Brain Aneurysm Support Community

Pain management after clipping

I had a craniotomy to clip my Annie in oct 2013. While I know that I am very lucky to have caught and had the surgery before a rupture. I now have a diagnosis of chronic migraines. I am lucky to be headache free 1-2 days a month. I am taking injections and daily medications to combat this but still usually end up getting an extra injection for pain at least once during this cycle. Is anyone else experiencing this long term effect? Is there something I should be doing differently? The idea of going to a pain management specialist has now come up but I’m still not convinced I’m not dealing with an undiscovered problem. I would appreciate any suggestions and insight.

Hi, Necia, migraines are unfortunately a common occurrence after brain surgery. You may wish to join the Migraines subgroup: http://www.bafsupport.org/group/aneursymandmigraines to read about others' experiences with migraines. The Mindfulness subgroup may provide some tips on coping: http://www.bafsupport.org/group/mindfullness-relaxation

Wishing you a pain-free day.

I used to worry everytime I got a headache, thinking it was another aneurysm. This will get better with time. I don't know which was worse, the headache or the anxiety wondering if there was a problem. I took up Yoga, it has been wonderful!

Hi Necia,

I'm sorry you are dealing with this! Unfortunately, my vascular neurologist confirmed that these headaches are part of the process post-brain surgery. My personal experience was that if I exposed my brain to too much stimulation or activity (simple as riding in a car, watching an emotional movie, or going to the grocery store, or God forbid combining two of those activities into one day), it lead to migraines. I suggest stepping back from several activities, even if they don't seem huge, and see if that helps. It was strange; I didn't have migraines for the longest time, and at the 8=9 month mark they popped up, and I think it was due to my activity levels.

Hi Necia, don’t give up hope. I was also clipped. Mine is on the right carotid artery.

I went through a two year period of daily migraines and can totally empathize with your situation. I started with my neurolgist and after unsuccessful treatment a year later asked for a referral to a headache specialist. I did everything prior to seeing the headache specialist, acupuncture, massage, diet modification and failed four different migraine medications.

The headache doc put me on Namenda XR and gabapentin. Bingo! It took six months and the daily headaches are gone. I still get migraines but they aren’t daily. I’m now looking at weaning off of the medication. I feel better now than I have in the five years since the clipping.

Be careful of the pain specialist, they don’t always look at the whole picture and just suggest medication.

Good luck!

I am going into my fifth month now and just started migraine medication but I’m not sure that is the real problem. The topamax does not seem to be working hopefully it just needs more time to kick in. I am also taking Tylenol with codeine. I only take 2 maybe 3 or 4 a day. But I have to fight tooth and nail to get it. I think the pain is coming from the plates and shunt in my head and I just pray that it goes away eventually. Maybe a support group for migraines is the way to go.

Nixon, I have a lot of headaches, and my doctors have been trying me on a lot of of different drugs to find the answer. Please make sure that the Tylenol is alright to take. I currently am taking topamax, but for some reason I am finding myself questioning the Tylenol. Many blessings!