Tag Archives: medications

A month on Vyvanse

I’m approaching my 30th day on Vyvanse to help treat my adult ADD.  The first couple of weeks I had some bad cluster headaches come through.  Dropping off the doxepin seemed like the dumbest thing I could have done.  Then I noticed a change – the cluster headaches started to dissipate.

I’m still feeling a shadow once in a while with some sinus drainage.  But then it seems the actual cluster never hits.  My pain has never been as bad as other cluster headache sufferers that I know but this was welcome relief.  I’ve only read of one other instance of Vyvanse helping a cluster headache sufferer online.  I’m going to keep an eye on this for sure.

Attention

I’ve noticed since I was young that I had a different way of experiencing the world. I see and feel everything around me and it’s hard to put into words how it is to not be able to focus at times. I had a process I followed in highschool that sort of worked but my grades weren’t as good as they could have been. College was easier as I was paying for it myself and going part time – the motivation was there to focus.

Work has always been a challenge but I’ve found ways to cope. I listen to music, turn off distractions, time box things. All of this was put into place without really having a name for what it was. I didn’t realize I had ADD. Maybe I had an idea but I didn’t want to be one of those people on legalized meth.

I started at a new job in July of this year and I’m working out of my house. I really like the job and I have a lot of great people on my team. I’ve noticed that my self-designed mechanisms I’ve used over time to keep productive didn’t quite work when I’m at home alone. I finally decided to talk to my doctor about it.

I was referred to a counselor and we talked about everything. It was pretty clear to her that my thoughts about me having ADD/ADHD was pretty dead on. I told her I don’t want to be on meds forever. I know how that is with the cluster headaches and didn’t want to add another one. I did say, however, that I want to see what it’s like having “normal” focus so I know what to work towards.

I’ve started on a low dose of Vyvanse and am starting a regimen of yoga, meditation and diet change. So far on day two I’m seeing a big change I’m focus. I took myself off of Doxepin to reduce interactions but I think I may have to go back on. Headaches came back with a vengeance.

More soon as this new adventure unfolds.

Progress

Two years have gone by since the last time I posted.  A lot has happened.

Testosterone therapy was abandoned shortly after my post in June 2011.  The results were fairly inconclusive and I couldn’t see spending close to $600/month for the medication.  Doxepin has been the golden hammer, from what I can tell.  I’m at 150mg/day at night and that seems to be a happy place for me.  I had MONTHS of no pain whatsoever.  I seem to be back on a cycle for the past 3-4 months but I’m at most getting 1-2 headaches a week of a fairly low level of pain.

It’s crazy to see that a cheap anti-depressant like Doxepin was the solution, at least for now.  My neurologist has been awesome, taking suggestions I’m finding from others online and using it for my condition.  The report from Diamond Headache Clinic seemed to help, even though I had felt it was useless.  It was that report that indicated a treatment regimen including Doxepin so we tried it and it works.

I’ve come to learn that everyone is so very different.  We all have so many variables with what we eat, breathe, and expose ourselves to every day.  It takes time and patience to find something that can help you, so stay strong.

Cycle Returned

So I’m now back at the point that I believe I will be visiting my neurologist and get put back on an antiseizure medication.  The frequency of my migraines is now at least 5 a week that require medication.  The other day I had a really strong attack of nausea and couldn’t attribute it to anything except a possible aura of sorts – so I took some NSAIDs and it eventually went away.  I’m contemplating Topamax again, simply because it worked, and because I see it now has a generic out there.  I need to call my insurance company to see if they cover it since their super duper website says it’s rejected and I’m supposed to have coverage on essentially all generics.

Down side is the “dope-a-max” effect that comes with the medication.  I also get tunnel vision episodes with the medication which is unnerving but tolerable.  Since I was a little child I’d get these tunnel vision episodes maybe 2-3 times a year at the most and usually only during falling asleep and as an adult sometimes when drinking alcohol.  This medication triggers is every day nearly and it honestly had my neurologist baffled.

Summer, School, Stuff

Been busy the past few weeks and really haven’t had much to blog about.  I’ve found that Twitter fills in my need to broadcast to the world more often than writing up a formal post.  Half the time I get through writing a post I realize I’ve been babbling and end up deleting it.

The migraines have been pretty consistent lately.  I get 1-2 attacks a week with most of them responding fairly quickly to over the counter medication.  I talked briefly with my neurologist this week and he said if OTC is doing the job, then we don’t have to look at going back on to anti-seizure medications any time soon.  I don’t take enough of the NSAIDs for them to be an issue with my liver at this point.  I’d like to be on a prophylactic medication but the side effects from the ones I have been on aren’t really ideal for me.  Topamax had such a positive effect on the migraines but making me turn into a stupid idiot was difficult to handle.

School has been going well over the summer.  I’ve been making headway on my iPhone migraine diary and may even have something out there by the end of summer.  I have to remember I’m not doing this to make money on the iTunes store, but rather get a good grade for my graduate Capstone project.  Rushing to get it out to the market isn’t what I would consider a good idea.  However, if I got real world users to help with the process along the way, that could make for a very good final presentation.  On a good note, my neurologist is totally on board with helping me with the application!

Summer is FINALLY here in Wisconsin and we’re having our first 90+ degree day.  Can’t say I’m thrilled for the heat and high humidity, but it’s nice to have the body clock reset after a really long winter.

Anthem, How I Dislike Thee

anthemIt’s about time I have another fight with my medical insurance company, Athem Blue Cross Blue Shield.  I received a letter from them at the end of December letting me know that my plan is no longer covering omeprazole (the generic of Prilosec) in 40mg doses.  I am taking the 20mg pills but had my doctor spend weeks getting them to authorize a quantity of two a day, bringing the total dose to 40mg.

I called Anthem today, finally, to discuss this change in my coverage and how it’ll affect me.  Using their handy [sarcasm – it sucks] drug coverage & pricing tool online, I won’t be covered.  Previous experience has shown me that this tool doesn’t take into account authorizations on file and relatively has a mind of its own.  It’s useless.  Anyway, I got a very pleasant customer service representative to understand my dilema.

Nexium works the best for me, but it costs $65 a month or more.  I’ve tried EVERYTHING else and nothing works except Prilosec or its generic in a higher dose.  Prilosec is chemically similar to Nexium and actually contains about 20% of the active material of Nexium.  Fun fact for the day.

omeprazole

The CS rep took the time to talk with a pharmacy specialist, placing me on hold for a good ten minutes.  She said that because my doctor has completed the prior authorization form and they approved it, they’ll cover the prescription.  My renewal for the pills comes up at the end of the month, so I’m crossing my fingers I won’t have WWIII to contend with.  In the end, I could ask my doctor for 90 days of samples, but since I have insurance I might as well make them pay for it.

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