On-Line Migraine Journal

The on-line migraine journal is intended to be an area for migraine sufferers to post their migraine histories and experiences.

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Please note: Posts are not automatically added to this journal. If you desire a prompt posting/response time, please use this site's discussion forum. Also, please try to use the discussion forum for question/response types of entries. The journal is intended to be a place to accumulate experiences and information, which can be used as a reference to those who wish to learn more about what it is like to be a migraine sufferer. Thanks!

To those of you who have posted recently regarding pregnancy and migraines:
Here is my experience:
I now have a 9 1/2 month old son. I am 30 yrs old and have suffered from migraines for about 10 years or so. I usually get 0-5 migraines per month and would just treat it right away with 4 capsules of Fiorinal with Codeine (although I am building up more and more tolerance to the drug). That usually helps. I, too, was worried about becoming pregnant and not being able to treat my headaches. I do notice that my migraines do somewhat coincide with my period, so I was hoping I would be one of those lucky ones that has their headaches reduced while they are pregnant. Turns out I was lucky. I still got occasional headaches, but they were more normal tension headaches than throbbing migraines.
But, after Colby was born the headaches returned again. I was breastfeeding and again worried about exposing my son to anything harmful to him. Most doctors seem to take the safe road and just tell you not to take anything and that you should suffer. But I did a lot of research on my own, and came to the conclusion that if I started taking my fiorinal again, it wouldn't hurt him. As far as I learned, very little, if any, of the drug actually gets into your breastmilk. And even then I thought, I tiny tiny bit of the drugs isn't going to hurt my son, and he's better off if I am not in pain. So I breastfed for 8 months and took the drugs whenever I was in pain. The good thing was that since I didn't take the fiorinal for 9 months while I was pregnant, my tolerance had waned and I was able to take 1-2 for the first few months instead of the usual 4. I'm back up to 4 pills. I'm scared to try any other painkillers cuz the chances of addiction seem so high. Then again, I think about how I've never gotten addicted to the codeine and phenolbarbital, and that I might be OK with Vicodin or Percodan or Darvon. I don't know.
I am lucky now that when I do get a migraine, my husband is a stay-at-home dad and the primary caregiver, and that gives me the ability to go lock myself in a dark room and sleep when a migraine attacks. It would be hard to have to take care of a baby while in pain!
Anyway, hope this helps...

Crystal Harris <cjharrispretzer@yahoo.com>
Saturday, August 16, 2003 at 12:41:14

Hi. My name is Kim Oberholtzer and I have suffered from migraine headaches since age 15, complete with "flashing lights," nausea, light sensitivity, etc. I am now 48 years old. Like most of you, I've tried every medication known to man, had CT Scans, MRI's, EEG's, "Pain Management," even Botox injections, all with poor results. In September 2002, my dentist saw something unusual on my xrays and referred me to an oral surgeon. I was diagnosed with jaw bone necrosis (dead bone). I had 11 molars extracted and my jaw bones scraped clean in one sitting, with only novacaine. I tell you this so you'll think I'm as tough as John Wayne! Ha! Biopsies revealed dead and infected bone tissue and mercury in my bone marrow. After my jaw surgery, I had a long period of recovery, and took some powerful pain medication. After about two months, I was off the pain medication and noticed that I was not getting migraine headaches anymore. It is now 10 months later and 80% of my headaches are gone. I still have my "menopause" headaches, and an occassional mild, right-eye migraine-type headache. I'm not suggesting that anyone go through such a drastic surgery. But never in my wildest dreams did I suspect that my migraines (as diagnosed by a neurologist) were related to my teeth and jaw bones. My oral surgeon never suggested it either. It was just an unexpected bonus of my surgery. By the way, before my surgery, I did not suffer from terrible jaw pain as you might expect. I did have some TMJ symptoms, and very sensitive teeth. But the majority of the pain manifested itself as headache pain - not jaw pain. In fact, my left jaw bone was worse, but my migraines were always right-sided. I just thought you might find this story interesting, for what it's worth. My prayers go out to all of you, my fellow sufferers. One final note, my oral surgeon is Dr. Wesley E. Shankland II, DDS of Columbus, Ohio. He is one of my favorite people. God bless you all.

Kim Oberholtzer <kimmatt@worldnet.att.net>
Saturday, August 16, 2003 at 06:19:30

I have been having super severe, daily headaches since April. It is now August. I thought it was something simple that would go away in a short time. I never expected to still be battling them. I have gone to numerous doctors - optomitrist, family doctors, PAs, dentist, and finally a neurologist. I have tried several medications, none of which have worked. I had an MRI (negative) and was tested for diabetes (negative). I have high blood pressure, but no one seems to connect the 2 things. I also have severe TMJ, which may or may not be the sole cause. I have no problem getting to sleep, cuz I'm always so tired. But I can never STAY asleep, and wake up from anything and everything. I then wake up feeling like I never slept at all. The headaches hit about 10am every day and last up until I go to bed at night. I made my family doctor put me on Paxil, but the dose is so low that it doesn't do much. I'm depressed all the time. I never go out or do anything, because I'm in pain so often. I don't want to go to work, because I sit at a computer all day and work in a high-stress environment. Getting to 5pm is hard enough, let alone working overtime or even trying to think straight at work in general. I use all of my sick time on doctor's appointments, so I never actually get to stay home and rest. I feel like I'm already bombarding my boss with appointments galore. I'm so upset to have people think "It's just a headache." They have no idea. "Just a headache"?!! I feel so low at times that I want to die. I just don't know what to do. Hopefully the new meds from my neurologist will help, but I most certainly can't afford them on a regular basis. Why doesn't insurance recognize this as a more serious issue??? I'm 25 yrs. old, by the way, and female. I have barely had a "bad" headache in my life. But now when the doctors ask me to rate the pain on a scale from 1-10, I laugh and want to say, "5 million!" I feel for all of you out there that are as trapped as I am. By the way...I'm moving in a week and a half to a new apartment, because the kids in my building or so loud that I want to kill them! I can't handle the sound! I'm also super sensitive to light. I notice this mostly while driving, because it's pretty much the only time I ever dare go "outside". Light, sound = pain!!

Stop the Pain
Thursday, August 14, 2003 at 11:21:18

I just found this site and wanted to tell you my story. I've dealt with migraines for most of my life. they started when I was about 8 and have continued. I'm blessed that I have been one of the sufferers that only deals with a migraine about 2 times a month. I've been through the round of drugs, natural remedys, chiropractic, and various tests (nothing helped other than a trip to the ER for a cocktail of shots and sleep). I finally figured out what was triggering my migraines and have (at least temporarily solved it) Florescent lighting at work was killing me. I have great coworkers, and everyone has agreed to use the lights on their cubicles instead of the overheads. I have been migraine free for about a year now. I hope this helps someone.

Erika Elliott <emelliott68@yahoo.com>
Thursday, August 14, 2003 at 09:24:15

I have had headaches since I was 18, I'm now 45 with 3 children and lovely wife. For years I self medicated myself with whatever I could find on the store shelves. For a while I'd find something that worked, but my body would soon override it and I'd be right back to the start. Several yearsd ago my wife developed neck probelsm due to degrading bones. The doctor put her on some pain med and she was fine. I decided to try that angle and since then I've been on so many meds I fill like a drug store. I'm very sensitive to certain meds so it been a hard road for the doctor to fiond something that works. In all of this I became very very depressed to the point of wondering why I'm still breathing. I go to sleep with the haedache, wait up with them and have them most of the day. It really bums. The meds I take dull the pain but also make me tied, anxious and sometimes moody. They have perform X-rays, MRI, CAT, sleep tests.. you name it and there is no sign of the sort of the pain. Right now I'm taking lexipro for the depression, Norco, oxycodone and midrin for the headaches.
I've seen people on this site talked about injections. Can someone be kind enough to send me more info about this.
One last thing, thought this may offend, I prayer alot when these monster come on and that seems to at least make them bearable.
My 10 year old son has started to complain of headaches more frequently. I hope a solution is found soon.
What I hate most is that if I want to life I have to take the meds, but the meds change who I am. I can see that over the 10 years I've had my son I've slowly gone downhill in what we do together for fun. I'm sort of like a bystander now. The children play and I watch.
Thank You for this site.

Patrick Lyder <plyder@spoon.com>
Wednesday, August 13, 2003 at 11:47:41

I gotta tell you, I'm almost scared to say this in fear on jinxing myself, but I think something is working to get my migraines under control. I'm not sure what it is. I had my first set of Botox injections in June and am taking the following meds or supplements: Zonegran 200 mg daily, Toprol XL 100 mg daily, Aspirin 81 mg, MigreLief (combination Riboflavin, Feverfew, and Magnesium here's a link for more info:http://www.quantumhealth.com/productgroups/migraine_ingredients.asp), Calcium, and then I take usually Imitrex injection or pills or Relpax for the migraine headache when I feel one coming one and knock on wood, they go away. I'm not migraine free, but I'm not suffering like I used to. That's a major relief from just a couple of months ago. I have come to grips with the fact that I will never have a period in my life that I will be completely migraine free -- I just don't see that as being possible. But this isn't too bad, either. How's everyone else doing? I'm sorry I haven't e-mailed back -- I'm getting married on September 5th and that's a migraine in itself. There is so much to do and so little time. He's a great guy, though. I'm excited. Wish me Luck!!

Cynthia <cynalyn@aol.com>
Friday, August 8, 2003 at 11:47:36

Hi, I've been having migraines since I was 13 yrs old and my first menstruation. For years I was given different medication to ease the pain. Every neurologist I went to never bother to find out what was causing my migraines until I went to a neurologist who has a "headache clinic" several years ago. After keeping a diary it was noted that my migrain attacks were always around my mentrual cycle but only if specific foods or drinks or situation provoke it. In other words, any other time of the month I was ok with the same foods, etc. My headaches are due to lowering of serotinin and Imitrex has always help me in functioning almost normal if I take it at the first sign. Now that I'm in my menopause my symptoms have change due to irregular periods. Last week I experience for the first time (and I hope last) an episode of involuntary movements of hands and feet which lasted more than an hour until I was taken to the hospital. My period came 2 days later. I have another evaluation with my neurologist coming up and I'm hoping that my migraines will finally dissapear with my menstruation.

Maria <lunayena2000@yahoo.com>
Wednesday, August 6, 2003 at 18:49:11

I have been suffering with migraines ever since I could remember. Sad to see my girls experiencing the same thing. I am going to try and get into a migraine study with Dr. Guyuron in Cleveland, Ohio. He is looking for 90 patients and I hope to be one. Check out info on him as he seems to have come up with a treatment for migraines. Wish me luck and I will keep you informed.

Jackie <odesa31@aol.com>
Tuesday, August 5, 2003 at 07:16:59

Hi, I'm new to this site. Kind of new on this darn thing to. I have had severe migraines most of my adult life, having more of them as I get older I take Imitrex and it works most of the time
The problem is, I moved from Eastern Oregon to Las Vegas N.V. and the migraines have increased, to almost daily. When the Imitrex doesn't work, then I'm down for 24 to 48 hours puking.
I am just wondering if there is anyone else here in Nevada that has had their migraines increase when they moved here. I can't figure out why, and maybe it has nothing to do with it.
I am on Paxil but it doesn't seem to be helping now. At least with migraines or the amount of them. They are not more severe, just more of them.
Any ideas? Thanks Sherry

Sherry <sherjim@ttlv.net>
Saturday, August 2, 2003 at 12:21:20

Well I am Nicole Hughes. I am 21 years old and I have had migraines for 13 years now. no one has been able to found out what is wrong they just keep putting me on meds and after being on something for a few weeks my body start to get used to the meds. i ahve been on everything out there. my migraines are mess up my life i am about to get married and i want kids but the way my magraines are i am not sure that i will be able to take care of them. well if any one out there know what i am going through email me. thanks

Nicole Hueghes <lovebee11@yahoo.com>
Saturday, August 2, 2003 at 03:27:07

These past few days have been pretty good. In the span of a few days I managed to find a headache clinic at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Med Center in Hanover, not even an hour from my front door. And the next best thign is being able to get an appointment with the clinic. The appointment isn't until October 30 but hopefully someone will cancel thier appointment and I can get in sooner than October. But I shouldn't complain. At least I have an appointment and will be seen when my appointment comes.

Shannon <shannonduke@adelphia.net>
Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 20:26:53

Hi Tamberly,
I'm sure you know this, but you should really speak to your neurologist and obstetrician/gynocologist about pregnancy and migraines. But, I too am a migraine sufferer, mid thirties, and considering pregnancy. I also take Imitrex (shots), Zomig, etc.. I do understand that Imitrex should not be taken, nor should Zomig. In fact I believe Imitrex can even cause contractions. I just copy & pasted the following for my own reference from a website about 1 minute before I found your posting, so I'll paste it below for you too. It was a Q&A from another migraine sufferer to a doctor. It's pretty helpful. I didn't know for instance you're not even supposed to take aspirin in your 3rd trimester! Yikes. What will I do? Anyway, Here it is. Good luck. :

Q:"I am 13 weeks pregnant and suffer from severe migraines. My physician prescribed both Imitrex and Phrenilin, but due to their category "C" rating, I am afraid to take them. Are there any truly safe medications that I can take for migraines during pregnancy? If so can they be taken for the entire pregnancy or must they be discontinued before the third trimester?

Harold J. DeMonaco, M.S., is senior analyst, Innovative Diagnostics and Therapeutics, and the chair of the Human Research Committee at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He is author of over 20 publications in the pharmacy and medical literature and routinely reviews manuscript submissions for eight medical journals.

October 31, 2001

A small number of women seem to have a bigger problem with migraine during pregnancy. For most women, pregnancy actually reduces the incidence of migraine attacks. The best approach to the management of migraine is prevention by avoiding potential triggers. Although it is sometimes very difficult to identify the trigger or triggers for an individual person's migraine attacks, there are some relatively commons precipitants. These include:

Oral contraceptives and hormone-replacement therapy
Caffeine and caffeine withdrawal
Stress or release from stress
Too little or too much sleep
Change in weather
Head injury
Bright lights
Loud noises
Smoke and strong scents
Foods, including:
Aged cheeses
Cured and processed meats that contain nitrites
Dairy products
Products containing monosodium glutamate or aspartame
Citrus fruits
Most headache experts will try to have the patient find out which of these are triggers using a "headache diary."

If avoiding triggers doesn't work, drug therapy may be needed. Drugs are used either to treat the headache once it occurs or to prevent the headache from occurring. There is really no truly "safe" drug. All drugs have some liabilities. The benefit of the drug should exceed the risks for the drug to be of value.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration categorizes drugs according to risk of producing harm during pregnancy. Here are the risk categories:

A � Controlled studies in women fail to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester, and the possibility of fetal harm appears remote. (This means there is very low or no risk.)
B � Animal studies do not indicate a risk to the fetus, and there are no controlled human studies. Or, animal studies show an adverse effect on the fetus, but well-controlled studies in pregnant women have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus. (Probably safe but less so than Category A.)
C � Studies have shown that the drug exerts animal teratogenic or embryocidal effects, but there are no controlled studies in women. Or, no studies are available in either animals or women. (This means there is some evidence in animal studies of a risk of loss of pregnancy or birth defects but no good information in women.)
D � Positive evidence of human fetal risk exists, but benefits in certain situations (for example, life-threatening situations or serious diseases for which safer drugs cannot be used or are ineffective) may make use of the drug acceptable despite its risks. (This means there is strong evidence of a risk of loss of pregnancy or birth defects that must be balanced against the value of treatment.)
X � Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities or evidence of fetal risk, and the risk clearly outweighs any possible benefit. (This means there is strong evidence of a risk of loss of pregnancy or birth defects without any corresponding benefit to use.)
Many of the drugs used to treat and prevent migraine are listed as Category C drugs and should be avoided when possible. When they are used, however, the lowest effective dose for the shortest period of time possible seems like a reasonable approach.

Acetaminophen (sold under the brand name Tylenol and others) and codeine can be used safely throughout pregnancy. Aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin and others) and naproxen (Aleve and others) should not be used during the third trimester. The use of NSAIDs earlier in pregnancy should be directed by your obstetrician. In several cases, some experts will use diphenhydramine (Benadryl and others) or chlorpromazine (Thorazine and others) by injection. Ergotamine and the triptans (such as Imitrex and others) should be avoided because they may cause blood-vessel constriction, and ergotamine can produce uterine contractions. Prednisone and other corticosteroids have been used to treat attacks in more severe cases.

Propranolol and amitriptyline have been used to prevent migraine attacks in pregnancy, but they are reserved only for migraines that are frequent and unbearable.


cp <info@cprdesigns.com>
Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 16:12:26

Hello fellow migraine sufferers. Since finding this site I have read the new entries as often as I can. For those people in a never ending cylce of migraine I have found that 7-10 days of steroids helps the blood vessels and gets rid of the daily migraine. My migraines have not gotten any better, I have then almost daily, and I am worried about becoming pregnant. I was told to go lie in a dark room when a migraine comes on - ARE YOU KIDDING! I can't sleep with the severe pain, vomit, cry - which makes my migraines worse, and wish I could just die! I take imitrex, zomig, relpax(the newest drug), tylenol #3, vicodin(which no longer works), and a couple of other drugs. I have been to the hospital several times and even the demeral doesn't stop the pain. It only makes me dopey enough so that I can fall asleep. I am 32 years old and have had migraines since age 8. I have written once before and am desperate for any advice anyone can give me about migraines and pregnancy. I know you are not supposed to take any drugs, but I don't think that is realistic for me. I can't imagine 9 months of pain or the anxiety that the pain may be just around the corner. PLEASE HELP!

Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 11:37:09

Well, I am so thankful for the on-line journal when I am in a pain-wracked state like this morning. I've been living in the night again, stayin up till about 5 AM on average. Well, it feels like I've a claw on the left side of my head, all around the temple area tonight. I just got myself a piano, so maybe that will help me (music therapy). Here are a few of the options I am presently exploring after two years of daily severe pain, and 26 years of constant pain (variable). Firstly, the magnesium infusions, then the nerve blocks, possibly a hospitalization where I will receive intravenous DHE for a couple weeks, and a two week stint on steroids ( supposedly this works in a large percentage of patients). Anyway, those are my options, not necessarily in that order. I'd appreciate hearing from any of you who have had any of the foregoing treatments. Well, take care all of you fellow head cases out there in E-land.

Bless yo',


Francesco <Rigogatto@aol.com>
Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 04:27:10

Despite my migraine tonight Iam one happy camper. I have found a neurologist who deals with migraines in his practice. I am goin gto be calling his office tomorrow and hopefully get an appointment before September. Hopefully he will be accepting new patients and accepts my medical insurance that is provided by the state. I will keep my fingers crossed.

Shannon <shannonduke@adelphia.net>
Monday, July 28, 2003 at 20:13:40

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