Journal of Migraine Sufferers

My name is Trish. I am a 23-year-old female. When I saw your web page I almost cried. I have suffered from excrutiating migraine headaches since I was about 12. I have seen neurologists in every state I've lived in (several) and tried every medicine imaginable ( from Prozac to Midrin to Belligral to Propanolol). I have been married for about 2 year now, and my headaches are beginning to interfere with my marriage. Not to mention my work (which they always have done). My husband never has had headaches and doesn't really understand what it's like to be in terrible pain, vomiting for hours, in the dark......alone.

I would love to hear from anyone who can offer advice. Before, I usually had warning signs before these attacks.....bright spots, loss of feeling, nausea... And I used to be able to find some relief with ice packs or cool baths. But, now, they just come, and they won't stop with anything. And, I'm having them about 3-4 times a week. Some last for days. I had one recently that lasted for 2 weeks. They make me feel very dizzy, I lose feeling, and my speech becomes very slurred.

I feel so depressed, because it seems I can never do ANYTHING because I am in so much extreme pain!!!! I've done the tests...MRI, EEG, etc. Everything there is normal.

Please help if you can. As I type this, I am getting ready for another appointment with another doctor. Why do they always treat you like your crazy?? If I'm crazy, it's because these migraines are driving me there.

I have written this board a few times and I need help! I have tried every treatment known and still wake up everyday with at least a 4 on the 1 to 10 pain scale. I AM TIRED OF HURTING!!! If anyone in the Nashville, TN area can help, please let me know!

I am 32 years old and have been suffering from migraines at least since I was a teenager. As a child, I often felt nauseated and headachy if I didn't eat when I needed to - to the point of feeling too sick to eat anything! My migraines have gradually, over the years, become more and more defined with the one-sidedness and throbbing in one eye but not the other. And even now, when I don't eat when I feel a gnawing hunger that makes me feel lightheaded, I start getting the headache that intensifies to a migraine. Nothing helps when it has started this way. I used to crave sweets with the headache, which makes the headache much worse a few minutes after eating the sweets. I know better now, and head for better foods that are high in protein, like a person with hypoglycemia. Other causes of my migraines I assume are stress-related, or being extremely overtired, or hormonal. As far as medications that help, Fioricet helps about 75% of the time, as long as I can go to bed after taking it. Imitrex has worked somewhat, although I've only tried it 3-4 times so far, in oral form only. Midrin sometimes works if I'm at work or can't lie down - it doesn't seem to knock me out like Fioricet does. Ergotamine didn't help at all because I was given the sublingual ("under the-tongue") form which made me feel more sick.

I've tried to research migraines and diet using traditional methods during college in 1991 but could not find much related to blood sugar, only food triggers, like aged cheeses, red wine, chocolate.... which don't cause migraines for me. I would be very interested in hearing from anyone who also experiences migraines along with being overhungry and craving carbohydrates like sweets and starches.


Dear Ronda,

I was so happy to find your web page I can't even begin to tell you. My Migraines started in February of '96 on a regular basis and I have done so much to try to get rid of them, but nothing has really helped. My doctor put me on many different narcotic painkillers. I was also having sinus problems on top of the Migraines, and he refused to send me to a specialist. I went to a neurologist after begging for a referral, who sent me for an MRI. It showed nothing wrong with my brain, but that my sinuses looked "funny" to her. She prescribed Corgard and more painkillers. The Corgard made me feel worse, very woozy and sluggish, and that in combination with Percocet made it very hard to function at my job. I changed PCP's and told him my story. He sent me to an ENT, who said I needed sinus surgery for a deviated septum and cysts, polyps, etc, and that sinus problems could trigger migraines and vice versa, so this surgery could cure them. So I had this nightmarish surgery in November and felt better for 3 months. Then they started again, to the point where I missed a week of work with one headache, and got my first shot of Imitrex. I thought I had seen GOD, this Miracle drug worked after I lay down for 30 minutes because it made my brain burn. Once that was over, my headache was gone. The doctor told me that Imitrex only helps real migraines, so I must really have them-he finally believed me. So, he gave me the Imitrex prescription and everyone lived happily ever after, right? Wrong. Sometimes the Imitrex works, and sometimes it doesn't. And when I take it I need 45 minutes of absolute quiet to feel better, plus a place to vomit, and that is not always available in my office, or in my car. I have pulled over to throw up, but I'm scared to pull over and close my eyes-you don't know what could happen. Basically my doctor has given up. He know I have them, he gives me Imitrex, and expects me to live like this. I don't get any signs before they start, they just start, and I sometimes can't tell at first if it's just my sinuses, or a Migraine, or both, so I don't always take it right away, and if it is too full blown, it doesn't work. At that point I have to lay in the dark until it goes away, whether it's hours or days. My husband is extremely understanding, but is frustrated by the doctors, and so am I. This week I have had a migraine every day-continuously. I have given up all sorts of foods, ie coffee, caffeine, nuts, sugar, bread to try and find triggers, but the only thing I know is a trigger is sunlight. I cannot go outside without sunglasses, and my blinds in my office are always shut tight. My old boss used to make fun of me, and called me a vampire. One day he opened all the blinds and wouldn't let me shut them. By 10am I had tears in my eyes from the pain, and told him I had to go home. He didn't believe me at first, but he saw me throwing up in the parking lot, and he was convinced, and let me keep them closed everafter. Certain things give me temporary relief, Italian ices work much better than Ice Cream, and it helps for 15 - 20 minutes. Depending how bad it is, sex can also help for like an hour. I am so happy I found this page. Thank You!

---Michele age 28

Hi Ronda and congratulations on a wonderful service! I can't tell you how wonderful it has been to read all of these stories in what has been a terrible migraine week for me.

My name is Sharyn and I am 22 years old. I can't really remember when the migraines started but I think it was during high school.

Since then, I have been taking 100 mg of Zoloft a day and Fiorocet with Codeine as needed (it has been needed constantly). I have been taking so much codeine that I think I may have to begin attending Narcotics Addicts Anonymous!

Anyway, right now I am terribly depressed. I missed three days of work this week and have been to the doctor twice. I haven't been able to keep down any food and can barely sleep. Luckily, I seem to have found an incredibly understanding Doctor who also suffers from migraines as well. That is my doctor fantasy come true. He gave me a shot of Toridol earlier in the week, as well as a prescription, took me off the codeine and started me on 40 mg Corgard. Three days later the pain is still making me miserable. I went back today and he upped my dose of Corgard, took me off the Toridol and put me back on the Fiorocet and made me an appointment for one week. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Regardless of whether this helps, I am happy to have found a doctor who is willing to experiment with a lot of different medications and combinations of medications and who promises me we won't stop until we have succeeded. Guess I'll be spending a lot of time at the doctor's office.

The worst thing about migraines besides the pain, is the lack of sympathy that sufferers of this condition receive. My friends would be much more concerned if I had a cold. Luckily, my boss is great and my mom also is a migraineur so I do have some support. I hate it when I tell someone I have a migraine and they make stupid suggestions or say something like, "Yeah, I had a really bad headache yesterday too." I constantly feel like people think I am lying, exaggerating, or being a baby about the pain I am in. Why would anyone lie about being in pain all the time? I can certainly think of better ways to spend my time.

Anyway, thanks for letting me spill my guts. I congratulate all migraineurs on getting up every day and facing the world. Lets all pray for the miracle cure.


Much like the case history from DMCGOWAN@CHOICE.NET, the 37 year old male who has inherited his cluster/migraines, I have suffered with similar headaches, as a male, for more than 40 years. Perhaps my additional comment will be of encouragement and help for either gender afflicted with what appears, at times, as the curse directly, and emphatically, from HELL!

My cluster/migraines started when I was fifteen. At the time I thought they where associated with irregular eating habits, and certainly low blood sugar levels seemed to exaggerate them. But I found out eventually, that really the most common element to my repeated attacks had to do with RAPID BAROMETRIC CHANGES, especially rising (high) weather patterns.

Many years later in grad school, I ran lengthy computer (SPSS) factor analyses of meticulous data kept for many years and found only positive correlations with fewer errors than 5 in a 1000 associated with caffeine consumption and the rising barometer. Needles to say, I cut out the caffeine, and the headaches continued with lesser frequency, but equal intensity. To date, I have been unable to influence the barometer :)

The usual prescription medications (Tylenol #3, Fiornal, various muscle relaxants, Imitrex, Sandomigran, and Demerol) all helped at various times, to some degree--none of it lasting. None of it prevented them >from recurring, even though the prophylactic Sandomigran reduced the frequency and intensity for about six month, until I developed the predictable tolerance for this medication. Vigorous exertion (as in mountain hiking in the West Coast) diminishes the pain, while on medication, but it resumes, after a short rest period, upon returning home.

I moved to the West and found the barometric changes not as violent as in the East. California summers where the best--predictable long periods of uninterrupted high pressure--at least seven month without drastic changes and pain. Fall, winters and spring where the same hell as in the East. The big Island in Hawaii (Kona) had the most stable year round weather pattern, with California and Australia being the second best.

Upon moving to the Pacific North-West, my headaches resumed with unrelenting frequency, reminding me of their vengeance in the East. I tried biofeedback, saunas hot-tubs and hot showers, massages and nerve pressure point manipulations (needles, fingernails) in addition to medications and meditation, to relieve the intense lightning bolt-like pain behind the eyes and reduce it to a more tolerable, and generalized overall headache, during the changing barometric seasons.

In the long run, I have learned to live with a moderate amount of migraine pain from these clusters--anywhere from two to eight days--controlled with (1) codeine (2) Imitrex, (3) muscle relaxants, and (4) Demerol, for the most excruciating pain. I found that a considerable amount of experimentation with dosages, lot's of fluids, and a healthy life-style (low-fat, minimal caffeine or alcohol, plenty of vitamins, rest, exercise, low-stress job and family) and an interested, empathetic neurologist are mandatory for my adaptive regimen.

Last, but not least of all, I find prayer and mediation, support & care of a loving spouse, combined with the above noted pharmaceuticals and external physical factors, providing the daily courage, even enthusiasm, for maintaining a positive outlook. Best wishes:

Important addendum to yesterday's case history: I forgot to mention that prophylactic beta-blockers reduce the intensity of my pain by about half; have taken them for so long, that I take them for granted. Side effects are overcome by long term use, and I find that I could not live without them. - I'm so thankful to live in today's context of medicine, even though I share your reader's frustration with "weenie, inexperienced (Tylenol#3) family physicians." What would we all do if we lived a 100 years ago with this pain? -- I don't think I could. Regards: Horst

This is so cool to see a Migraine Page! I am almost 17 and I have had migraines for over 12 years. I am so sick and tired of these stupid things, and I cannot imagine having them for over 20 years like some of you have. Has anyone had the medicine called "Midrin"? If so, did it work for you? It doesn't even touch my headaches. I have one right now, and I am suprised I'm not in the emergency room yet. Usually that is where I have to go to get relief. I just wish I new what I could do to help my self.

When I get these headaches, I can't see, breath, walk, lay down, talk, eat, or sleep. I am useless w/one. I can't remember half the stuff I did after one is over. One time I tried to knock myself out because the pain was so bad. Lately they have gotten more frequent and more powerful. If anyone would like to email me, please do so.