Journal of Migraine Sufferers

Hi there!

I found your web sight when I was working on getting a "banger" of a migranie! I have suffered from migraines for as long as I can remember. I am 38 years old. Two children ages 5 and 15. I have tried alot of the drugs other people have talked about. The best I have found so far has been the Imetrix shots. However, recently they haven't been working. Currently I am taking 150 ml. of Zoloft a day. I haven't seen a decrease in my migraines. Who ever said that migraines decrease as you get older? Not mine and I bet alot of people would agree! There isn't one major event in my life where I can't remember NOT having a migraine for. I am tired of having to spend days in bed suffering and missing out on my families lives. I am lucky to have a husband who is wounderful and very understanding when I'm "sick". Someone else wrote about the doctors making them feel like a "drug seeker". I have experienced the same. I gave up going to the ER as they made me feel like an idiot for having a "headache". Also just gave me a shot of demerol, which does NOTHING. I wish someone would find some real answers! If anyone would like to correspond with me my e-mail address is


I have been a migraine sufferer since age 12 and remember calling them "one-sided headaches" because we didn't know the word 'migraine'. I, too, have been the route of medications. Cafergot is a big joke. Often 2 Midrin at the outset will knock mine out, and sometimes if I also take 2 Tylenole #3 with the Midrin and go to bed, it will ward off the headache. Imitrex tablets & injections are also used; sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. The best treatment is prevention and most are diet related. The worst for me are: sharp cheddar cheese, red wine, soy sauce, cayenne pepper, sometimes chili powder, nitrites, nitrates (in lunch meats, hot dogs, & alot of other foods). Chocolate is small amounts are tolerable, but how do you eat only 1 serving? I love chocolate! Caffeine is without a doubt the worst offender. I do drink coffee and as long as I stay on a strict time schedule and keep it in moderation (2-3 cups per day) I seem to do pretty well....for 3 or 4 months anyway. I have about 4 severe migraines per year. I also take Shaklee Food Supplements and they have been an absolute life-saver, especially the B-Complex. If you have not tried Shaklee products, find a Shaklee distributor and talk to him/her. There is help there for you. I also love Diet Coke and I'm convinced the Nutrasweet is much more harmful to us than the caffeine. Nutrasweet will cause headaches.

I happened to stumble onto this page while I'm in the middle of a migraine. I've had migraines since I was 7 and I'm now 45. The first medicine I ever tried was caffergot, but it made the nausea worse than the headache. None of the "ergot" drugs were helpful to me. I've been using fiorinal for years, usually at night since they made me so drowsy. About 2 1/2 years ago, I saw a neurologist for the headaches. After numerous tests and an MRI, it was confirmed that these were classic migraine headaches (as if there had ever been any doubt). I was given Imitrex and I had every negative response that was listed in the adverse reactions listing, including slurred speech patterns which wasn't listed but noticed by my family. Then I was given Staydol as a nasal spray, but it depressed my breathing so much that I had to be taken to the emergency room at the local hospital.

My internist finally offered another option, amytriptyline a.k.a. Elavil, an antidepressent. There have been research studies that showed amytriptyline as being more effective for pain in low doses and as a drug, it is very inexpensive. I was given 10mg to take nightly (a therapeutic dose for depression would be between 50 and 75mg) and it made a major difference. The number of headaches decreased. After several weeks, the dose was raised to 20 mg and within 6 weeks, I had no headaches. I can't tell you the relief. However, I began to see some weight gain. After about a year of using this drug, my weight moved from 126lbs to 145lbs. In all fairness, I am asthmatic and have had to take steroids (prednisone) from time to time. That may have accounted for some of the weight increase. I eventually stopped taking amytriptyline because my blood pressure went up. Within six weeks of stopping, the blood pressure returned to normal, however the weight is still an issue.

I've lived with migraines for a very long time and am aware of the frustration and loss of time that it brings. It's easy to feel that it controls your life and the pain from headaches that last days (in my case, 3 - 5 days was not uncommon) is debilitating.

There are drugs out there, but there are alternatives live chiropractic intervention and accupuncture. I have tried a chiropractor and added a theerapeutic massage and it has helped. I've deceased the dependence on drugs. I'm not as headache free as I was on amytriptyline, but I am better.

I found this page two days after a horrible migraine. it can hurt so bad you really don't care if you die-it would be a relief! I've had migraines for over 20 years but they really increased in frequency since my second (and last) child was born. I get migraines 2-5 times a week now. If I take imitrex tabs or a shot as soon as I feel that familiar pain-it usually gets rid of it. Also a fiorinal or two helps. What is interesting is that during both pregnancies, I never had a headache and I was so nervous about that happening because I knew I could not take any meds.

My ex-neurolgist was not very sympathetic and said to just live with it. He did try me on various preventive meds but some did not work and some seemed to give me headaches!

A cold headache band filled with gel I bought at Eckerd"s works well during recoup from a headache. It almost numbs the temple area. I get so discouraged getting the migraines frequently- Some people make me feel that I bring these on purpose to get attention or avoid situations. Sometimes I even begin to believe them, but I really know that I can't be that crazy or have that much power over blood vessels in my head. I'm glad I'm not alone now.


Dear Ronda,

The first migraine I remember getting is when I was about five years old. There are relatives on both sides of my family with severe migraines. I was about 8 yrs. old when a Dr. diagnosed me with migraines. I passed them on to both of my sons. My oldest, now 25, seems to have grown out of them. My 19 yr. old only gets them every now and then now. It's funny how Drs. try everything before admitting that you have migraines. My youngest son was have headaches and was sick to his stomache and vomiting when he was five years old. I kept trying to tell the Dr. that he was having migraines, he decided he knew best and put my son through all kinds of tests. In the end he admitted that it was migraines.

Anyway, I degress. I have the classic migraine. It starts with the visual aura, like lights flashing and blank spots in my vision. One temple or the other starts to throb. One side of my arm, hand, face, tongue goes numb and my thinking and speech process are garbled. Next comes the upset stomach and vomiting. There are times when the dry heaves just keep coming. I've had to go to the hospital to get a shot of demoral, which most times didn't help. They last two to three days - not the headache itself, but the dragged out feeling. Glare, msg, chocolate, cheese, nuts, humidity, change in tempature - there are so many things to bring them on. I, too, have been through the relm of medications. Cafergot, fiorinol, fioricet, feverfew, etc. I also took inderol 3x a day for years. I finally decided I was sick of taking pills, so I stopped the inderol. One of the problems for me taking inderol was that I have normally low blood pressure and this medication is also used to lower blood pressure. I was so dragged out all of the time, it was hard to get up and go to work. I decided to try imitrex pills. I tried them twice. I felt like I had such a heavy chest, it scared me, so I stopped taking that. My Dr. then prescribed Midrin. The minute I feel like I could get a migraine, I take 1-2 capsules. This medication keeps the blood vessels from constricting. I can take up to five twice a week. No more than 10 per week. They work well for me. Most of the time I can get rid of it before it really takes hold of me. The times that I do get the headache, it's fairly short lived with little to no nausea.

I'm lucky. My husband and children have seen me sick enough times with these headaches, that they know to be quiet. I hibernate in my room until I feel better.

Thanks for this website. It's been really interesting to read about what other people have gone through and done to cope with these intense/debilitating headaches.


Dear Ronda,

I have had migraines since I started my period at age 16. Sleep is the only thing that ultimately makes them stop. Medications help lessen the intensity enough that sometimes I can sleep. But I have to go to the ER for Demerol when nothing else works.

My headaches are hormone related. Like others, I don't have them when I am pregnant. When I breastfeed it tends to make them less frequent and less intense, I guess because it stops the hormone fluctuation. I've had 4 kids in 7 years, so I haven't had them as often in the last years. However, my youngest is 2 and I'm starting to have them more frequently and more intensely. My last one only lasted 1 day but the side effects lasted mroe than 1 week. I couldn't see clearly enough to drive or function well. It scares me because I'm sure I'm suffering permanent damage in my brain. I just don't process things properly after a migraine. I can see, but I can't figure things out quickly. Does anyone else do this?

I have the nausea, headache, aura, tunnel vision and numbness up one side of my body, usually my left. Also, slurred speech and general confusion.

Write to me at


---Cindy Vaughn

I know that I'm just another migrane sufferer on this web site, but after I read some of these stories, I just have to find out if there is any hope in finding the right medicine or if I'm also headed into a dead end.

To make a long story short I am a classic migrainer and have been for about 16 years. I get most all accompaniments with the headache; aura, numbing, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to sound and light, confusion, and dizziness, although not all necessarily during the same attack. When these migraines first started they would occur pretty infrequently- about twice a year. As the years progressed they became more frequent and more painful, on the average 1-2 times/month, until around 30-31. The migraines then became even more frequent, and for a time - every few days.

At 32 I was diagnosed with lymphoma. I'm not sure if the frequency of the migraines had anything to do with my diagnosis, since I was walking around with this for almost 1 year without proper diagnosis. During chemo, radiation and ultimitely a stem cell rescue, the migranes cycled about once or twice a month and then went away for a brief period of time.

Part of my chemo treatments has left me menopausal. I tried hormone replacement therapy for about 1 month. This caused a migraine for one entire week. Obviously I had to stop using this therapy. This was the first time I had been through such a long period of time with a headache that just would not let up. I was given Imitrex tablets for the pain but I could not and cannot use it since it causes me side effects. Was given various other medications which helped for only a short time. Since the end of February I am living with migraines almost every day. Have tried many medications, herbs and... nothing. Saw many doctors/neurologists - nothing has improved. Stopped all medications (possible cause of rebounds)...nothing. I am now starting my journey into preventative medicine with propranolol. However,after reading some of the stories on this web site I'm a little dissapointed since it appears the preventative medicine does not work either. Has anyone ever had a good experience with this medication or any other preventative medicine? Or, am I just wasting my time and should move onto something else? I have heard that many people must go through many different meds (trial and error) before finding the right balance of medicine to aleviate the dreaded MIGRAINE. Does this ring true? Well, good luck to all in the search for NO MORE PAIN!