Migraines and Facial Swelling?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hi all. Last I knew, facial swelling could show problems when combined with migraines. When I first started having that I ended up with an MRI, Xrays, all sorts of tests, etc.....

    Jess has had some amazing facial swelling with her migraines. She is on day 4 of this migraine. She is drinking lots of water (at least when I see her she is), eating well, avoiding triggers, and just seems to be having real problems with this.

    We ARE going to the doctor today to see about the migraines. She can't take imitrex, and you can only take 5 midrin in a WEEK. They help for an hour or three, but then stop working. I am going to ask the doctor what we can do for prevention.

    I am hoping to get an AFTERNOON appointment so that I have time to get some answers from her neuro. He is great, but won't be able to get us in for quite a while (usually is booked several months out - but worth the wait). I just want to know if a preventative would cause problems for her.

    Anyone have experience with the facial swelling/migraine combo in a child?


  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Susie, has she had a cold/allergies/nasal congestion or a cough within the last 10 days or so?
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Susie, I agree with-smallworld, it could have been a sinus issue that triggered the migraine. I often get it where it settles in one eye. Arrgh.

    Why no Imitrex?

    Best of luck.
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Kids are generally not given Imitrex. My son has been rxed Zomig or Maxalt at different times for migraine pain. But he has been taking the preventive Propranolol for 5 years (adjusted doses up over time) and doing great.
  5. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    DAY 4??? I may be wrong, but this sounds like cluster headaches, not just a migraine. My dad has those. He's had them for years, but semi-cured himself one day. He started getting his typical symptoms of a migraine, but he felt like a cold coming on as well, so he took some Comtrex and sprayed his nose with Afrin. For some reason, this stopped his headache from coming on. Now if he does this when it comes on, the headaches are usually just a headache and then die off, not becoming a cluster or migraine. It'd be worth a try. Apparently, there have been some studies on this and it does work for some people.
  6. Jena

    Jena New Member


    In the past when I had headaches Id get some facial swelling especially around my eyes. Now what everyone else wrote holds true also. the facial swelling and migraine could of been set off by a very bad sinus infection. Ask her to bend over, when she does ask her if she feels extreme pressure on her nose, and forehead area? ok your going to doctor but sinus can do that as well.

    i'm sorry to hear that, i wasn't on boards much this weekend. good luck at dr.

  7. Just wondering Susie...
    Could this possibly be a dental problem?
    Sometime pain is "referred" to another area and dental problems can simmer for a long time.
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    I get facial swelling with my clusters - but I'm inclined to believe with a child that this sounds more like sinus.

    I think it's time for SERIOUS diet eliminations studies.....

    I can be having the day of my life - and recently found out that IF I have a McDonalds burger with cheese - the Cheese will give me an immediate migraine....like (snap) that.

    Dairy is often another trigger - (which what was I thinking with cheese) but only McD's cheese...

    Perfumes, deoderants, hairspray, carpet fresh, Febrese, Laundry detergent, fabric softener - ANIMALS.....espeically cats, some dogs, horses, are/were ALL huge allergy triggers which will and can lead to migraines.

    (did I tell you how happy I was when I finally got to use some scented deoderant?)

    I think I would get Jess 1st to an allergist - I took shots every day for 10 years - and I'm just able to live.....really.

  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Thanks to all. I called the dang pediatrician at 8:10 this am and was too LATE to get an appointment! So we went to the walk-in clinic. The doctor there said first that it was sinus, but then that there were no signs of sinus problems except the headache. Jess has had so many Xrays lately that they didn't want to do more, but pushing on the sinuses doesn't make it hurt worse, and no congestion shows up. Exam was totally normal, except for her head hurting.

    They did give her a shot of Toradol, which is pretty much what they do for migraines/cluster headaches there. The neuro Jess sees has said she has bilateral (both sides) migraines, so this problem is one. But no medication seems to be helping. I am hoping that sleeping today will help.

    We ahve seen an allergist (a very good one) and years of allergy shots did nothing, we are working on eliminations but it is a long, sloooooow process.

    The dentist has said everything is fine, but she is due for another checkup next month (early Nov).

    I think cluster headaches, but there isn't much that they can do with a child.

    They DID rx imitrex for her in hte past. All it did was make her barf, no relief from it. They suggested giving her treximet, but I don't think so. That is just imitrex and aleve in a combined pill.

    Anyway, thanks for all the great ideas/suggestions. I hate seeing her pretty face so swollen. I have a call in to the pediatrician neuro and to the allergist.

    Jess said that she is worried about school - when she IS there (and not home sick or injured) she feels like crap and it is hard to learn. I think if I could find an affordable online program we would switch to that. There IS a FREE one for high school in my state, but not for Jr High. I am going to ask the school nurse about homebound programs.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    So sorry, Susie. Poor thing.
    I hope the shot helps.

    FWIW, a few yrs ago, I went to a dr who was clueless about my headaches. She wanted to do an MRI brain scan on me to see if I had a brain tumor. Say what? I've had various headaches all my life. But she insisted on an MRI and on a CT scan.
    She was dead wrong. No brain tumor. (I thought the whole thing was a waste of time ... if it had been a tumor, I would have died from shock.)
    But the images did help. I took them to a specialist, who in less than 1 sec. flat, diagnosis'd a long-term, serious sinus infection. It was so obvious, even I could see it on the lightbox.
    You can't always tell by just palpating the eye and nose area.
    I took some antibiotics and Claritin and about 80% of my headaches went away.
    It doesn't sound like your pediatrician will want any imaging, since he seems convinced it's not sinus, so if you want to pursue that avenue, you may want to talk to the allergist.
  11. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I find many doctors are clueless about headaches, migraines and a related migraine called a cluster headache. Often, it is a multititude of things that contribute. I call it the "overflowing barrel theory." (by the way, I have been diagnosis'd with migraine with cluster features...OUCH!)
    That is why it is usually best to see a physician who either has them him or herself or has a special interest/speciality in them. Since it is rare for migraines to be a serious condition, many doctors don't take them seriously. However, if you have them (particularly regularly), you DO take them seriously. They stink....
    When I saw the title to your post, it reminded me that cluster headaches often have that swelling feature to them. You might want to google the word "cluster." I think it sometimes requires special treatment...possibly a nose spray as an abortive. Imitrex has been a life saver for me and I would crawl to the end of the world to get it. A small amount of Topamax might help to prevent them...not sure. It is VERY, big time painful and probably avoidance is KEY. Please read up on them.
    Lasted edited by : Oct 21, 2008
  12. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    My difficult child has never had facial swelling that I have noticed, but headaches that last a week are common.

    When they get to the point he cannot handel the pain it is a trip to ER. Last time they did an IV with...omg, my mind is blank. They mentioned Reglin, but went with....oh, it will come to me.

    Previously difficult child's neuro had him taking Topomax as a preventative, but didn't work.
    He is just beginning Lamictal again. Previously it was a three year thing. Off a year, starting back up. psychiatrist thinks Lamictal will help headaches too.

    Tordel...that's it. That is what was in the IV. Took it away completely. You can only handle so many days in pain like that. It has to be taken away, then look for preventative..in my opinion. The pain really takes a toll on you.
  13. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    My sister when she was around Jess' age used to get Clusters. VERY VERY bad debillitating ones. She said that her face would swell. Her's were so bad in fact that they led her to 2 suicide attempts to get out of the pain. She would literally lay on the floor and bang her head on the ground to try to eliminate the pressure. When she thought about slitting her wrists? It was ONLY to relieve the pounding and pressure - she too would be taken to the ER to get shots.

    I get crippling migraines on occasion and can't walk, talk, - I can hear, can't open my eyes and I get a cocktail of Morphine and some muscle relaxer it's wonderful -

    The only relief I get from migraines monthly is Relpax. I've tried everything else - but at $29 a pill WITH insurance - you find yourself picking and choosing WHICH headache is bad enough to swallow the spendy pill. It's sad because if I could have a few each month I could take them at the ONSET of (light fairys) and stop it all right then.

    I hope Jess finds some relief.....have you ever pushed on her head like compressed it while she's hurting? Sometimes that helps me.....

  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    She is still hurting and avoiding light today. Less swollen.

    Thanks for the link about cluster headaches, this sounds exactly like what she is going through.

    I am waiting for a call from the neuro to see if he will do something, and the pediatrician changed our appointment from today to tomorrow.

    We are doing our best to manage this with massage, hot rice packs, sleep, the medication already rx'd, and having very little luck.

    I have had some of these myself and totally understand how you want to commit suicide during one to get away from the pain. It stinks, but that is how it is.

    anyway, thank you all. I will keep you posted.
  15. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Go to the doctor, but if you don't get satisfaction...get to the ER. Sometimes an IV of a narcotic is needed to break the cycle. Sometimes neuros are best at prevention and not so ideal at crisis or abortive situations. ER's are better for the crisis/big time pain that just wont abate. It might require Dilaudid or Morphine. Even more than one shot. Something for the tummy will be needed as well. If you go to the ER...sill make sure you see a regular doctor or neuro too and do all the good things for prevention. I have found that this stuff takes a multi discplined approach. Good luck!

    Good website

    Recommended doctors
    Lasted edited by : Oct 21, 2008