Journal of Migraine Sufferers

I have had infrequent classic migraine over the years. Unfortunately, the last three weeks or so I have had more migraines, one per week or so. I use imitrex with a shot and it is a Godsend, but I still feel wiped out and miss about one-half day. Some days I barely get to work and have to leave for home.

I have had migraine headaches for 12 years. I have a history of migraines in my family (Grandmother, Uncle, Aunts, etc.). I started getting them when I was 19. Sometimes I get a aura with mine but not always. The doctors have diagnose mine as "Chronic Migranes". I have a headache everyday. I have had MRI's, CAT Scans, Spinal Tap, blood work, and I have even been to a hospital in Houston for a week to see what they could do, nothing. I believe I have been on every medication know to man. I have tried all the usual migraine medications that doctors give you with no help. I'm currently taking the Imitrex pill, sometime it helps, sometimes it doesn't. I also have trigeminal neuralgia, and have to take daily medication for this. I have been told that trigeminal neuralgia goes hand in hand with migraine headaches.

I am also very allergic to smells, (gas, paint, fumes of any kind) and also chocolate, and MSG.

I guess I will always have migraines, until the day I die. I have learned to just take one day at a time and hope it's better than the previous one.


I've had chronic severe migraines for nearly 20 years. My mother has them as do many women in my family. Mine seem to be worse than anyone elses, however. I suffered a head injury as a child and I think that this may be why that is so. Mine are "classic" i.e. with aura, and I suffer terrible nausea, probably the worst symptom, even more than the ha. Light, sounds, and smells are very painful too.

I have tried virtually every medication available (beta-blockers, NSAIDS, analgesics, anti-depressants, ergotomines, and the miracle drug: Imitrex). Currently I use Midrin, Imitrex, and Advil. I also take feverfew (don't think it works, but I figure it can't hurt) and evening primrose oil. I have as many as 20 migraines a month. I'm down to about 8 a month now, but I wake every day with a slight ha which usually goes away with a cup of coffee.

I am careful not to over-use aspirin and advil to avoid rebound ha. I alternate pain medication when I cannot avoid taking it. If I am in a period when I cannot do without daily pain medication it is very difficult to avoid getting into a rebound situation. I recently went on disability in order to get off the junk, but I'm dreading going back to work since I forsee more of the same. (Any info on migraines and disability and social security would be appreciated.)

I find that with the above drugs my migraines are under control for the most part, but there is nothing that relieves my menstrual migraines, not even Imitrex. I also have unbelievably bad cramps and heavy bleeding so my dr. gives me Vicodin for those times (doesn't touch the migraine, but at least the cramps go away).

I am very careful about my diet, having all of the common triggers: chocolate, onions, MSG, diet soda, oranges, cheese, milk etc. I also have eliminated sugar since it exacerbates my cramps.

I do yoga (except when I have a headache) and breathing exercises to relax. I try to exercise regularly, but its hard to make a habit of it since I am sick so often.

I am looking for information, support, and ideas about DEPRESSION (I get so low being sick so often and antidepressants make me unable to sleep, therefore kicking in new migraines) as well as HELP FOR MY PARTNER who is very understanding, but also sick of all the restrictions and the tip-toeing around me.

I sure could use some allies. Hope I've found some here.

Best,, aka "Migraine Mary"

Boy, do I feel lucky after reading the other migraine histories. I have a very mild case of classic migraine.

I am 44 now, but started having migraines when I was in junior high-- thought I was dying of something and was afraid to tell anyone. After I finally told my mother, who was a nurse, I was given "knock out" pills every time I started to have a migraine. I would wake up on a Saturday morning, having "slept in" and away it would go. She would chart my periods, but the headaches didn't follow that. I think mine were triggered by stress.

My headaches continued throughout high school and college. I would be sitting in class and un-cross my leg and it would flop to the floor. I would suddenly panic because I knew I had to get somewhere before my speech was impaired. I could look at a sign that I read every day and not be able to tell you what it said. It was very scary.

One thing I haven't seen anyone refer to is the onset of sexual activity. That's when my migraines finally eased off. As soon as I was married and raising a family, they subsided. Now here's the kicker. I'm 44, my son is off to college, and I'm starting to have them again. I get the zig zag vision in my right eye, then by brain "goes numb", then my right hand goes numb, and then the pain hits in my left temple.

I have teasingly (sort of!) told my husband that our sex life needs to increase! Maybe that would help, but... In the meantime, I'm reading your wonderful webpage, hoping to find a simple fix. I'm going to try to aspirin each day. My headaches are not super-painful, I don't get nauseated, and they pass quickly, but they knock me a half bubble off plumb for a couple of days--I can't think of words to say, I forget names, I'm clumsy. Then, I actually feel a bit euphoric, as if the headache has released some type of tension and I feel better.

I wish I could have heard all these stories when I was a scared teenager, thinking I was dying of something. Thanks for listening. And thanks for the page. And by the way, thanks for that classic story about the girl who took Prozac and it didn't help--all it did was make her feel like limp linguini with a migraine!! We can still keep our sense of humor....

I was meandering around on InfoSeek and found this page. God, am I depressed. I have had migraines since 1990 (6 years now)--the first one happened when I was 33 and was a classic--nausea, vomiting, auras, loss of bladder and bowel control--the whole thing. I went to the emergency room because I thought I was (literally) dying. They did a spinal tap (NOT fun) and a CAT scan to make sure I wasn't having an arachnoid hemorrhage. Finally they diagnosed migraine, gave me a shot of Demerol and some Phenergan suppositories, and sent me home. I was referred to my wonderful doctor, who has been with me through Inderal, Pamelor, Corgard, Midrin, Lortabs, and Imitrex. I am depressed because reading all these case histories makes me realize that I am not really ever going to be free of drugs or pain. I have barely scratched the surface of the pharmacoepia out there--and I don't WANT to dig any deeper! But I fear I'm going to have to: I have had a continuous low level neck migraine for two months, since I lost my job (downsizing bites), and I am noticing a drop-off in the efficacy of Lortab, Midrin, and Imitrex (my magic bullet!)

Incidentally, I take Prozac for clinical depression. I have not noticed any lessening of the frequency of my migraines.

My triggers seem to be stress and rapidly approaching low pressure systems. So spring is generally hell for me, and having been laid off is only compounding the situation.

My migraines generally start either as a neck ache (a crick in the neck) or masquerading as a sinus headache, low dull pressure/pain across the forehead. At this point, it's time to take a Lortab. As it progresses, my neck becomes immobile, or the band across my forehead shifts into a red hot blade slicing through the top of my head vertically. Now it's time to take a shot and lay down. If it continues, I get flashes behind my eyelids, crawly sparkly worms in my vision, and diarrhea. Now it's time to take another shot. As I get nauseated and start to cry, I know it's time for Midrin--2 thank you.

I am starting a fake sinus one now--at least I think it's fake. It's pollen season in Georgia now, and I'm also susceptible to oak pollen. If I dilly dally around with Tylenol and pseudoephedrine, and it's a migraine, I'm in trouble in a hurry. But if it's really just sinus, I'm overmedicating.

My mother tells me she got migraines starting about age 28-30, and so have at least up to my great-grandmother. She says she doesn't get them anymore. I hope mine end.

Although I got depressed, I'm also glad to know I'm not alone, and that I'm not a weakling for being incapacitated for "just a headache". Anyone who says that can bite me.

Write me if anyone has any suggestions or just wants to commiserate.

--- Lorri Robinson/Sadira

My date of record is Thanksgiving 1995. I woke up that morning with a terrible headache but gave it no thought since I did have a few beers the night before. For about a week, I took everything from Tylenol to Excedrin constantly but nothing worked. Then, around the second week in December, I started getting these pounding, stabbing headaches mostly on the left side of my head above the left ear and radiating to the rear. They lasted from 15 to 30 minutes and would return within a couple of hours. During these attacks I was totally disabled. I could not move my head to the right. If I did, it would cause more pain (pressure) to the left side of my head so I would just sit or lie perfectly still until it passed. It got to where I knew in advance when these attacks were going to happen. (I should point out now that my wife and I live and work in the high desert of California, (Ridgecrest) and even though medical care is adequate, most people will seek medical care elsewhere for anything more than having a baby. Basicly we're stuck up here in the middle of nowhere with the closest big city 90 miles away).

I ended up seeing a resident G.P. and, after several visits and an MRI, blood work, cervical neck x-rays,(all normal) and drugs that didn't work, I knew I had to find another doctor. The first neurologist I saw was Chinese and I couldn't even understand him and I don't think he fully understood me either. Then a co-worker gave me the name of another in Lancaster,Cal. and I've been seeing him about once a month since February. He's the one that diagnosed me with migraines. I haven't had one of those real bad attacks since. My main problem now is that I do have a painful tension headache constantly (24 hours a day) and nothing he's prescribed seems to work. To be honest, I'm a pretty passive patient and usually catch hell from my wife for not asking the right things. Should I be more agressive with this doc about my pain? He has prescribed Imitrex injections and they work, but it's these everyday headaches that I got to deal with now. He says there are about 15 different kinds of pain relievers and we just have to find the one that works for me. Currently on Depakote.

Sound right? Should I consider another doc? Can you refer me to anyone in Southern California? (L.A. San Bernadino) I've had three shots of Imitrex in three days but after a few hours the "other headache" returns, so I'm not even sure it's even a migraine I'm dealing with. But the pain does go away. Even at this writing, I got a good one going.

One final point: This condition is starting to affect my job attendance. A good guess would be 30 days since the onset in November. Even though my boss is understanding, I'm sure it's starting to wear thin with him. My job is with the Department of Defence as a Flight Test Specialist and without going into all the particulars, yes it's extremely stressful at times. I've been doing this since 1979 and love it. It involves talking to military aircraft and giving them precision vectors and control for flight and weapons testing. Could this be job related? Last Thursday I could not return from lunch because of these headaches and stayed home Friday as well. It seems that they are becoming more and more frequent to where I can't do my job. Any suggestions?

Ronda thanks for your ear and eyes. I'm sure I'll think of more things I could have told you as soon as I hit the send button. But some other time Thanks again and good luck with your own headaches.

--- Michael Gregory 619-371-4256

I have been getting headaches since I was a child but the first time I believe I actually experienced a migraine was in my freshman year of college when I went on birth control pills. My headaches were almost every day and so painful that I would sit in my dorm room and cry with the lights out, praying that they would go away. When I sought a doctor's attention, they immediately pulled me off the pills and I told me that I should not take them ever again. It has been 9 years and I have not been willing to try the pill again since then.

However, I still continued to get headaches quite frequently...mostly sinus headaches and tension headaches, I believe, with pain mostly in my face and nose. With these headaches I can still function and some over-the-counter medicines do help.

But every once in awhile (at first only once a year, then every 6 months or so), I would get these awful headaches accompanied by vomiting. I never made the connection that they were migraines...just thought I ate some bad food or had a "24 hour bug". Recently, however, I have had 7 such episodes over a two month period with the worst one being a few days ago. I was vomiting and the pain in my head was so severe that I called the emergency room because I was convinced that I had a brain aneurism or something. It truly felt like someone had put a dagger in the right side of my forehead. I was crying and could barely talk to the nurses on the phone. They called a cab to pick me up since I couldn't drive. When I arrived at the hospital, I was so disoriented and in so much pain that I just was holding my head in my hands, crying, and cursing under my breath at the pain. They gave me an injection of a migraine medicine (I was too out of it to even remember the name of the drug) which reduced my nausea and brought my headache down to a bearable level.

I went home and to bed and felt much better in the morning. I returned to meet with the doctor the next day for an evaluation. We discussed all of my recent 7 headaches which I now describe as "migraines" and found a common factor that all of them were when I was traveling on business and that I change my eating habits when I travel because I cannot snack on foods as often as I usually do. I have always suspected that I might be hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) because if I do not eat small portions all day I get very shaky and irritable. At this most recent migraine, it so happens that I had to work through lunch -- around 1:00 pm was the onset of the headache, accompanied by shaking and nausea.

My blood sugar test came back low, which confirms this link. I have been given a presciption of butalbitol tablets in case of another migraine. I have never taken this drug and am curious of any experiences that people have had with it. I would also be very interested to hear from anyone who has heard of or who has experienced a blood sugar/migraine link. Thanks so much. My email address is: