Journal of Migraine Sufferers


I have been diagnosed as having Migraine Headaches. I didn't start getting them until 5-years ago and I am 59-years old. I understand it is unusual to get them so late in life.

I have been treated like a drug-addict at my care clinic and the neurologist they referred me to is even worse!! I currently have a migraine that has lasted almost two weeks now.

The latest medication they're trying is Depakote - it makes me real tired and listless - is that a common symption?

Thanks for your time.

---Joanne Petersen

I have suffered from migraines since i was 8 yr old. I may experience the "aura" up to a week before.  Bruised scalp on one side of my head, fuzzy vision in one eye, and the feeling I have bitten metal in the center of my forhead, among others, such as tingling hands and weakness.  I joined the military at 17, and have suffered greatly since.  I have heard about all the new "wonder" drugs, Imitrex, nasal spray, lidocain, etc., but have never had the opportunity to try them.  Maybe it is due to the fact that the military chooses to spend its money a little, extravegantly, but, the drug of choice for chronic migraine sufferers such as my self has been Inderol/Propanalol, a blood pressure med, used to lower blood pressure, thereby relieving the extreme flow of blood through the capalaries and vessels in the brain, which I hear is the Pain inducer. The other drug is Ampitryptaline/Elavil, which is an anti-depressant.  For some reason, I don't know, it has also been found to be a wonder at PREVENTING migraines.  I have suggested every new drug to my doctor(s) that I have heard of in the science of migraine relief, but the answer is always the same, "Well, we could try those drugs if you like, but...., the Elavil is the most effective drug in relieving and preventing migraines".  I strongly agree. Midrin is like baby asprin to me, and other drugs, preventative and relievers do nothing, other that the occasional Demoral IV drip.  Hope this info will help someone. As a side note:  If you have a young child that complains of chronic "headaches", please do not just assume that they are pretending or mimicking you.  Very young children can suffer real headaches or migraines.  I went through bottles of baby asprin, as a child of 4 and 5, and was diagnosed with migraines at 8.  Just a warning to parents. Thanx

  ---Melanie Estrada

Rhonda, I am a 27 year old housewife who has had migraines and cluster headaches since I was a child. My first migraine was at the age of 11 and it lasted for two weeks; no medicine or shot was helping no matter what I did I could not get rid of it. Since then I have had years of headaches with no relief just as many of the other people that have written to you I have tried so many things with no relief. Some one told me once that the cluster headaches are caused by blood clots in the brain. I have no idea whether this is true or not and really don't care except for wishing that they would never come again. The clusters seem to be much more intense than the migraines if that is at all possible. But I am glad that you have designed this forum for sufferers to talk about the pain. I know that talking about it doesn't help the headache but it does help for peace of mind. So thank you. I have my migraines about 3 to 4 times a week and no one in my family seems to understand that with a migraine the only thing that you feel like doing is crying; but you know if you cry it only gets worse so you just close every one and every thing off from you and pray that it goes away. When I was younger I found a medication called "Wigraine" that helped for a very short time. The demorol shots only made me sick to my stomach and intensified the headache immensely. It seems that the only thing that ever works now is if I can get about 4 hours of sleep in a completely dark, silent room. But with two children one being a five year old that seems to be an impossible feat so if anyone has a suggestion please e-mail Thank you for letting me complain to you all. Sincerely,

---Shannon Pendergrass

In 1980 I became partially paralized on my right side, experienced double vision, my speech was slurred, one pupil became dilated and I had a very severe headache in the crown area of my head. This condition first began with the headache and some disorientation and progressed to include the other symptoms I have described. I was taken to the an E.R. and the attending physician informed me that I had experienced a stroke. I was admitted and several tests were performed including a CT scan and an angiogram. All tests were negative and I was released three days later. At the time of release the headache was much less acute, my speech was almost back to normal, the paralysis was very mild, my pupils were equal, however, the double vision persisted for a couple of months and gradually returned to normal. The physicians had differing opinions as to the etiology of my symptoms. One thought it was the result of a migraine and another finally said he couldn't determine what had occurred.

Since that time I have had frequent headaches, but none nearly as severe as the one that put me in the hospital. About a month ago I had a similar eipisode, however, not nearly as severe. I was again hospitalized and all tests were negative including an MRI which did not exist at the time of my problem in 1980. I was again discharged after a few days and the attending said she thought it stemmed from a migarine. I didn't have any further problems until two days ago and I had another minor episode.

I guess my question to you is if you have ever had others complain about similar symptoms and have they found anything that alleviates the symptoms?

Dear Rhonda:

This is my 3rd letter to your page. I have a 16 year old Daughter that has suffered with cluster migraine for 2 years now. She is under the care of a Nuerologist; She's learning bio-feedback; She's now up to 120mg of Inderal daily; She takes Imitrex injections during an attack, plus nausea medication; She suffers debilatating migraines with aura about 3 or more times a month. We keep searching and praying for answers.

I want a cure for my Daughter.... She is extremely active in school, sports, clubs. This Girl is going places, with or without migraines. She is so determined to proceed with her life, she will go into denial about her having a migraine, until the pain gets so exteme she falls apart.

When I rarely unload my pain about my Daughters condition, to a relative or friend, I always hear a simular comment; You must be happy she doesn't have a life threatening illness. WILL B.S. TO THEM. Her life is threatened, with drugs, depression at times, and the fear of "Wonder when I'll get another migraine?" They have never felt or seen somone suffer the horrible pain of migraine.

In the past when I wrote to your page, I always told everyone how important it was to remain positive, keep your head up and keep looking for the anwers. Well, TODAY my message is YES, KEEP YOUR HEAD UP, KEEP LOOKING FOR THE CURE, but ALSO REMEMBER, IT'S OK TO SAY THIS MIGRAINE LIFE STYLE SUCKS AND WE CAN'T BE STRONG ALL THE TIME!!!

I wish you all a pain free life.....


---Migraine Mom

Hi Ronda,

Thank you Ronda, for maintaining this web page. It somehow gives me comfort when I have a headache to read that there are others out there who also suffer.

I am a female and I had my first migraine at the age of 24. The doctors believed that it was a side effect of medication I was taking at the time. The medication has been long left behind, but unfortunately, not the headaches. There is no background history of migraine in my family, however, my younger brother now suffers from them as well as both of my daughters.

For the first few years, (I am now 48), I used either over the counter pain killers or tylenol 3, but this never did touch those really bad headaches that left me vomiting in the emergency rooms. Like many others I was asked, "so we like our demerol do we?" by ignorant ER doctors.

About 15 years ago my doctor put me fiorinal with codeine. Since then I have had very few visits to the emergency room. This is not to say that fiorinal was a miracle cure for me, but, more often than not it did help. I really hated to give in and take the pills though. In fact for many years I would wait until I was in such pain that I was physically sick before I would give in take the first pill. It was as though I was failing at something to have to give in and take that pill. By then of course, I would have to head for the darkened room and rest until I could face the world again.

I've learned to take the pills much earlier now. Now I take them at the first sign of a headache so that I can continue to function, even though the pain doesn't completely go away anymore. Every now and then I still need a trip to the ER, but I can go well over a year without submitting myself to that particular humiliation. Just the thought of going can cause so much stress that it will push a bad headache well over the edge to unbearable.

Over so many years of suffering, and, due to moving around the country, I have seen numerous doctors. Most have very little knowledge of migraines, but somehow each has a possible new "cure." I have tried so many of these miracle cures, from the preventatives through herbal remedies and massage, to imitrex. Some had bad side effects for me and some just didn't work. I don't like to experiment when I'm in pain. I just want relief. I'm almost ready to try acupuncture. I've heard that works for some people. It's just the thought of all those needles . .

. My headaches were frequently related to hormones so I could be assured of at least one headache per month. That has never been the only cause though. I have tried using a journal to determine food triggers but have never found any definite causes. Stress CAN be trigger, but not always. Alcohol CAN be a trigger (sometimes a single sip), but not always. MSG CAN be a trigger, bit not always. I have come to believe that it is more a combination of foods and/or stresses that cause my headaches, but I can't pin it down accurately enough to eliminate it from my life.

I had a hysterectomy last year that I hoped would do away with the pain, but with all the other unidentified triggers, it hasn't happened. I am on estrogen which I realize can itself cause headaches, but I need the estrogen to combat the mood swings. It seems like a vicious cycle for which there will never be an end.

I have a few questions that I have not seen addressed in your journal and my current doctor didn't give much notice to it when I questioned him. First, my migraines are most often right sided. Within the past year I have noticed that the veins in my right temple swell quite noticeably during a migraine. It's not enough (yet) to be visible, but it can definitely be felt. Is there anyone else who has had this particular symptom? Should I be worried? Also, during a migraine my blood pressure increases dramatically and I have different readings from side to side. Is this common?

Once again Ronda, thank you for this forum. The service you are providing is MOST worthwhile.

---Betty at