Journal of Migraine Sufferers

Mine started around the time I was 11, I think. My first memorable one was when I was 17 and my sister had a friend of ours drive me clear across Houston to the clinic our dad had insurance at. The vomiting didn't start until we went through the door and the receptionist asked if she could help us. She took one look at the expression on my face and shoved an emissis(?) basin under my nose.

Two children and 4 ex-husbands later, my migraines come more frequently. Some people say that I drink too much coffee, however, that can't be the case because I had them for years before I started drinking coffee. My mom and I have talked quite frequently about this. Her dad and mother both had migraines, she has them and I inherited them. We also share something else and that is manic-depression, both of us are bipolar. I'm being treated for it with Lithium and Effexor. Mom is being treated with Nortryptilin. Imitrex works for her but not for me. I've been through alot of different types of medications to try to prevent or decrease the devestation caused by the migraines and have found the only way, as there is no way to prevent them, to help them go away is to take 1 Vicodin for the pain and 1 Restoril so that I can sleep it off. Usually by the time I can keep them down, my stomach is empty and I go right to sleep. I too have had a hysterectomy, at the age of 34 (2 years ago), so my migraines are not hormonal.

I look forward to the day when I can wake up (not having to run to the bathroom) at 2 in the morning, puking until my ribs are sore for days afterward, and wishing that my head would finally explode to release the pressure.

Dear Ronda:

Thank you so much for the journal for migraine sufferers. It is my favorite web site, even when I don't have a migraine! I have this bit of information to pass on.

This is a non-medicative suggestion for women who suffer from hormonal-related migraines. I am 43 yrs old, have suffered migraines since age 35, have family history of migraines, and tend to get them twice a month, once around ovulation and then again around start of period. I am what is called a "Texas vegetarian", which means a vegetarian who eats barbeque... to set the context, I am not a big meat eater at all, occasionally have fish or chicken. Recently, I was on my way to a dinner appointment with a colleague I had already postponed several times and couldn't get out of. On the way there, I began to feel the usual pre-migraine symptons...extreme fatigue, disorientation,tingling on side of face, beginning of pain, onset of nausea. I began to dread the dinner, especially because the colleague is a militant pipe smoker, and knew he would insist on sitting in the smoking section. I began running through my mind what I could possibly get down under the circumstances, and all of a sudden I began fixating on a big juicy steak. At the restaurant, I ordered one, and when it arrived, ate it in about 5 seconds. I devoured it. I could have eaten another. My migraine went away, even as I inhaled his pipe fumes. I felt great through the next day.

Two weeks to the day later, my next migraine came on, and too late, already well into the pain I went out for lunch and ordered a hamburger, because I felt silly ordering a steak in the middle of the day. No relief.

Two weeks after that, in the middle of the afternoon, I felt the fatigue, disorientation, nausea,and tingling coming on. I left my job, drove directly to a steak house, ordered a filet to go (without any side stuff, and got weird looks), drove home, devoured it (please note that even in the midst of migraine nausea, it tasted great), wished I'd ordered another, and immediately began to feel great. Again, the effect lasted through the night, and I felt really good the next day. Now I am worried that I'm becoming addicted to expensive steaks, and I find myself when driving around noting the location of steak houses, in case of emergency. For the first time in my adult life, I now browse the steak section of my local grocery store. This is all bringing to mind strange visions of scenes from "Rosemary's Baby".

All kidding aside, I'm not sure why this works. Any ideas of readers, especially nutritionists, would be appreciated. It could have something to do with protein, iron, or maybe hormone replacement therapy via cows? I once had a severe bout of stomach flu, and, when I began to recover, craved steak. At that time I really was a vegetarian, and in fact that was the end of my devotion to it, as I figured my body was trying to tell me something. But what? I will continue to test this out. I'm also going to try "taking" steak preventatively just prior to my migraine target dates...

Best wishes, and relief from pain to everybody out there.

P.S., I DO NOT work for the American Beef Council, nor do I have any ties to the beef industry!!!


702 West 34th Street

Austin, Texas 78705

(512) 458-2332

(512) 458-1332 FAX

Sent this to Dell, then thought would forward to the newsgroup in case anyone else is interested.

--------------------- I do not know if this will really help you. I am 59 years old and started headaches at about your same age. However, I had no hysterectomy. I tended to blame mine on taking birth control pills (which I had been on for some time after having two children). My daughter began the same headaches while she was in college (no hysterectomy, no birth control pills). In retrospect, I think that when they start, we tend to blame whatever we can think of that was different in our lives at that time. I am not saying these things can't cause the headaches, but I am doubtful they do.

Interestingly enough, I have a cousin whose headaches followed the usual pattern, getting worse and worse. She went to a headache clinic in Houston and they simply took her off Aspartame and her headaches went away. With this in mind, I told my daughter who is now off Aspartame. Her headaches are better, but far from cured. Coincidentally, she started going to an allergist at the same time in hopes that would help. He found she was allergic to a number of things. She is now on allergy "shots" which are not shots anymore, but a drop placed under the tongue! He has also placed her on a very strict diet. Virtually the only thing she can have right now is meat and vegetables. She can most especially not have anything with sugar, artificial sweetener, yeast, dairy products, etc. So bottom line, I do not know what has been responsible for the improvement in her headaches. She also had a hysterectomy at about the same age as you (and me) and I could tell no difference really in frequency, etc. She is now 36 years old; they had been becoming progressively worse.

My headaches disappeared just as suddenly as they had begun. This was a number of years after my own hysterectomy. At the time, I gave credit to my experiments with biofeedback, but I have since learned that menopause sometimes causes cessation of the migraines. So, once again, I do not know.

Hang in there. Chronic disease does not necessarily mean you will have it chronically! It can go away!

One more caution. Be careful with the medications. The cure can sometimes be worse than the disease. I am not saying to ignore the medication. Often, if you can stop the headache before it really begins, you wind up taking a lot less medicine than if you try to "tough it out". If you can possibly look at it like, "Okay, I have this problem. I can decide it is an insurmountable problem and feel guilty and panic-y or I can decide this is the way it is and not think of it as such a big deal. (No apologies, no explanations----just, I have to go to my room and lie down in the dark, because that is how I have to cope with it). Pretty soon, everyone else sees it that way too. I know from experience how hard this is on the person suffering the pain, though, because sometimes you just lie there thinking you can't stand it.

Having just finally connected to the world of the web, the first place I went was to a page about migraines. Only a chronic migraine sufferer would understand that...My husband wants to check out what's available on blues guitar and my kids, of course, are looking for downloadable games. Anyway, the first journal entry I read made me cry, because I related so much. I don't think I have much to offer to anyone in the way of treatment, but I just wanted to nod my head in understanding. I would not have thought that reading other sufferer's stories would have any effect, but there is no one in my life who really "gets" how serious I am about the intensity of the pain, and there was something so emotionally stirring when I read a few entries. I now realize that I have had migraines since I was sixteen, but it is only in the past five years (I'm 45, mother of two teenage sons) that they have intensified into five to ten times a month, sometimes lasting 5-12 days. That is just one of many frustrations I have with my headaches, because I don't fit the "typical" pattern - they're supposed to get better with age. I just went through my most recent attempt in treatment, which was some intense hormonal treatment: first sending my body into false menopause, and then after a twelve day migraine, hormonal patch treatment to restore my hormones. I have also used just about every alternative treatment, medication, diet change and gone to every type of physician until the search itself caused a migraine. This is what my exhaustive experience has shown me: I may never find a "cure" but I will never give up trying everything and anything someone suggests. However, I take it with a grain of salt. I think there are a lot of headache sufferers who think they suffer migraines, but who don't really. (Or is that just some classic psychological "no one's headache is as bad as mine" syndrome?) Also, one of the frustrating facts about migraines is that what works for one person, does not work for another. I take breaks from what now seems to be my lifelong, daily quest for relief. Because of all the horrible side effects and rebound results with so many medications, I have simplified my drug use and found that Imitrex and fiorinal with codeine helps sometimes to manage the pain, but truthfully, the quality of my life sucks pretty bad sometimes. The fear of addiction has long since bothered me - I will try almost anything - I drew the line when my neurologist suggested that I try Lithium though (Images of hallucinations, straight jackets and small, white rooms pervade my imagination! Right now I am in a "light" phase, which is why I can be slightly positive, and I have learned to really appreciate these moments and use my time and energy very efficiently. I try not to live in fear of the next attack, which is an easy trap. Migraineurs need to believe that one can find a way to survive, dedicate one's time to figuring a way to be painfree, if possible, and keep moving forward, even if it's very slowly. I am thrilled at finding this outlet - I believe my family will also appreciate some of the burden of living with someone who suffers migraines being directed elsewhere! I apologize for the length of this letter - my web etiquette probably needs work! I'd write back if anyone writes to me! Good Luck!

Your migraine page is wonderful. I too have been through the gamut of medications, most offering only a little relief. I am home from work today, 3 out of 5 days missed this week because of my headache. I wonder how long I will be able to work. I have had a continual headache for over a year now. Prior to that, I had periodic headaches for 10 years that have gradual increased in severity and frequency until now. I consider slitting my wrists. I am treated like a drug addict when I ask for pain medication. The only thing I have found that gives me 100% relief is Stadol, but my doctor treats it like poison so I have very limited access.

I am at my wits end. I don't know what to do or where to go. If I could remove the headache, I would have a wonderful life. I am considering the Diamond Headache Clinic, but am not very hopeful.


Does anyone out there have "atypical facial pain", with alot of facial swelling and cramping like pain that last as long as cluster headaches do, 1hr.and 45 mins.? I've had this for 14 yrs. It has rob me of my life and nothing stops the pain. I would like to correspond with someone. Please e-mail me at


I could not believe when my husband found this for me on AOL WWW, it is the most wonderful thing in the world.I wish to share my Migraine Problem in hopes of getting some information for relief. I never had a Migraine before in my life(a headache here and there)but nothing could have prepared me for what happened six days out of a surgery I had. June of 1993 I was told I needed to have a Hysterectomy (age 31) and with that would have a new quality of life, as I said six days later July 6th I was home recovering from surgery and started with a headache that continued for the next 12 days, accompanied with vision problem,vomitting,sharp pain in the left side of my head,many calls were made to the Dr. with no aveil,Finally the night of the 12th when my husband almost found me drowning in the bath tub he took me to the E.R. in our city, there I was given many shots of Demerol & Fiorinal then given a diagnosis of Migraines. As I said in the beginning of this I had never had one before,so for the last 3 1/2 years I have now suffered with them sometimes so bad my husband has to miss work to take care of our 3 children ages now 5-7-9 (Thank God for the Family Medical Leave Act or he would have lost his job by now).I have tried many of the medications that are out there, including Calcium Channel Blockers, Beta-Blockers, anti-depressants,Imitrex (injection&tablets) and pain killers. I have been to neurlolgists in my town and even went to the Cleveland Clinic with not a whole lot of success. They tell me there is a laundry list of Medication to try and until then I do what works for me.Which is living on pills, Inderal,Paxil,Imitrex and pain killers. Not a wonderful quality of life I was looking for!!! My hormone level has been checked and is fine I have been told I need no Hormone Replacement because I do have one Ovary left which is working. Have you or anyone out there ever heard of this happening before is there a link between my Hysterectomy and the onset of the Migraines. Whatever information you can give would be greatly appreciated. It is so very distressing to be a mother of three and try to live like this the guilt trips are unbelieviable. I was once a very very active woman and now I walk on egg shells for fear of triggering a migraine, I was going to return to work when my youngest daughter went to school, she is now in school part time but I am unable to work. Who in the right mind is going to hire someone that maybe is there 50% of the time and on pain pills.

Thank you so very much for listening is great to know I'm not all by my self. PLEASE ANYONE WITH ANY INFORMATION or has ever heard of this contact me. E-Mail (or just to talk) Thanks again!!!!!!