Journal of Migraine Sufferers

HELP HELP HELP HELP PLEASE!!!!!!! I am a 26yr old female w/a 7yr history of chronic migraine headaches. As with so many of the other case histories I've read here, I've found no relief to date. The "miracle cures" like Imitrex etc. either don't work or take WAY too long to give even the slightest relief. For the last 15 days I've had a recurring migraine, affected only by the one shot of Demerol I was willing to beg for. I really don't know what to do anymore. It's affecting my work, my personal life, I barely sleep for fear of waking up with one of these agonizing headaches. Doctors and ER's make me feel like a junkie, I go through prescriptions of Vicodin like they're candy, and Benadryl like there's no tomorow. WHAT CAN I DO? Any suggestions (other than the usual-and you ALL know what those are!) are welcome.

Please respond to with any thoughts...THANK YOU!!!


This is my fist time to your site. After reading many of your heart breaking stories, I consider myself quite lucky.

I'm 51, male and never had a headach, let alone a migraine until my mid thirties. At that time I developed a three day boomer that I couldn't get rid of with across the counter medication. My Dr. told me that I had a "Cluster Headach" and gave me some Tylenol 3. That helped for a while. From there I progressed to many of the medications described by your readers, most with horrible side effects. The bark, I felt, was worse than the bite. I chose to only take medication, when I needed it. I'm fortunate, in that I can sometimes go two months or so without an attack. When I do get one, I take Fiorinal C 1/2, get a frozen gell pack, put it in an old sock, go to bed and wrap the sock around my head so that it rests on my temple. If that doesn't do it with in 24 - 36 hr, I go to the Imitrex. I cut the Imitrex in 1/2, as I don't like the effects of a full dose. It makes my chest feel heavy and makes my finger tips and inside of my mouth very sensitive to hot and cold. Also, I find that the Imitrex gives me a rebound within twenty four hours. By cutting the pill in half, I find that it will usually get rid of the headach within an hour, with little side effects.

My Dr. has addmitted me to the hospital two or three times, but I come out of there feeling worse for the experience. He has, on several occations, forbidden me to drive.

The headach is always in the left temple and gets behind my eye, turning it blood red and weepy, throwing my vission out the window. I've tried to figure out the cause of these migraines and after making up a computer chart tracking all that I eat and drink in a 24 hr. period for a three month and six month period, have come to the conclusion that there is nothing in my diet, other than coffee, that appears to be a trigger. I did make another chart, over the same two time periods, tracking the daily barometric pressure readings. Bingo! It would appear that this is the most likely cause, because as the preassure bigins to fall, I'd more offten than not get a migraine. Spring and mid winter seem to be the worst time of the year. This was a very time consuming, but worth while exercise. It helped me to understand the cause. The Dr.(s) are of little help, other than being there when I need to renew my medications, which they seem willing enough to do.

My heart goes out to all of you fellow sufferers. Those who have never had a migraine of any type, will never comprehend the suffering. All we can do is get the best help available and help ourselves, no matter how difficult the road my be. Not an easy task.

PS: I was at the pharmacy tonight and asked if there was anything new on the market for migraine. Imitrex has just put out a single dose nasel spray, which is absorbed much faster than the pill and is not as cumbersome as injections. The price is about the same as the pill form, which here in Canada is about $20.00 each.

Take care.

---Rodger Hurtubise
Winnipeg, MB. Canada

I thought I would add my case to your list! I am 43 and have been getting migraines since I was about 27. I usually just have to stick it out and go to bed. Midrin does seem to help if I can catch it early.

Last August (1996) I developed what is called a toxic vascular headache. This is a headache that neer goes away, and has many similarities to migraines. It is in the neck and lower back right portion of the head. I have recieved injections -but no luck. Right now I take Ansaid during the day and Norflex or Flexerol at night. If I skip[ a dose I have to deal with the pain and a possible escalation to a migraine. I still can't believe that there are headaches that never go away and are there 24 hours a day!

I am being treated at the Headache Clinic of the Cleveland Clinic. My regular doctor gave up. The specialist says that the headache will go away, but he doesn't know when. He says he has seen some hang on for years. Mine will be a year old in August.

If anyone has a similar situation I would love to hear you solution. Please e-mail me at: Thank you very much!


Hi Ronda and group. This is my first time writting to anyone regarding these migraines. I found your page and thought why not?? I'm 41 in good health, I exercise (swimming) three times a week no food, drink, weight issues, I,m male. A school counselor by profession happily married with two beautiful daughters, the american dream. Since I was thirteen Ive been getting these wonderful migraines. Classic kind. Why a headache would be called classic is beyond me. A car maybe but a brain buster come on. Anyway like so many of your case histories I have bilaterial cluster migraines. Auras, fortress effect, plus one or the other of my pupils will dilate as well as one of my nostrils will run. Ive' been through the mill with drug therapys cafergots, beta blockers, calcium blockers, imitrex, stadol, the list goes on. I have also had all the scans Mri etc, real lab rat here. Nothing new as far as the pain goes same as so many of the other folks. I call then commod huggers. Feels like someone has worked over the side of my head with a ball pean hammer. Anyway dont want to go into all that just need to vent a little and ask how you all deal with the hurt and helplessness you see in the eyes of your loved ones as well as manage your own. I think I get to the edge of my endurance and then some one who has suffered so much in this old life will pop up and I find the strenght to get going. This feeling like a druggy bothers me as well as the anxiety about work. I've simply stopped telling any one which makes me feel even more isolated. I get real depressed which I've learned is all part of this wonderful problem... it does go away but during an episode its tough to stay positive. The frequency of these attacks has increased over time for me. Thats a real puzzeler. As well as the pain. Man its so bad at times all I want to do is just numb it out with anything. There are times when nothing is available and going to the er scares me so its ice, dark room, four tylenol, and sleep. What a way to go. I'm glad to have found this page thanks for the boost from your own stories and knowing I'm not loosing whats left of my mind, that there are others who have this same situation happening in there lives. Any insight on what to do at work, or how to better manage this mess please let me know. If some one has found a good med that Wont make me a junkie please pass that on too. Best to all in the fight for normalacy. My e-mail add is Thanks #*.-/


I'm writing on behalf of my wife. Prior to my wife's hysterectomy, except for a six month period while on Lupron for Endometriosis, my wife had never had a migraine. She has no family history of migraines. During her six months on Lupron, she had two debilitating migraines triggered by bright sunlight and hot summer weather. After her hysterectomy(complete), the migraines started just about when the post surgical Demerol wore off. Triggers were varied but most frequently bright glaring light, exposure to sunlight (whether directly in her eyes or not), and breezes or wind on her face. As little as a few seconds exposure would trigger them. The only thing that would make them bearable was Tylenol with codeine. Her Ob/Gyn tried several types of estrogen with no results and finally referred her to a Gynecological Endocrinologist. Prior to her first appointment with him, for base line data, she went to a Neurologist and an Opthalmologist to rule out eye or neurological trouble as causes. By this time we were convinced that it had something to do with estrogen. The GE took blood (which the Ob/Gyn had not done) and had it tested for estrogen level which turned out to be very low in relation to the dosage. After changing her prescription from oral to the skin patch her level came up somewhat but not enough. It took a while but she finally convinced the GE that she needed a much higher level of estrogen to function normally. At three times what a normal woman would need, she's still not quite high enough but is staying there because of the risk of breast cancer, and some other symptoms that appeared at four times normal. With the increases in estrogen the severity of the migraines has diminished to "normal" headaches and what she calls mini-migraines. They are no longer debilitating, but are still triggered by bright light and/or wind on her face. The only thing that will make them bearable is Tylenol with codeine, so she prevents them by not going outside when it's sunny or windy or both, which is most of the time. She and I believe that her migraines and her estrogen level are related somehow, possibly that the low level makes her susceptible to the triggers, or that the low level contributes to seratonin depletion. If anyone has had similar symptoms or problems, please feel free to write. Also anyone who is now using L-Tryptophan for migraines with any success . I'm at . Thanks Ronda from Bill and Maureen.

I had my first migraine at the age of 22 after my first child was born. They came every other day accompanied by nausea and vomiting. I would take aspirin and caffine at night and feel great the next day. This went on for about three months. I thought the headaches were caused by my eyes so I got new glasses. The headaches went away. Then after my second child was born two years later, the headaches came back and I have not had much relief since--nearly 18 years.

I have been to a chiropractor, orthodontist, neurologists, and had all the tests known to man. I have tried all the drugs (I can't remember all their names). My medical doctor tried all the medications she knew of and sent me to a neurologist. At my last visit (last week), he said he didn't know whatelse to do--I was on my own. I do take Desyrel (100mg) at bedtime. I do not sleep well (I never have), but with the Desyrel I do sleep. When the pain starts (usually in the back of my neck--right side or left side), I take a Norgesic Forte (3mg.). If the pain continues after an hour or two, I take another Norgesic Forte. If the pain still continues after an hour, I take an Imitrex (25mg) tablet. (I used to use the Imitrex injections which, I think, worked better; but they really wiped by out and I didn't like the pain of the needle much either.) I then have to lie down and do nothing for the rest of the day. My neurologist says what I have are daily headaches (which can be controlled by Norgesic Forte) and migraines, which I get three to four times a month.

I have tried to keep a journal of my headaches and how weather, food, stress, etc., affect them but there never seems to be a pattern. The headaches can come at any time of the day or night, but the normal is that either I wake up early with one or it comes in the afternoon. I try not to let the pain stop me, but as you know sometimes it does anyway.

My father used to get a lot of headaches, but he never went to the doctor for them so I don't know if they were migraines or not. He said they went away after his heart by-pass surgery. My sister also gets headaches, but she says they are caused by stress.

I enjoyed reading about the other migraine suffers. Not because of their pain but because knowing there are people out there who really understand the pain and feeling of helplessness that comes from migraines.