Journal of Migraine Sufferers

I just got up from a bout with a migraine, I feel better but very drained. I have had migraines since three years old and I have tried everything you can think of. I go in spurts with very bad weeks and very good weeks. I thought I was very lucky to have found a great doctor who watches over the medicine I took and would let me come in for a shot of Stadol if it got bad. Well today I called and asked to come in, I havn't had to come in for a couple of months, and the nurse said he doesn't give those shots anymore and I should go to a nuerologist. The reason I went to the general physician three years ago was because the nuerologist wasn't helping and would not prescribe anything for pain because he felt a person should be able to deal with it. I feel very alone now and confused, I feel that they have just abandoned me. I thought I could trust this doctor and I had no more worries. Well I thought I would be able to express how I feel better than this, but I'm at a loss of words. I almost feel in shock. I have to start all over. I went to a clinic and got a shot which I don't even know what it was. He said I could come back to him, but I feel so distrustful now I'm afraid to trust again. My old doctor said to go to the hospital, oh thats great I can really afford $250.00 a visit to the ER for a shot. I am so tired of the ridicule and lonliness accompanyed with this illness, I feel as if I'm still in the dark ages, I have done everything the doctor has told me. I have also educated myself and changed my diet and I I have given up the bad habits. I felt safe even though the headaches weren't gone. Its almost like a doctor gets fustrated because they can't cure you. I never expected a cure just some relief and a caring ear. Is that to much to ask? Please I need some response, I'm scared and slipping into a depression! Thks for the space to vent.


Hello Ronda My name Is Kevin Kieft I'm 18 years old and have been suffering from Migraine for more than four years now! I can always tell when I'm going to get a migraine because I'll see shapes and distortions and basically go blind in one eye for about two hours before than that will go away and I will get a monster migraine and have to lay down and not open my eyes! It happens about four to five times a month give or take.

---Kevin Kieft

Dear Ronda and Fellow Sufferers:

Today was another pain-filled, depressing one---a Saturday which often means a day to lie on the couch with lights off, icepacks on my head and blankets around me. After working hard in my administrative position all week and suffering terribly with migraines, this has become my routine. Then sometime Sunday I try to get myself up and about to prep for the week's work, pay bills, and the normal things people do--but that we headache sufferers find so difficult. I did a little channel-surfing on TV for distraction from the pain and got the idea of surfing the NET for fellow migraineurs. Finding your page was the best thing in weeks for me!

Here is a very brief history--I have "been there and done that"--after reading many of the readers' stories, I understand them--almost all. At the age of 50 I am a long-timer, over 20 years. You can imagine the gamut of treatments I have tried--all the meds mentioned, ER docs who want to pretend you didn't come in, other docs who only can talk about potential "addiction" (wouldn't you like to be around when one of them had a severe headache and see what drugs were ingested)? The only med that ever seemed to do much was Nardil or Parnate, both monamine oxidase inhibitors--old-time antidepressants which are rarely used now due to potentially fatal interactions with many foods such as aged cheese, wine, liver, soy sauce, ripe bananas, and many over the counter medications.. (I had not had cheese for over 5 years until recently going off this medication). This past year or so the MAO inhibitor seemed to help less until I was at a point of almost seeming better off without it (I had tried this before and returned to the drug because of the horrible pain). During the past couple of months I had the headaches very often and nausea and vomiting started becoming more frequent. Finally during the holidays I decided I had to make a change-- so I stopped the MAO Inhibitor and consulted another neurologist (about my fourth or so by now). He seems very willing to try new treatments, but the one he started me on is not working--depakote (I read of one of your readers using this).

After so many years I probably have tried remedies many of you have not yet thought of--none have been successful from hypnosis to acupuncture, feverfew to Prozac, valium to all the tricyclic antidepressants.. I have taken things or done things I had no belief in just because someone said they might help. Imitrex injections have not helped nor has any preventive or other med over the long term during my years of suffering. I will be eagerly reading any new mail you post, seeking ideas I can share with my physicians and my family. I am divorced but have an understanding special fellow who tolerates my pain and inability to do those things that make life fun much of the time.

I'd be delighted to hear from any specific reader who is in a situation somewhat like mine---long-term sufferer who has tried everything and is sick and tired of looking for help without success and of the health professionals and others who just don't believe what we tell them. When I read your response on this net I will reply with my personal e-mail address. Best wishes to all of you.

---Jan dforeste@ca.uky.EDU

What enlightenment here! I'm Sue Fox, 43, and have been suffering from migraines since we moved to Georgia from Colorado 2 1/2 years ago. Having always been prone to headaches, and occasionally a "sick" one, I took it in stride when I began having serious sinus 'pressure' attacks during my 1st pregnancy at age 33. Generally, sudafed & tylenol would relieve the pressure, at least until arriving in GA.

Almost immediately I was hit with a self-diagnosed migraine. It had started innocently enough like my sinus headaches, but soon the nausea, then vomiting, the 'paleness', the runny nose, the inability to function made the diagnosis undeniable. With 3 small kids, I went to a small town dr. and was given a prescription of Toredol--may as well have been Tylenol. They recommended a CT scan, but having rotten insurance at that time, and no real migraine history either, I declined. But the headaches kept coming. At first they were a couple a month, then almost weekly, always lasting 2-3 days. Reading all these stories I appreciate how 'mild' my problem is!!.

Upon getting better insurance, I began to pursue a 'cure'. Ha. My husband & I began scoping out as much info. as we could find. Fortunately, I don't smoke. I had been a regular drinker (2 or 3 beers a night), and I quit that. I quit drinking caffeine with no effect, so I resumed it . I tried tying the headaches to other known food substances and my cycle but can't really pin it down. I tried Paxil, natural remedies, and even trying to rid my 'toxic emotions'. Cafergot and Naproxen did nothing, but the Phenergan (for nausea) is a godsend, and the Butalbitals (generic for Fiorinal) knock me out enough to deaden the pain. Finally my husband called home from one of his trips to find me bedridden & the kids on the loose. After I begged him not to call for an ambulance, he found a neighbor to take me for a shot of Demoral. At that point I requested my HMO give me the Imitrex tabs I had read about. They worked OK...better than anything prior, but because the HMO didn't want to prescribe 27 tabs of Imitrex/mo (I only have a $3 co-pay), they sent me to a neurologist. At present he has me on Prozac (I loved someone's comment about being leary to take a 'mental' drug, as though that's admitting it's 'in your head'), and I'm seeing a chiropractor, and I am down to about 1 headache every 4 - 6 weeks, controllable with about 9 Imitrex tabs/mo at that.

The neuro. thinks the migraines are stress-related, but our move to GA has brought a new peace to our lives. Prior to the move we experienced enough stress for several people's lifetimes. Maybe this is similar to the 'after-the-stress' episodes others have reported. My husband once noted that I seem to get the headaches alot when he gets home (he travels every week) and on the weekends. I promise I am not the "I have a headache, honey" type!! Could it be the release of tension by him coming home to help out? I have also suspected the impending change in hormones, and/or possible allergies. On the positive side, my sinus has drastically subsided. The neuro. thinks maybe it never was sinus pressure in the 1st place. Sadly, he thinks this is as good as he can get me. My mom died from breast cancer, so I'm opposed to any hormone therapy, although I though I'd try some of that ProGest (natural progesterone from yams?) cream. And has anyone heard anything more about the Imitrex nasal spray?

My husband is wonderful about this, and my poor children are just bewildered by it (they are still pretty small). Mostly I hate it that I now have a 'sickly' character. And alas, treatment for migraines seems to be much more of an art than a science.

I'll be keeping a close watch here, Ronda. This is the greatest source of information I've run into yet. Thanks so much.


My migraine story was printed in August 1996 (part 3/3). I have been trying to reach several migraineurs by e-mail unsuccessfully. Each woman presented a history of hormone fluctuation as a trigger for migraine episodes. I would really like to hear from the following women:

  1. Caroline - listed as ""

  2. Judy - listed as ""

  3. No name - listed as ""

I would also be interested in hearing from other migraineurs who suspect that menopause is triggering their migraine episodes. In case anyone has been trying to reach me, my e-mail address changed shortly after my case history was printed (sorry). Creativity helps me keep my sanity - the rest of this is just for laughs:
There once was a lady from Greece
Whose feet boasted eight toes apiece
She wanted to fight
But her shoes were too tight
And her big toe got stuck in the crease

There once was a man on a plane
Whose snores drove the pilot insane
His compass went wild
Like an arrogant child
And led them smack into the rain


Hi my name is Brent and I just suffered from a migraine and would like to tell people who suffer from migraines to don't give up.

I have been using Imitrex injection approximatly 12 times per month since the summer of 1993 and have noticed that in the last year it has become increasingly less effective until becoming almost not effective at all.I would love to know if anyone else out there has had a similar experience with Imitrex if so please let me know. Thanks.



Thank you so much for the migrane page. I have learned so much about my illness through your research, homepage, and hard work.

On November 11, 1996, I went to my family doctor complaining with headaches. I had endured the headache since Nov 1 and none of the over the counter medications would help. He placed me on anti-biotics and sinus medication. He told me if I wasn't any better by Friday to come back. Needless to say I lost a whole week of work and went back to the doctor on Friday. He prescribed a different anti-biotic and placed me on darvocet.

On Sunday, Nov 17, I began vomiting. I felt as if my head was going to burst into a million pieces. My husband rushed me to the ER. They gave me a shot and the swelling in my head subsided. I underwent a CAT scan and they told me my brain was abnormal. I was sent to a neurosurgeon on Nov 19. He told me I have a cyst in the middle of my brain and I needed an MRI. On Nov 22, I had an MRI.

I went back to the neurosurgeon a week later. He told me the cyst was causing my headaches and it should probably be surgically removed but that was my option. He ask me to come back after the holidays.

In the mean time, my co-worker's wife is a nurse at a very established hospital. She told me to see a neurosurgeon there.

On Jan 2, in the a.m., I went to my normal neurosurgeon, he wanted to do surgery on Jan 20, (shave my head and do a 3 inch incision and place a shunt in my head that would be there for life, I am a 34 year old female). I was terrified. The exact same day in the afternoon I had an appointment with the other neurosurgeon (they all procastinated me until after the holidays, God forbid you get ill during Thanksgiving and Christmas). Anyway, the second surgeon looked at my CAT and MRI and told me surgery was to drastic a measure to take now. He told me I should see a neurologist.

On Jan 7, I seen the neurologist, he was wonderful. I stayed in the office with him for over 2 hours while he checked me out and ask me questions like I was a normal human being. He placed me on beta blockers and when the headaches become severe I give myself an Imitrex injection. I feel wonderful now. Since Jan 7, I have only had two severe attacks and after about 30 minutes I get up and go on with my life. I feel so great.

From Nov 1 until Jan 7, I suffered with the headaches. I was taking two darvocet every 4 hours with absolutely no relief once the drug wore off. I gained 12 pounds and my family felt as if I was going to be in bed forever not to mention the terrifying belief that I was going to have brain surgery. I love my neurologist. He has been the best thing that ever happened to me. I wish I would have seen him on Nov 2, but sometimes I guess you've just got to suffer. After a lot of meditation and prayers from a lot of friends, family, and strangers I am better. I have given up all caffiene and am down to approx 8 cigarettes a day (from a pack), I will give up smoking. I don't think its very wise to smoke taking the beta blockers.

I hope you print my story maybe it will keep someone else from suffering so much and losing so much time off work especially at the holidays when money is tight enough.

God bless you for your web site, keep up the good work.

---Sherry Dolley

I found your page today and it is a help. There was a migraine page on AOL, but after getting off that server, I missed it, and now have found others to share with.

My migraines are period related. The dr's have tried everything to prevent them, but they haven't worked, I'm convinced they are hormone related. I do use the imitrex shots with great success, and the pills too if I take them in time. ( I don't use them at the same time, but have learned how to regulate the usage between the pills and shots). I don't feel so bad, because mine aren't near as bad as those I read about in the forums. I have learned to give shots and only use 1/2 of what is in the pre-dosed syringes. A full shot is too much for me. So over the years I've learned to control them with this med. Food, light, smells, etc. don't seem to affect me, (thank goodness). But a change in hormones before and during my monthly cycle send my body into wack. I'm 47, and probably starting the change. BC pills kept me regular and the headaches confined in the week, but they were worse. The BC pills helped the severe mood swings, but there were too many other side effects, so went off them. The few times I've had hot flashes, I don't get the headaches. My dr. said he'd never heard a woman say she would welcome hot flashes!! If that would get rid of the headaches, I'd gladly sweat!!!

The other day I found an interesting article on the net about hormonal migraines. He used a hormonal supression drug and had gread success. (in contrast to BC pills that keep hormones high). Has anyone tried this? or know anything else about this? Everything I read was describing my symptoms. I plan on taking this article to my dr. at my next appointment.

Thanks for listening. You can reach me at

---Sue Conant

Before I start, this e-mail address is my husband's. If you want to get a hold of me (Jennifer Erickson), you can reach me through him.

Wow, did it ever feel great reading some the case historys you have on hand!!!!! I have had migraines for about 5 years. I have tried just about every drug under the sun. I have been called a "drug seeker," "addictive personality," name it. I have been told that nobody "...can have that many migraines within one week." Well, I'm sorry I do. I think my age doesn't help things either. (I am 22 years old.)

I am originally from down-state where I had an extremely understanding doctor. All hell broke loose when I had to move to Michigan's Upper Peninsula and find a new doctor because of my husband's attendance of his last year at Michigan Technological University.. I really was never so depressed in my life. The first doctor I went so me huddled on his examination table -sweating and teary-eyed - and in PAIN. He said I was anxiety driven. Well, yes....when you feel your head will explode, your pulse will go up. He didn't even prescribed me anything. The next doctor I went to (which I should of known better - most of his practice was Sports Medicine) told me that one in four women should see a psychologist and chances are I fall in that catergory. (It didn't help that he received the report from the other doctor that I was a mental.) He told me narcotics was over-rated and I should just "...go to bed." He also said that most women "...are attention-seekers." What a jerk!

So, what did I do? In August,I called my doctor down-state and told him the situation and said that either I was going to get a prescription or moving down-state again (without my husband). He really didn't understand what the doctors' problem was. (He made a crack that U.P doctors are the ones that don't make it in big cities.) Point for me. Well, if things could not get worse, he wrote a rather large prescription for Stadol NS (" help me through until Thanksgiving when my husband and I would visit home again.) and ALL and I mean ALL the pharmacists could not believe the validity of this prescription. (Three vials at a time with 12 refills!) One pharmacy would tell me that Stadol NS was 7 day supply, another 10, another 15, and another 20. Which is it? I don't know if any of you are familiar with Stadol NS, but it has about 12 one-spray doses. I could go through....well, I do go through more than that in a 24- hour period. So, what do I do about the remaining 6, 9, 14, and 19 days? The answer I had to keep switching and transferring the prescription - or go to the emergency room. (They love me there!) early September, I found out I was pregnant. My husband and I were delighted. My OB/GYN said that maybe during this time my migraines will go away....uh-huh. They took me off my preventative - Depakote (that lessened my migraines from 3-4 times a week to once a week) and I fell into a migraine PIT. Since September, I have been hospitalized 4 times and have taken my share of narcotics.

Thank God for one thing, I finally found a doctor up here that's very much like my doctor down-state. I met him by luck, though. While I was in the hospital under the care of Dr. Sports Medicine-Women are Mental, this doctor just happened to be on call almost every time. After talking to him, and telling him my situation, I could tell the reluctance of him taking me as a patient, but he did. He said he has other women in similiar situations and PREGNANT...yeah! He has mentioned counseling as a side-line (as I sure most of you heard before), but he doesn't dwell on that - as the primary solution.

It does scare me to read on these pages that some of you have had these for 20, 30 and 40 years. I have sometimes looked at migraines as a character flaw....or what did I do to deserve this? I absolutely hate being "out of control," - having pain so intense, narcotics is the only way out. Plus, it doesn't help that I am pregnant. I am sometimes concerned that my usuage already during this pregnancy might have harmed my baby.

...But, I guess in the meantime, I am very spirtual and I know God has a plan - maybe this is making me a stronger person.


Hi Ronda. This is my first visit to your site, prompted by desperation -- I am recovering from a massive migraine begun yesterday. I am 24 years old and have nervously watched migraines plague my life monthly since puberty. (My first migraine was in seventh grade. I didn't know what it was at the time, and being of classic onset I experienced aura, tunnel vision and "spotting" vision; so I thought I was going blind, until the KABOOM of the headache pounded in my cranium.) Approaching a crucial time in my life academically and personally (I am graduating soon and am getting married after that), I am at my wits end with trying to manage with this MAJOR inconvenience.

I have mainly "toughed out" the migraines, finding that about a day & a half of sleep in a totally dark, completely quiet haven helps. My method is not a reflection of stoicism, I have found NO medications or treatments effective to date. And, here is my greatest moment of frustration: my migraines follow my menstrual cycle perfectly, and none of my physicians have been able to find a method to prevent these perfectly predictable occurences. (Not to discredit these M.D.s, they have tried medications that are, to the best of their knowledge, plausible "cures" for migraines -- alas, with no avail.)

I have tried ergotamines (these subligual tabs only gave me an aversion to anything that tastes like peppermint), Midrin, Imitrex, Fiornal.... At the moment, I treat my migraines (first with panic, "oh no, not another one") with Tylenol#1 and sleep, sleep, sleep. For awhile I was trying an interesting treatment a prescription diuretic with mild anti-hypertensive agent taken for about a week after mid-cycle. It worked for the most part, but I would have unpredictable "break-through" migraines every two months or so which were worse than ever. Because of this experience (and the testimonials I have heard from other women who say that after pregnancy/birthing they get a migraine that is worse than any other), I am likening my migraines to a flooding river that is regulated by a dam (hormones) and if I prevent the dam from opening, the waters build up and create more pressure than ever when it does break through. Have other women found this experience too?

I am adopted, so I don't know my family's medical history or if other women with my genes have migraines, and if so, what their coping mechanisms are. So I seek insights from this group; strategies and support.

A final caveat on migrainous experiences, I find that my most stressful times are not laden with these incapacitating headaches, rather the time AFTER the stress (like my first moment of "down time" elaxation) is met with a monster migraine. anyone else?


My 16 year old Daughter has been experiencing migraines for a year. At the onset of my Daughters first migraine she took on a paleness, which never went away. She suffers extreme migraine which include: nausea, shakes, tunnel vision, word confustion and extreme weekness. Her Migraines mostly showup in the early mornings. She can have as many as 3 in one week, but she can go for as long as 2 months without an attack. We have found that the Imetrex Shots work well for her, but it does cause her face to break out.

At first I was so afraid that it could be something life theatening, such as a tumor. She is now under the care of a Nuerologist and being tested from everything from iron dificiency to Lupus.

I must tell everyone out there, read & learn all you can, because it really does help your fears, when you understand what is happening within the body when a migraine is happening. I cannot say I'm please with the Doctors response to treat the symptom: medicine, medicine, medicine. I WANT TO KNOW THE CAUSE. I know the biological/chemical cause relating to Seratonens, but what can we do besides drugs?

My Daughters last migraine was over a month ago. I have read articles which related to Migraine suffers being deficient in Magnesium, Vit B & Folic Acid. I don't know if the supplements are helping her, but it's been a quite a good brake for her and her paleness is not so extreme.

I have a request for any Migraine sufferers out there whom my have ongoing Paleness. Not just with your migraines but ongoing. Also, has anyone else found relief from vitimans/minerals???