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Avatar universal

Pain Management Post Coil Surgery

I have a brain aneurysm and was blessed that it did not rupture and I found out due to numbness on the right side of my face and a headache.  They did coil and stent the aneurysm and then about 6 months later they needed to re-do the surgery due to a 30% recurrence(sp??).  About 6 weeks ago I started getting really bad headaches and pressure behind my right eye (where it is located).  I was hospitalized but they concluded there was no change and did not need to do surgery.  I still have a severe headache.  It feels like head is going to split at the top of my head and the pain and pressure behind my right eye is very painful.  When the released me from the hospital they put me on Percocet for pain and said to follow-up with the Neurologist that there may be nerve damage.  

I have a very stressful job and by the end of the day my headache worsens.  My PCP is reluctant to refill my prescription for the pain medicine but I need something for the pain.  Is Percocet the right pain medicine to be on and what can I do so I can get the doctor to give me some sort of medication to relieve the pain that I have.
40 Responses
Avatar universal
Let me give you two answers for your post.  First, has the percocet relieved the headaches?  If not you need to consider other alternatives.  You might ask your Doctor if you can try a antidepressant called Pamalor.  It has a generic equilivant so its cheaper.  My wife is currently taking it for the same symptoms.  She had clipping surgery 17 years ago and suffered debilitating headaches/migranies almost daily.  It seems to be working for her and she is just over a month into the prescription.  She takes 10mg but they want her to be up to 40mg.  The level you'll need could vary and might even be a different antidepressant to work.  I was skeptical at first but I am becoming convinced this med is working.  She still has some head pain but it isn't as long lasting or as intense.

Now for the cause of your headaches, I believe they are migraines.  We have found conclusive evidence that my wife's headaches/migraines are caused by what are called electromagnetic fields.  The process of how this occurs in clipping and coiling patients is extremely complicated.  Doctor's unfortunately have no knowledge about how this occurs because in essence they would also need advanced training in electrical engineering.  Fortunately for my wife I am a trained Engineer and it was I who uncovered this phenomena.  If you are interested in learning more about this write back to me here and I will provide more information about it.  Please also be advised that a number of electrical devices that you encounter throughout the day play a large role in your headaches.  
Hi ed could you please elaborate more on the painful/headache caused by electromagnetic fields. My sister is suffering from very bad headache after 4 weeks coiling. Thanks a lot
Avatar universal
I just had one other question, if I work in an office setting all day and I am working with numbers (i.e. Project Analyst) I am crunching numbers all day - have a very heavy workload and work a 9 hour day usually non stop all day.  

So I'm on the computer, using the phone, calculator reviewing budgets and analyzing data all day.

How does this play a role in my headaches.  Because by the end of the day my head in ready to explode, usually my blood pressure is up, and that's when I feel the pressure/pain behind my right eye.

Avatar universal
Based on your description above, I would also surmise that you are surrounded by cubicles of other workers as well as artifical lighting and printers.  Would I be right?

My wife is able to work with numbers and other data but it is the computer LCD monitor and printers that directly contribute to her pain.  It is interesting that that printers seem to raise my blood pressure or atleast it is a feeling I sense when the rare times that I have one on.  I'm going to try documenting my blood pressure with the printer on and off to see if it really does have an effect.  I'll write back with results once I setup and complete the experiment - just need to make sure it's as blind as possible so the results don't get skewed.    
Hi, I d like to know more about electromagnetic fields to say my neurosurgeon. I have headaches since I was coiling. Thanks a lot
Avatar universal
Your right, I am surrounded by cubicles and other workers as well.  Also, I have a printer and monitor my computer.  

I would be interested in the results once you complete the experiment your described.

When my blood pressure goes up, my right side of my face gets red.  But it's only my right side.  And my blood pressure usually goes up only during work hours throughout the day.  It doesn't occur when I'm home.  So I think you may be be right that it really does effect your blood pressure.  

I have an appointment with the Neurologist on Friday, April 15th.  She is affiliated with Thomas Jefferson Hospital where my Neurosurgeon and PCP are are also at.  So she will have access to all my medical records.  If you have suggestions on questions or what I should say to her during my initial visit I would appreciate it.  I just want to make sure that it is a productive visit and that if any tests are needed that they are scheduled and how do I address the issue about the pain that I have been having about the past 2 months and to get the appropriate medicine to help with the pain.  Thanks.  Good luck with the experiment - I hope that it is helpful.  
Avatar universal
Wow, that would be a lot of electromagnetic fields coming from all directions.  I think I could have some thoughts to help you at your appointment, but let me give them some thought first.  

With respect to the blood pressure, you have a stent that essentially limits the amount of blood flow on the right side and would be inflexible during periods of increased pressure.  Unlike the natural vessels which can expand as pressure increases, the stent would seem to cause blood to "stack up" until it can flow through the stent so it would appear logical that the right side of your face would be more red.  To confirm that this is possible, your Neurologist could request a doppler ultrasound to measure flow between both sides.  She might also just write a script for a blood pressure med (probably the cheapest but least conclusive option.)

One option you could try at work would be to purchase a computer static discharge wrist strap available at amazon for about $9.00 (an extended wire better than 6 feet would be helpful.)  You would attach it to your wrist and attach the alligator clip to a metal ground somewhere on your desk (the theory is that it redirects certain fields back to ground.)  This works exceedingly well for my wife in our car - but we haven't tested it in a office environment.  I can't be sure it will work because the printers emit what are called corona ions and have a distant reach.  These ions are attracted and bind to certain types metals and I know aneruysm clips are one type.  If you are concerned about what office workers think about the strap, just tell them you seem prone to static zaps just like when walking on a carpet and you touch something metal, then they'll not suspect anything.

I will have some more comments but need to give them some thoughts especially with how you should approach your Doctor about this.  
Avatar universal
Hi Thanks for your email.

I am currently on two different blood pressures medicines - Lisinprol 10 mg once day and 50 mg of meteroprol twice a day.  and in the past 2 months i still come with a flushed face (typicaly on the right) and my blood pressure is elevated.

i have a electronic blood pressure i should start recording my blood pressure in the morning and when i get home.
Avatar universal
You know how you said doctors know nothing about this because they would have to go back and learn electrical engineering?

Guess what!?

You know nothing about medicine and the human body!  You arm chair doctors irritate the crap out of me.  Doctors go to school studying in medicine four years more than an engineer.  After that, they begin to learn in the hospitals for another 3-4 years.  They take national tests called boards.

Here's just a tiny fact for you.  Migraines are caused by low blood pressure in the head.  That's the true migraines.  People can get pretty bad headaches for many reasons, lighting, muscle use in the face.  But the migraines are being treated with blood pressure increasing meds like caffeine.  And now, you ought to quit giving advice until you get that medical degree before you really hurt someone some day.
Avatar universal
You must have had a bad day - sorry for that!

You are commenting on context that you have no knowledge about.  Don't worry so much about that because your not alone.  I have consulted with nationally known headache specialist, well qualified Neurologist and Neurosurgeons regarding the rare syndrome that occurs in some post operative clipping and coiling procedures.  Each of these specialist agree with the conclusions I have reached regarding electro-magnetic radiation induced cranial headache called EMRICH.  It is caused when metal material is inserted in to the nerve rich brain area.  Medical science has never known this condition to exist for three reasons: 1) most patient never survive the initial insult; and 2) those that do end up with very serious cognitive issues which prevents them from reporting accurately the headaches/migraines; and 3) the FDA does ZERO post operative studies on medical implants.  After watching my wife suffer with excruciating 3 day migraines for 18 years I resolved to find the cause and I did.  

As a medical person I'm sure you know that if a symptom can be reproduced 100 out of 100 times in the absense of any other trigger and in a sterile environment, I think it is safe to presume a trigger is causing a symptom.  If you disagree, kindly offer your differential opinion.  But please remember medical professionals have already agreed with the results of the above testing.

If you have something constructive to add for MariePhilly, please do so otherwise please use some other forum topic to vent your frustrations!
Avatar universal
You made very good points.  Your wife is so fortunate to have a husband like you who has researched and put so much effort into helping her migraines.  

Avatar universal
As a nurse, not a doctor yourself, your posting could be misleading to those reading it.  WebMD's website specifically notes, "Caffeine can be both beneficial and harmful for a headache sufferer. It can serve as a treatment or, in some cases, can cause withdrawal or rebound headaches."

I believe that you owe Eddie an apology for your excessive comments.
Avatar universal
Hi Sara,

Thank you for your kind comments.  I really believe that Nurseof40years needed to vent for some reason and that's OK, I only wish we could have had more of a two way communication about the topic.  I really have the highest admiration for both Doctors and Nurses but I have also earned a high level trust from those that I know.  Keep up your good work!

P.S. I replied to your question in the migraine section.

Avatar universal
My mom had a stent put in place to stop an aneurysm behind her left eye. That was in 2009. Since the surgery, she has had debilitating headaches. Doctors have tried EVERY pain medication and antidepressant to stop the pain, including Botox and acupuncture therapies. Nothing has helped. She cannot sleep, eat or get around easily because of the horrible pain. At this point, while I now understand the cause (EMRICH) I'd like to know ways to help. I feel helpless and wish she could function without pain. Any suggestions or tips or ideas welcome. How many of us are there? Has anyone been able to live a normal life without pain after this surgery? Is this really a cure?
Avatar universal
Could migraines by made worse by electro-magnetism if not caused by brain aneurysm surgery?  I fear that you may no longer by part of this website because I didn't see you name below as I typed it.  That would be a great loss.

Avatar universal
Hi Alex and Sara,

I'm still here.  

Alex, your mom certainly has tried all and it seems all the "Cocktails" typically offered clipped and coiled patients suffering post procedure head pain.  Q1.  I have communicated with well over 100 patients in my research.  There are over 12,000 procedures annually with a variety of medical outcomes.  Q2. Yes, but most have have mild to severe complications and they must compensate in some way.  Q3. EMRICH is not a cure but a definition of the symptoms and triggers, the complications, and a method to help avoid the triggers of the head pain.

I also have good news and bad news associated with EMRICH.  The good news is that I will be meeting next week with a Neurosurgeon specializing in brain surgery and whom also holds both a undergraduate and graduate degree in electrical engineering.  I can't think of a better qualified consultant to review my research.  I have also found a simple tool that may help Doctor's diagnois EMRICH.

The bad news about EMRICH is that the research has expanded the list of triggers which not only includes electrical devices but also common household devices that are not electrical but magnetic and they pack a strong "head pain" punch.  I don't want to mention these devices until I meet with Neurosurgeon, simply because I was stunned by the impact these devices cause.  

For now, try to minimize any vicinity contact your mother may have with electrical devices.  I will try to be more specific once I meet with the Neurosurgeon.

I apologize for my late night answers.  This is one of the methods I use to compensate for and minimize exposure for my wife to EM fields and it also gives me quiet time to get my work done.  

Avatar universal
Please let me know what devices to avoid in terms of electrical & magnetic and what exactly is an electromagnetic field?  This concerns headaches post brain surgery
Avatar universal
Please see my comment in your post regarding Nitinol stents on March 30.  I might be able to give you some guidance with some additional information from you.  Look forward to hearing from you.
Avatar universal
Please help!  I am on sooo many drugs for aneurysm-related severe migraines and my excellent doctors are trying so very hard to collaborate.  I have had to drop out of college on doctor's orders, I stay bed-ridden and cannot move my head and neck, I get the 30+ botox injections @ three months, have tried all pain drugs to no avail, eat the prescription nausea medicine like candy; this has destroyed my life since I had the aneurysm a few months ago.  It has made my cat sick with worry and so my Veterinarian is also involved now.  I use therapeutic grade organic pain oil which deflects the pain momentarily, go to chiropractor who can't find much wrong in that department...any suggestions or advice?
Avatar universal
PS: My aneurysm is 11 mm in the center of my brain and they used platinum coils to keep it from rupturing, but apparently it is in an area of nerves that pain medication does not reach.  My migraines, nausea, and vertigo are severe.  Does anyone know of anything herbal or organic that may help?  My doctors think that is foolishness, of course, but I am very desperate to get my life back in order and also my cat needs to quit worrying about me and get off of her nerve medication caused by my problems!  Thank you! 1seahorse in Reno, NV
Avatar universal
Getting medications to breech the blood brain barrier is challenging for Doctors.  Obviously they know best about pain medications so you need to be honest and open with them including letting them know how much of each you are consuming.  

Anxiety can be a problem for post surgical patients and your statement regarding your cat should concern you personally.  As a owner of numerous cats over the years your cat seems unusual.  If you are not talking to a Neurologist about any possible anxiety you should because that could be part of the headache problem.  At 11 mm your coiled aneurysm is large and could be pressing on some critical nerves or brain tissue.  Keep in mind that neither the brain tissue or nearby nerves have ever been exposed to foreign objects so unusual reactions can occur. However, I haven't read any medical studies that highlight such a problem.

I understand your challenge in getting back to your normal life but be careful with unproven remedies.  What is really important is to determine what is triggering your disease and how you can avoid the triggers.  I will be happy to listen here in these posts to see what suggestions I can offer to help you.
Avatar universal
I saw your comment awhile back, "The bad news about EMRICH is that the research has expanded the list of triggers which not only includes electrical devices but also common household devices that are not electrical but magnetic and they pack a strong "head pain" punch.  I don't want to mention these devices until I meet with Neurosurgeon, simply because I was stunned by the impact these devices cause."

Regardless of whether you have had those concerns confirmed, could you tell me what are "magnetic devices".  I have no idea what those could be.
Thanks again for your very thoughtful input.
Avatar universal
Just a couple suggestions.  Are you aware that taking any pain reliever more than 2 times a week can risk getting severe rebound migraines?

I was not helped by any of the daily preventative migraine medications which I assume you have tried.  But what has worked is Petadolex, an herbal medication made in Germany so that it is fully evaluated for toxins which is a common problem with herbal or organic meds.  You can find it on-line.  Also an off-label medication called Namenda was recommended by my Headache Specialist as well as one of my neurologists which gave me significant relief at just 1/4 of the dose for its labeled use. The doctor said that it was helpful for people who had what he termed "central migraines".  So good luck if you want to try either of those.
Avatar universal

Thanks for sharing the info on Namenda.  I hadn't heard about its use in Migraine patients.  It certainly wouldn't hurt although it does need to be ramped up.  I'll have to look up this info and see if could helpful for my wife.
Avatar universal
I started at 5 mg a day, then increased it to 10 mg a day which is still half of what they give to Alzheimer's patients.  I got great results, but backed off when I got Trigeminal Nerve pain. But both my doctors told me that it was extremely unlikely to be from the Namenda.  That even with the 1% increase in neuropathy in those taking 20 mg a day which didn't rate a correlation, my doctor told me that Trigeminal nerve (TN) pain is far different from simple neuropathy.  TN is most common in women over age 50 and seems to just come on with age in some people.  So I'm back on Namenda without further problems with the TN which went away.  But it is bound to return according to reports.  So I would definitely give it a try.  And remember that any side effects were in Alzheimer's patients who are much older and are taking a much larger dose.  Sara
Avatar universal
Could I trouble you to describe what you mean by the TN pain.  My wife has had a change in pain pattern in addition to the old pattern.  She was zapped pretty badly by a store anti-theft device as she was walking in the store while a customer walked out with a package that wasn't disabled by store personnel.  They were both in the gate at the same time.  Her new pain is triangular from the eye down to the middle of her cheek.  Any description would be appreciated.  
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