things was very foreign to me.

In finding a neurologist and explaining all of this he immediately said “I think you have Hemicrania Continua.  I would like you to try a 2-week trial of Indomethacin. That is the only medication that works on this disorder. If it works, we have our answer. If it doesn’t, we will have to go from there.”


Within 2 days every single symptom is GONE.

2 Weeks later, I feel GREAT! I am headache free.

Diagnosis confirmed. Hemicrania Continua (episodic)

The night of the final diagnosis I cried – for once, tears of joy, of release, of freedom from pain. I couldn’t stop. I am getting teary eyed even writing this now. This has been massively traumatic and to have it over with is a life changing dream come true.

I am now on a schedule of Indomethacin for the next 6 months and the hope is that after that time it will simply be as needed. While there is no “cure”, the treatment is very successful. If you think you may have this find a good neurologist who will work with you.

I am writing all of this out because I wish I would have found a blog like this at some point in my journey. I hope it helps someone who is out there suffering right now.

Is a 10 Year Long Sinus Infection Possible? If You Have Massive Uncontrollable Allergies, Please Read.

For at least the last 10 years I have been battling with what I believed was seasonal allergies. My eyes would be itchy, watery, and my right eye would be painful and swollen with massive pain behind it along with accompanying headache. It was at times debilitating and so painful during actual sinus infections that suicide actually crossed my mind because I could not live with this reoccurring pain over and over again.

I tried everything natural and medical that was claimed to help sinus issues (allergies, sinus infections, sinusitis) to no avail.

  • Local honey
  • Neti pot rinses with saline and even eucalyptus and honey
  • Natural blends of herbs
  • Boosting my immune system
  • Anti-inflammatory agents – Turmeric, Boswellia, Black pepper, naproxen, ibuprofen
  • Elderberry
  • Vitamin C
  • Allergy medications: Zyrtec, Claritin, Xyzal, Allegra, Singular
  • Allergy eye drops
  • Allergy nose sprays
  • Saline sprays
  • Steroids
  • Allergy shots
  • Allergy testing (to which it came up positive only for Chinese Elm and barely at that)
  • Detoxification protocols for every organ that you can detox as well as cellular detoxification
  • Benadryl and other antihistamines
  • Antibiotics
  • Essential oils
  • Pseudoephedrine (was the only thing that offered some temporary relief)

In the course of this I did discover that I had a severely deviated septum which was likely a partial cause of the recurrent sinus infections. I did the septoplasty surgery to correct it. I was sure that was my answer.

4 months later? – I had, yet again, a horrible sinus infection. Though, given, now I could breathe far better it did lessen the pain. I was sad and very upset to still be dealing with this nonsense and pain. Through this infection though I finally found my answer.

As it turns out it was likely never allergies.
How so many doctors missed this I am not sure, though I am told it is very uncommon.

In my new physician’s best guess – deduced because of the one-sided pain and swelling (allergies would be both sides of my face not just one) as well as the fact that 1 month post-surgery a ball of green gunk that resembled a big wad of bubble gum had come out of that sinus that it was a sinus infection in that right cavity that had been backed up and never fully healed creating a literal snowball of infected debris over the years.

In doing the septoplasty it finally opened that passage and freed the ball of crap to come out, yet some of it still must have remained. A 10-year infection. 10 years of pain. Healed now in 3 successive course of antibiotics and steroids as to cover the full spectrum of possible bacteria.

Round 1: Doxycycline Hyc Cap 100mg 7 days & Methyl Prednisone Tab 4mg 6 days
Round 2: Levofloxacin Tab 500mg 10 days (+ A Steroid Shot and an Antibiotic Shot (unsure of what) while i was there in house.)
Round 3: Amoxicillin/ k Clav Tab 875-125 14 days

I am forever thankful that someone FINALLY figured this out. This infection was ruining my life and my health.

If you are dealing with an issue like this, first of all, I am so sorry.
Second, maybe my experience can help someone to not go so long with this undiagnosed and untreated.

Sarah

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Allergies or Chemical Toxin Reaction?

The west is on fire. The air is terrible. How are you feeling?

Just a heads up………….. If you are out west and having “allergy” like issues, watery eyes, stuffy runny nose, headache, its likely not allergies but chemical sensitivity.

There are so many fires right now and they are burning through a lot of plastics and non-organic materials putting hazardous particles into the air.

When we breathe this is on a continual basis our bodies can only filter so well. It is helpful to take liver support supplements such as glutathione, greens, and milk thistle. You can also nebulize glutathione and do it as a breathing treatment if you have asthma or other nasopharyngeal issues. Make sure to drink a lot of good pure water and stay hydrated. Add in liquid trace minerals as well for support.

If it gets too much of an overwhelming reaction and you feel like you are coming down with something even though you know what it is, you can take pseudoephedrine from the pharmacy. It’s not a fix, but it will mask the symptoms for hours so you can work and get on with life.

N95 masks may help a little but right now, good luck finding them.

Hopefully, the rain comes soon and puts these fires out. Prayers sent to those in the path, humans, and animals included. 

Link to the map: https://www.fireweatheravalanche.org/fire/

More info:https://www.livescience.com/64144-wildfire-smoke-health-effects.html

Disclaimer: This is not an offer of medical advice. I am not a physician. This is based on personal experience and knowledge. Please feel free to check with your doctor.

Are You Suffering from Heavy Metal Toxicity?

Heavy metal poisoning can be subtle and mimic other health issues. It is not always easy to diagnose.

There are two forms of metal toxicity. Acute & Chronic. Let’s take a look at both.

Acute Metal Toxicity:

Sudden onset from immediate exposure can result in –

  • Severe cramping
  • Severe convulsions
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Impaired cognitive skills
  • Impaired motor skills

If you are experiencing any of the above, please seek medical attention immediately.

Chronic Metal Toxicity: Build up over time due to chronic and constant exposure are much more subtle and can easily be confused with other health issues. It can present as –

  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Aching joints
  • Digestive issues
  • Impaired blood sugar regulation
  • Female reproductive issues
  • Watering eyes
  • Chronic headaches that keep coming back – generally one side of the head

Metal toxicity may sound like a far-reaching concept but we are all exposed on a regular basis to possible contaminants. Possible sources of metals can include:

  • Fluoride – in the drinking water and in dental products like toothpaste and rinses
  • Cookware – (beware aluminum and nonstick cookware as well as stainless steel which can expose you to nickel which is carcinogenic)
  • Vaccinations – mercury and aluminum injected directly into the bloodstream
  • Cosmetics – contain aluminum bases which can also contribute to Alzheimer’s
  • Dental work – Silver amalgam fillings as well as any dental work that contains metal alloy can contribute to toxicity. It is recommended for all crowns and bridges to do porcelain only.
  • Smoking – can cause cadmium poisoning
  • Buy only high-quality supplements – some colloidal silvers can lead to silver poisoning and other supplements can be high in lead, mercury, and can contain metals arsenic.
  • Conventional Household Cleaning Products – can contain metals and other toxins
  • Insecticides & Herbicides – can contain metals and other toxins
  • Costume Jewelry – Avoid wearing costume jewelry if you are sensitive to metals
  • The Food You Eat – If your body is deficient in essential metals it will use toxic metals it can find as stand-ins instead. Metals can come from pesticides, herbicides, soil, rain, air exposure, and processing.

If you aren’t feeling your best and you cannot seem to find relief or explanation, it is advisable to seek professional assistance. Left unchecked heavy metal toxicity can lead to permanent damage to the body and organs. Get back in balance and back to health with Nutrition Specialists of Florida by calling 239-947-1177. www.bonitaspringschiropractor.com

Originally Posted: http://chiropractorbonitasprings.com/blog/b_76326_are_you_suffering_from_heavy_metal_toxicity.html

The Water Cure?

Having recently been under the weather with a bad chest/head cold and cough, as many others are right now, I thought I would share a tip that was incredibly helpful and completely free.

Hot liquids during a cold are comforting, but are most of us drinking the wrong ones?

Both tea and coffee have a dehydrating effect on the body. So while they may be comforting and taste good, they actually may be doing some harm during a cold rather than the good you are going for.

It was suggested by a friend who had lived in Thailand for a time that over there they drink hot water. Just hot water. As hot as you can get it down. I added lemon to mine, which is also helpful in detoxifying (plus it makes it taste good).*Please use good clean non fluoridated water*

When you drink just plain water or water with lemon you are rehydrating the body and clearing the organs, especially the kidneys, which during a cold need all the help they can get as they are working over time to try and filter and get you back to health.

I decided this made sense to me and I had nothing to lose by trying it. I boiled up a pot of water, squeezed some lemon and drank it down. The heat felt wonderful. My body temperature began to rise and with that my nose began to drip like a faucet and my eyes started watering as well.

I drank hot water with lemon all day and evening.
The next day?
I felt markedly better!

Now, as this was a lingering cold at this point (going on nearly 3 weeks) I had tossed a lot of herbs, vitamins and pretty much everything I could think of at this cold so I am not claiming that water was the cure… But

I will say this: From here on in if I do get another cold? It will be one of the very first remedies I try.