That sounds rather sinister, doesn’t it? “Welcome… to my house of pain.” Not so, however. Namine simply had an appointment to discuss her headaches.

Namine has been complaining for quite some time of headaches. They are not so frequent as they used to be, but they still occur. Sometimes they’re merely tolerable; sometimes they’re so bad, she has no recourse but to lie down in a dark room or with an ice pack over her eyes.

Outside of a dark room, an ice pack over the eyes is best. Inside it's too dark to see.

The appointment itself was nothing more than a question-and-answer session with Jessica. They did some reflex tests on Namine and prescribed two different medications. Both are intended for an as-needed basis; one for minor headaches, the other for major ordeals. Now if only she’d tell us when a headache is coming on, and not when it’s already too much to bear. (I can’t really hold it against her, though; I’m much the same way.)

That was pretty much it for the appointment, though we did learn a couple interesting things.

Namine’s heart medicine is used to treat headaches.

Some time ago, Namine was switched from enalapril to lisinopril. Both are used to lower blood pressure, which is crucial for Namine as a post-Fontan heart patient. The interesting thing is that one of the known side effects of lisinopril is that it can reduce headaches. In fact, according to the doctor, sometimes lisinopril is prescribed for headaches. This easily explains why Namine’s headaches have not been as bad or as frequent as they have been in the past.

Imitrex is bad for heart patients.

Imitrex is a headache medicine, but the very first potential side effect it lists is heart attack. (I think I’ll keep my headache and not play medicinal Russian roulette, thank you very much.) So the doctor informed us that he is not, nor will he ever, giving Namine a prescription for Imitrex.

The doctor was very clear about it because he wanted us to know, so we could be certain that no other doctor would try prescribing it to her, either. I really appreciated the concern not only about Namine’s current needs, but her future ones (for example, when she’s moved on to different doctors).

So what now?

Beats me. The result of the appointment was basically “we don’t know why Namine has headaches, here are some drugs.”

Speaking from experience, migraines suck. If Namine is prone to migraines like I am, then it’s just something she’ll have to deal with. It’s good that she seems to be having them less, but we’ll just have to keep monitoring her and encouraging her to tell us when she gets them.


  1. Headaches suck so much. Thanks for the Imitrex note, it’s so hard not to glaze over the side effects list.

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