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The great big headache list

The one year anniversary of my headache is coming up on February 17th, right after Valentine’s Day. I hope it gets me a gift! A fuzzy teddy bear perhaps? Or maybe a cake shaped like a Vicodin with hydrocodone ground into the icing? At the very least, it owes me back rent for all the time it’s occupied my head.

I’ve decided to post a list of all the suggested causes and cures people have sent me over the past year, from the serious to the absurd. Why? First, if you are someone who is googling the phrase “headache that doesn’t go away” or “never ending headache” or “chronic daily headache” this entry will give you a lengthy to-do list. Second, I’m going to link to this post on my contact page and if you don’t see your piece of advice listed here, then and only then may you email me about it. If someone has a good suggestion, I don’t want to turn them away, but if you’re the tenth person to tell me to go off artificial sweeteners, you’re just being annoying no matter how good your intentions were.

I suppose a secret third reason is to try to make you understand why I feel like smacking most people who give me advice over the head with my laptop. I know you guys mean well and just want me to get better. But when you tell me I have a tiny hole in my heart, not only are you the fifth person to suggest it, it’s also the 30th suggestion I’ve received, most of which I’ve also heard 5 times each. So, even if I do decide to have a device stuck down my throat to detect whether I have a holy heart, I’ll only do it after I’ve rearranged my work station, had the dentist poke my teeth, had my eye doctor shine lights in my eyes, had the chiropractor crack my neck, let the Chinese doctor stick some needles in me and a zillion other things I’m supposed to squeeze in between my job and episodes of Battlestar Galactica, all while not consuming coffee, dairy, wheat or artificial sweeteners.

BTW, I did not make any of these up. These are all REAL suggestions people have given me. I’ve investigated probably 70-80% of this list and I’m working my way through the rest of it.

Suggested causes

Pseudotumor Cerebri aka idiopathic intracranial hypertension

Teeth grinding

Holes in the teeth

Tiny sinus blockages

Sinus infection

Poor work station that needs to be made more ergonomic

Fluorescent lights

Eye strain


Muscle tension, jaw clenching

Artificial sweeteners (Splenda, Aspartame, etc.)

Allergies to food (both IGg and IGe antibodies)

Celiac disease (gluten intolerance)

Patent foramen ovale (PFO), a hole in the heart (acting as a migraine trigger)

Saints possessing my brain

Voodoo doll

Brain tumor

Drinking from aluminum cans


The thing the guy on Grey’s Anatomy had

Teratoma of the ovary

Twin living in my brain

Deviated septum

Migraine disease

Allergic to new work area

HPV vaccine

Slipping on the ice a month earlier

Slight scalp burn during haircut

Lack of sunlight

Weight loss – dumping toxins into my blood

Weight loss – causing hormone imbalance

Menstrual cycle

Birth control pills (suggestions both to go on and off them)

Disturbances in my body’s electromagnetic field caused by electronics

Sleep apnea

Dairy intolerance

New Daily Persistent Headache

Chronic Daily Headache

The weather

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)


Polycystic Ovary Disease (PCOD)

Too much salt

Forward neck curve



Lyme disease


Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis

Cerebrospinal fluid leak

Trigeminal Neuralgia


Occult Cancer of the Facial Bones

Multiple Sclerosis

Spiritual crisis


Colloid cyst

Compact fluorescent light bulbs

Thalamocortical Dysrhythmia

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo

Pencil stuck in skull

Suggested cures & tests

MRI (with and without contrast)

Sinus CT



Neti pot

Aspirin, Ibuprofen, aecetominophen, Naproxin (Common OTC pain relievers)

Imitrex, Treximet, Midrin (migraine abortives)


Craniosacral massage therapy (CST)

Mouth guard from dentist to prevent grinding

Vitamin D


Allergy medication (Allegra-D, Singulair)


IV drugs (Keppra, Depakote)

Topamax (headache preventative)

Toradol injection (migraine abortive)

Antibiotics (Azithromicin)

Detox diet

Visit eye doctor

Visit dentist

Allergy scratch test

Allergy blood test

Muscle relaxants

Hydrocodone (Vicodin)



Drink more water

Avoid caffeine

Lavendar oil, peppermint oil, melissa, ginseng and rosemary

Avoid trigger foods (wine, chocolate, cheese, etc.)

Nerve blocks




Inderal LA, Corgard (Beta blockers)

Head On

No Pain Spray

Carry a magnet in my pocket

Neck stretches

Copper bracelet

Metal balls stuck on my ear that I’m supposed to pinch 20 times

Deep breathing




Neurological exam

Exercise more

Tricyclic anti-depressants (amitriptyline, nortriptyline)

SSRI anti-depressants (Celexa, Zoloft, etc.)

Spinal tap

Physical therapy

Stop working on computers all day

Altitude change, visit other parts of country

In-patient hospital stay at headache clinic


Avoid various food products (milk, gluten, Splenda, etc.)

Eat only organic foods

Pet a cat



Witchcraft, counter spells (for the voodoo doll)


Eat poorly and stop exercising

Banana peel on the forehead


Hit self over head with heavy and blunt object

Hot pepper under the tongue (“Tincture of Capsaicin” or “Tincture of Cayenne”)

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

Tension Relief Balm (with feverfew)


Hyperbaric therapy

Tiger balm

Reiki healing

Fung shui


3 day induced semi-coma (to reboot the brain)

Hormone replacement therapy

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Group therapy

Red tint contact lenses

Concentration camp (based on Elie Wiesel’s experience.)


Other stuff I found out I had while investigating the headache

Venous angioma

Heart murmur


Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away
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KateG • February 2, 2009 at 9:05 am

This puts your struggle in perspective – I’m so sorry it’s been a whole year of not knowing what was up.

I think my favorite suggestion was “the thing the guy on Grey’s Anatomy had”. But really, I suspect it’s what that chick on House had.


Debs • February 2, 2009 at 9:13 am

What if we sprinkle you with a little fairy dust?

I’m so sorry that you’re having to go through this. I thought I had it tough this time last year when I had 6 months of continuous infections and related problems. Big hugs and lots of prayers that things will be resolved soon.


Kassie • February 2, 2009 at 9:14 am

That really sucks. I know someone who had awful headaches and she went to a migraine clinic in Ann Arbor. She was there for a few weeks and they did all kinds of tests. She wasn’t 100% cured or anything but they did help quite a lot.

Since you say you owe a headache clinic a lot of money I take it that you’ve tried that before.

I really hope you find something that works.


scfrogprincess • February 2, 2009 at 9:28 am

Maybe it should get you something shiny like a ring.. I mean you guys have been going steady for almost a year now!

All kidding aside, sorry you still have the headache and I hope you can get rid of it soon! *hugs*


Tara • February 2, 2009 at 9:41 am

Wow. That sincerely sucks.

What’s a venous angioma?


maggieapril • February 2, 2009 at 9:45 am

I admire your determination to continue your life even while suffering from chronic pain.

I have suffered from migraine, sinus and stress headaches on and off for years. Once, with a three day headache, all I could do was lie in bed and cry and feel sorry for myself. So every time you mention it, all I can think is “how can she even function?”

I look forward to the day (although not nearly as much as you do undoubtedly) when you tell us that your headache has disappeared.

The marijuana cure suggestion should make for an interesting blog entry anyway.


PastaQueen • February 2, 2009 at 10:00 am

@Tara – It just means there’s a cluster of veins in my brain that is abnormal in comparison to the general population, but normal for me. It doesn’t require any attention and if I hadn’t had an MRI I wouldn’t even know I had one.


Jaime • February 2, 2009 at 10:03 am

This will probably not help you at all but I had unexplained severe headaches for years with no explanation. Their was no diagnosis even after crazy tests with electrodes stuck on my head and MRI’s, eye tests, and alternative medicine cures. After I had my first child they really went away. I still get an occassional bad headache but they never last longer than 48 hours and I have probably only had a handful of those in the last 7 years. Not that I am telling you to run out and get pragnant…..just offering a tiny bit of hope for the future maybe…


PastaQueen • February 2, 2009 at 10:08 am

@Jaime – Oh, that reminds me, menopause was suggested as a possible cure. Added!


Kate • February 2, 2009 at 10:16 am

Normally, I get really excited when other people get to celebrate anniversaries. However, having celebrated my own “I’ve had a headache continually for 1 year now” anniversary a few years back, I’m not at all excited for you. I hope that one day soon yours will go away as suddenly as it appeared (mine did, and all I had to do was move).


jen • February 2, 2009 at 10:19 am

Time to call Dr. House. If the real-life doctors can’t help, it’s time to call the professionals.


I am really sorry you are going through this.


Jen • February 2, 2009 at 10:19 am

My favorite is “saints possessing the brain.” I think people who make suggestions should at least make them entertaining.


Mindy • February 2, 2009 at 10:21 am

I am sorry you are suffering. I have had migraines since i was 11 * 22 yrs now * on a nearly daily basis. It was not until about 5 yrs ago my doc put me on topamax ( a preventative) that i finally found relief and got my life back.

its a horrible horrible thing. And I too have probably gotten all the suggestions people have suggested to you . At some point you get to where your willing to try anything to make it stop. I hope you find something soon .


Aline • February 2, 2009 at 10:24 am

Saints in your brain? Sounds more like a demon! Or a few!

YAY for Battlestar Galactica! Even though I was a bit disappointed with the first few episodes of the last season. But I will stick with them till the end.

On a different subject – I got a new kitten a few weeks ago – and like you I had a grown up kitty already. It’s been weeks and they are still only hissing at each other. After doing some research on it I found out that it can take up to 8-10 month for them to become friends! So far I am separating them during the night as to avoid that they kill each other but I hope I don’t have to do this for 8-10 month.


PastaQueen • February 2, 2009 at 10:28 am

@Jen – The weird this is that guy was TOTALLY serious. He even had a web page about the phenomena.


suzanne • February 2, 2009 at 10:29 am

Honestly that list would give me a headache!!

I really hope you find some relief soon :)


Quix • February 2, 2009 at 10:35 am

I think it’s just human nature that if we see someone hurting, we just want to do anything we can, even if it’s a silly suggestion, to make them stop hurting. But I can see how that would get annoying…

That is sure a hell of a list. I really hope you find the magic cure soon, it’s crazy what you’ve been through. You think losing half of you would be enough to be healthy and happy forever, right? Myself, I am almost freaked out to go to the doctor this month for a check up simply because I’m afraid that someone up there has a sense of humor, and while I was completely healthy fat, that I’ll have developed some weird disease from losing 105+. Heh.


nolafwug • February 2, 2009 at 10:40 am

As a New Orleanean, I was glad to see Voodoo Doll on the list. I’ve never known anyone who was afflicted with anything due to pins-in-dolls however, nor even heard about it from a friend of a friend. Though voodoo is supposed to work behind the scenes… I’d put that at the bottom of the list for sure. :)

How about the Zombie Apocalypse? Perhaps it is upon us at last, you are one of the first to turn and the headache is just an initial symptom? Do you find yourself craving brains or organ meat or gnawing on bones?

Kidding aside, I hope you wake up one fine day and it’s gone, whether you ever figure out why or not!


Shelley • February 2, 2009 at 10:45 am

Every time you mention your headache brings me back to mine – I had pseudotumor cerebri when I was 35, and it took a little over a year to get myself “cured” and back to living. Such a terrible time in my life. I really sympathize with you, Jennette, and hope you find some relief soon.


Nicole Bledsoe • February 2, 2009 at 10:48 am

A co worker of mine has bad migranes and none of the medicines you listed worked for her either. She takes Max Alt. It’s all that works for her. Her hubby is a pharmacist and got her on it to help her head. You may of tried it though. Good Luck!


Jenni • February 2, 2009 at 10:56 am

Sorry you have made it to your one-year anniversary with your headache. I guess those Pasta Queen voodoo dolls sold in New Orleans are really doing their job.

And the magnet-in-the-pocket made me instantly think of bad pick-up lines.

Good Luck!

btw my immunotherapy (allergy shots) have totally helped with my headaches, but probably because I had horrible allergies to 75% of the plants in my area. And I had multiple headaches not just one, so you probably don’t have allergies (or do you?)


Melissa • February 2, 2009 at 11:08 am

I understand. I had a daily headache for about 15 years. After tons of doctors, tests, and money, a neurologist suggested that perhaps taking Advil daily for joint pain had caused a rebound headache. He suggested that I stop Advil. Well, that caused a 3-week migraine that nothing could help, not even prednisone. But eventually it was successful in relieving a good portion of my headaches (the dull achy daily kind).

Now I had fewer headaches, but they were more severe, so the dr tried many of the traditional migraine meds with very little success. She then put me on amitriptyline, which was not very fun but somewhat successful. During that time I kept a headache diary, descibing my headache every day on a scale of 1 to 10.

About the same time, I saw a dr on Good Morning America with a patient who had tried every remedy and every drug for her migraines with no help. He had helped he through certain diet elimnations. He wrote a book called Heal Your Headache. I bought the book. It has a lot of the remedies you listed (at least the viable ones!), like eliminating certain foods (including caffeine, dairy, nitrates, red wine, fresh yeast bread (ok a day after it’s made), etc. He also has environmental suggestions. The list was so overwhelming (you are supposed to eliminate everything then add them back one at a time to see what your triggers are), so I prayed and asked God to help me choose. I knew caffeine was a culprit for many people, so that was first to go. Then I eliminated nitrates (bacon, ham, pepperoni, lunch meat, etc.), as I often had a migraine when I visited my mom (and we get along great — she wasn’t the cause!). We ate lots of bacon, ham, etc., when we visited her. Between eliminating caffeine and nitrates, I have been mostly headache free for almost 5 years now. Most of the ones I have are hormonally related or from lack of sleep, although barometric pressure can be a factor. It’s sort of like when people with arthritis have an achy knee right before a big rain; that’s because of the change in barometric pressure. Sometimes sudafed helps that for migraine sufferers.

I hope this info helps you. The book is great. It explains why you have migraines, as well as why the same trigger may bother you one day, but not the next. I understand the frsutration. It’s not a group you ask to be part of. I pray that you will find help.


Lyn • February 2, 2009 at 11:10 am

Wow, no wonder you lost your shit.

“But have you tried drinking a glass of water while holding your breath and standing on your head? No? Well then.”

I hope your headache gets a clue and hits the road!!


still reading • February 2, 2009 at 11:13 am

“twin living in my brain” reminds me of the scene in “My big fat greek wedding” where the aunt is describing a lump on her neck that turned out to be her twin. That actually happened to a friend of mine, only it was wrapped around her spine. Took years and years for the docs to figure out what was wrong. Weird, huh?

Love your list, but hate that you have a list at all. (un)happy anniversary.


Merry • February 2, 2009 at 11:36 am

Hey! I don’t see cat petting as one of the solutions on the list!

Sorry. I do realize that these solutions were offered in a spirit of helpfulness. It’s an impressive list.

(Though petting a cat supposedly releases negative ions into the air, which supposedly makes you feel happy, happy, happy. Or something like that.)

As undeniably crappy as this headache is, you’ve got some great subject matter for your next book.


Tanya • February 2, 2009 at 11:45 am

@PastaQueen – The “saints possessing the brain” was my favorite, too.

People scare me.

If you go on Vicodin, are you going to buy a cane, walk with a limp, become a doctor, and be mean to everyone? Sorry, I watch too much House…


Beth Moore • February 2, 2009 at 12:03 pm

I can’t even imagine how frustrating and horrible this is for you. I had a headache for three months, but it was because of a parasite, and in the end we named her Lily and she is quite a beautiful child. ;)

I am so sorry for all you’re going through and hope you can find the cure and quick!


EG • February 2, 2009 at 12:05 pm

If someone has a Voodoo Doll of you, what is the suggested course of action? Find them and get the doll away from them, I assume, but where do you start? It’s a wide world.

I do hope you find a cure. Or that it just leaves you and you can look back on “the year I had a headache” and not have to live it anymore.


ell • February 2, 2009 at 12:05 pm

I know these are all things that people suggested, but how many of the reasonable ones have you tried for any real stretch of time? I think you went to acupuncture once and declared that it didn’t help, and you still eat Splenda, but did yoga help at all? Any of the meds? The mouth guard? The weed? Allergy testing?

Oh, and happy anniversary. May it be the last one you celebrate with your unwanted guest.


PastaQueen • February 2, 2009 at 12:07 pm

@EG – Perhaps there is a counter spell? A protection charm or something?


debby • February 2, 2009 at 12:17 pm

Hey, wait a minute–Exorcist is not on the cure list??? How else are you supposed to get rid of ‘saints in the brain?’ And maybe it would work on the twin living in there too. I wonder if the saints and the twin ever interact in there, or if they live in separate areas and don’t even know the other one is there?

JK, PQ. Hope it just makes you laugh, and hope laughing doesn’t make your head hurt worse….


carol • February 2, 2009 at 12:22 pm

@ell – isn’t it kinda rude to imply PQ hasn’t worked hard enough to cure herself?


cloudy • February 2, 2009 at 12:31 pm

My favorite is: “Disturbances in my body’s electromagnetic field caused by electronics”.

Chronic pain is the worst thing ever, I am sorry.


Nicole • February 2, 2009 at 12:35 pm

@ell – Wow, lighten up and get over yourself! It’s not like she owes any of us a full accounting of how long she has tried every single treatment.

And as a chronic migraine sufferer who also had a non-migraine headache for 100 days straight (that is one headache 100 days, not 100 days of headaches) I can tell you, you don’t have headaches for that long b/c you are not giving things enough time.

Newsflash for you on doctors– they really don’t know everything. My last neurologist was a professor at two of the top universities in the country and wrote more than 18 books yet was unable to successfully diagnose and treat my 100 day headache. I did everything I was supposed to do, and tried everything he told me to including accupuncture for extended periods of time before I gave up on him and lucked out with finding a doctor that was able to properly diagnose me. (I had occipital neuralgia BTW, which apparently most neurologists say is very hard to diagnose. It was successfully treated with multiple nerve blocks.)


zoey • February 2, 2009 at 12:45 pm

F@#king brilliant!! LOL, you know that I know exactly what you are going through…but I have to add to treatments, gluten free diet. No cost, no pain, ‘just’ removal of gluten. Still LOL’ing.


Jen • February 2, 2009 at 12:47 pm

@PastaQueen – Now I’m going to have to google “Saints possessing the brain.”


JJS • February 2, 2009 at 12:51 pm

I suffered from chronic headaches from puberty until I became obese (in my early 20s). In the last month, I had started eating healthy/exercising and guess what? Headaches are back.

I won’t offer suggestions or advice (I just deal with them myself). But, I found it horribly ironic that when I was fat, my head felt fine. Now, that I am trying to change myself, my head is back to wanting to split open on a daily basis.

I hope you find a solution or at least a little relief. Headaches totally suck.


Becca • February 2, 2009 at 1:00 pm

OK, so I’m starting the cure suggestion of “blog readers doing a get better dance” to counteract the voodoo curse, you know it makes the most sense…

In all seriousness, I send you only virtual hugs and the hopes that one day you wake up with this all behind you.


Kyle • February 2, 2009 at 1:08 pm

That list is overwhelming.

That being said, I do you can find the cause and therefore the cure. Maybe it’s on there.


cricket • February 2, 2009 at 1:14 pm

not on your list


When I’m restricting my calories, excercising and not drinking enough water, I can guarantee a headache that afternoon.

Got one now.



PastaQueen • February 2, 2009 at 1:20 pm

@cricket – Well, that basically falls under the “drink more water” cure, but I’ll add it. I doubt anyone thinks I’ve been dehydrated for an entire year though.


victoria • February 2, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Well, if nothing else, you’re now qualified to write the differential diagnosis dialog on House.


Deirdre • February 2, 2009 at 1:40 pm


I particularly like the Twin living in your brain!


Rachael • February 2, 2009 at 1:47 pm

I read this as MEAT balls, which is an even crazier suggestion!

Metal balls stuck on my ear that I’m supposed to pinch 20 times


Jamie • February 2, 2009 at 1:48 pm

@PastaQueen –

I would think they’d suggest “demons possessing your brain,” since the headache is so painful. Wouldn’t saints make you feel great (following their “logic”)? That makes more sense :)

Seriously, I’m so sorry you’re going through all of this.


Rachael • February 2, 2009 at 1:51 pm

@PastaQueen –

I just want you to know that I am NOT the one with the voodoo doll of you. That narrows your search down by 1 person!


scone • February 2, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Oh, honey. ((( hugs ))). This list is so familiar to me. When I was traveling through the Land of Perpetual Headache, I got many of those “suggestions.” Here are some more I received, to add to your collection of curiosities, if you like:

Trigeminal Neuralgia


Occult Cancer of the Facial Bones

Multiple Sclerosis


Dom • February 2, 2009 at 1:58 pm

@PastaQueen – Tell that to a raisin!


Rachael • February 2, 2009 at 1:58 pm

I know Midrin and other drugs are on the list. Have you tried in for relief from the headache? Or have you decided to stay away from them so you don’t get addicted?

I take Midrin for migraines (I was prescribed Imitrex, but it’s $20 per pill even with my insurance) and it makes me feel so relaxed and content. I have to be careful because I could see how someone could become addicted to that feeling. Unfortunately, when it wears off the migraine feels even worse then before.


Megan • February 2, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Oh how I can relate to this (as a fellow chronic-painer.) Maybe this is a pessimistic way of looking at it, but I realized after a while that the many people so eager to dole out the most obvious advice in the most authoritative, condescending way were actually insulting me with their suggestions. Like, telling me that I should try alternative medicine implies that I haven’t thought of it, that even though I’m in pain every single minute of every day, I’m just too stupid or lazy to think up that brilliant solution. (Not to mention the advice can actually be harmful–the number one suggestion I get for my Interstitial Cystitis is “drink cranberry juice,” which is excellent advice for a UTI, but literally the worst thing you can do for IC, because of the acid.) So, I’ve gone from “Aw, well, they mean well,” to “Eff you too, buddy” when it comes to the ongoing opinions of the peanut gallery.

All of which is to say, I feel your frustration. Someone once told me I should stand barefoot on grass to realign my energy with the earth’s.


cricket • February 2, 2009 at 2:13 pm

@PastaQueen – @PastaQueen – you COULD seriously be dehydrated daily for over a year and you could also be lacking minerals from that lack of hydration…hence the headache

once again my two cents

good luck on finding some relief.


PastaQueen • February 2, 2009 at 2:18 pm

@cricket – I’m going to have to give you a refund on those two cents because there is no way I have been dehydrated 24/7 for a year :)


Zoey • February 2, 2009 at 2:29 pm

Oh, and you’re missing “you are having a spiritual crisis”. I was given that one by a doctor!


Shawna • February 2, 2009 at 2:33 pm

One of your things listed under “cure” (Allegra-D) can also be a cause … I’m not a doctor, so I have no idea why, but I had a several month long chronic headache due to Allegra. The only other thing that gives me a similar headache is dehydration. The two feel exactly the same to me. Allegra is evil!!!


kathy • February 2, 2009 at 2:52 pm

I know this may sound a bit crazy, but maybe you have been on the computer too much? How much time do you spend on it, does your real job require it? Have you over the past year increased your computer time dramatically?

Hoping you feel better soon.


PastaQueen • February 2, 2009 at 2:54 pm

@kathy – *wags finger* Somebody didn’t read the list!


Abby • February 2, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Wow. Here’s one you can check off:

It’s not lupus.

Oh and YEAH Battlestar Galactica. So glad to see Starbuck back.

Your nerdiness makes me happy. Good luck with your head!


Twix • February 2, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Very interesting! Indeed! Lots of suggestions as to what would cause and cure it. I have had headaches that have been know to last a few months but not as long as a year. And of recent within I stumbled upon my own cure: Tylenol with Coke, massage thumbs and meditate for 20 mins. No joke! Headache cured! I have even used this method with my husband and kids and it works for them as well. I got the idea from a reflexology book for the thumb massaging. If I don’t have quick access to the Tylenol and Coke just rubbing my thumbs while meditating helps. Sometimes I get lucky and it goes away without assistance. The T&C just happens to make it go away faster. Something my Aunt, a retired RN, told me to try. Much luck to evicting those Saints! I love that, saints possessing and twin in brain. :D Although I would second Marijuana and Torodal both also have been known to work but you would have to use Mary on a more daily basis and then you would have the munchies, not good. Good luck!!


Sharon • February 2, 2009 at 3:23 pm

How exactly are you supposed to de-twin your brain?

If you’re listing all possible headache causes and solutions, you really do need to list them ALL.

(I’m betting on trepanation, myself, and wondering whether Yelp or BMEzine would be the better source to check for local recommendations.)


sybil • February 2, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Ok, I’ve read through your list twice and I don’t think this idea has been suggested (however I didn’t read through the comments so please forgive me if it’s a duplicate!).

Have you tried or read about EFT? Emotional Freedom Technique. Gary Craig. http://www.emofree.com is a good place to start.

It’s based upon meridians/pressure points. It costs nothing. There is a plethera of information available online for f.r.e.e. Some people may find it a big ‘woo woo’ but who really gives a rats a$$ if it brings you relief?

Anyway, check it out or not. I’ve been going to suggest it for months but have held back because you were saying to stop giving you suggestions.

Good luck and best wishes. I can imagine how frustrated you must be as I have a ongoing medical issue – thankfully mine isn’t painful.


K • February 2, 2009 at 3:35 pm

I’m so impressed that you can be going through this terrible ordeal, yet still find the time and strength to keep making people happy with your brilliant and frequently hilarious blog. You’re a saint, PQ, and even though it’s not on the cures list, I’m mentally transmitting you tons of well-wishes.


Elizabeth • February 2, 2009 at 4:12 pm

I have only received a handful of suggestions as to what to do about Eli’s eating and all of them made me feel quite annoyed – as if I was too stupid to figure out these things on my own. So you have all my sympathies. All the advice alone could give someone a raging headache from sheer annoyance.


Kate • February 2, 2009 at 4:28 pm

My advice……Go with the weed….regardless of effectiveness….might as well be high and mellow while in pain….

Seriously, how horrible for you. I truly appreciate your sense of humor through it all….ahhh…..that’s it….your sacastic, dry, and very wonderful sense of humor is fucking you up!


clickmom • February 2, 2009 at 4:34 pm

I had headaches for 6 months non-stop and found out they came from tomatoes and corn, which I am not allergic to, they just give me (migraines if I let them get bad) headaches. No corn and tomatoes, no headaches. Some chips and salsa- three days of headaches. It’s pretty simple. I figured out the cause of my headaches by calling a medical intuitive (psychic) and this woman, over the phone, who never even saw me told me what my problem is. I sound like I’m crazy right? Maybe an easily influenced hypochondriac? Could be, but if you want her phone number drop me an email. I’m headache free.


Anna • February 2, 2009 at 4:46 pm

I’m from Illinois, not far from you, and around here I am constantly hearing of people going to the Mayo Clinic for medical problems. My suggestion, call Oprah and have her hook you up with Dr. Oz. You are a weight loss success story, have a book to promote and a chronic headache. That would be some show!


alisha • February 2, 2009 at 5:07 pm

I have PCOS..polycystic ovaries. Before I knew I had it, I had pain…HORRIBLE PAIN. I actually thought somebody had a voodoo doll of me. I imagined them sticking pins in the ovaries and laughing. When I had my first migraine I was crawling on the floor because I thought if I stood up the altitude would make it worse. I guess when I am in pain I don’t think clearly. I am hoping thats the reason for some of the suggestions above.


Jackie • February 2, 2009 at 5:25 pm

I am not sure is anyone has said this, as I have not jumped in with any advice (since I don’t really have any, I am so sorry :( ). BUT my coworker had botox in the neck for his chronic headache, and it worked. So it might not be so crazy. I hope you feel better soon!!!


Lilbet • February 2, 2009 at 6:11 pm

Hey PQ,

You know, I literally feel your pain, as we have emailed. (And I believe my cause is number 1 on the list).

Personally, we should probably develop a calendar for what gift would be appropriate for each year of “celebration” You know, like those anniversary ones where it takes you about 20 years of marriage to get anything other than paper and tin foil.

Year One: Vicodin

Year Two: Percoset

Year Three: Head On Apply Directly to the Forehead

Year Four: Lobotomy

Keep at it. Keep seeing doctors. The point now is not to find a reason, but a cure or at least a way of coping with it.

If it gets to be too much, just send me an email. I completely understand and will support you anytime.


Carolina Girl • February 2, 2009 at 6:15 pm

File this under “omg not another suggestion someone please slap her” however…

a close friend of mine has had chronic headache just like you for over a year. She recently switched to a completely all natural whole foods diet (no pre-packaged food, etc). And now she’s so so so much better.

Sorry. You can hate me now but I geniunely hope you feel better soon.


Cristina • February 2, 2009 at 6:21 pm

@victoria – This is the funniest comment of them all. I love House, too.


Kim • February 2, 2009 at 6:25 pm

My heart really goes out to you. It sounds awful…like my nightmare: having hiccups that won’t go away. I can’t imagine having either a headache or hiccups ALL THE TIME EVERY SINGLE DAY…

I have a question I’ve been dying to ask, NOT as a recommendation, NOT as advice, and I PROMISE not as a smart-a$$:

Did it ever occur to you to go back to eating poorly and not exercising? If so, did you do it? Or how did you keep from doing it?

Because, as another responder pointed out, when you ate crap, you felt fine, now that you eat well and exercise, you feel awful. Again, really truly not advice here, but I really think it would occur to me to do that. I have almost as much weight to lose as you did to start and I have to say it would be tempting to go back to eating poorly. I almost think that would’ve been one of the first things I tried, because I’m not very smart about health kinds of things, hence the obesity.

Hugs to you for hanging in there and having a sense of humor about it all.


Jenn with 2 enns • February 2, 2009 at 7:09 pm

Off topic, I really like that your sidebar background matches Bluebell’s paint job. Pretty!


Michelle • February 2, 2009 at 7:11 pm

I just want you to know that every time I have a headache (which is fairly frequently lately but certainly not every day for a year) I think of you. I hope your cure is out there somewhere.

Thanks for the smile and here’s another crazy one for your list, a banana peel on your forehead is supposed to get rid of headaches ;)


Kate • February 2, 2009 at 7:23 pm

@Kim – That was an episode of House last season.

This girl was a fitness instructor who got sick, and they came to find out she had weight loss surgery first, lost all the weight, then started eating healthy, became a fitness instructor, then got sick.

Apparently her body didn’t make something, and the fats and such in junk food helped keep her healthy.

At least it wasn’t lupus. LOL


victoria • February 2, 2009 at 7:34 pm

@clickmom – I had a friend whose cat started behaving oddly (hiding under the bed, refusing to come out). He called a pet psychic who figured out (communicating with the cat over the phone) that the cat had been alarmed by the ghost of someone who had died in the apartment. (Hey, this was in Berkeley.) After thwe psychic’s diagnosis, the cat ran out from under the bed and was his old self again.

So, hey, PQ, call a psychic. If nothing else, it could be a blog entry.


Sparker • February 2, 2009 at 7:36 pm

Just reading that list makes me want to start drinking heavily for you. There’s a cure!

I’ll send good thoughts your way so that they may chase out the headache demons/saints.


Lydia • February 2, 2009 at 7:37 pm

It was interesting to read your list — it really is mindboggling, the amount of stuff people have come up with.

I had — without mentioning it — been thinking the hormonal shifting going on due to large weight loss, so I looked for it, and sure enough, there it was on the list! I’m really glad I didn’t say anything now.

The good part about that notion is, however, is the thought that someday without warning, your headache will just go away. I’m sure we all fervently wish that would happen for you and hate that you are still in pain.


Hannah • February 2, 2009 at 8:22 pm

@KateG – I remember reading that comment. Come on, people! If you have to say “I know you’re tired of getting suggestions BUT”, you can stop right there! Let’s be nice.

I think the ones related to hormonal balance are interesting and plausible (for other people, if not related to PQ’s). Hormones are complicated things though, so even when they are the cause of something, there is no easy fix.


Hannah • February 2, 2009 at 8:25 pm

@Kim – It doesn’t seem to be that great of a correlation to me. She has talked about binging and how it didn’t make her feel much better (beyond the eating). And she didn’t feel bad right away after losing weight, it was later on. So it would be kind of a risky thing to do.


BB • February 2, 2009 at 8:27 pm

I don’t know about anyone else, but I have a headache now.


Martha • February 2, 2009 at 8:53 pm

Hi PQ,

I apologize for not reading through all of the comments. It feels like I am reading personal stuff. Forgive me if someone else has suggested this.

Have you thought about Hyperbaric Therapy? It is similar to what divers go into to avoid getting “the bends” It is supposed to cure many things such as:

Stroke, MLS, ALS, Lupus, Migranes, memory loss, brain injury and a host of other maladies. I have spoken with a few people who have used it for various issues and they have told me they felt it helped them with their issues.

Along with everyone, I hope that you find an answer that will work for you and release you from your pain.


Myriam • February 2, 2009 at 9:38 pm


Happy anniversary with ur headache, for me it is my first month anniversary, except the migraine abortives are kinda working on me, pain went down noticeably but hey, it is still there. I slipped on the ice and it had made things worse, i haven’t got to all the phases yet but thanks for giving us heads up!!!

On another note, the best thing I did lately is stumble on you blog! and I love the style and the achievements :) hat’s off!

as for me 100 lbs to lose… progress NONE


Theantijared • February 2, 2009 at 10:19 pm

What if your headache got you a Cadbury Egg for Valentine’s Day?


Jen • February 2, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Ahahahaaaaa…. I can’t decide if I like the voodoo dolls, saints possessing your brain, or copper bracelets best! So sorry about the pain, but boy, if laughter could cure, your headache would be *completely* gone after reading that list!


Nancy Solderitsch • February 2, 2009 at 10:36 pm

Sooo sorry for your continuing pain. Did your doctor’s ever offer Fioricet? It is Tylenol, caffeine and butalbital (mild barbiturate – so it is “habit forming.”) It doesn’t always kill the pain, but it might help you function until you figure it out. Keep looking and you will find a cure.


FatGrlSlim • February 2, 2009 at 11:01 pm

Hmmm what to get a headache for Valentine’s day…….

I’ve held off from posting my one and only headache tip because I was afraid of being lynched. And after that list, I can’t blame you for being so annoyed! However, I do believe that since the floodgates have opened, I might just chime in. I, in no way think this will work or be a cure, but I know that it has alleviated my most horrible migraines! Tiger Balm. That stuff is amazing! I get the red, straight from the Asian grocery. When I lived in Cambodia, (land of crazy cupping, acupuncture and other things involving unidentifiable dead things compressed on your body) they taught me to rub it between my hands and breathe deeply. Then rub some on your hair line and temples and back of your neck. Works well when you are nauseous too. And fore itchy mosquito bites. Oh and sore muscles too. And apparently flatulence too…who knew!



Don’t know if it will help, but it certainly may provide you with five free minutes to shop for your headache’s V-day pressie alone!


Lisa • February 2, 2009 at 11:44 pm

You forgot “hit self over head with heavy and blunt object”, I am reasonably certain that wasn’t on the list.


QueenB • February 3, 2009 at 12:32 am

I think you just need a hug. This is the second post where you’ve expressed angst with all of us because we’re trying to support you but get agitated when we don’t play by your rules. I truly do hope you find the answers that you’re looking for with regards to your headache. But maybe you’re giving yourself a bit of headache by having this blog and “managing” all your readers. Maybe you need a break from it all.


becky • February 3, 2009 at 12:44 am

Geesh, a whole year with constant pain? You should at least get a free dinner on that anniversary!


lynn • February 3, 2009 at 1:21 am

Oh dear, are you now not seriously ready to commit muder?


Great Weight Loss Tips • February 3, 2009 at 2:20 am

if laughter could cure, your headache would be *completely* gone after reading that list!


Paula • February 3, 2009 at 7:00 am

Yikes what an awful anniversary to be celebrating. I thought the addition of PCOS/PCOD to the list was an interesting one because that’s not one of the recognized symptoms for it (I used to work with a national org for PCOS and pain is generally associated with endometriosis). Hugs for you and I have nothing further to add.


K • February 3, 2009 at 7:27 am

@Merry – I was going to say that cat petting was my favourite suggested cure.

Though I’m allergic to cats myself (though I love them) – but guinea pigs work about as well.


ToyLady • February 3, 2009 at 7:30 am

@KateG – Yeah, but it’s not lupus. It’s never lupus.


K • February 3, 2009 at 7:30 am

@Becca – I’ll dance.

I’m also not the one with the voodoo doll.


rah • February 3, 2009 at 8:01 am

I have nothing to add, but honestly, “saints possessing my brain”??!


ell • February 3, 2009 at 8:54 am

Wait, no one has suggested sex yet. Maybe you just need to get laid. That might help with the crankiness caused by annoying blog commenters as well.


Mrs Lard • February 3, 2009 at 9:38 am

I think the only thing to celebrate on the 17th is the fact that in spite of all this hideous pain you’ve managed to keep doing loads of stuff – writing, keeping active, travelling and…raising money with that stair climb!

As a chronic pain sufferer of a different kind, I just wish you well. Soon. Very, very, very soon.


Thealogian • February 3, 2009 at 9:44 am

I think that the most scientific cause should be explored first.

Someone already beat me to the Voodoo Doll, however I have heard nothing about investigating Alien Abduction Withdrawals, an allegeric reaction to that radioactive spider bite that was supposed to give you super powers, or one mention of joining a polygymous cult in which your required submission to a 68 year old husband would “keep you sweet” and thus either scare away the headache or help you surrender to your fate and ignore the still pulsing screams of a brain in pain.

There are many nice people on the intertubes who could advise you on the Alien Abduction Withdrawals and I hear they even have conventions.

For the radio active spider bite issue, you’ll probably have to contact the Hall of Justice or the Super Friends network.

The Fundies are easy to find once you enter that part of the West where Arizona, Colorado, and Utah meet.

Good luck with all of these yet explored avenues to headache free life.



Emily • February 3, 2009 at 11:19 am

I avoid topics that I didn’t want the listeners opinion on. It’s very hard to just listen. We all like to think we have incredible incite on just about everything.

It’s like when I tell my husband something stupid that I did and he responds with, “You really shouldn’t have done that.” As if I didn’t already realize that.


Dom • February 3, 2009 at 12:27 pm

@Paula – I have PCOS and possibly endometriosis (under investigation) – what organisation was it you worked for? I’m really not in a good way, but I’m in England, so it’s probably no good for me?


Becca • February 3, 2009 at 12:30 pm

OK, so I’ve already commented, but I have to comment again…

The whole situation of your asking people not to add advice already given, and the continued giving of that same advice makes me think of Kindergarten Cop. You know, the kid who keeps saying “Maybe you have a tumour” and Arnie getting more and more annoyed “It’s naht ah tuh-mah”.

That was all, nothing constructive, just keep picturing you now using an Arnie voice saying “it’s naht ah XYZ”… i.e. “It’s naht ah ay-lien ahb-duck-chun”.


Elizabeth • February 3, 2009 at 1:48 pm

SO. At the risk of totally annoying you with unsolicited commenting …

Was reading the WaPo this AM and thought of you. AND it’s not on your list.



Thinking about you! You blow me away that you continue to do so well (hello, 30what flights of stairs?) even with chronic pain.


Rachel • February 3, 2009 at 2:00 pm

First, let me say I feel for you. I’ve suffered from migraines my whole life. Been in and out of the hospital from vomiting for 24 + because of the migraines and even went partially blind for almost 48 hours. The longest I’ve had a migraine was only a week or two though.

When I had a mirgaine for 2 weeks and I was crying in my doctors office, and in and out of the hospital, he told me that sometimes I would just have to wait it out. That there was no cure. I would have to wait. Though let me clarify that I have had BAZZILLIONS of tests done on me since 11 looking for a reason why the migraines get so extreme and none have been found.

I know doing all the things you do must be stressful, have you ever thought about not looking for a cure? Just trying to live with it period? I know its depressing but it could just be a waiting game…

P.S. don’t know if you’re much of a smoker PQ but I have smoked marijuana during my episodes and it does help. With the pain and with the overwhelming nausea.


Stacie • February 3, 2009 at 2:07 pm

@Elizabeth – I definitely just came on here to give PQ the same link!! Yeah WaPo.


Melissa • February 3, 2009 at 3:14 pm

I don’t know if your history except that you have these terrible perpetual headaches, but my best friend from college suffered bad headaches and dizzy spells, and passed out … it was indeed a brain tumor, something he’d scoffed at, thought was impossible, even joked about … but it was a tumor and it was cancerous. We all thought he’d beat the cancer, but he died in 2007. Please, get whatever tests you need … I don’t want to see anyone else suffer like he did.


Amy • February 3, 2009 at 5:54 pm

No one recommended sex, I’m severely disappointed.


Lori E. • February 3, 2009 at 6:29 pm

@Jen – That was my favorite too, until I saw “twin living in my brain.”


Lori E. • February 3, 2009 at 6:43 pm

@PastaQueen – I saw good voodoo dolls that have white pins for working positive magic. I don’t know if that is authentic voodoo or not, but maybe someone could try working good voodoo magic for you? I didn’t see “witchcraft” on your list of suggested cures :)


Lori E. • February 3, 2009 at 8:02 pm

@PastaQueen – I saw good voodoo dolls that have white pins for working positive magic. I don’t know if that is authentic voodoo or not, but maybe someone could try working good voodoo magic for you? I didn’t see “witchcraft” on your list of suggested cures :)


mary • February 3, 2009 at 8:07 pm

Hey PQ, Just a note of observation… even before you jumped on the wagon and stayed there, you were being treated for migraines. Re-read your beginning entries of this blog… what initially caused those migraines? Could there be a correlation?


Amy • February 3, 2009 at 8:11 pm

Okay, so NO comparison, but I get headaches for weeks at at time sometimes. (again NO comparison – your situation SUCKS) but my FAVORITE is when people ask me, “Have you taken anything?” OMG, why didn’t I think of that? Just pop an asprin. Duh! Hang in there. I’ll be sending out headache relief vibes. BTW, Have you taken anything? :O}


ellipsis • February 3, 2009 at 10:38 pm

@Amy – Haha! Orgasms do work for me sometimes. But then again my migraines don’t usually last beyond two or three days…


Merry • February 3, 2009 at 11:54 pm

@Becca – Yes! Sometimes a blogger puts up a post simply because they have something they want to communicate. Not because they’re soliciting advice, even solicitous advice.

I remember a blogger who wrote about her mother’s death. She disabled comments specifically so that people would not leave any messages, sympathetic or not. People went ahead and left sympathy messages on her other posts instead. The urge to comment was too strong.

PQ, thank you for not disabling comments and letting us have our say even if this ain’t our blog :)


Heather • February 4, 2009 at 1:07 am

Wow, that was an impressive list. I’m so sorry

you’re still suffering. Anniversary, shmanniversary, I hope you can kick this abusive partner to the curb soon! Another cause to add to your list would be scoliosis. Read that in a mag once, but your chiropractor has probably ruled that out.

Good luck, you still make me smile!


Ang • February 4, 2009 at 1:29 am

I think that we have heard so much about this headache that it is only natural to make suggestions. Since you have told us that nothing else works, people are trying to be helpful, not annoying. I imagine when we stop hearing about the headache the suggestions will also stop.


Ang • February 4, 2009 at 1:32 am

But, you might try the MJ–if for no other reason than that you can. Well, if you are in one of those states that allows it :)


wilma • February 4, 2009 at 10:49 am

@Twix – it’s the caffeine. coffee works, too, or anything else w/ caffeine in it. just be careful, bc too much tylenol and caffeine can cause rebound headaches :)


Anonymous • February 4, 2009 at 2:03 pm

You should be thankful you have so many compassionate readers who care about you and want to give you advice. We only want to help, is that so bad?


courtney • February 4, 2009 at 3:46 pm

Holy crap, is someone fussing at this woman for not being THANKFUL? Kiss my fat ass along with her skinny one.

Good lord, people suck sometimes.


Sheila • February 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Out of all these suggestions people have sent you, im curious to find out which of these you’ve actually tried? Some of those possible cures sound rediculous but some of them – not so much.

p.s. love your blog.


Cindy • February 4, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Wow, that looks very similar to my list.

I have nothing but well wishes for you. :)


Amy • February 4, 2009 at 10:51 pm

I am soo sorry you are going through this.

I have had a killer headache for just 4 or 5 days and it really gets to you after a while. I can’t even imagine a year.

I think I know what mine is from though. I gave up caffeine! :O

I hope you find answers soon…….



Scale Junkie • February 4, 2009 at 11:33 pm

@Amy – I was going to suggest she get laid but ummm she has a headache ;-)


Scale Junkie • February 4, 2009 at 11:37 pm

@courtney – they sure do. I mean PQ should be blogging and sunshine, roses, puppies and rainbows all day right? But then people would bitch that its unfair to the people who live in cloudy places, and the roses make them sneeze…blah blah blah


Gwendol • February 5, 2009 at 8:21 am

@Lori E. – That twin one was mine. But I could have sworn I wrote “parasitic” too, as well as at least one other adjective. I was not serious.

As for cures, I didn’t see the one I also think I suggested: self-tremenation. Just what we all need, another hole in the head.


PastaQueen • February 5, 2009 at 8:38 am

@Gwendol – Oh, did you come up with that too? My boss was the one who first suggested it, along with the voodoo doll.


Erin • February 5, 2009 at 2:12 pm

I am trying REALLY hard to remember if I said ANY of these things to you when we got together and I am hoping I did not.

I probably *did* talk about “thyroid” but it was probably only in reference to the asshatty advice I get about *my* Big Thing.

Lots of love, chica.


nora • February 5, 2009 at 2:30 pm

so sorry about the pain…. and let me tell you, I have heard all those sorts of “useful” bits of advice for years. I had chronic migraines in high school, practically daily. Everyone had the “cure” for me, and thought I should wait around while they told what it was…. how damn boring that can get! Hope you find your own cure, whatever it may be. Mine turned out to just be time… I grew up and the migraines basically went away… it only took leaving multiple schools in high school, getting married and having 3 kids to wake up one morning and realize I wasn’t having headaches. Anyway, good luck. :)


Flamingo Girl • February 5, 2009 at 2:39 pm

As a chronic migraine sufferer you are living my worst nightmare. I live in fear of one day getting a nasty migraine that never goes away. I don’t have any idea what causes mine, no trigger foods, nothing physical that the doctors can find and I’ve tried quite a few of the remedies that are one your list. Occasionally exercise and fresh air or sex has helped me with my more mild headaches but never with a migraine. Usually for my really bad migraines I take an extremely hot shower in a darkened bathroom. I sit on the shower floor with the very hot water pouring down on my head, close my eyes, stick my fingers in my ears and hum a strong and continuous mmmm noise and concentrate on the vibration. Sounds incredibly stupid but for me it can sometimes take the edge off the pain and help me relax a little. If the shower alone doesn’t help I follow it up by slathering extra strength bengay all over my neck, shoulders, temple, and forehead. Again, sounds stupid but works for me. I drink ginger tea to soothe my stomach because the migraines usually make me nauseas. I hope you are able to find something that works for you. I get migraines about 5-8 times a month and it’s incredibly hard to deal with. A headache lasting a year would probably drive me insane.

By the way, I bought your book a couple of months ago and really loved it.


julie • February 5, 2009 at 3:06 pm

I had a headache for over a year when I was a kid. I went for allergy testing, blood work, you name it. Eventually it went away. I still to this day don’t know what it was, maybe dehydration?


Lisa • February 6, 2009 at 10:03 am

I have no suggestions. Just that the ‘Twin living in my brain’ was the best!

I seriously hope this ends soon for you!


Lisa • February 6, 2009 at 10:04 am

Oh, and have you seen a Neti Pot being used?!?! This is the grossest thing I have ever seen.


Carolyn • February 6, 2009 at 10:41 pm

@Megan – My mom has had interstitial cystitis for years, and she says that she wouldn’t wish it on her worst enemy. She first found some relief by drinking only filtered water (to avoid the chlorine in tap water) and avoiding bread with preservatives (so, homemade bread was still okay). Later on, she switched to the Alkaline Ash diet, and found much relief with it. It is not a cure, but her life is much more bearable with that diet.

Also, sometimes prescription medicines (prescribed for other conditions) aggravate her condition, so she has to watch out for that.

Megan, I hope that you find some relief!


Haystacks • February 8, 2009 at 1:48 am

This list is terrifying. We are all GONNA DIE! Especially Me! I am hiding under my bed with my vicodin.

Calming Down.

What if someone has replaced your eyes with buttons. That might give you a headache.

In all seriousness though, all my hugs and sympathies.


crockpot lady • February 8, 2009 at 1:06 pm

I feel horrible for laughing so hard. I want to know how the weed went, how the banana peel worked, and to add reiki healing to your list.




crockpot lady • February 8, 2009 at 1:18 pm

@crockpot lady – And fung shui!

doy! you need to have a clean cosmic aura.



Katharine • February 10, 2009 at 6:03 pm

Hey, PQ, I don’t see “colloid cyst in the brain” on your list. It’s a rare but benign tumor that often causes headaches because it increases intracranial pressure. It’s often missed because it’s not the first thing that docs think of when they think of headaches. You can find info about it here: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/337686-overview.

Oddly enough, my husband just found out that he has a colloid cyst, but he has no headaches. Go figure.


lauren • February 15, 2009 at 3:05 am

Totally not a peta ad, but I heard that vegetarianism (and even veganism if you can swing it) can help eliminate headaches… and I don’t think I saw it suggested? I have a friend who eliminated her headaches by going vegetarian. I’ve been vegetarian for about a year and a half now and haven’t gotten sick since.


a • February 15, 2009 at 2:12 pm

PQ — maybe you need to stop focusing the doctors on “curing” the headache, and more on pain relief?

are you getting what you need to make the pain go away?

Obviously pain pills aren’t something to fool around with, but living in constant pain is no way to live.


Tiffany S. • March 1, 2009 at 11:19 pm

Poor honey – just think of the big party you’re gonna have when it finally goes away (that does not count as a suggestion of positive thinking).

Just my own experience: had migraines growing up b/c my mom cooked with MSG and, lo and behold, I was horribly allergic. Didn’t figure that out until I was way in my 20’s.

Maxalt works for me most of the time. Also, surrounding my head with ice. When it’s a sinus headache (I’m not sure if yours ever changes location), I put a heat pack on my face. I’m a huge believer in the power of ice and heat.

I now take birth control three months in a row thus reducing any menstrual migraine possibilities to 4 times a year.

I can almost never drink alcohol.

One time when I thought i had the flu I was diagnosed with an extended migraine (wtf?) and given anti-inflammatories which actually helped. Now I take them if the Maxalt doesn’t catch it.

Now I’m just dealing with chronic upper back pain (I’m sure ergonomically related) so I know how every day’s a stuggle. Hang in there. The cure will be the last thing you try!

(Do you want to hit me? Sorry! Just trying to help).


Lisa • August 4, 2009 at 3:12 am

I have just snorted with laughter at the suggestionsfor your headache and ideas for a cure that you have been given! Ye Gods, your blog keeps me entertained.


Kristin • November 12, 2009 at 12:12 pm

I’m reading your blog from the back end forward, and don’t want to incur your wrath by posting this suggestion elsewhere. Both my husband and his father have cluster headaches, nicknamed “suicide headaches” for a reason. What helped my father-in-law was going on oxygen at night and during the day when it got too bad. He no longer suffers from them in his 60s but I fear my husband, who will be 32 next week, is facing a life dealing with clusters. I never feel so helpless when I see him sitting on the floor in the bathroom, crying, unable to even look at or talk to me because of the pain.

On a lighter note, I see you are in Ann Arbor (I was there last night!) and weed would be a VERY easy hookup (for medical purposes, of course!). Try the Diag.


abby • January 11, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Oh my goodness… well you said a hug would do, and it sounds like you’ve had everything but, so… *hug*

Good luck!


donna • February 4, 2010 at 3:28 pm

I have a good one that you can put to the top of your stupid headache cure list. If your ever in Boston, MA make an appointment with Yefim Shubentsov, he’s also called the “Mad Russian”. I’m going to see him to stop smoking but from what I’ve read he’s able to take away pain too. If it doesn’t work then I’ll still be smoking and be out $65.00.


Rebecca • March 2, 2010 at 9:26 pm

Extra stregnth Exederin. Probably you’ve tried it, but it isn’t on your list. It is the only thing that works on my monsters.


Linnea • April 29, 2010 at 8:40 am

Ok I know you have been given the “usual” generic and basically useless lists of migraine triggers – I HAD daily headaches for many years – but mine turned out to be a from a longer list of ingredients/foods. I got a much longer and more sophisticated & detailed “laundry list” of avoids from a doctor then by trial and error tweaked it. Bingo!
Most of the seemingly diverse items DO have some common feature(s).
Did you know that there could be up to 24 hours or more between ingestion of a food and migraine?
Makes it harder to pinpoint cause. But not impossible.
If you don’t want to give up looking into food ingredients as a cause, I will be happy to share my personal avoid list with you. At any rate I hope you don’t give up searching for your migraine cause(s) and feel better soon. Good luck, I wish you the best. Migraines really suck.


Melissa • May 10, 2010 at 10:39 am

Well, I have the first condition on your list – Intercranial Hypertension. It is pretty rare, so I was misdiagnosed for years – I had piercing headaches from the time I was 14 until I was diagnosed at 28. I started taking a high dose of estrogen bcps and it started daily headaches that were so crippling that I thought I was going to die. I had to threaten an ER doc to get the attention that I needed because I was desparate – I felt like what I would imagine a stroke was like and my vision was impaired. He told me that maybe I needed to take some time off. I told him maybe he needed another profession if he wasn’t interested in helping me to figure out why I felt like I my head was exploding! I carried extra weight but other than that was totally healthy, so everyone was baffled until this doc referred me to an eye doc, who put me in the hospital immediately for a spinal tap (which was the only way to diagnose ten years ago). Since then I figured out that I am VERY sensitive to salt – I manage my condition with a low sodium diet and eating almost zero processed foods (we seem to cram salt into everything!) along with an occassional diuretic, but waiting has cost me 10-15% of my vision in each eye. I know you are probably struggling with health insurance as a freelancer but I hope that you get the help you need. It really does affect your quality of life. Good luck!


Andie • May 25, 2010 at 11:34 pm

Hi Jennette,
I am late comer to reading your book – I am in Canada, so I wil blame it on that – I am finding myself laughing out loud with self-recognition in parts! I appreciate the balanced view of healthy critique of body image/diet obsession as well as the critique of the fat acceptance movement.
Mostly I appreciate your funny, witty stories! Thank you for writing it and sharing your journey…

I also read the plethora of advice and suggestions of dealing with your Headache – it almost has its own personality doesn’t it?! Anyway, I also watched your video and imagine it is very frustrating getting advice from a bunch of well meaning people who know nothing about it….

I am going to add myself in that category:) I am a psychotherpist who is studying body-centred therapy called SOMATIC EXPERIENCING. http://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/publications/visions/trauma-victimization/alt/4

Link to the above to read about it. Headaches and other somatic pain can be indicators of trauma. I don’t know where you live but you can either check out Peter Levine’s book “Healing Trauma: A self- help guide…” or you might find a SE therapist in your city if you look at the website: “healingtrauma”

Anyway, just another option that may speak to you! Good luck and thank you again …. sincerely, Andie Ashworth BA MSW


NotTheMama • September 26, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I ran upon your blog while searching for weight loss ‘blogs with pictures’ ~ what a journey and congrats on the weight loss.

About the headache ~ do you happen to take Yaz (birth control) by chance? My daughter had an unending headache for a long, long time until it was discovered (by a heart doctor) that the Yaz caused an imbalance in potassium (salt) which made her heart race, affecting her adrenaline (upon ANY movement whatsoever) and hence a crushing headache. I don’t know the mechanics of it all, but salt is basically a huge component in the ‘spark’ that makes your heart beat and so on and, etc. Anyway – it cost us $10,000+ in copays to figure it out so maybe this is your cure for FREE. :)

Best wishes for that headache and congrats again for your amazing weight loss!


Carolyn L Carr • December 4, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Read your newest book in an advanced copy. All the alternative cures you tried work well for many things – but they are not like a pill – they take persistence and longevity. No blue and white or other pills.
I escaped back surgery for 35 years with regular chiropractic adjustments ( my father – a physician was NOT on board with that) and a hysterectomy with a few months of regular acupuncture (dad also not ok with that – he was an ob/gyn) . Even my holistic doctor was pushing me on that one before I bled to death.
And of all the e-mails you got in your book the one that I think was closest to the truth was the one linking your weight loss, your headache and toxins stored in fat. That is not “airy fairy” science but there are actual studies linking weight loss exceeding 80 pounds in one year with cancer from the release of toxins. You should be grateful on some level – cancer wouldn’t be my choice.
Wishing you much love and luck in the future.


LoomMonkey • January 6, 2011 at 12:59 am

I don’t mean to be boring on…
I have no suggestions, just a quick virtual hug of support.
On the topic of nasty inexplicable pain, I confess to a degree in Psychology and a sincere interest in the phenomena covered in the play A Bell In The Storm http://ro.ecu.edu.au/theses/54/ I saw a few years ago.
I also confess to 6 years of chronic muscular/back pain. Sometimes my neck will clear up – but the pain reappears in a foot. Which is treated, sending the pain back to my pelvis. It crapping well sucks. I spin, weave, and generally create to manage this pain, and when I’m feeling particularly feisty and feel like cocking a snook at the Pain Goddesses, dance energetically. It only hurts when I stop.



Nicole • January 17, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Arnold-Chiari Malformation of the brain. I didn’t see it on the list. I have it. If you’re interested in more infor you can email me.


Judy Harrington • February 19, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Hey, here are TWO ideas for the price of one! And they’re CHEAP!!!

1) Could you have developed an allergy to fragrances? Perfume always gives me a splitting headache, and as a result I never wear any fragrance and always wash my clothes in ‘unscented’ washing machine soap. No softener either. (Downy or Bounce are out)

2) Change your pillow.


Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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