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chronic headache,left sided numbness,blurred vision
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chronic headache,left sided numbness,blurred vision

I am a 25 yr. old healthy female and I suffer from what seems to be a chronic tension headache that lasts for approx. 2 months at a time, all day, every day. Sleep is the only relief I get (bilateral, front and sides, dull ache). The first incidence was about 6 months ago and now I am a month into the second occurance. I also have a numb sensation that covers most of the left side of my body and blurred vision in my left eye. I have had a CT scan, which was normal, and I saw a neurologist who told me I have headaches...really? I have been prescribed prednisone, neurontin, tylenol 3 and I have even been given demoral. None of which relieved the pain, just made me tired.

The past week I have had increased pain in the back of my head, neck and shoulders. I don't think this is the cause of my headaches because my muscles were fine up until last week. I had a massage 2 days ago the pain has increased since then (head and neck). I'm not sure if this could be related at all, but I have also had a rash of small itchy blisters on my left palm (twice in the past 3 months)that peels off leaving a thin layer of very delicate skin. I figured it was some kind of heat rash, but I am just concerned that it only happens to my left hand...everything happens on the left side.

Do you have any suggestions that may be helpful? Is there any further testing that should be done or any medication specifically made to treat tension headaches or recommended therapy such as accupuncture?
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Avatar_n_tn
If you have not had a MRI scan of your brain, it would be reasonable. When they do the MRI they may also do a MR venogram to look at the veins in your brain. This will help to rule out structural lesions and abnormalities within the veins which could cause headahces. Also markers of inflammation (such as ESR, ANA, CRP, RF) may be useful to exclude systemic connective tissue disorders. You have not stated how much medication you are using. If you are using more then 2-3 doses of an analgesic per week, this may predispose you to rebound headache also known as analgesic overuse headache. If all the work-up is negative then a spinal tap to assess for inflammation within your spinal fluid may need to be done.

There are many medications which can be attempted to treat your headaches. These breakdown into preventive medication and abortive medication. Preventive medications include neurontin, topamax, depakote, elavil, verapamil, and inderal to name a few. Abortive medications include: ibuprofen, tylenol, and migraine medication (the triptans).

Perhaps a consultation at a headache center (if you are in the area we have an excellent center) or with a neurologist who specializes in headaches would be beneficial. Good luck
16 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm not a doctor, but I've been doing some research trying to figure out what I have too. You might want to get tested for Lyme disease, (which I am also going to get tested for) as I know that the infection from a tick bite can cause rashes, and other neuro symptoms too, of course. Do you think you may have been bitten by a tick?

***@****
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm pretty sure it's not Lyme disease. The rash on my hand is not consistant with that of the disease and it just appeared a few days ago. I have had the headaches, this time, for over a month. I also haven't had a fever or any flu symptoms. The dominant symptom is the headache. The muscle pains, numbness, blurred vision and rash all came about after the onset of headaches. Thank you for your comment; I will mention it to my doctor just in case.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello,

What you're describing sounds like a "cluster type" headache.  They often come on in episodes and last for weeks -- sometimes long-lasting migraines are referred to as "status migranosus" and needs to be treated as an inpatient.  
Have you ever been tried on serotonergic meds like Imitrex?   IV Morphine may be a good inpatient medicine choice for you as well if the pain is truly severe.  

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Avatar_n_tn
Can someone tell me what time to come on here to post a question..........I've been trying for so long, day and night, I'm fed up and falling apart, I need help fast! :(

***@****
Email me anyone who might be able to help! :(
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi
Trust me I know your frustration.I have been having the same problem for at least 8 years. Dr. after Dr. they really don't know and I feel the meds just mask the root of the problem. I have headaches so bad they last for 3 days and I cannot function. I am a very stubborn person and can tolerate a lot of pain but not that. Then within the last 3 years I also started having "complex seizures". I don't, however, have the blisters you speak of. I can tell you the chiropractor and holistic MD are the only ones to at least help the situation. Regular MDs just run the tests and tell you everything is normal. Like you.....far from it. Best of luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
Shannon, Have you tried to get a 2nd opinion from another doctor or neurologist? I mean since your symptoms are not resolving...  Cluster headaches may be common but I don't think episodes of blistery rashes on the palms of the hands are.  Good luck...
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Avatar_n_tn
you could have tension headaches...they are very annoying....at times you feel like your head is a boulder and your neck is holding it up.......having a massage is a good thing....the reason it hurts after is that the muscles are so tense that the pressure a;pplied makes them more tender but eventually they relax..dont know if this helps////////
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Avatar_n_tn
I have chronic headaches too but mine only come once a day and then go away until the next day. I have been to a neurologist and he said the same thing your nurologist told you that i had headaches. i'm thinking really is that so? I knew that! I have been having headaches everyday since i was in a rear end car accident 4 months ago. the neurologist gave me Pamelor(nortrytilyne) and that has helped a little making my headaches that i had 2 or 3 times a day to once a day and not as painful but yet the re are times when my headaches hurt. I also have this rash thing like a blister but its not a blister. its sort of like a blister but sometimes it itches and sometimes it stings. and then it gets dry like and some that i have went away but I can tell where they were. The weird part is I have them on both sides of my body. I asked a doctor what it could be from but they said it could be bacterial but i think its from one of my medicines. maybe it could be a heat rash but I don't know!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Shannon....I have been trying to get in here for two day's now. I have exactly  '' all '' the symptoms you have. Same medication...Neurontin ( doesn't seem to help ) and was told I am a diabetic. The Neurologist told me I have nerve dammage to my left side. The CT scan showed up nothing so, I had to have an MRI. She said, ''I have several abnormalities at the front of my brain that could have been caused by a viral infection''. Still....I am at a loss as to what is causing all the left side problems. Did your doctor have a name for your condition? Have you been diagnosed with any other medical probs while seeing your Neurologist and have you recently had surgery in the last year? The reason I ask is..... since having a hysterectomy in Jan of this year, this is when my probs started. All of them the same as yours.
Thank's.......Elizabeth
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Avatar_n_tn
I have exactly the same symptoms as you and same meds Neorontin. I wrote a comment in here yesterday.....but it's not here now ...?   Can you please e-mail me


***@****

Thank's....Elizabeth.

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Avatar_n_tn
I have a question that I need an answer to. I have been having headaches for about 4 years. Every morning when I get up I feel one coming on or I wake up with one throbbing. If I wake up and don't have a headache it's like a blessing. But I know it's short lived, because sooner or later, before the day is out I will start to get one. The pain starts in the back of my head. Right at my hairline on the left side and on the right side of my neck but closer to the occipital bone. Most of the time I feel stiffness in my neck as the pain creeps up the back of my head. It isn't painful all of the time. Sometimes it is, but there are times its' more like a dull pain and I have that stiffness in my neck. I will take OTC pain relivers like Tylenol, Aleve, Generic pain relievers to get rid of the pain and sometimes I have to take up to 8 pills to get rid of the pain. Is there any reason you could think of as to why I have this problem everyday???
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Avatar_n_tn
To HSNC:
In searching for answers myself, I read your post and it could be occipital neuralgia.  A neurologist told me that he had patients that he had treated for this problem for twenty years, whose pain never had completely ceased. He prescribes neurontin often for this, and sometimes gives numbing injections into the back of the head.
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Avatar_n_tn
I dont know if I can help, but I have an infant that had acute viral encephalitis secondary to the herpes virus shortly after birth.  He gets little blisters on his right hand that sounds like yours.  I suggest getting a herpes test done while the leisions are present. (Tests show negative if the leision is not present)  There are different types of herpes. We dont know where he got the virus both parents are negative.  But he has lost the use of the right side of his body due to the brain damage that has occured.  I hope this may help you.
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Avatar_n_tn
I too have been having similar symptoms for the last month.  Out of the last month have been in the hospital for 2 weeks.  Possibly diagnosed with MS but no one is sure.  However, after talking with several people who have had similar symptoms I'm beginning to believe it may have something to do with my B12 definicies.  A friend has started me on some vitamin shake called Reliv which has given me a lot of improvement.  My headache is much better, the tingling and weakness is almost gone and I have seen an improvement in my balance and blurred vision.  I have spoken to others who suffered similar type symptoms and b-12 definiciency and gotten improvement through this vitamin therapy or whatever.  I don't know if it helps everyone, but it has helped me.  I don't sell it, but if you're interested in hearing about it I can put you in touch with someone.  You can e-mail me at ***@****.   Like I say, I'm not a doctor -- and i'm just telling you about my experience.
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Avatar_n_tn
Oh, I forgot one thing.  One of the things that made me answer this was the comment about blisters.  One of the people I spoke to would have blisters.  She had B12 shots once a day for 2 weeks, then switched to every two weeks the blisters came back and the other symptoms.  When she had a b12 shot every week, the blisters went away.  Thought y'all might find that interesting.
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A related discussion, Headache with numbness was started.
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