I suffer from an intractable headache and chronic migraines. And by ‘chronic migraines,’ I pretty much mean daily. To you skeptics out there- yes, that is in fact possible!
The pain can get to the point where I can do nothing else but curl up in a shaking ball and cry, praying for someone to just shoot me. I realize that sounds a bit melodramatic, but unfortunately, most migraine sufferers can relate.
I have tried so, so many migraine medications: Sumatriptan, Maxalt, Cambia, Frova, Fioricet, Nortriptyline, Neurontin, Topamax, Prednisone, Zyprexa– oy vey.
As it stands right now, I do not have an effective preventative medicine. However, I do have a rescue medication: Stadol nasal spray (or, Butorphanol Tartrate).
Stadol has kept me out of the ER more times than I can count…stopped the pounding, squeezing, shooting pain…the nausea, vomiting, vertigo, blindness– or at least decreased it to a survivable level.
But every time I use it, I feel a twinge of fear.
Stadol is a narcotic, and I have heard so many horror stories of people getting terribly addicted, whether physically or psychologically. I have ‘tested’ myself several times, to the best of my ability, to ensure I am not becoming one of those people…and I am 98% sure that I am not (I have gone 29 days without it with no withdrawal symptoms, etc). But I cannot help but be a little nervous using it, especially when thus far, it is the ONLY thing I have tried that has actually helped, aside from Botox injections every three months.
And I do use it often. Do I want to be on narcotics? Of course not. Goodness, if it were up to me, I wouldn’t take any medication at all! But I need it, especially with school starting…I need the relief it brings. The pain just gets to be too much…
I am not addicted to Stadol; I am addicted to quality of life.