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 so overwhelmed after reading this journal----I want to cry. I am relieved in one sense, that others experience what I do, but on the other hand, feel saddened that it happens to them, too. Like I said, this has been overwhelming, and I can't write too much right now. I will return and write of my own experiences with Migraine, and how I have dealt with this demon. I have 30 years of trial and error which may help, simply console, or actually "connect" with someone, that I will express. A major thunderstorm is approaching my area right now, and many (probably most) of you understand what effects weather has on us. This may explain why I feel unable to express everything right now! I can literally feel the electricity in the air! Paradoxically, I have opened all of my windows to let in the fresh rain-scented air. It is obviously a "love-hate" relationship---love the rain but, almost always affected by change in weather pattern. Best to all, and I look forward to reading more of my "brothers and sisters' in Migraine" writings on this website. There is definitely some connection between us, and it is that "we understand," when too often, no one else does. I will come back when I can offer more, I just wanted to say thank you for now. Rhonda

Rhonda <rsajp1111@hotmail.com>
Thursday, June 13, 2002 at 10:17:05

My migraines started about 2 or 3 months ago...I get them usually in the morning or after 5 in the evening. They went away when I stopped eating surgar and drinking Caffine...but they came back a few days later and they are worse now. I get them so bad I want to hit my head against the wall. I sometimes throw up and feel a little better but they still aren't gone... I can fall asleep alot of the time and I get really light headed and almost faint...and often I'm very tired..I was wondering if there is anything u can do w/o getting a perscription drug or going to the dr?
p.s. could having surgery on my ankle 4 months ago have anything to do w/ it

Suzan <littlepiggy34@hotmail.com>
Tuesday, June 11, 2002 at 18:22:58

This episode of chronic daily headaches I'm now having began 6
yrs. ago, which was about 3 months after I had a hysterectomy
and began hormone replacement therapy. My very first severe
headache was when I was 18. I had been on birth control pills
for a short while before I had my first one. That led me to
believe they were from taking the birth control pills. After
I can't remember how many times I went to my gynecologist to
have him change me to a weaker and weaker dosage I finally just
stuck with the last perscription he gave me because my husband
and I wanted to wait about 5 years before we had our first
child. During both of my pregnancies I didn't have not one head-
ache, which led me to believe they were migraine after I read an
article somewhere that said usually a woman's migraines went
away during their pregnancies. I have been to many doctors and
only found two medications that gave me hope for relief, but
had to stop taking them because one of them(Inderal) caused my
blood pressure to drop to low and the other(Sansert) caused
feet and ankle swellin( which was one of the side effects I was
warned to notify my doctor immediately about. I'm also taking
a anti-depressant to combat the depression I'm having along with
the chronic daily headaches. I wanted to just give up many times
but praying and my family has kept me going. I'm still hanging
in there and hope all of you out there who are fighting the
same battle will too. We can't give up because there's hope out
there somewhere. We just have to find the right doctor and right
medication that works for us.


Dawn <ameldia@beau.lib.la.us>
Monday, June 10, 2002 at 20:41:25

I've suffered from migraine headaches since the onset of adolescence. Normally they occur around the time of my period, but there are other triggers as well for me, like bright, prolonged sunlight and extremely overcast days where the air pressure affects my sinuses, and my migraine feels the need to kick in as well. Ugh.
I take Zomig to deal with the pain, and that seems to work fairly well for me. I think, on average, it curbs about 75% of migraines completely. Other times, it can just take the edge off.


Stella Mavis <stellamavis@starplace.com>
Monday, June 10, 2002 at 14:48:27

On my 5th day of feeling pretty crummy. Can't sleep, can't get comfortable, ice pack has melted and the other one I had in the freezer was punctured, dry heaves since there's nothing left in my stomach, no one to care for the little ones should I even address the idea of going to the ER. But 'it's just a headache,' right? Ok. Sorry about that. Just a little venting feels better. This particular head-banger started after I filled my gas tank several days ago. Anyone else fear the gas pump?

I was just curious - and trying to get some comic relief; what are some of the less-than-conventional things you've thought of that might take away the pain? I was at work once and a lady from somewhere in Central America went to the kitchen, cut a potato in half and rubbed it on my forehead for 3 minutes. Didn't take away the pain, but we all laughed about it for a while. Anyone else?

Jen <jc72569@aol.com>
Monday, June 10, 2002 at 05:07:53

Hi All,

I'm new to this discussion group but as a migraine sufferer was very
interested in all you have had to say. My parents both suffered from
headaches. My mom said they were more hormome related, however my
father said he had them as a child, a lot of them, the local country
dr. called them "sick headaches". As a adult he no longer has head-
aches at all! I wish I was so lucky. I have had headaches since
Jr. High and most of my Migraines are harmone related. I do get alot
of them and they seem to be triggered by different things. However
recently I have had several new experiences. One was I woke with a
bad headache, took my kids to school, and on the way home, felt this
sudden overwhelming urge to vomit, pulled over to and barely made it
with sudden uncontrollable vomiting. Usually with Migraines I've had
nausea but no vomiting, this time I had a headache, no nausea,
and sudden unexpected vomiting! Has anyone else experiences this?
Today I also had a new trigger. I went into a room in my house and sat
down with the side of my body facing a window that had late afternoon
sunlight shining thru, I had this stabbing pain in my temple as the
glare hit the side of my perpheral vision. Immediately I had the
start of a lovely migrane going. I had not had a hint of a headache
all day. A first for me. Is this a common trigger? Both of my sisters
get aura's, sparkles, etc. I do not get this - but after the glare
hit my eye, my vision did a very weird blurring thing and I had trouble
seeing well for several minutes. When I get these migraines, I usuallyt
take 2 advil and 1 tsp of Vicodin/robitussin cough syrup. If I take
it soon enought it stops it. If I wait however, I'm in for a "suffering"
spell. The longest headache I've ever had was 7 days, though
usually they last around 3. They intensify at night and when I lay
down. Sleep is almost impossible and the fatigue seems to feed the
pain. I had tried mitrin (sp) which didn't help, and am afraid to try
imitrex due to high blood pressure. I read several of you get exercise
induced migraine, I also get this occasionally when I walk if it's near
"that time of the month". Anyway, hi to all, I do take
100 mg of serzone, 5 mg of paxil, and 2 sam-e a day to fight depression
I would love to hear from others regarding possible better drug
treatments - holistic or otherwise!\

Thank you.


Robin <RobinRB@hotmail.com>
Saturday, June 8, 2002 at 23:47:53

Thank you all for your sharing and honesty! It helped me thru that self-pity post-headache stage I always go thru which makes me hate myself because 'everyone gets headaches', 'I'm just somaticizing', etc. etc. I promise this horrible self-pitying treatise will end on a positive note...

I'm 48 now and I've had headaches since early childhood. When I started my periods at age 10 those headaches turned into a more classic migraine picture, except that my family MD back in the 1960's had the typical predjudice that little kids don't get migraine. So I got a Rx for eyeglasses instead. Dr. Brown had to give me some atropine eyedrops before the eye exam to make my vision blurry enough to convince my mother that his diagnosis was, indeed, correct. With an I.Q. in the 140's, I was unable to maintain anything better than a B average in high school. This was not a problem, though, for my working-class parents, relatives, neighbors and classmates so therefore the constant pain, nausea and depression were probably not a problem for me, either.

Then I made the mistake of continuing to get severe headaches throughout adolescence in the 1970's when Dr. Freud's followers convinced my parents that I was just looking for attention. Valium doesn't help migraines, by the way. My well intentioned friends introduced me to marijuana and cocaine because sometimes they got headaches, too, and these drugs helped them.

Then I continued to make the mistake of becoming disabled by headaches as a young woman in the 1980's when my street-wise doctors knew better than to 'give in' to my 'drug-seeking behavior' and confrontational therapy was all the rage. I mean, I had all the symptoms of addiction; losing many jobs because of sick time, using 'all of those drugs', denial and using bullshit headaches as an excuse to get one doctor after another to give me drugs, etc. etc. After further confrontation in their treatment centers and in AA, the headaches still raged on to the point where suicide was looking like the only option.

In spite of medical care, I was able to find one neurologist in 1976 who actually listened to my symptoms as was compassionate enough to prescribe Cafergot. For the first time in my life there was a pill which could actually get rid of the pain, nausea, etc, and not just dull it. Cafergot got me back into college and back into the workplace. It also got me out of my darkened bedroom out jogging, playing tennis, getting a blue belt in Karate and getting chest pains and shortness of breath.

Guess what. I found two case reports in the medical literature now blaming heart valve fibrosis on 'chronic Cafergot abuse'.
The migraines have been almost a secondary source of suffering for me compared to the cruelty of the people I turned to over the years for help.


Grateful Med (thru the National Library of Medicine online) and I have become good friends and in my literature searches I have come to some hypotheses that I really would like to see tested.
In my case the headaches are definately a combination of genetics plus hormones. But I also think that my early exposure as a toddler to my father's pesticides, specifically Sevin, made the headaches more severe than most. By exposure, I mean that I actually played with the powder because it smelled so neat and I never told my parents because I was afraid of being spanked. Current tox references still claim that this commonly used pesticide is perfectly safe.

Hypothesis number two. Beta hydroxy toluene ("BHT added to preserve freshness"} has been found by two researchers to have some serotonergic action, but I have not found any recent research which follows up on those findings. Apparently the drug company which sponsored the study didn't find a potentially profitable competitor for Prozac so the study ended.
Now consider this:1) BHT is in all of our breakfast cereals which are fed to children whose brains are still developing. 2) patronizing healthcare providers are blaming the increased incidence of migraine on the increased stress modern women have to face today. (I personally think that a 20% infant mortality rate plus the legal non-status of women at the turn of the century was probably just as stressful, but what the heck). And, 3)if anyone really looked into food additives which may have a serotonergic effect, think of the economic impact on our food industry. Serotonin has widely ranging effects and if a youngster's serotonin receptors were somehow prevented from developing normally during early childhood by some food additive, there might be a lot of lawsuits from people with eating disorders, serious depression, uncontrolled pain syndromes like migraine and maybe even some Attention Deficit Disorder.

These are only two hypotheses, but what if these are areas worth researching?

Marilyn Jess <Marilyn.jess@pressenter.com>
Saturday, June 8, 2002 at 08:19:55

I told you I'd be more upbeat next time!!!
Sorry to you all for the 'woe is me' attitude, but I suppose that is what this forum is for. I felt better for saying (typing?) it, I just hope I didn't bring anyone else down.
Yes, I'm feeling considerably better now, the fog over my brain has gone, my Dr says that I have CFS, which doesn't surprise me, I've been feeling pretty crappy for the last few months. At least it's not Glandular Fever, my boyfriend would not have been impressed!! ;-)
I'm curently studying at University and as a result of my CFS, my Dr has ordered me to cut down my study levels as much as possible, which works for me. All I'm doing now is a kind of work experience module at a local school (I'm studying to be a high school teacher). I had an absolutely great day yesterday, I was firing on all cylinders in class, threw a rugby ball around at recess and had a very productive afternoon. It's an all boys private school, so my job is fairly cushy, but I think it's all I can cope with at the moment, and I really enjoyed myself.
Harking back to the drug issue, I made a boo boo in my first entry, damn that del key! I used to take morphine for my migraines, but I found that I liked it too much. I now have an injection of Tramal (Tramadol) which is quite a strong painkiller with no opiod ingredients.
It works well, but, just like morphine, it makes my nose horribly itchy, so I surface after a migraine feeling as if I should hae a fat upper lip!!
I didn't mess up all the other drug combinations I have tried.

I hope to visit another Neurologist later in the year to discuss the possible use of anti convulsant drugs, I think one option was Neurontin which contains Gabapentin, a drug I've read encouraging reports about.

Anyway, that's enough drivel from me, just wanted to let you know that I'm on the up now, and apologise if I annoyed anyone with my last posting.
Keep smiling :-)

Emma <emmaleahnorris@yahoo.com.au>
Friday, June 7, 2002 at 17:21:28

Hey everybody, guess where I've been ?? Yep, into the hell that is a migraine. I remember watching M.A.S.H. and Hawkeye said "War is war, hell is hell. Of the two, I'd prefer hell". Don't get me wrong, I'm not discounting those who have, and who are fighting in war. But I think we, as migraine sufferers know our own little slice of hell.
I was down for 3 days with this one, which is about average. The pain was normal, except for Tuesday night, it was 3am; I had to get an ambulance, alone, to the hospital; I could barely speak, I couldn't see; luckily the Dr and nurses remembered me (I'm in a country town at the moment) and knew what was going on. I felt so very alone. All I could do was hold my head and cry.
That's an episode behind me now, but to make matters a little bit more interesting my Dr is not sure whether I have Glandular Fever or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome!!! HAPPY DAYS!!

It seems that as soon as I struggle back up from one knockdown, another one comes along.

I know that some of you out there have it MUCH worse than me, and I'm not trying to take that away from you (as much as I'd like to!).It's just that I'm surrounded by 18 year olds who are so full of life and have a clean bill of health, that I am insanely jealous of them and wish my life was like that.

I'm just having a bad time at the moment.
I don't wish to bring any of you down, and I'm sure my next missive will be more upbeat.

Emma <emmaleahnorris@yahoo.com.au>
Wednesday, June 5, 2002 at 20:43:39

I'm 37 and was diagnosed with migraines at age 22. There are
WAY too many of us migraine sufferers out here!

For those folks looking for some grain of hope at least trying to
stay functional and at work and who're trying not to give in to
the migraine, I thought I'd share something that works for me
about 75% of the time...not a cure, but it helps frequently
enough that I find it worthwhile: at first onset of symptoms
(for me, that means communication problems, including
difficulty speaking coherent sentences, typing characters
with the opposite hand - ex: hitting a "k" instead of a "d", and
amazing inability to punch the right buttons on a calculator, repeatedly;
these problems start as early as 3 days before the full-blown
pain and nausea hit), I take one extra-strength Tylenol, 2 ginger
root capsules, and an over-the-counter antihistamine (the one
I use contains 4 mg chlorpheniramine) every 4 hours, excluding
overnights. The quantities of the pharmaceuticals don't exceed
the recommended dosages, and ginger helps calm me some anyways,
so that's sometimes useful with a type-A personality. I'll
still get a migraine, but it's very mild and (thankfully) minus
the vomiting.....and, minus the expensive prescription drugs.
My brain is still foggy, but at least I can function well enough
to make it through the day at work.

As for a comment in an earlier log about "people who walk around
carrying on as normal whilst complaining of a migraine! They
obviously have no idea of what a migraine is!" I disagree; many
of us have become great actors since co-workers and others are
unaware of/unsympathetic to what we're going through. And, yes,
I've had some of the agonizing headaches that leave me crawling
back to my bed from the bathroom after vomiting for the 8th
time in 5 hours, shaking with pain.

MSG (onset within 4 hours of consuming; guaranteed 16-hour
headache with vomiting; it's amazing how many foods this is in,
such as many soups and all flavored chips); caffeine (onset
24 hours after consuming); chocolate (onset 24 hours after
consuming); nuts (onset within 6 hours of consuming); cured
meats (onset within 4 hours of consuming); most alcohol; strong,
and especially cheap, perfumes; aromatic organic chemicals
(chem lab in college was a joy), including cooking oil.
More sensitive to any of these during first 2 weeks of
menstrual cycle.

Signals prior to headache and nausea:
As mentioned earlier, problems communicating = earliest sign;
excessive yawning, then if everything starts seeming very bright
and sort of far away, headache will hit within 24 hours or
less; frequently, hot (which is abnormal since I'm almost
always cold). Headache and nausea set in soon after I start
feeling hot. Have only ever had visual aura 3 times (crescent-shaped
with jagged, flashing black and white triangle pattern within
the crescent), and all visual auras preceded a headache by
24 hours.

Typical headache:
Nausea, sometimes vomiting; temporal pain localized on one side
of the head; unsteady/shakey/dizzy feeling; I can concentrate,
but that doesn't mean that the results of concentrating on a
task will actually be useful/worthwhile when I get a chance to
review it without a headache....make may stupid mistakes on
the most simple and familiar tasks, but can perform some of
the most complicated and unfamiliar ones without error; sensativity
to light, sound, and odor (no stir-frying in the house, please!);
grumpy; duration 6-8 hours typical, 3 days max.

Tired or extreme alertness; (un)fortunately, my migraines
sometimes take a chunk of my memory from during the migraine
with them when they disappear....I've had to warn people that
I work with that if I don't write down what they tell me while
I have a migraine, it may be as good as never having heard it....
same goes for reading something; unsteady/wobbly kneed, but
generally only if headache was severe. And, the dreaded migrating
migraine...after a headache disappears from one side of the head,
it's likely to be on the other side (worse or not as bad) within
a day and a half, then will bounce back and forth every couple days
for a week or two.

Have tried:
Cafergot (before I figured out Caffeine was a trigger; nasty
rebound headaches for days); Midrin (what a joke); Demerol in
the emergency room twice (was still aware I had the headache and
still throwing up, but doped up enough that I didn't care and could
sleep); Hydrocodone (sometimes reduced the pain enough that I
could sleep off the rest of the headache, but I didn't like that
it could be addictive, so didn't renew it); Tylenol/ginger root/
antihistamine thing listed above; Imitrex via injection (made
headache worse, and whole body felt like it was burning);
vitamin B-complex and Calcium-Magnesium-Citrate supplements -
took steadily for couple months (seems to have done nothing
more than make my urine dark yellow). Can't take medications
containing aspirin, codeine, or caffeine.

Hereditary connections:
Dad gets visual aura, no pain; paternal grandmother had daily
headaches and "ate aspirin as if it were candy;" mother got
migraines regularly with similar triggers to mine, and her
headaches became rare after starting allergy shots and changing
eating habits to those of a hypoglycemic; all siblings get migraines
....half of my siblings get visual only, other half gets only the

Ellen L
Tuesday, June 4, 2002 at 21:32:48

Just to re-enforce what Adrienne said in her post, some migraine sufferers have great success in managing their headaches if they cut out caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate, soda, just to name a few products), alcohol, MSG and salt. Good luck to you all. Jay

Tuesday, June 4, 2002 at 20:13:16

This is Franco once again. Hi Sien, Sandee, Adrienne, Cheryl, Emma, Dave, Barb, Diane, Clyde, Lisa, and if I've forgotten anybody, please forgive. The latest on me is that my pain is still unbearable, barring narcotic analgesics, and I am still taking the prozac 20 mg., and now the Depakote 250 mg. at night. Sometimes I take 50-100 mg. Tegretol during the day which really brings the pain down, but then it makes me so tired, I just want to sleep. I am weaning myself off of the Inderal 80 mg. daily, and am now down to about 20 mg. daily. I didn't think it was helping much and didn't want to raise the dosage because it also made me feel very tired and somewhat depressed. Too, I would rather try some of the newer vasoactive medications like verapamil and nimodipine. I take about 6 hydrocodone a day for remedial relief from the pain, and this takes the edge off. My doctor gave me a prescription for oxycontin, but I am afraid to start on it because of the bad rap it got in the media.

I still don't have much of a life here in Michigan, but am hoping that somehow I'll be able to get back to work soon. Even being on disability, it is not enough to live on, so I must try to find some kind of part-time job, as long as I am able to take the pain medication. I want to get back into my music, possibly play at some local resaurants or teach in the homes part time. Being self-employed, I would have flexibility. I am so glad for the girl who got the 3.01 average in school, in spite of level 8 headaches---that is truly amazing. God was with you big-time. I remember how my headache was always messing up my educational pursuits and how hard it was. For Emma who states she still has a hope that they will find a cure for this very serious and debilitating biological disease, thank you for the words of encouragement, and I am glad you are doing so well.

I am starting a refractory migraine chit chat on the Yahoo, and the room is called "Rico's Refractory Migraine Chat" under other rooms in Health and Wellness. I hope some of you will be able to make it there, as it'll be open most often in the late morning hours (EST).

God bless ya all,


Franco <Rigogatto@cs.com>
Monday, June 3, 2002 at 13:03:34

I am 20 this year and I just realized that I might be suffering from migraine. I always thought that what I am going through is also happening to other people around me. I thought I wasn't the only one. Because I live in Malaysia, I always blame the weather. I guess it is getting worse now and it seems to last longer. I am just starting to find outmore about it and I will be going to see the doctor soon.

Felicia <sien_rulz@hotmail.com>
Saturday, June 1, 2002 at 07:35:28

Hi, I haven't been here for awhile but I'm still having terrible migraines approximately 3 times a week. The Dr. last put me on effexor and that seemed to decrease them to once a week for awhile but now they are back quite often. I was wondering if anyone has heard of the new over the counter nasel spray for migraines? My husband heard a news report on the radio but did not get the name of the product. Has anyone heard of it or used it? My prayers have always been for a miracle treatment that will help us all in preventing these debilitating headaches. Have a pain free week end and if anyone has heard of the nasel spray please e-mail me and let me know.
Thanks, Sandy

Sandee <Sandj71@aol.com>
Friday, May 31, 2002 at 23:23:08

This is is response to Jason's academic woes, sorry if it's been awhile, I haven't been online much lately. I can totally relate to your problems. During my second semester of college here in Maine, my migraines increased in frequency & severity from 3-4 times a year at a pain level of 5-6, to 4-5 times a week at a pain level of 8 usually. This was in November when the workload started to really pick up. My grades dropped from a 3.0 average to a 2.2, and even managing that was a toughie. I was missing three or four classes a week, and my roommate thought I was a hypochondriac. I cut out caffeine, red wine, dairy, and red meat until the following May, when I finally saw a doctor who prescribed Nortriptyline. I'm still off the caffeine and red wine but the other things don't bother me anymore. This is getting pretty long, sorry . . . what I mostly wanted to say is that I know what you're going through. It's tough to pay attention in school when you're trying to wrestle with these devils. My good news is that I just graduated with a GPA of 3.01 -- I squeaked it back up there in my final year. Hang in there Jason, I'm sure you'll get here too, and it will mean more to you because of how much you've struggled.

Take care, and pain free days to all,

Adrienne <aTart23@netscape.net>
Friday, May 31, 2002 at 15:54:24

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