Q. My wife has been suffering from a new daily persistent headache since Jan. 1, 2008. At least, this is the latest diagnosis; she was first diagnosed with hemicrania continua. The headache began when she was washing dishes. Suddenly, she suffered a pain like an ice pick poking through her right eye. Since then, she has spent time in the hospital, undergone numerous CT scans and any other test you can imagine. She has also tried all of the traditional migraine medications and some not so standard. Basically, none of the doctors have known what to do.

Q: I have been having a mild-to-moderate throbbing pain above my ear that comes and goes. My eye bothers me, too. Two ibuprofens seem to lessen the throbbing. I do drink a lot of coffee with caffeine and am not sure if that’s a factor. I am only worried because I have never had headaches before. How can I be sure I don’t have a tumor or bleeding in the brain?

Can Lidocaine Patches Be Cut to Smaller Size?

Q. Though they help with my chronic headache pain, lidocaine patches can be cumbersome to apply. My local pharmacists are in disagreement: One says patches cannot be cut, but the other said I could cut my lidocaine patch to a size more suitable to my needs. Who is correct?