Journal of Migraine Sufferers

Abbott Laboratories and the National Headache Foundation recently sponsored an art competition exclusively for migraine sufferers. The deadline was originally set for December 31,1997.Prizes to be awarded total more than $10,000., including a $4,000. first prize. The artwork was to represent 'the impact of frequent migraines on the sufferer's lifestyle and/or family and friends'. I phoned Golin/Harris Communications Agency and spoke with Delphia Johnson, the coordinator for the contest, in late December, to ask if the deadline was firm. She told me that due to the holidays, it had been extended into January and that 'anything that came in by the end of the month' would be considered. I am a professional artist and have done several recent paintings, including a cover, for Time magazine; have also done commissions for the New Yorker and many other publications. I worked hard to finish a tightly detailed painting, then paid hundreds of dollars to frame, pack, ship and insure it. Today I phoned Ms. Johnson's extension again, only to be told she was away from her desk and the contest concluded on January 16th. It had already been judged. Despite my request, she didn't return my call. I spoke with another account executive at Golin/Harris who told me that I must have misunderstood what was said to me, and that it was my own fault for believing what I'd been told over the phone by her co-worker rather than what was printed on the entry blank.I know I heard Ms. Johnson correctly, and am furious that I put hundreds of hours and dollars, into a piece that will not be considered. I am fighting another migraine headache, thanks to the bungled management of the Migraine Masterpiece Competition.

I have suffered from migraine headaches for 29 years and would not wish them on my worse enemy. I have tried a variety of perscribed medications, home remedies and have evenbeen known to use Lamaze techniques to control the pain. They have been so bad that kept myself in a bathtub putting hot towels on my face and head for over two hours. No one who has not had a migraine really understands but they are beginning too.

Many doctors don't understand or treat them with any degree of seriousness. I wish this web site well in informing and giving a forum to migraine suffers. Thanks.

Dear Rhonda,

Today is 1-24-98 .I have been suffering from cluster headaches for the past 13 yrs. Reading all of the stories on this web-site gives me the same feeling as the end of the Titanic movie. Nothing pulls at my heart more than a child hurt or suffering and I know from my own experiences,when you have these types of headaches you truely suffer.I am 37 yrs old and since 24 have been on so many different medications and had so many tests I am almost at the point of no return. Today I am thankful of one thing,I get these HELL headaches and not my children. People who only have normal headaches can not even imagine the torture of this medical condition. Please,any parent of a child who gets migranes or clusters don't give up ,and always be there. I have found out that prednisone works wonders on various headaches. That was my 1st sign of hope that something could be done to stop my headaches.This was after 10 yrs of headaches ,TMJ theropy,sinus surgery,chiropractic sessions,a specialty hospital,and tens of doctors when I finally found a doctor who listened to my urgency and attacked my problem as if her own.I still have my condition but there is some control.Prednisone can only be taken for about a month but that first month bought time for some research and gave me hope that something could be done. My thoughts,hopes and prayers go out to you all.

Dear Rhonda:

I am almost 34 years old, and have two young children - boy 6 and girl 2. I have suffered from migraines since the age of 3. My mother and grandmother are migraine sufferers. My mother suffers almost daily. She has tried everything in the world. Been to many hospitals in the US and Canada. She is so bad, she collects disability and can't work. My grandmother who is 85 still suffers. I also have aunts and cousins and sisters who suffer too. So I have a strong family history.

I experience anywhere from 6 to 16 migraines a month. It was worse when I was pregnant. I have so many triggers that I'm not even sure what has triggered an episode, and if it was a combination. I also suffer from Night Terrors and have numerous food allergies.

I work for my local school board has a secretary (in front of a computer), and have for 10 years. My supervisor and coordinator have never been sympathetic to my migraines, and have given me nothing but grief. In fact, every job I've ever had - they have never been sympathetic. I get so upset and worked up when the aura comes, and I have to tell them that I have to leave. I loved your article on mood changes - From Saint to Satan. I too have personality changes. In September, 1997 I was on Clonazepam for Night Terrors and Inderol for migraines - what a mix. I was so depressed, and so tired. I didn't feel like getting up much less taking care of my two children, home, and job. But I did. In September I had a few major, stressful events happen, and started to suffer from many migraines. I get an aura before the attack, and even 24 hours before the aura, I get warning signs - I have Chatty Cathy Syndrome, increase in appetite, increase in hyperness, mood swings, irritability, I get very energetic and want to clean and reorganize. I think because I was suffering from so many - my mood was constantly changing. I'm normally a very cheerful extrovert. The coordinator at work noticed the differences (she too was under stress), told me she wanted to see me, said to bring a union rep. During the meeting she proceeded to tell me every thing I was doing wrong - nothing with my work performance, but everything to do with my office demeanour. She said I didn't act professional, that I cried at certain times, that I was sometimes too chatty, that I was too hyper, that I flitted around the office. It came as a total shock. You see at the time, I was in a lot of pain, and knew something wasn't right, but wasn't really aware of what I was doing. Instead of saying Cherry - we've noticed something is wrong, can we help? she said I had to change or else. I decided to take 4 weeks off, and work with my doctor. I was very upset, and under a lot of stress.

My doctor (a Saint - in every aspect of the word - the best doctor I have ever had) looked at the situation and decided to attack it with everything she had. She took me off Inderol and put me on Verapamil. I see her every week, and I'm in psychotherapy, as well as physiotherapy and accupuncture. The Verapamil was very hard to get used to in the beginning. Severe nausea, headaches, slight depression, lowered blood pressure, dizziness, light headedness. I kept with it, and suffered daily. But I was migraine free for 7 weeks. Then they started to come back. Last week I experienced 6 migraines in 5 days. I am ready to scream. My family suffers as well as my poor husband - who is so wonderfully supportive and understanding. I just say I'm getting an aura and he says take the Imitrex and go to bed - I'll take care of everything. They think at work that I miss work and they don't like it, but I also miss out on life. There have been so many days that I have missed. We decided to go to the Toronto Zoo this summer. On the way, I started to get an aura. Then 1 hour later, I got an aura with tingling hand and numb tongue. Then I got another aura (visual) about an hour later. The day was extremely hot, but I didn't want to miss the Zoo. We walked in and I tried to walk around. We had paid, so I told my husband to go on, I would go to the van and try to sleep. In the 2 hours, I was there in the van I had another two auras (5 total for the day). I was a wreck.

So, the Dr. has increased the Verapamil - oh yeah more side effects, not to mention weight gain. You see I battle my weight too. I've also started to exercise daily - 1 hr. of aerobic exercise. In 72 days I've only missed 15. I've even been right in the middle of exercising and an aura starts. I have the book from the Migraine Foundation - which suggests exercising when the Migraine starts - well it doesn't work. Just exacerbates the situation.

I'm still off work. I've just applied for LTD. I don't know if they'll accept it. I don't know what I'm going to do. I just can't stand the prospects of another aura again and then the pain, and the loss of yet another day.

Thanks for letting me ramble. I would be so interested in any advice anyone could give me on the work situation. They feel that you should be at work no matter what. Well I can't even see when I have a migraine. I just want to cry and scream at the same time then throw up all over them - well I can dream can't I?

Thanks for having this On-Line Migraine Support - I think it's going to be a God send.

---Cherry name is GIL and i am a sufferer of migraine for eight years now. I am a Filipino and i am 25 years old.I am just so glad that there is such a page like this to which people like me can share worst moments and victories brought about by this mysterious disease.

Right now i am glad to share that i no longer have frequent attacks. I used to have twice a week attack that runs from 6 to 8 hours. worse, i would vomit for 24 hours because of too much God's grace my attack is trimmed down to once in a month now.

i would still carry Avamigran in my pocket, i am advised of taking amigran also but i find this too expensive. Forever Livings Aloegel has helped me alot. I don't know but it created wonders on me. I started taking it last December.

Guess this is it for now...

Till then and God bless to everyone!