Journal of Migraine Sufferers

What a relief to read all these stories! I started getting migraines when I was about 15, and they have gotten progressively worse. My mother also suffered migraines until her mid thirties(great I'm 25, I guess that means I only have 10 more years to worry about). I was having migraines 3-5 times a week, and was beginning to wonder if I was imaging them all, but it seems that many of you share the same frequency. Recently I changed my PCP and was placed on Zoloft, I must admit that the frequency has been reduced ( 1-3 a week) and the severity is also diminished! (THANK GOD!) I have been unable to pin down any specific causes, but I often suffer the worst ones after a stressful situation. I have been on amitryptiline, endural and verapamil as preventative measures, none of those worked. However I did have a nice ER experience after taking Verapamil and having my BP drop to 90/60 at work and passing out!! For controlling the pain I have tried fiorinal, midrin, esgic, tylenol 3, Stadol NS and phrenelin forte. The stadol worked however the doctor I was seeing made getting a refill such a pain in the but, that I gave up! I have also tried the ergotamines, which made me violently ill, and imetrex, which usually works but makes me feel almost as bad as the migraine.

Before an attack I get a lightning aura in my left eye, stiffness in my neck, and my hearing becomes very sensitive, especially to high pitched noises. During an attack my speech seems confused(like I can't get the right words to come out, and I have to concentrate very hard on what I am saying) and the left side of my face and body seem heavy. And then comes the intense pain behind my left eye and ear, and photophobia.

I have been to neurologist, had the CT scan and the MRI, as well as a spinal tap. All of which were normal, however there were no venus pulses in my left eye. The neurologist diagnosed me with migraines and temporal nerve neuralgia and sent me to a physical therapist. I went to 10 weeks of physical therapy, which did not really help. My dentist also diagnosed me with TMJ and made a splint for me to wear, this has not helped either. I recently switched my PCP and am hoping that they may be more willing to work with me. I find my age to be very hampering in this, since it seems that the doctors think I am just trying to get drugs, or at least it seems that way to me.

Ususally when I get a migraine now, I reach for my imetrex and pack my head in ice, and go lay in a dark room until it goes away, or if all else fails I head to the ER, which gets pretty expensive. Anyway, thanks for letting me ramble, I would appreciate hearing from anyone else, especially if you have some good recommendations!!!

---Marquette Smith

Wow...As i read thru this journal I too am amazed at the ppl that have migraines and the extent they have them!! I'd like to give a little input into this page.

I am a 44 year old female and i have suffered with migraines for 17 years. They started off being relatively mild and have now progressed to the point that i am on the internet searching for some magical cure for these things. My aura is extremely scarey these days. I fear that i am going to pass out. I have been thru the usual circuit of trying to find out what triggers mine and i have really learned a lot reading other's triggers. Things that i haven't ever thought about being triggers. Thanks all yall for the great sharing of knowledge. I never thought about keeping a journal of when i had the headaches...nor did i have any knowledge about the many triggers that ppl have. One of the worst things i not eat for about 12-13 hours and go to work....never thought about that being a trigger till i read it on someone's story...And when i think about it, that is frequently when i have the migraines!!

Another issue that i saw a lot in other letters, I'd like to address. A lot of ppl complained about the ER staff treating them like they were junkies.....There are always two sides to every coin...I too suffer from migraines.....and i am a RN in a ER. I feel that no one at work understands my headaches and think that i have them because i don't want to work...WRONG!!! But hey, i have to deal with them, they don't. That is the attitude that everyone that feels like they are being judged a junkie when they go to an ER should take:) i said there are two sides to every coin. The ppl in ER are human. We see a lot of ppl that are drug seekers that use migraines for drugs...When some one comes in with makeup on laughing and talking with friends, kinda makes you wonder if they really have a migraine..When you have a migraine do you laugh and talk?? I don't..i wanna be alone in a dark one talking to me or asking me to move!!! So before you judge the ER crew badly as you think they judge you too...think about it We deal with a lot of ppl that are there just for the drugs. Not just ppl with migraine headaches.

I do empathize with most of our patients that come in with migraines. But there are so many lawsuits these days against the medical profession that MD's have become leery of overdosing ppl with narcotics.

Thanks for all the wonderful, helpful hints that i have read about..If anyone has a fairly good list of triggers ...Please share with me and maybe i can find some relief from these killer headaches:)

Thanks so much for your wonderful page. I enjoy reading it and hearing about fellow migraine sufferers.

I have had migraines for 40 years now and I just turned 40! It began with passing out and going blue as a baby, then progressed to 1 to 3 a year till I reached age 9 or 10. Then as a teen the headaches got worse and more frequent and when in university I began to get 5-7 per month. Now I get from 15 to 20 per month, with my worst month being March '96 when I got 28.I get the aura and light show with them. I have tried many, many different medicines with varying degrees of success which usually ended. My neurologists have been supportive and are eager to try new things on me. The latest thing that works the best is Migranal, a DHE nasal spray. It is new in Canada and I was part of the tests group last summer for it. After taking it the migraine usually gets milder and disappears in about half an hour. Although it is difficult to take at work. (I teach young children) I also need to take Tylenol #3 along with it and something for nausea.

I have some other medical conditions as well. I am a insulin-dependent diabetic(for the past 7 years) and find that when my blood sugar level dips below 4.2mm I get a bad migraine. Also I have carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands and had surgery on the right hand to 'fix' it in December. I have high blood pressure which is on and off again. Also I have a very sore right knee but nothing compares to the pain of a migraine for sure.

I have a question for you fellow sufferers: I sometimes get a weird condition where I have exactly half an ice cold face and half a red hot face. It may also happen to my feet. No one knows what this could be and a migraine soon follows or I am in the middle of one. Does anyone know what this could be? Thanks.

Feel free to e-mail me. I'd love to hear from you.


I am a 59 year old male. I have suffered from migraine headaches for 40 years. Migraines run in my family. My grandmother, mother and daughter are also migraine sufferers.

Years ago the headache frequency was once or twice a month. But as I have gotten older, the frequency has increased to the point of having a headache every other day. I have tried to find a satisfactory treatment over the past 10 years without success.

Over the years I have taken many of the usual preventive medicines cited by other sufferers; e.g., the beta and calcium blockers, without success. I am also avoiding known triggers such as alcohol, MSG, nutrisweet, nitrites etc.

Imitrex, both shot and pill, worked for me. The problem is that I got to the point where I was taking 25 mg per day. The current neurologist I am seeing has taken me off the Imitrex. His diagnosis is that I am "rebounding". Plus his assessment is that taking Imitrex so frequently will only lead to the need in the future for more potent medication.

The doctor substituted DHE for the Imitrex. Some progress was initially made with the DHE (I was able to go 7 days between DHE usage) but I'm now back to having a headache every other day. During this recent period of time, I was also taking 400 to 800 mg of Ibuprofen a day in an effort to extend the time between taking DHE. Now the doctor says I am "rebounding" from the Ibuprofen. In other words, no successful treatment has been identified with the current neurologist.

I have also had the disappointing experience cited by others, such as no sympathy or understanding and lack of interest by doctors - it must be in your head - how poetic.

Dear Readers,

I am 27 years old and have had migraines since the age of 2. Chronic pain hads been a major part of my life. I have accepted the fact that I will probably have headaches for the rest of my life. My family and friends are very supportive. I am trying to find migraineurs who are interested in e-mailing (I'm not ready for chat rooms yet). If you are interested in chatting please e-mail me at Hope to hear from you soon.


Hey Ronda,

When I put my journal entry in around February, I mentioned an article about menstrual migraines I had found, and stupid me didn't bother to the address in!!! So here it is Sorry, our fellow male sufferers, this won't apply to you! But if you know a woman with this problem print it out! :) Thanks.



I found the Journal of Migraine Sufferers. Help me! I have had just about a daily problem with headaches, but only, only, only when I wake up in the morning. I hate the morning, and sometimes think it would be easier to hit myself with a sledeghammer. The pain is always in my left eye and left side of my eye, sometimes also down the left side of the back of my head and neck. It makes me so angry, and my husband and two children have to deal with my inability to function for awhile. After I get up, which kills me because when I stand up the pressure just booms, and take tylenol, have coffee, and rub my neck, and stretch, it goes away until the next morning. The routine is always the same. I took Midrin for a while, but stopped, I can't take care of the kids or go to work all drunk-like. It is not fair is it! Thanks for listening,


You can reach me at