Journal of Migraine Sufferers

I am a Pharmacist, 38 years old, well educated, Husband and Father of four children, Manager of business which generates over $6,000,000.00 a year in sales, respected member of the community and church, and I have suffered from severe headaches for as long as I can remember! My headaches have affected or impacted myself, my family, my career, my friends etc... as I'm sure your other readers will attend to in their lives as well.

For most of my life I have treated the headaches (HA) with Over-The-Counter (OTC) meds such as Asprin, Tylenol, Ibuprophen, Decongestants etc. When the frequency of the HA's increased I sought professional help from my Physician (Internist). He ordered an MRI, CAT Scan etc to rule out "serious" problems such as hemmorhage, tumor etc. Once everything came back negative he diagnosed me as having Migraine Headaches. He went on to say that he could refer me to a Neurologist but there is realy not much more that the neurologist could do, that he (the Internist) had not done already. Over the last three or four years, I have treated my headaches, thru my Physician, with Beta-Blockers (Tenormin, Inderal, Lopressor), Calcium Channel Blockers (Procardia, Calan SR), Ergoatmine Products (Caffergot, Ercaf), Barbituates (Fiorinal, Esgic), Narcotics (Vicodin, Tylenol/Codeine), Sumatriptyn (Imitrex Injection and oral), Midrin and many more. Most have worked to some degree or another. They may take the edge off the HA, and occasionally the HA may go away. Most of the time I am forced to work with the HA's because if I go home the Pharmacy would close or the other Pharmacist would be overwhelmed with work. The angry and sick customers don't care what our problems are, because they may be sick themselves and can be quite abusive in an attempt to get their rx's.

Well enough of my rambling, now to the point. Last Sunday (10/20/96) while at work I had the worst Migraine HA I have ever had! I was convinced that I was having a Sub-Arachnoid Hemmorhage and was going to die. I didn't even lock-up the Pharmacy. I had paramedics take me to hospital ER and was diagnosed with you guessed it, a Migraine! The Time has come for less conventional, or less "western" treatment. Can anyone share with me where I should go, or what I should look for ? I live in Southern California, If that helps.

Anxious for help or input,


My name is Jean and I have had migraines for about the last 50 years. I first noticed them when I was about 11 years old. It took me quite a while before I noticed that they followed a time schedule related to monthly periods. In addition, they would also occur at other times and this caused me not to realize their cause.

Over the years, I have noted the following and I wonder if anyone else has seen the same thing.

  1. relationship to hormonal fluctuations.
  2. relationship to consumption of MSG and certain other food additives.
  3. can occur a day or two after a stressful situation.
  4. have a visual aura with peripheral vision depleted and scotoma floating around - overhead florescent lights a problem.
  5. visual aura not always present because so many headaches occur during sleep.
  6. MSG in particular, causes dreaming of a frustrating nature - like always trying to get somewhere but the way is blocked. I am not sure whether the dream causes the migraine or the migraine causes the dream. It has often seemed to me that a headache attack related to the ingestion of MSG also leas to the dreams.
  7. Tried ergotamine but it caused violent vomiting.
  8. Can generally abort the headache with three tablets containing aspirin and caffeine - sometimes have to repeat 2 hours later.
  9. hot shower often helps.
  10. other foods include: red wine, blue cheese, "natural flavors", and other substances containing MSG (hydrolized vegetable protein).
  11. After several attacks, I seem to get in "headache mode" and they recur every night. I seem to be able to stop the recurrence by letting an attack run its course (light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, vomiting, etc.)
  12. Important to stay away from all sources of caffeine in order to break the cycle (Is this a withdrawal from caffeine?)
  13. Most doctors do not deal well with the migraine sufferer. Usually relate it all to tension even when I know I am not.

Have any other people noted the caffeine withdrawal or the frustrating dreams?

I must say that I find it most reassuring that so many people around the world who suffer from migraines have decided to use the 'Net to ease the suffering of their fellow compatriots. My story begins many years ago at about the age of fifteen years, whilst at high school I began to suffer from some rather disturbing sysmptoms. At first I thought that these were just passing things brought on by puberty, but one incident changed my mind.

About two years ago I began to suffer from sysmptoms much like those of meningitis, they got so bad that my mum phoned for an ambulance. I was rushed into the Neurological department of the local hospital for treatment. It was discovered that I was suffering from a migraine complicated by a case of encephalitis. I was put on a course of antibiotics to get rid of the virus but ever since I have been suffering from what my neurologist calls 'complex migraine'. This is a disturbing variety of the common migraine. I have detailed the symptoms below:-

  1. Tunnel vision
  2. Aphasia (loss of coherent speech
  3. Partial paralysis of the left hand side of the body
  4. Coma like state lasting up to 24 hours

I don't know if you have heard of any body else out there that has similar symptoms but according to the doctors there aren't many in this area that they know about. I have been prescribed Sanomigran (pizotifen) to help prevent the attacks, which it is doing. I still get the occasional attack but they aren't that frequent now. I have tried to isolate the cause myself by examining my diet etc. but can't find the cause. I hope this is of some help to some body out there and if any body has any advice, hints or tips I would be greatful. Thanks for listening.


Hello, I have been suffering from migraines for about 13 years now. I am 25 years old and Im from Southern California. The last two weekends I have had my worst migraines so far. Both times I ended up vomiting and crying hysterically from the pain that overwhelmed me. I have gone to the emergency room 3 times in the last year where they ended up giving me three different pain shots to take away the pain, then I had to be driven home where I was so tired I slept for days and then woke up with another headache. I have been to a Neurologist and he has given me several different things to try to keep the migraines from coming on. But they only made me too sleepy to get up in the morning and didnt keep the migraines from coming. Im ready to try again. I also suffered a complicated migraine a few years ago where the whole right side of my body went numb I had a headache my parents took me to the emergency cause they thought I had a stroke (my voice wasnt normal due to my mouth on the right side becoming numb.) The doctor did a cat scan and said I was okay they again gave me many pain shots through IV to try to take away my pain. My body was numb on the right side for about 1 1/2 weeks. The headache finally went away and I havent had an episode like that again since. But my doctor wouldnt give me Imitrex because of that episode. I will try anything at this point.

I just read on the web that it comes in tablet form now. I have an appointment this week to go back to the Neurologist. Im keeping my fingers crossed... But the nurse said I have to come in when I am having a migraine and get the shot to see if it works before they will give me a priscription of Imitrex... So great now I have to wait till I have another one. (Who wants to go driving around with a migraine.) A few weeks ago I was feeling so alone. Like nobody understood what I was going through and that they didnt believe me. Im so tired of wet wash cloths, dark cool rooms, crying from pain & having the medicine (fiorinal #3) not work. I was very happy to see the other stories here. It felt great to read everyones thoughts. Thanks for having this web page!!! Jenny. (You can e mail me if you like at Thanks for letting me share...

I have a "Face Pain" in the right side above my jaw going up into my scalp. It seems to be the muscle in the face. In 1995 it was diagnosed as CHRONIC PAROXYSMAL HEMICRANIA, a rare form of Cluster Headaches. In the temple area I have a knot where the muscle has knotted up because of the severity of the attacts. This started in 1982 with a three month episode of daily attacks. The episodes occured every three years with three months of daily attacks until 1994 when I had an episode of daily attacks that lasted for over a year!! The attacks feel similar to a leg cramp except their in my face!! The attacks are 45 minutes to 4 hours long, averaging 1 hour and 45 minutes. The pain is TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE!! My face and neck become SWOLLEN on the right side prior to the cycle starting. The last cycle was stopped(?) with injections of a steriod inside my jaw up to under my eye. I now have cataracts because of the steriods. The doctor then changed to Toradol. I periodically need injections when I feel a episode is coming on with swelling and stress in my face. So far this seems to be keeping the next episode away. It has been near a year since my last major attack. I am feeling swelling in my face now and may need and injection shortly. I am also taking 150mg Indomethacin and 1200mg Neurontin. Of course I've tried many different things but then the next cycle it wouldn't help. Nothing stops the pain only when the muscle decides to letup. I take two Percocet for pain when the muscle starts to tighten up and cramps.It doesn't help. I'd be glad to hear from anyone.