Journal of Migraine Sufferers

I'm writing on behalf of my 12 year old son because our home connection to the web is out of order. Matt is slightly built but very athletic, and is in good health. About two years ago he complained of severe headaches about once a month. Because we live in Georgia and they initially happened after a day of playing in the heat, my first reaction was that it was caused by dehydration or fatigue. Twice he has had to leave baseball games (a fate worse than death for him) because of severe headaches. As time has gone by, however, exertion hasn't always been the trigger for the headache. Matt has had to be checked out of school with them, had them in the middle of winter, and even has been awakened at night by them. They are excruciating and he cannot do anything but weep and moan when they hit. More and more often lately, nausea and vomiting are part of the episode. The frequency has remained at 10 - 15 per year.

My wife had migraines when she was pregnant, but seldom has them any more. I would imagine that is the hereditary link I've read about. We've tried dietary restrictions, but are unable to isolate anything in that way.

Thanks for the website. I have already learned many things from others -- most notably that these awful things do strike males as well as females. My experience prior to Matt's episodes had only been with women who were over 16. It is sobering to find out that many of your readers are well into middle age and have experienced migraines since they were Matt's age. I don't yet have the heart to tell him that they don't just go away with age.

Hi! This site is a godsend, and even if I don't log onto it every day, I know this place is there for me whenever I have a question or whenever I'm feeling a little like I'm all alone. Which is how I'm feeling right now. See, I was doing well for the past couple months after we increased my dosage of Pamerol (an anti-depressant that is supposed to be good for people who wake up with headaches) and decreased by a smidge my dosage of Corgard (beta blocker). I had even returned to a daily, 1/2 hour fitness cycle ride. Not too strenuous, just below the threshold, focusing more on the half-hour than the sweat level. Then last week bam! I had a seizure. Never happened before. Ended up in ER.

We think it may be epilepsy because I have a family history of the disorder (or whatever you call it). Apparently, some of the things that I have always associated with headache (confusion, 'zoning out,' etc.) can also be linked to epilepsy. Is there anyone else out there who has migraine + epilepsy? How are you treating it? I've started using Depakote (anticonvulsant) in addition to my other medications. Does anyone know if biofeedback training can help with epilepsy too? All this is happening when my husband and I have decided to try and have a baby. We've already pushed that back so I can stay on medication longer (and become 'stabilized'; I was having headaches every day, including two or more whizbangers each week) and have time to try biofeedback. I don't know how this new feature will affect our plans.

Anyone else in a similar situation?

Ruth Lopez's case history (Mark 1997) is right on!! I am happy that I have found a compassionate doctor who takes me seriously. My insurance is refusing to cover it (I -was- enrolled in an HMO plan), but he is, so far, worth it. He is affiliated with an excellent clinic, the Michigan Headpain and Neurological Institute (MHNI).

Before I hooked up with MHNI, I was working with my family doctor. We were doing okay, not great, but I felt he was working as hard as I was at the problem. All that changed when I took my first trip to the ER. I really thought I was going to die. I couldn't imagine anyone surviving through the pain. As it happened, the staff at the hospital had me wait so long that I finally lost all control and started wailing and rocking back and forth. Do you know how strange it is to be completely rational yet incapable of controlling oneself, physically? Of course you do. Anyone who suffers migraines knows. Anyway, after the hospital drugged me up and sent me home, I went to see my family physician for some more demerol (sp?), even if it was to just help me relax as I rode through the pain. This is what my doctor did:

a) the nurse had turned out the lights, but when he came in he said, "it's too dark in here. How can anyone work like this?" then turned on all the lights (it wasn't that dark).

b) I could barely speak above a whisper because of the pain, and he kept telling me to "speak up" while he sat in a chair by the opposite wall. No effort to move closer, no apparent understanding of the situation at all.

Needless to say he rejected my request to see a specialist. Finally, he agreed to let me see a neurologist, but she was as clueless as he. So, now I've found a clinic (which came recommended by staff members in the ER and by people I knew), but I'm out of a family physician and fighting with insurance companies (it just so happened that I had double coverage at that point, but not even the traditional plan will cover me. They say because I went to a doctor unapproved by my HMO, they won't cover him either(!!!). No matter that the two plans have anything to do with each other (where's my headache lobby?! I'm ready to join now!!) Such are the 'headaches' we acquire in search of relief.

Dear Ronda,

My name is Karen Kordakis and I read your letter on the "On-Line Migraine Journal." I too suffered from migraines. Note the word suffered. I no longer do and I want to share how. First a brief history: I have had migraines for the past 20 years. For the first ten years I only had migraines about once or twice a year. Not bad, but eventually I started getting them about 1-2 per six months. Well with three kids, a husband and operating a business from home this was beginning to be too much. Over the past 1 1/2 years I started getting them 1-2 a month and eventually was getting 1-3 per week. WOW!!! Now that was way to many. I tried the Midrin, the Imitrex, Verapamil, etc and many others, but the only thing that would help was Fiorinal. At first one would entirely relieve my headache, then 2, than 2 would vaguely take the edge off so that I could still function (however little that was). I was becoming desperate. I had been through the battery of diet watching, cycling the headaches, etc and there was no one cause that came up, other than stress (which is pretty hard to avoid with 3 children let alone the rest of life.) My friend told me about a product called "Proanthenol Bio-Complex" manufactured by "LifePlus." At this point I was desperate and would try anything so I did. I ordered them and within 3 days my headaches were resolving (at that point my headache never completely resolved it was always in the background just waiting to become acute.) After 1, then 2, than 3 weeks NO MIGRAINES at all. I was STOKED. I continued taking them for another 2 weeks and then (being in the midst of moving and escrow, etc, etc) I ran out and didn't bother to get more just yet, by the third day I had a migraine. I tried resting, Ibuprofen, etc, and eventually returned to my Fiorinal to resolve me headache. Needless to say the first thing the next morning I re-filled my "Proanthenol". And again have been migraine free for 2 months. I call this nothing short of a miracle wonder drug. But the best thing is that it is not a drug and is totally natural. It is available through LifePlus. You can contact them on the phone at 1-800-572-8446 and give them PIN#: 416834 and my name Karen Kordakis, or you can contact the web site at and sign up and order "Proanthenol" there. I am so excited about what this has done for me that I wanted every migraine sufferer to know and take this so that they too could get relief.

If you have any questions or comments please write me back. We are in the process of moving so let me give you my P.O. box just in case something happens with my e-mail account or phone number.

Karen Kordakis
P.O. Box 568
San Marcos, CA  92079
I hope this helps your migraines too. Let me know how it works for you.

Warm regards,


P.S. I also suffer from carpal tunnel as I am a Medical Transcriptionist from home and the Proanthenol has completed taken away that pain. My husband suffers from severe allergies and again the Proanthenol cured that as well. I truly believe that this is a "wonder cure."

Thank you, Ronda

As a recovering alcoholic with 18 years soberiety. I have come to believe in the power of talking with others who share a problem.

I had migraines as a child and coming from a pretty unstable family I learned to hide when I got one. I usually went behind the furnace. They were pretty terrible and I attempted suicide at 14. Not entirely because of the migraines, but they contributed to my feelings of helplessness.

I tried birth control pills in college and the headaches reached a new height (I am 45 years old now). The pain always was centered around my right eye so, logically to me, I went to an opthamologist. Lo and behold I have elevated intraocular pressure, no one quite knows why nor is this connected to the headaches. At least I don't think so. It confuses things however.

There was a lessening in the frequency of the headaches between 20-30 and then they returned. I did what I had done as a child and hid them from almost everyone. Finally I could not stand it and visited a doctor. Some have been kind, some have been jerks. I was very afraid to take anything "mind altering" because I was newly sober. However, as the migraines got worse I think I would have used anything.

My headaches begin in my sleep and wake me in absolutely agony. I once received a lumbar puncture, I think because my neck gets very rigid during the second day of a migraine and I throw up many, many times. Anyway, the lumbar puncture hole did not close and I was "leaking" spinal fluid. A bit of humor with all this . . . I worked at the rehab where I had once been a patient and when an ambulance was called because I was seeing double and could not hold my head up, I refused transport unless they put a blanket over my head and I was sitting on the gurney. Still hiding, I guess. Fellow sufferers will appreciate that after spending four days in ICU absolutely flat, I arrived home to find a bill from the hospital where I had the spinal tap.

Thanks for the chance to tell my story. To wind up, Imitrex; pills and injections usually help. I take Inderal which was remarkably helpful for some five years and still is pretty good. I have also been used as a science experiment at some hospitals and once was given Reglan and never told it may cause anxiety! Now I tell them I tend to destroy emergency departments if ever given Reglan. It helps to keep a sense of humor. I married a wonderful man and we have a routine; if I wake with a "bad one" say at 4:00 a.m. I can function enough to get him coffee then he can drive me to the hospital. We live with it and try to remember all the good days when I am sobbing with the pain.

Best, kindest care always seems to come from those who get migraines or love someone who gets them. What is Depakote? Something I've missed?? Any other recovering migraneurs (sounds like we can perform somehow) out there? Again, thanks. TPC -- e-mail

Finding this web site has been a God send. For so long I felt as if I was the worst migaine patient medical science had encountered. For years I blamed myself for these attacks.

I've suffered with migrains since I was 18 years old. The incidence of migraine increased a few years after the birth of my first child. I have suffered with migraines for some 16 years. To complicate the issue I also suffer with severe hypertention. Consequesntly a lot of the wonder drugs on the market (like Imitrex) I can't take because that drug will negatively impact the hypertention. I suffer severe headache about 7 days of the month. Which means for 20 plus days in each month I do well and am either headache free or experience slight headache discomfort.

I find it interesting that many physicians focus on the number of headaches I have reather than the number of days I'm a normal functioning human being. I have endured the insults from ER and Urgent Care Facility physicians indicating that I'm drug seeking. I've had physicians walk into an exam room and not examine me and declare that I'm misusing the the ER. I've been checked into urgent care facilities only to wait 3 hours before a doctor comes into the room, and when he does come in he will flick on the bright lights and ask in a booming voice " So you're back again, what's wrong this time?" Doctors have told me the headaches I suffer are from stress and that "may I can't have it all". I've done biofeedback, lost weight, modified my diet, increased exercise. All of the above are good for anyone's general health and I've seen benefits from biofeedback and increased exercise and weight loss, however when I'm in the throughs of a migraine none of these things work.

In these 16 years of suffering I've encountered many compansionate doctors. Currently, I've found a physican who will treat me with demerol for the most severe headaches, however he always cautions me that 7 shots a month is too much and complains that the only time he ever sees me is when I have a headache. He 's worried about addiction. Clearly I would like for physicians who deal with chronic pain paitients to volunteer at a local drug facility. Physicians need to really understand the definition of dependency. Individuals who are drug dependent need the drug/s of choice daily, sometimes several time a day depending on the level of addiction.

I think migraine suffers should begin to challenge the system. Doctors today are scared stiff to prescribe pain medication that enable chronic severe pain suffers to live. Having read accounts from people on this site I've not heard that they don't want to work, don't want to be good parents, spounses or participatory family members, don't want to be participating members of society. Somehow health care provides have batched together indivuduals who abuse and misuse durgs and chronic pain suffers. If you ask any dootor why they don't want to prescribe tylenol 3 or 4, percodan, demerol and the plethera of other pain medications to documented chronic pain suffers it is becuase of governmental regulatory agencies. They are afraid of having their diagnosis questioned or their licience suspended. They are afaid to stand up and be advocates for their patients. It's easier to have patients suffer than it is to justify their diagnosis. Most physicians can't and won't deal with confrontation, it's easier and in their best interest to turn a deaf ear when it comes to chronic migraine sufferes. As tax paying citizens I believe we should demand better treatment. We may have to get legislators involved to advocate our positions, since our doctors won't.

Unfortunately headache can't been seen, touched, x-rayed, often MRI's are normal. Doctors (especially primary care and family physicans) are taught to treat and deal with concreate conditions. To many of these physicians migraines are abstract and therefore don't really exist.

To my fellow suffers, I say, don't let anyone tell you what you feel doesn't really exist. Keep searching until you find a physican who will listen and do an objective examination. I know it's hard to find doctors who understand what we are going through. Maybe it's time to start listing migrain specialist or primary care physicians, by state and city, on a web site.

I want to thank my husband for letting me use his e-mail address.

Does anyone out there suffer from severe vertigo, several times a day, for several minutes at a time with the "Migraine Condition?" My daughter gets migraines (with the aura) and at other times during the day, unrelated to the migraine headaches, has severe vertigo. This has been going on (the vertigo) since last November. She started having migraines at about age 4. She is now 18 and on Imitrex and Depakote.

Thanks for your reply.

---Linda Grover

I recently discovered that I suffer from migraine headaches. I am 18 years old and just had my first migraine last week. I had another migraine last night. At first I didn't know what it was, then I went to the doctor and he diagnosed my with a classis case of migraine headaches. I was scared at first. I saw curvy lines that kept moving as my eyes moved. I also saw spots that would not enable me to see a whole picture. Light was a problem, as well. Then suddenly I got a severe headache that knocked me into my bed. The only way to avoid the feeling was to try and sleep it off. Eventually it went away. All I know is that I couldn't move, get comforatable, talk, or even concentrate. I don't like migraines and I hope this doesn't become a continual thing.