Ugh. As those of you who regularly read my blog know, I've been having a bit of a problem with migraines recently. I've been trying not to dwell on it too much, and have been going to the local clinic to try and figure things out (between two and four migraines a week is just not fun!), but the new symptom that popped up last week really had me panicked.
A few days ago I was sitting downstairs holding Maggie when the right side of my face went completely numb. Paul was upstairs putting Sadie to bed, and she was having a tough time, and I sat there panicking, afraid that I was having a stroke and trying to remember if I'd ever heard of migraines causing numbness (these days weird symptoms have me thinking "migraine?").
While I was pretty determined to avoid taking medication originally, between the vertigo and lightheadedness and the numbness (and the skull crushing migraines themselves), I finally caved in and began taking propanolol today. Propanolol is usually a blood pressure medicine, but apparently it's also used for migraines because beta-blockers are supposed to work wonders on migraine sufferers. It was the only medicine that the pharmacist could come up with that was okay for someone who was breastfeeding, that wouldn't risk drying up my milk supply.
I was a little nervous about starting it. After all my blood pressure hoovers at around 96 over 58... so I wasn't sure that taking a medicine designed to lower it further was a great idea. I mean, even when I was in labor my blood pressure was that low (and I've noticed when it dips even a tiny bit lower than average I would get sick).
I took the first pill this morning. Within an hour I was feeling dizzy and lightheaded. Paul explained that when he picked the prescription up the pharmacist said there was a small chance I'd get lightheaded, but that that should go away with time. The pharmacist also said that it would take some time to build up to doing any sort of exercise. However, when the dizziness started I wasn't exercising. I was sitting in the car working on some needlework as Paul drove.
Hour two made my lips feel numb. By the afternoon I was nauseous, dizzy, and lightheaded, with numb lips (but hey, at least I didn't have a headache and my face wasn't numb!).
I decided to give it a few more days and see if there was any change. And then I sat down to write this blog post. I decided to google propranolol. As I read about it each site with drug information made a point of saying that this drug was not recommended for breastfeeding mothers and could harm infants.
So two things have me pretty upset right now. 1) Maggie was sick and colicky today, for the first time in her entire life. She's usually such a happy, laid back baby. Today she cried (huge, miserable tears) for most of the afternoon. I didn't even put two and two together and suspect the drug, because it was supposed to be "safe." I figured that her stomach was upset from being in the car for so long (we drove to a fair over by the coast with Nani and Grumpa). Long car rides used to make Sadie colicky, so that was the first thing that popped into my mind. And 2) Before writing this post and doing my research I took the second dose of the drug. And Maggie is going to be very hungry in a couple of hours...
Thus the decision to stop taking the propanolol is pretty easy. It made me feel pretty sick and there's a chance it made Maggie feel sick too. The second part of that sentence is enough for me to make the decision to tough out the headaches.
Besides, taking a drug that makes me feel sick all of the time, so that I don't have headaches half of the time, doesn't make a lot of sense... Hopefully these post-pregnancy hormones level off soon and I go back to once monthly migraines. Who knew that one or two migraines a month would ever feel like a nice number that I could easily deal with?