6 Tips to help get rid of Headaches.

 

Headaches are a common problem with people of all ages.  Some get them more frequently and more intensive than others, but there is usually a simple reason why you may be getting the pain.  Common causes of headaches include stress, tension, restlessness, sinus problems, migraines, lack of sleep and dehydration.  If you can work out the main reason if any you can quickly determine the best course of action.  Here are some tips you can try yourself at home.

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1. Drink some water.  One of the reasons you may be getting a headache could be that your dehydrated and simply drinking some wat
er can help alleviate  the pain.

2. Sleep.  Another simple reason you may be getting a headache could be lack of sleep.
Even if you have had enough sleep the night before you normally won’t feel pain in your sleep so sleeping will help you pass the time whilst the pain wears off.


3. Hot or Cold Compress. 
Depending on the type of photogallery_congestion_remedies_05_full.jpgheadache you experiencing you can place either a hot or cold compress to help with the pain.  Cold compress such as ice packs when placed on your forehead and temples can help with stress headaches.  The cold temperature will help shrink the blood vessels in the area and increase blood circulation.  It can also help numb the area.  Hot compress on the other hand can help relax muscles that could be tense and help reduce the throbbing pain.  Try either or and stick to what works best for you i prefer the cold compress as it works best for me.

4. Natural remedies.  There are many natural remedies that have been claimed to help with Headaches.  Some of which are fmd-021-un-1kg-nirvana-oil-free-sea-salted-almonds

  • Drinking lemon water
  • Eating apples
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger helps with inflammation of the blood vessels
  • Lavender oil scent helps with relaxation and head pain
  • Peppermint in food and oil scents can also help with headaches
  • Almonds contain  salicin which is believed to be a natural pain reliever
  • eucalyptus oil

Not all natural remedies work for everyone so I suggest to try them and see what works best for you.

5. Look after your Gut! many believe that your gut and your brain are linked and if you have a healthy gut you will have a healthy brain.  Make sure you exercise regularly and eat healthy.  You may also have an intolerance to some foods that could be triggering headaches so it could be worth while to try and see if eating particular types of food are giving you the pain.

Yogatest1.png6. Destress yourself. Stress is a big trigger for many people.  Try and find an activity that will help you destress daily.  This could be something like Practising Yoga or Tai Chi, reading a book, going for a walk or taking a bath.

 

ICP Bolts

Intracranial Pressure (ICP) Monitors or Bolts are devices that are used to monitor the Intracranial pressure inside you head.  I have had two or these in the past and both have been different.

My First ICP 

My first ICP was back in June 2015 Just a few months after my VP Shunt was installed.  I was getting some really bad head pain and had difficulty staying upright for prolonged periods of time so my surgeon decided that I should get the ICP moniter for a minimum of 24 hours to see what my pressure was.  I didn’t really know what to expect when I arrived at the hospital as I didn’t read up about it before going in.  I thought that if I didn’t know what was about to happen I wouldn’t scare myself but that gave me the reverse affect I was so anxious about what was in store for me.  There is an option to be put under General Anaesthesia so your asleep for the operation but for some reason I was having mine done under local anaesthesia.  When the time came I was taken down to the Pre op area where they get you ready to go to theatre as I was having the procedure done there.  The nurses were talking to me throughout to try and keep me calm.  Firstly the surgeon shaved the front right part of my head where the bolt was going to be placed.  After he cleaned and sterilised the area he made the incision.  I felt the blood run down my right ear but didn’t feel anything else.  I was expecting some sort of power tool to drill through my skull but instead (by the feeling I was experiencing)  and the noise I heard seemed to be a tool similar to cork screw.  After a bur hole was made in my skull the surgeon screwed the bolt to my skull and inserted the probe into my brain and connected it to the monitor, which happened to be some main box that converted the signals so that they could be seen on a standard laptop.  As the anaesthetic wore off it was painful and uncomfortable it looked like I had an areal coming out of my head.  It was in for about 2 days before being taken out  whilst I was still in the ward.  I had a little local anaesthetic to the area before the doctor pulled the probe out of my head and unscrewed the bolt before stitching me up.  It felt very strange at the time and painful after the anaesthetic wore off but the pain didn’t last to long and the procedure went well.  My second ICP was a bit different.

 

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My Second ICP

I had an idea for what was in store for me when going in for my 2nd ICP, but this one turned out to be a bit different than the first.  It was being planned to be under General Anaesthesia, the reasoning I think is because of my problems with anxiety, but was told before the op that as they had difficulty establishing an air line when I last went under, they didn’t want to take the added risk.  So the decision was made for the op to be under local Anaesthesia again.  The differences this time were firstly the tools they used to make the bore hole this one resembled the old bit and brace (or like a whisk that has that gear like system) it made a lot more noise and I felt a lot more vibration in my skull.  I also felt the probe being inserted a lot more this time than the last and that pain only increased as the Anaesthetic wore off.  It was explained to me that the brain has many nerves in different places and that last time I was lucky in the placement of the bolt where as this time they seemed to find an area where i had a lot more nerves and that is what was giving me the pain.

During my time in the hospital for this ICP I was also approached my some Scientists that were doing a study to see if you could measure the intracranial pressure from your ear canals by listening to sound waves.  If this turned out to be correct it would mean that you would not need to have surgery every time that you needed your intracranial pressure to be monitored.  I agreed to having these extra tests but unfortunately the equipment that they were using malfunctioned and they couldn’t complete the tests.

When the ICP was taken out it hurt a lot more than the last and I experienced vertigo like symptoms similar to when I had my shunt inserted.  I panicked as I thought back to previous experiences but luckily after about half a day i started to feel better and was discharged from hospital.

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“We’re transferring you!”

Not the words I was expecting.

I was taken to my local A&E after passing out in my home. I had been suffering with a chronic headache for what seemed like weeks, but Ive always suffered with headaches since i could remember so i thought it would eventually pass.  The doctors had found out that I had an infection so was treating me with some local antibiotics whilst they did some further tests such as blood tests and CT scans.  The doctor told me that he also wanted to do a Lumber puncture which is a procedure that involves a needle being inserted into your spine so that they can take a sample of CSF (cerebralspinal fluid).

After the test was done I had a panic attack and fell asleep.

When I woke up my wife was there and I remember telling her that I was felling bit better and that I might even be able to come home soon, I was wrong.

That was when I was told that I was to be transferred from the hospital to another hospital that had a specialist neuro unit.  This news terrified me and I thought the worst.

When I arrived at the other hospital I had some further tests that included two MRI scans that lasted nearly 2 hours in total before being told that I had hydrocephalus and would need surgery.

The day after being told I remember sitting on the bed and staring at the floor just thinking.  Thinking of how my life was going to affected by this news.  Thinking of the family that were waiting for the news.  My wife and two children that I loved and missed.  I hadn’t seen the kids in weeks.

I was then taken for my operation.  A VP Shunt was inserted just above and behind my right ear.

When I returned to the ward I felt awful.  I was in the worst pain imaginable and was sick several times.  The pain was worse when I was upright either sitting or walking so was given along with the usual pain relief like morphine, some anti-sickness tablets.  I was showing no signs of improvement so was told that I would need a Lumber puncture to check my CSF pressure.

The Lumber Puncture did not go well.  The doctor that was attempting the procedure could not locate the area of my spine where the needle needed to be and the pain this lead too was excruciating.  After a few attempts she decided to stop the procedure.  Where i was in so much pain I didn’t want another attempt to be made but the doctor said that I had no choice so I was given a sedative to help me relax as a different doctor got prepared for the second attempt.  The second attempt was just as if not more painful than the first especially the moment where he hit a nerve and what could only be described as a strange and painful sensation shot down my back and into my left leg and ended in the tip of my toes.  It felt like my leg had been blown off.  Soon after the doctor found the point he needed and was able to take a sample of my CSF.

With the results of both my CSF reading and some X-rays of the Shunt the doctors said that the surgery was a success and as soon as I passed the pysio test I would be allowed to return home to complete my recovery.

I just about managed to do the pysio requirements needed for me to return home because I was desperate to get home to my family.  The journey home was hard as I was unable to sit upright for more than 15 minutes or so without experiencing pain, but we eventually made it.

I got home and went straight to bed, (I had less pain when lying down) whilst my wife got the kids.  As soon as I saw them I burst into tears.  I knew I would have a long journey ahead of me to recover but with my friends and family now close by I was going to be more comfortable.  Below is a photo taken just before my staples were to be removed.

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Monday 15th August – A Trip To A&E

So this morning I woke up with a severe migraine and head pain for the forth day.  Migraines for me usually last 2 to 3 days tops so my wife phoned the hospital and after a conversation with one of the healthcare professionals the decision was made for me to be taken to a and e.

The doc decided for me to have a CT scan which did not show anything so he loaded me up with a drug cocktail comprising of paracetamol, a double dose of ibuprofen, a couple of amitriptyline,diazepam, prochlorperazine and a pantoprazole to stop me from getting a an ulcer.  The pain eased but didn’t go but i was sent on my way with some extra meds and told to rest and then go back to my GP for more meds in a week or so.  With any luck these meds will take the edge off.