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Headache from epidural I had in labor 3 months ago?
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Headache from epidural I had in labor 3 months ago?

I am a 29yo female who recently gave birth to a second child in June 05.  Approx 5 days after birth, I began having daily, moderately painful headaches.  The headaches are almost daily and vary in intensity.  They are not relieved by any OTC meds.  I have never experienced headaches like this or migraines before.  Occasionally, if they are severe enough, I notice some relief with Imitrex 50mg.  Sometimes relieved by lying down.  I am also breastfeeding and noticed that the pain is slightly worse while nursing.  I would say this happens about 2 in 5 times I nurse.  I rarely wake up with a headache, they get worse as the day progresses.  It has been 3 mnths that I have had a bad headache that is typically frontal, right side.  I have been to my PCP several times, consulted OB and neither of them was able to help.  I am now seeing neurologist.  I had MRI w/out contrast done 2 weeks ago was normal.  The neurologist is requesting an MRI w contrast to see if its from the epidual I got in labor.  He mentioned getting a blood patch done by an anesthesiologist.  Can I have a PDPH this far out from delivery? Could a spinal headache present this way and still be treated?  If it is that, is having it untreated for 3 months detrimental to my health?  Will an MRI of the brain with contrast always show signs of a spinal headache? I am unsure of what else could cause my symptoms.  I have also noticed more muscular tension in my shoulders and neck during this time. We also ruled out dental, vision, psyc and allergy problems with those drs. and lactation migraine not likely.  thank you !!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
A low pressure headache could occur this far out from an epidural procedure, and may persist indefinitely in a minority of cases, unless a source for the leaky cerebrospinal fluid is found.
The sign looked for on MRI is enhancement of the meningeal lining of the brain. Unfortunately, the actual epidural procedure itself can cause the same finding, so even if it shows enhancement it is hard to seperate which is the cause.

A blood patch may help, also sometimes a saline infusion into the CSF space. Some data shows that an infusion of a solution of ACTH (a body hormone) benefits low pressure headache. Tests can be done to localize a CSF leak such as radionucleotide cisternography or a CT myelogram - ask your doctors about these tests. Persistent headache Usually does not cause permament damage - in older people if it is severe and persistent, subdural effusions can develop.

As your headache is now chronic, there may be other factors perpetuating the headache such as OTC medication overuse and neck/muscle spasm - these issues will need to be addressed also before your headaches become under control.

Good luck
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi - I have posted in the anxiety forum under "lost" as I feel kind of the same way that you do.  I also delivered a baby in June but did not have an epidural.  However, about a month postpartum I started having unusual sensations in my head - brain zaps or whooshes or whatever you want to call them.  They happen often when I am feeding my baby but also happen when I am not nursing.  I have had a CT of my head, and an MRI of both my head and my spine but they have all been normal.  My doctor and the neurologist that I went to belive that these weird sensations are happening due to anxiety but this is hard for me to believe because I started to get anxious about them AFTER they became very frequent.  Anyway, I know that I am not dealing with the pain that you are but I am scared of what is going on in my brain - I feel out of control.  Could your headaches be caused by postpartum depression???  I am just guessing here as this is what people seem to think about me.  Anyway, my thoughts are with you and I hope that you find some answers and relief soon.  I am surprised that "lactation headache" has been ruled out.  I have been told that weird things can happen when you are nursing...even when you arn't literallly nursing.  It makes me want to stop nursing in a way just to see if these sensations will stop but then I would feel guilty.  Take care.
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Avatar_n_tn
WOW! This is amazing! I just had a baby 6 months ago, and I too, have been feeling this "wooshing" or striking feeling, and I also have the pain sometimes behind my right eye, down my right side of the neck.  I just realized that I look down all the time while I'm feeding my daughter. I never in a million years imagined that all of these pains could be induced by anxiety.  I was going to get an MRI done, because I have all the symptoms of a brain tumor, and TMJ, and anurisms, etc.  But, reading this, and a few other forums, I see that we have one thing in common. Many of us are mothers, new mothers, and are suffering the same things.
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