Journal of Migraine Sufferers

I have been a migraine sufferer for the past nine years. As I began to read the testimonials and information on this fabulous website, tears coursed down my cheeks because I felt as though someone else could finally understand what I have been going through. It was so moving to know that I am not alone, I thought I was all of this time.

I am twenty nine years old, I have tried more medication than I can even remember-not always conventional, not always legal. If it were not for my husband and my four year old son I would have even considered suicide as an alternative. I used to lie in bed vomiting every ten to fifteen minutes for hours on end, I was emaciated and became very depressed. During those attacks I would go to my family Doctor. with my "puke receptacle" in hand, and get a shot of demerol to just put me to sleep. Usually I would wake up hours later, headache- free. It was on one such mission that he finally suggested sumatriptan injections that I could administer at home. What a godsend for me!! The injections knocked me for a loop, but in fifteen minutes the pain totally disappeared, and I could take control of my life again.

I am now three months pregnant and have discontinued the injections in the interest of my unborn child. Has anyone had any experience with Sumatriptan (imitrex) during pregnancy? I took an injection very early in my pregnancy before I realized that I was pregnant. I have been worried sick about the effects of that injection on the fetus. I have checked every resource available on the internet and have exhausted all avenues in my small hometown.


Well migraines are actually reletively new to me. I am 21 and I started getting them during my first year of college. Since then I have run into several bouts of very long and intense migraines.

The pain use to be just a constant dulling pain with any slight trigger and it turned into a migraine. Some of my triggers are alcohol, stress and hormonal. I did go to a headache clinic in Denver, Colorado and they diagnosed my migraine as the type to be occurring after a stress was taken away from me. They told me I didn't know how to relax. They put me on a Calcium-channel blocker, since then the constant pain has gone away and now I only get migraines on occasion. Usually around my period. My husband and I recently tried an experiment with my birth control. I have been off birth control for about 2 months and I haven't had a migraine since.

The Imitrex I feel works good, the shots work better than the pills, I think. I also have tried DHE I didn't feel it was effective for me. I also went to a acupressure specialist and it helped for awhile. I believe I get tension headaches also and I think sometimes they trigger migraines. I can't take Beta blockers because I am asthmatic also. The headache clinic informed me that I have the type of headache that requires calcium channel blockers. So I didn't have to worry about that aspect. I did have one migraine early part of this and 3 imitrex pills and one shot at the emergency room did not relieve the pain, this was quite disturbing. I have only had 2 other ones like that. I still don't know why this did occur.

Well that is all my history, I still am young so I feel I will have more encounters with this problem.


I've always had headaches, but it has only been in the last ten years that they've turned into migraines. I spent a good part of those ten years suffering longer than I should have. Every time it got so severe, I went to a different doctor who prescribed nothing to everything. Finally, I read up on the subject and found out that I didn't have to spend 72 hrs straight with intense pain and no relief.

I stuck with a doctor and told him that I wasn't going to go to anyone else until I found some relief/treatment. It has been trial and error, but I have finally gotten treatment. Instead of waiting it out and suffering and dealing with it on my own, I now go and get a DHE injection. I am presently attempting to get my own injection kit for DHE, but I have to jump through hoops to get the medication from KAISER (HMO). I have tried Imitrex injections and the pills, but they provide only temporary relief, whereas DHE is slower to get the migraine to subside but relief is permanent and rebound headaches do not occur. Occassionally, I have to go get a second DHE injection. I now know that I can find relief, that I don't have to treat it by myself (which was ineffective) and I find that extremely beneficial and comforting. I only wish I had been more assertive earlier for aggressive treatment. I was still in the syndrome of "it's only a headache".

My headaches start as a dull ache in my ear and as soon as I feel the slightest sensation I go get an injection of DHE. I have traced my headaches and feel they are a result of hormonal imbalances. They occur before, during, and after my menstrual period. Food doesn't seem to trigger migraines. Sleeping in does cause headaches to start, but I've learned to get up as soon as that occurs. I also get really tired prior to getting an attack, sometimes I get an aura and sometimes I do not. Thankfully, I do not get nauseated (unless of course I fail to get immediate treatment).


I am 24, and have been suffering from migraines since May of 1993. I have currently had this headache for the past 6 months. I have taken the following meds:

Inderal, Calan, Cafergot, Midrin, Elavil, Immitrex, Prendezone, Fiourinal, tylenol-3, nardil, nimatop, torodol, and sparine, etc.

I went to the Diamond Headache Clinic in chicago and they have diagnosed me with Basilar Artery Migraines. The symptoms include visual aura, facial, numbness, dizziness, extreme balance problems and nausia and vomiting.

I am looking for any information that can be offered in the form of relief and information on Basilar Migraines, because I know nothing about it.

I am also considering writing a book on the perils of the migraine sufferer if you have anything to share.

Please email me.


My name is Lorraine, and I can definately sympathize with your situation. I am 25 years old. I have been getting migraines since I was 4 years old (that I can remember, that is. My mother can recall me squinting and screaming continuously for days even when I was a baby and in retrospect she believes I may have been getting them then). In the last 5 years I started having migraines that do not go away for extended periods of time. The first LONG migraine started when I was 20 and lasted 4 weeks. This was the first actual diagnosis of migraine that I got. (As a child I was just given aspirin and told to shut up. In my teens I just took handfuls of pain killers and hoped for the best.)

For this first long migraine I was prescribed muscle relaxants. I don't know what medical journal that doctor was reading, but muscle relaxants had no effect other than making me feel like linguini with a migraine.

Next I got stronger pain killers. They had very little effect. In the months that followed the first long migraine I had several that lasted 3-15 days. They usually started in the back of my neck on the right side, then spread to both sides of my neck, then stretched accross the left side of my head, with that piercing agonizing pain in my left eye and an equally crippling nausea.

At age 21, I moved to England for 6 months. There my migraines were a bit less frequent (I felt more at home and relaxed in England than I do in America). When I got a viscious, blinding migraine there, I went to a local doctor who gave me Sumatriptan (called Imatrex here in the U.S.) in 100 mg pills. They were better than anything I had taken in the U.S., but they did not keep my headaches from coming back the next day (and the next, and the next...). I stocked up on Sumatriptan before my visa expired because I knew I wouldn't be able to get it here, and I knew I would not have health insurance for a while.

I survived a year without insurance and asked friends etc. to smuggle Sumat. in for me. Then I got married (my husband is from England, hence the trips there). His mother is a doctor in England and she has been helping me try to find relief.

Once I got a real job that had insurance, I started trying preventive medicines. My neurologist has prescribed the following, with the following effects for me:

shots of Imatrex---little or no effect

tylenol-codeine-barbiturate-pills (I can't remember what they were called, but you've probably tried them) no effect after the first day

beta-blockers---no effect on migraine, but made me very dizzy

cafergot---UUGGHH!!! This did work at first, but in my insane desperation to avoid excrutiating pain, I was taking them too often, and developed "ergotism"...I was losing circulation in my extremities, and when I stopped taking it I went through 12 hours of intense, evil withdrawal symptoms, including vomiting every 15 minutes, shakes, seeing spots and, of course, I had a migraine.

Birth control pill---This one worked, but my blood pressure doubled and I nearly had a stroke, so I had to go off of it.

Migrazone---put me to sleep for an hour, if I was lucky. No other effect.

Prozac----This helped for nearly 8 months!!!!!!I was pissed at my doctor for prescribing it, because, of course, when medicine can't treat you, everyone arround you thinks you are probably just crazy and not really ill, so hearing a neurologist say I should take prozac was very disempowering, BUT I read up on it and seratonin, the neurotransmitter that Prozac works on, also plays a role in migraines....It worked really well for 8 months. I did not have a migraine for longer than 2 days for that 8 months. Then I got one for 3 weeks or so and it wouldn't go away for anything.

Prednasone---a steroid, my neuro. said it helps to break long running migraines. It worked most of the times I tried it for those long ones, but not always.

Newest drug= Verapamil---a calcium channel blocker. It seems to be working. I have only been on it for a month, but I have been better with it than without it. It makes me a little dizzy and tired, but nothing remotely as bad as a migraine. When I was on prozac, after 6 months, I had become a mood-less zombie, gained 30 pounds and did not feel like I was myself. All of this was more than acceptable to me as long as I was not in pain, but it did not last.

Non-medical stuff I have tried...

Feverfew. It grows like a weed in the northeastern U.S. I have tried this herb in pills, bottles and frozen, but the fresh stuff right out of the ground seems to be the most effective. Taking feverfew right before I get a migraine has a 1 in 4 chance of helping. Not a great record, but worth looking into for some people.

Meditation. This helped while I was on was easier to avoid getting them, or letting them get very bad. I am working on this again now, with a

Healing Touch Therapist. She is helping slowly, but in a less harsh way than loading myself up with drugs. I am still taking Verapamil every day, and Imatrex when I get one, but the meditation seems to help, combined with the healing touch therapy. I am desperate to be UNDER CONTROL of my head, and this therapist is the only professional I have seen so far who wants me to participate in my own treatment. It is more empowering than just getting a new prescription every week.

Oh, I also tried a chiropractor. I felt a little better, but I could not afford it and they made me suspicious, so I stopped going. I felt like I was being ripped off.

Wow, this is a real biography. I wish it had a happy ending, but not thus far. I am better than I was when I had an 8 month migraine that would not go away (did I leave that part out? It was before prozac, during all the other preventive medicines, after the job and insurance part....sorry)

I hope this info helps you. Do you have certain times of the day when you can function? I can usually function in the morning, but between noon and 3pm it gets worse, then debilitating, then I want to jump off of a building, but don't have the energy or coordination.

PPPPLease get back to me if you have any advice, or even just to chat. Migraines are a miserable and lonely experience. I hope you (we all) find relief somewhere.

Yours in agony,


My mother (69 years old) has sufferered migraines most of her life, commonly associated with her menstral cycle. These abated following menopause, only to recur later in her life in different form. For the first time, she has experienced a visual aura, and the pain is now centered on the the surface of her skull, rather than behind the eye (as occurred earlier).

She accepts the head pain , but also complains of the kind of stomach discomfort that is often associated with stress (i.e. pitching and turning). I have heard that migraines can at times be presented in terms of abdominal pains or discomfort.

She is very healthy in all other respects. Do you have any information about this (the stomach complaint) that I can relay to her?


---Terry tmarshal@FLASH.LakeheadU.CA

I've suffered from migraines for 9 years. They have been diagnosed as the result of a car accident. The problem that I have run into over the years is doctors afraid of prescribing medication. I have finally found some relief with a combination of Fiorinal/with Codeine and Carisoprodal. The doctor whom I've had for the last 2 years who finally found this combination that worked unfortunately went on indefinite leave due to a family emergency. I was automatically assigned a new physician by my HMO and the new doctor's response when requesting a refill for my prescriptions was that I shouldn't be taking any medication for a period of more than 4 months. Since I had been taking these for 2 years she has reduced the prescription but of course given me no other alternatives for pain management. When trying to explain to her that the pain can be so great that I've considered going to emergency I've been met with the cliche' "You need to reduce your relax" It's frustrating for those who don't suffer from Migraine headaches to understand how greatly they affect you. It's bad enough having to endure the pain, the depression because you would like to some day never fear having a migraine ruin your weekend but then you have to convince a doctor that your do exercise, do not lead a stressful life, control your diet etc. and you still suffer. Hopefully someday headaches will be a thing of the past.