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Extreme Headache
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Extreme Headache

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My girlfriend began to experience extreme headaches in Dec 2009. These headaches started after orgasm and were described as a needle being stuck into the top of her head near the back and then spreading out like something was moving through her veins like an IV and then a searing pain that sits like a bowl on top of her head in the same area as those little Jewish hats that the men wear. The headaches started to happen without an orgasm as a trigger and got more and more frequent over the next two months. It is now late March 2010 and her headaches are constant, on good days she describes them as a "regular headache that she can live with" on bad days I have to take her to the emergency room to get 200mg of Demerol, which doesn't end the pain but it allows her to sleep through it.
Sneezing is the worst trigger that she currently has. A sneeze will put her to her knees and scream out in pain in front of her children, which is very unusual for her, we are trying very hard to sheild the kids from her pain. Driving any distance aggrivates her headaches and the last time we made a trip to a doctor she was writhing in pain on the trip back and for several hours afterward.
I can press my fingers on the back of her head, near the two bumps where your head and neck meet and her pain instantly hits a 10 so I'm thinking it has something to do with the Occipital Nerve or an Artery of Vein in the same area.
This morning she got a ringing in her right ear that hasn't stopped all day, I'm considering this a new symptom but have no idea what it means.
She has had a CT, an EEG and an MRI, all came back clear and normal. Today she went in for a contrasting angioCT which looks at the arteries in her head but it will be a couple days to get results. We have an appointment with a Neurologist coming in a few months. She describes the pain as far worse than childbirth and that she would happily cut her arm off to make it stop.
We have tried several drugs including anticonvulsants and high blood pressure medication. She is on Tramaset for pain but it is not working. Migraine medication has no effect.


PLEASE...if anyone has any ideas please help. We are willing to try anything.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, I would be very grateful if someone who has been through this and beat it could offer some help. I would be happy to pay someone for a solution if need be, we are at the end of our rope with this. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE HELP
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,
How is your girlfriend? It is good that the tests done were fine. Exertion Headaches present with generalized head pain of short duration during or following physical or passive exertion. This include running, jumping, sexual intercourse, sneezing, coughing, moving one's bowels, etc. About 10% caused by organic diseases like aneurysms, tumors, or blood vessel malformation. And majority or 90% are related to migraine or cluster headaches.  It is important that the underlying cause must be accurately determined.  Extensive testing is important. Try to avoid jarring exercises or activities. If medications are not helpful, she can also try complementary and alternative medicine such as biofeedback therapy. Take care and do keep us posted.
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Avatar_f_tn
My gf just saw a neurologist and after a lengthy discussion and many simple tests he had diagnosed neuralgia of the occipital nerve cause by an old trauma to the back of the head. He gave us Gabapentin to reduce the nerve activity and has scheduled another visit to a neurologist to have the nerve frozen or blocked. His diagnosis was quick and confident so we are feeling great about the result, hopefully the treatment is successful.
The greatest obstacle that we had to overcome was the loss of hope. The headaches were constant and seemed to be getting worse and no explanation. If you are having headaches GO TO A NEUROLOGIST. Get digital copies of your tests (CT, MRI, EEG, angioCT, etc) and take them with you so that the doctor can review the results personally. If you don't get an answer from the first neurologist, go to another one, and another. Doctors are people, they don't know everything, and some of them don't care, find a doctor who takes your case seriously and is willing to help. Take your information to decrease waiting times. Keep going. I will update this thread once she has had the nerve frozen. Hopefully, this helps someone else.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,
How is your girlfriend? That's great news! Knowing the underlying cause is better than being in the dark. Indeed, being proactive with your health or for your girlfriend is better than doing nothing. You are right in saying that you should keep going and not to lose hope. There are many doctors who are willing to help out. Take care and hope to hear your update soon.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had those headaches after an sex too, one dr told me to take 2 tylenol before sex,,,seems to help...
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