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Severe Throbbing Headache and Blood Pressure

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    Severe Throbbing Headache and Blood Pressure

    I am an individual with a C2-C6 injury (incomplete Asia B).

    Yesterday, I had gone out with some friends. During that time I had a whole Pepsi and a coffee. I very rarely take caffeine and this time I clearly had way too much, more than I have ever had before (I know I should have known better and taken care against this). Couple this with the fact that my bladder did not automatically void when filled (normally I have no problem voiding reflexively).

    During this whole fiasco I had to wait until I reached back to my place an hour and 1/2 later to do CIC.

    When my family moved me to the bed to do CIC I got a severe headache that was constantly throbbing. It was clearly because of suddenly changing my posture when my blood pressure was very high. However, I have never had one this bad and this severe ever before. I thought my head was going to pop.

    It did ease once my bladder was clear.

    However, since then I have had a faint headache constantly for the past two days. It tends to flair up every time I need to void. Normally, even though I would have AD it would usually only be sweating and increased pulse. It would take about 5 minutes to void.

    For the past two days even though voiding has otherwise been normal I have had the severe throbbing headache mixed with high blood pressure.

    For reference my blood pressure normally is around 90/60 or 90/70, but yesterday when I checked it was 100/80. Not something that seems ridiculously high, yet the headache persists.

    For reference I do not have any medication for blood pressure or AD.

    What should I do? Will this pass? Is there anything that I can do to speed up the recovery?

    Sounds like the two drinks you had coupled with a very full bladder caused the HA (and I’m assuming you got a BP at that time?) because it resolved after CIC
    sounds like an AD event
    your current BP is within normal limits
    are you having any bladder spasms that persist?
    if HA does not resolve you may want to check for UTI and get an UA and urine culture & sensitivity

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


      Thank you SCI-Nurse!

      After CIC the high blood pressure and sweating were resolved. However, since then I have had a constant mild headache. Every time I need to void or have some other AD trigger the headache becomes quite severe and begins to throb.

      I do not have any bladder spasms.

      I will check about a UTI. But it does seem kind of random considering that before this I did not have this persistent headache any point prior.


        About 10 months ago I got into a situation where I could not drain my bladder (CIC). I ended up having to hold it for about two hours with a severe headache. Things got immediately better when I did drain it but I had a continuing headache decreasing over several days. It did finally go away.


        • sriv
          sriv commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you for sharing! Did the headache spike whenever you had to relieve yourself?

          Hoping that this is temporary as well. It has never happened before.

        I had a minimal spike the evening after I got my relief and perhaps a very small amount the next day. For the most part the headache just gradually and consistently faded away.
        The other thing that happened, and this has happened before, is that after that very large overfilling, I went through several days of needing to drain my bladder at particularly small volumes. I believe the care cure nurse mentioned that overextending the bladder like that is expected to lead to that sort of trauma.


        • sriv
          sriv commented
          Editing a comment
          Yes, I do feel that the overextending with extremely high BP might have led to something similar.