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!

I am writing from Italy and I wonder if anyone can explain to me how I can get rid of ergotamine. It is the only drug that stops my migraine attacks but I feel I am becoming addict to it.
Has anyone had my same problem?
Thanks a lot

Antonella Ivaldi <antonella.ivaldi@vodafoneomnitel.it>
Friday, October 11, 2002 at 05:51:16

Hey everyone! It has been awhile since I posted anything here, I am not sure why. I have been surviving intractable daily migraine for 4 years now and am no closer to a solution than I was at the begining. But, the main reason I wanted to post something was to warn people of an anti-depressant called Effexor XR. I was given this for the depression and it was great for about 6 weeks. Then, I got the sensation that I was going to go insane and it was all right. Well, a few days later it wasn't all right and I began to try to hurt myself really bad. I was punching walls and chewing on my fingers and pulling my hair.....you name it, I was most likely doing it. They wanted to admit me to the psych ward, but by the time the migraine overtook the urge to hurt myself anymore, they let me go home. I have found at least 3 other people who live near me who had the same thing happen to them. Please, if you are on this med, be careful and monitor the side effects. Also, if anyone has any information on intractable daily migraine, please forward it to me!!!! I have tried all meds, brain surgery...you name it and they have done it to me. I feel like a big ole pin cushion. Everyone stay as pain free as you can and know that we are not migraine sufferers....we are migraine survivors!!! We have to be to live through this kind of torture!!!! Everyone take care!!

Bonnie Allen <TheBelle1@aol.com>
Wednesday, October 9, 2002 at 14:23:31

Dear Ronda,
I have just read your article about your migraine.
Your history is almost identical to mine, ( except I'm male and dont have a bicycle ).
I started at the end if my 16th year with suicidal pain in my RIGHT eye - I always told people it was like a needle being pushed though my eyeball !!! The pain then spread to the whole of the right side of my brain.
I took tablets from the doctor, they didn't work. As you say, when I felt the pain start, I had to take paracetemol before it took hold. Then take them for 2 weeks to prevent it.
I worked it out, ( for myself in the eighties ), that once the pain starts - BIG TIME, your stomach stops working and it's too late to take any tablets. Then your brain tells your stomach to empty!!! (animal instinct - just in case you've eaten something bad)

I like Indian food and so bought a book on how to cook Indian food at home that tastes authentic. (read on this is not the cure)
I found in the book a receipt that I loved and started to make it regularly. It ment soaking the meat for two days in vinegar and spices - it tasted superb.
After two or three weeks I had uncontrolable migraine, which I thought would last forever or until I killed myself.
It wasn't easy to find the cause, ( I ate and drank many other things obviuosly ), but in the end I decided it was the vinegar.

I decided to cut all vinegar from my diet. I started to read the labels on everything.

I found that one manufactor put the most vinegar in the products and so stopped using them.

This was in 1990 and since, I don't suffer so often (once a year or two). I still get bouts of migraine, but they are few and far between. ( the bad news is that they are worse!!!. They last two weeks during which I cannot drink any alochol (it's brewed, the same as vinegar))

I put these bout down to foods I have no control over ie. restaurant etc.

This was MY SOLUTION (I keep away from vinegar) and MIGHT NOT BE APPLICABLE TO YOU. But you must think, it might well be an allegy to some other food!

Good luck and regards,


Please enter your name. :-)Ian <iankeith.greaves@virgin.net>
Tuesday, October 8, 2002 at 16:03:44

Hi everybody,
Let's not be disillusioned here, we all have different types of migraines, they are all triggered by different things. What seems to keep me going between attacks is Coenzyme Q10, which acts on the vascular system, so maybe that may be part of what my problem is. I'll tell you what, my boyfriend has not complained about my cold feet in bed since I've been on them! So they definitely help the blood circulation...
When my migraine does hit, I have 50 mg of promethazine IV and 10 mg of Diazepam (Valium) IM. This makes me act like a drunken sailor until I pass out, then 8 - 10 hours later, I wake up absolutely fine....
Also, when it comes to alcohol my doctor advised me years ago to 'never drink any alcohol you can't see through' ie. rum, bourbon etc. When I do have the occasional tipple I stick strictly to vodka and grapefruit juice - I have no problems on that. I stay away from all wines, except the odd Marilyn Monroe inspired Piper Champagne.
All I'm trying to say is that sure we get migraines, but I REFUSE to say I SUFFER from migraines. I am not a sufferer, I get migraines, and I will not let them rule my life, but when I do get them, I don't get all upset, I just 'ride it out'.

Emma <emmaleahnorris@yahoo.com.au>
Tuesday, October 8, 2002 at 06:42:03

At times they would advance slowly. I came to recognize the signs decades ago. Occasionally I awoke from a nightmare fully consumed in agony. Please God, I preferred the nightmare. Always, they were in control. On occasion, the warnings afforded time to prepare....leave work, go home, cancel plans and wait for the inevitable.

Other times.....too many other times, I was powerless as the universe shrank to the pain in my head. The pain in my head expanded to fill the universe. No facet of my life was spared from disruption by the violent pain. I missed two of my own birthday parties, business meetings, Christmases, vacations. Life was measured as time between headaches. That time was shrinking.

I knew some of the triggers...not nearly all of them. Red wine, Chinese food (sometimes, not always), over heating, overly hungry. I started to think that just looking forward to enjoying plans was enough to trigger a headache. That would explain why so many anticipated good times were axed just before they happened. Yes.....and no.

Ergotamines, massage, meditation, yoga, hot showers, cool showers, psychotherapy, exercise, careful diet, muscle relaxants, OTC pain relievers, prescription narcotics and barbiturates and many more. All worked at least once, many worked often to reverse, reduce or prevent my headaches. None were cures.

When my consumption of Fiorinal #3 began to routinely exceed 60 capsules in 45 days, I insisted my internist refer me to a neurologist. As a professional in a medical field involving therapeutic and abused drugs, I knew the addictive potential of both codeine and butalbital. My consumption was increasing, as was the number and duration of my headaches. Without the "help" of Fiorinal, I would have preferred death. With ever-increasing "help" from Fiorinal I was sure to get my preference one day. I have taken six capsules in the space of two hours may times trying to chase the pain away. Chasing it from a level of 10 (absolute worst) to an 8 with six Fiorinal in two hours is a formula for disaster. There HAD to be another route!

At the age of 46 I found my other route. The neurologist to whom I was referred listened to my story. He asked questions as though he had inside personal information about my life patterns. He sat back in his chair, his look said "I've heard this story before." His words said exactly the same.

"You are describing the classic migraine.", he said. He went on to say many things which added up to an epiphany for me. I'd always had other docs tell me I had too much tension, stress on the job, type A reactions, etc. Here's what I discovered that day and what has transpired in the six years since then.

Everything I now know about migraines I had already experienced personally hundred of times. The spiraling cycle of Fiorinal and migraines was common. I was having rebound migraines, often worse when the drugs tapered off than they were initially. The "uncanny" association of my headaches with weekends and vacation plans was also common. Migraines often hit after the stress has subsided. When the work week is winding down and the problems have been handled...the migraine is just beginning it's windup pitch.

Food associations were even more clear....and just as common. High tannin wines, cheeses, MSG (some restaurants use it, some don't), dark alcohols, chocolate....all were the time-honored culprits. Auditory perturbations, visual disturbances, strange tastes, dark rooms and cool cloths on the head.....I had experienced nothing new. I had discovered nothing new.

The neuro doc explained that the arsenal available in medicine to combat migraine was quite remarkable and continuing to expand. He gave me a range of options. I chose the smallest arrow in the arsenal's quiver, inderal (propranalol). Hell, I could always go for the bigger guns later. Besides my blood pressure was slightly high anyway so killing two birds with one stone seemed like a great idea.

I wish everyone could experience the unbelievable as I did. I took the prescription for inderal to my pharmacy and promptly forgot to pick it for the next several days. I was laid out flat by a migraine that weekend. My spouse picked up the meds for me and insisted I begin the regimen THEN, not wait until the migraine was over in a few days. I did so....and that was the last full-blown migraine I've suffered through since.

It literally took months for us to get used to NOT having weekends and/or plans ruined by my headaches. From 18 to 46 the headaches grew in ferocity, frequency and duration. I began inderal at 46 and they stopped...period. I've had to adjust the dosage of inderal for more reliable efficacy and I've had a few nasty headaches. Compared to a migraine, those few headaches have been strictly minor league.

I'm hopeful that inderal will continue to prevent migraines for the remainder of my life. If not, I'll take it straight to another neurologist who specializes in the field. I've read dozens of postings here tonight. Many levels of experience are represented...and presented in a variety of tones, urgent, compelling, frustrated, frantic, resigned, hopeful...one letter strongly suggests the author has become addicted to pain relievers. With the support of my physician I would choose addiction over the ravages of migraines if it was my only alternative. I am grateful that in my case it was not.

I don't offer my experiences here as anything but unique to me. The neuro doc told me that some migraine cases were intractable, but most could be helped significantly with today's advances. I hope each of you finds a way to see migraines as in your past. I hope mine remain at bay. I am not "cured", they are just shut out by a simple and effective (for me) drug. For now.....

Good luck and much success to all.

Michael <Daddymike@attbi.com>
Monday, October 7, 2002 at 01:50:36

I to suffer from migraines. I started taking topamax nearly 2 years ago. Each time my headches would come back my doctor would add more until now I'm up too 100mg twice a day.Mine have been under control until now .I've had migraines for 8days now . This is the worst that I've had since I've been taking topamax.So if you have tried everthing else try it. It worked for me until now. But I'm not giving up hope or the topamax .
But anyone out there has any advice on how to control these migraines I could use it because when I get one It may stay for a month and no kind of med.
helps and if the topamax quits I don't know what I will do. So if you have any advice
email me.

sand <sassy_mom32@yahoo.com>
Sunday, October 6, 2002 at 11:13:53

Hi everyone! I have had migraines since my first child was born and suffered for years with them before seeking help.
I tried Midrin first and it made me so tired I couldnt function so the Doctor working with me suggested Esgic-Plus.
You can take this when you feel a migraine coming on or in the middle of one and with in 20 mins you feel relief from the pain, I very rarely have to take this med more than once to get over the headache and it doesnt make you so tired you cant work, I take it at work if necessary and finish my day.
If you havent found something that works for you try this and if you found something that does work I would love to hear from ppl who have other remedies to help. Julie

julie <cgoodnow@yahoo.com>
Saturday, October 5, 2002 at 22:16:13

I found this site looking for something, anything to help me through this last headache. I started having severe migraines after I started my period when I was 16 or so. I am 30 now. They did not seem to bother me very often until I was poisoned with Carbon Monoxide from an old apartment I lived in a few years ago. Now it is a weekly occurance. Severity is relative now, A headache that use to keep me in bed which is a light one I now go to work or school, and what I call a bad one really knocks me out. Today I had a scare, a headache like I have never had. The kind all over your head. I thought I was going to go crazy. It did not hurt as badly as the ones over my right eye (it blows me away to read how many think this is their worst one too!) but it was so scary not to want to talk or see even a tiny bit of light. I also felt a bit dizzy and nauseated of course.
I have cut out caffine entirely, quit smoking, and I also have read that preservatives and diet everything, asparatame - nutrasweet additives could also be the triggers of headaches. Still, the headaches keep coming! So, I have also been on every birth control substance. I am ready to try Miracette I have heard good results with that. I have only been on one narcotic - Fiorinal. It worked okay, but I personally I can't stand the drugged feeling. I am trying Yoga and meditation exercises to get relaxed enough to sleep. And like another post said - I have held my head, cried, and prayed to God to please take the pain away - MANY times. And many times my prayers have been answered. Thank you - all of you who are willing to share your experiences. It really helped tonight.

Rebekah Sperbeck <rkarcangel@yahoo.com>
Saturday, October 5, 2002 at 20:59:37

i've had migraines as long as i can remember. my mom says when i was six or seven, i was c/o headaches. i'm 31 now. they are generally on the left side of my head, they start behind my eye and travel to the back of my head. i have nausea associated with them, photophobia, loud noises bother me also. i'm a nurse, and i have two small children, so it's not like i can go hide in a dark room. unfortunately life has to go on. right now i'm taking zomig. i'm not sure what i think yet. i've taken three today, and i still have a headache. it's not bad, but it hasn't gone away. i'm still upright, so that's always a plus. wouldn't wish this on anyone. my record is two weeks, generally my headaches last three days. the only time i didn't get migraines were during pregnancy. i keep hoping that menopause will stop them. oh well, only have to wait fifteen to twenty years to find out.

tracey <tranurse@yahoo.com>
Friday, October 4, 2002 at 17:57:06

Hi, guys! I have come to the journal site before to suggest to you guys that you join us at the forum. The forum is designed to share information and, believe you me, those folks have some good information! The journal is for you to share your story but the forum is for interacting with one another as is the chat room. Please come and join us at the forum! Wendy (winrat)

Wendy Powers <winrat@bellsouth.net>
Friday, October 4, 2002 at 15:23:39

Hello, I have had migraines for 5 years now, I am 33 years old and just here recently I have had this migraine now for 5 days. The pain is so unbearable! I have been to the Dr. two days in a row now, the first time he gave me a shot of imitrex, which did nothing for me and then he sent me home with Frova, a new medication for migraines. The Frova didn't even touch the pain, I went back the next day, he gave me another medication of Maxalt-MLT and it didn't help me either. I am so desparate!

It has effected my job, I have not been able to work 40 this week and when I get home, I am not worth anything, all I can do is lay down and be still. I am worn out physically and emotionally and I have a daughter to take care of. I am frustrated. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.


Sherry <sherrylynn96@hotmail.com>
Thursday, October 3, 2002 at 10:37:24

I haven't logged in for awhile and it has been reassuring reading all of your entries about drugs & therapies you've tried that aren't working for you either.
I've come to the conclusion that migraines caused by The Migraine Goddess, kind of like volcanoes are caused by the goddess Pele. The people at work have gotten to know me well enough so that when I tell them that the Migraine Goddess is mad at me again, they know it's a headache and not a psychotic breakdown of some sort.
So now, since medical science doesn't seem to have the answer, I think I'll start looking for a good shaman or exorcist.
(Gotta keep a sense of humor about these things, sometimes.)
--By the way, how to those Hawaiians keep Pele in a good mood...?--

Marilyn <Marilyn.jess@pressenter.com>
Tuesday, October 1, 2002 at 17:00:22

HI everyone!

I am pretty new to this page. I thought maybe my experiences would be helpful to many of you. I've been suffering from migraines (classic-diagnosed), but cluster on and off for at least 10 years. I have taken: 1) Maxalt, 2) Cafergot, 3) Imitrex, Beta-blocker: Propranolol, Excedrin, Motrin, Aspirn, etc. None of them did anything. I've even been given a shot of some painkiller and it did nothing whatsoever. I have been getting them at least 3 or 4 times a month for the past year and I also suffer from anxiety disorder. I've been on several different anti-depressants, but I've had the least side effects with Prozac.

Lately, I realized that there may be a possible positive correlation between Prozac and migraines. I weaned myself off of Prozac and had severe anxiety and depression and it was very, very rough, but alas, I did not suffer a migraine attack for the entire month. I was so emotionally down that it was very scary, but I did not suffer from a migraine headache. This was after suffering from at least 3 or 4 to maybe 6 or 7 a month. So, I started getting so down and panicky that I got back on the Prozac and believe it or not, the headaches returned big time. At the time of this writing, I am suffering from one of my top 10 worst migraines ever. It is about a 9 out of 10. The only thing that works is Vicodin. Usually, I need at least 2, but it wipes me out pretty much.

I've been trying to research migraines for a long time and one of my books mentions that Prozac and some other SSRIs that serotonin (5-HT) is synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan. And, serotonin is stimulated by foods that contain tryptophan, tyramine (in chocolate, etc), and tyrsine. So, I believe that the headache may be a symptom of serotonin syndrome and I believe that a reduction in Prozac or switching to a different anti-depressant may do the trick. Also, beware of mixing Prozac and Imitrex, it could pose very dangerous reactions.

If anyone wants to chat, write me to my e-mail address. Thanks!

Larry <larryx123@yahoo.com>
Tuesday, October 1, 2002 at 01:20:53

Hello to Everyone.

I'm new to this chat room but a veteran to the migraine war. I am wondering how severe the symptoms get for some people. I feel like I have more neurological problems going on than just migraines. I become flushed, dizzy, congested, left side of my face becomes numb, I cant think or talk half the time. About an hour later, then comes the headache. I was used to having them with the aura and boom, the major pain in the head. This is all new to me. Anyone else experiencing the same???


bill baker <bakr0220@aol.com>
Monday, September 30, 2002 at 18:55:09

Hi, I am 44 and I have been getting migraines since I was a child.

I found a good doctor in my twenties, I looked very hard to find one that would take my migraines seriously and I have been with him ever since. I have been on many different types of medication. These are the ones I remember, please excuse spelling; Inderal, Elavil, Amitryptilene, Imitrex, Zomig, Maxalt, Tylenol # 3, Propananol, Stadol, Demerol, Sibellium, Apo Prochlorazine and now I am trying Depro-prevera. I take Tylenol # 1 daily to keep the headaches away also, I get headaches every day.

My symptons vary on the severity of the migraine. Warning sign that one is coming on is a plugged nostril on one side, usually my left side or a headache that isn't taken away with Tylenol. I take Maxalt instead of Imitrex now, I find it has less side effects. When I have a full blown migraine I experience excruciating pain on one side of my head. It is worst right behind my eye and then it spreads out from there. I get them on either side but I have also had ones that encompass my whole head. It is hard to talk; light and sound are unbearable, especially sound. I start to vomit and then it is dry heaves every 1/2 hour for up to 12 hours sometimes. I get drenched in sweat and the last one I had, I experienced cold sweats.....very scary. My eyes water, my nose runs, I get diarrhea and I always have neck and sholder pain.

I used to go to the ER, my husband would take me but it was awful and I stopped going many years ago. I now have a prescription for Demerol at home. I don't find that it works that well but it does help me to sleep. The vomiting wakes me up every 1/2 hour though so I never stay asleep for long.

I also suffer after the pain is gone. I can't eat, my stomach is so sore. I get severly depressed and start crying. I read in a migraine book that this is a chemical reaction due to the migraine and that it is common. I call it post migraine depression. I am also very weak after a migraine. I tell people that it is like having a brain seizure and my body goes into shock from all the pain. I find it interesting that they are using anti-convulsant drugs to treat migraines now!!!

I have been doing research on hormonal migraines and apparently we have lower levels of estrogen prior and during menses. I have also been reading about a drug called Danazol that has had a 50% success rate with women with hormonal migraines. It takes up to a year to work though. I also read about women who put an estrogen cream on prior and during menses and they greatly improved.

I was put on Depro-prevera to try to level out my hormones. It is a synthetic hormone progesterone but I haven't been any better since I took the first shot. We were experimenting, my doctor and I. We thought that if we stopped my period, the migraines would stop too. I haven't been any better and now my migraines are coming all over the place, not just with my period. I used to be able to make plans around my migraines because I knew when I would get them, now I can't. I am not continuing with the therapy.

Sorry this is so long, this is the short version, I have edited out a lot. This site has been a just what I needed and although it makes me cry when I read the other entries, it also makes me feel better that I am not alone.

Thank you.


Sara <sarabushalderson@yahoo.com>
Sunday, September 29, 2002 at 05:06:47

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