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I’ve Tried Everything

“I’ve tried everything.” These words get used often by Migraineurs. I absolutely use this phrase as a defense mechanism. As soon as I share with someone that I suffer from Chronic Migraines, they typically want to offer advice. Their cousin or their sister suffered for years and they are sure that if you just try this one thing you’ll be cured too. But I don’t want to hear it, so I cut them off with these three simple words, “I’ve tried everything.”

Sometimes it stops them from whatever miracle cure they think they are about to bestow upon me. But usually I need to go through the laundry list of treatments & tests I’ve endured, chasing a pain-free day: medication, Botox, acupuncture, Gluten free diet, meditation, allergy testing, MRI, CAT scans, yoga, thyroid testing, physical therapy, essential oils, chiropractor, massage therapy, dry needling, pain management class, nerve blocks, sleep study and change in sleep routine. It’s exhausting.

I try to get out of these conversations as quickly as I can. Even if someone has the best intentions or actually does have a good idea, I will say thank you and continue on my way.

We’ve all been in this situation. We’ve put up our hands and said, “I’ve tried everything.” Most of the time, we believe it too. We’ve spent years chasing dead ends. It can be crippling when you spend the only energy you have on changing your diet wishing you’d find a new trigger. Or spending the little amount of money you have traveling to a new doctor you hope will have new ideas. When you come up empty-handed with no results to show for your efforts, you think why in the world do I keep trying?

We all have dark days. We succumb to the pain. We wallow in it. We believe that there is nothing else to try. If our doctors aren’t offering up anything new, then I must be stuck this way because… “I’ve tried everything.”

But if I’m really honest with myself, there’s no way that I could have possibly tried everything. I’ve been on a lot of medications and a combination thereof, but there are plenty that I haven’t tried. The Cefaly is brand new in the US and I haven’t tried it yet. My state allows medicinal marijuana and I just talked to my doctor about it last week. A neuro-stimulator is still option for me as well. I’ve radically changed my diet, but I’ve never done the total Elimination Diet.  I’m not consistent with meditation, so I don’t know if that could have a lasting impact if I practiced every day.

Of course, there are personal choices to consider when looking into a new Migraine treatment, drug or therapy. I think everyone has their own journey with their illness. You need to stay true to what is right for you, in your own time.

The good news is that there are new medications on the market all the time. New studies showing treatments we never realized were options before. Through this community, we can ask others who have tried something we may be considering. There are amazing resources for help and research.

We’re allowed to be frustrated, upset and depressed, it comes with the territory. I’m sure I’ll keep saying, “I’ve tried everything,” in order to stop someone from telling me to stick my head in the freezer the next time I have a Migraine. But what I won’t do, is believe that I’ve really tried everything. For me, that’s when the Migraines win. I’ll continue to research, discuss and seek out new treatment options…as exhausting, painful and expensive as it may be. I only get one body, I guess I should take care of it.

If money and logistics weren’t an issue, is there one Migraine treatment you haven’t tried that you are curious about? What’s holding you back?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • alconley
    1 year ago

    Hi there,
    I found a lot of unexpected relief (not cure but definite relief) in a moment of not being able to take it anymore! Hands were up, I couldn’t figure it out. I have other health problems and the doctors were prompt and helpful, but the brain guy…. My neurologist had retired, putting me on a waiting list to see his partner. His PA got fired because she yelled at patients, making me weep at age 28. I was often given no other choice through total blindness in one eyes, vomiting like the girl in the “exorcist” while not being able to walk after 48 hours to seek an ER. I hated it and was ashamed. Not to mention my drug allergies. It was a Nightmare, I was drained and I started seeking anything that might help. You don’t need a script for a daith piercing. I was terrified but I did it. I was afraid of my ear getting a terrible infection from it. Shock of my life, I was easier than a plain ear piercing. It has not healed me but SOMEHOW It has eased me, I used to only get them on the right, if I do now its only the left. My general doctor gave me real live “non addictive” muscle relaxers to help manage the ins and outs of pains with auto immune diseases I have, this has also helped me. Sometimes, when you are the most frustrated, little things can help you.

  • sarah
    4 years ago

    Hi!
    I started using the cefaly band about 10 days ago… I am not expecting immediate relief, but for those who it has helped, how long does it take? I am almost thinking that it may make my headaches worse. BTW I have headaches almost every night. I think they are related to hormones/menopause and have many medications, both preventative and for at the time of pain. Would love someone’s thoughts or knowledge on this!!! Sarah

  • Bryanavoti
    5 years ago

    Hi,

    I have suffered chronic migraine pain untill i met with Dr Tony salamay who treated my pain effectively. He is good chiropractor doctor in panama city.He has treated countless patients of migraine.

  • mia
    5 years ago

    Thanks Katie for another great article on this site. I related to your ‘tried everything’ response. I get so frustrated hearing how my friend’s cousin used to have migraines until she had her tooth pulled and she hasn’t had one since. I think what’s more frustrating than the patience it takes to graciously listen (again) is the response when you politely say that you know it’s not your teeth causing migraines. You get that response that says they think you deserve to suffer since you won’t even try their obviously miraculous cure. I can’t count the times I’ve seen the body language or felt this vibe from people even friends and family.
    You have an excellent point, I often feel I’ve tried everything and the frustration that comes with that. I haven’t tried everything and there’s articles all the time about new treatments and I need to remain hopeful about the research being done.
    In the meantime, maybe I’ll get some teeth pulled just in case. LOL

  • Nicci
    4 years ago

    OMG… yes! The nasty look that you deserve your pain because you won’t consider their cure! I hate that look and body language. I get irritable with my migraine which are exacerbated by monthly hormonal shifts. Those looks make me want to wipe them off people’s faces at times!

  • bluesguy
    5 years ago

    Great article! The funniest suggestion I have received was from my sister in law. She has migraines. She told me to put Mint Oil on my forehead every night, and then ice the area. I already do ice my head often. But the mint oil provide no relief, it simply gave me a brief bout of acne. LOL
    On a serious note, it is so frustrating to live this life where one has lost so much from the migraines, and to add insult to injury, One continues to lose themselves due to the turbulence of medication side effects. Taking Topamax is similar to losing 15 points off of one’s IQ. LOL. Who can function like this?

  • RTurner
    5 years ago

    I have chronic daily debilitating migraines. I have received so many — you should try this or do that; do you know that this was a trigger for my sisters niece, you should definitely stay away from that.
    I try to be kind and let the person provide their advice then quickly get away – but when they want to start in my life history that’s when I draw my line and the conversation is ended.

  • marlenerossman
    5 years ago

    I too, have tried EVERYTHING-from cervical block surgery to Botox to EVERY drug available to migraineurs to the snake oil-scented Cefaly.

    NOTHING WORKS.

  • Hennie Duits
    5 years ago

    Classical homeopathy (which is very different from OTC homeopathic remedies) is being practised using the same treatment plan for over 200 years. Almost nothing new and fancy to it – no need for that.

  • afinkel
    5 years ago

    Excellent article! I also feel I’ve tried so many things (but not nerve blocks or surgery) and agree it’s all very time-comsuming and costly. But I will never give up looking. And if someone suggests a treatment, I’ll feel a bit annoyed yes but I always listen. Something that their second cousin used might just be what will work for me too.
    I’ve had my cefaly for two years. Initially it helped but mostly it was simply that I experienced a different kind of discomfort while I had it on. Once I took it off, same old head pain was still there. But I would encourage anyone who hasn’t tried it to give it a go. You never know….

  • body
    5 years ago

    Katie, you make some wonderful points. In particular, I like everyone has their own journey with their illness.” When my migraines were chronic and accompanied by MOHs, I was reluctant to try a number of therapies (medication was so much quicker and easier to take, even when it didn’t work)like biofeedback, meditation and acupuncture. However, once I changed my attitude and stepped out of my comfort zone to give a number of complementary therapies a try, a whole new world of wellness opened up for me 🙂

  • Katie M. Golden moderator author
    5 years ago

    Sharron- it’s so scary to step out of the comfort zone. It’s so much easier to just take a new medication from a doctor and call it a day. I agree that attitude is everything. Even if it doesn’t cure your Migraines, it sure does make you feel better.

  • Doug
    5 years ago

    I really try not to say, “I’ve tried everything,” but when I tell someone I have already tried their suggestion, they continue on through a list of other suggestions, and I wind up saying it just to make them stop. I am trying to get better at concisely explaining that it is a process. You can only try so many things with so much time. To properly try something you have to give it time to work. I have spent 6 months trying as many things as I could. I have plenty of ideas that I haven’t tried yet, but they are waiting in the queue to get their turn.

  • marlenerossman
    5 years ago

    DO NOT BUY THE CEFALY. As I posted above, I bought it and it was a lovely headband. I have as Sam said below had nerve blocks, epidural, botox and 22 different medications including KETAMINE. How this could be a “party drug” is beyond me. It did NOTHING–not even make me “party.” And was totally useless for migraine.

    Gabapentin made me fall down and break my finger, Topamax tore out my hair. Acupunture, acupressure, meditation, breathing exercises, biofeedback, Botox and I will say it again, TWENTY TWO different medications.

    The only thing that works are the abortives. Now I take the Sumavel “taser” shot which is so painful that when I wake up in the middle of the night crawling to the toilet, I have to stuff a towel into my mouth to keep from screaming from the Sumavel injectible. I am at the end of my rope.

  • Katie M. Golden moderator author
    5 years ago

    Marlene,
    I definitely feel for you. Sometimes we feel like pin cushions and guinea pigs in our quest to find relief.
    The Cefaly is the latest and greatest in the Migraine world. I’ve heard a mix of positive and negative feedback. While it didn’t work for you, it could work for someone else.
    We all have our own Migraine journeys.

  • sams
    5 years ago

    I feel like I have tried everything, I have a list very similar to yours, with the medications, PT, inpatient program, nerve blocks, cervical epidural, yoga, diets, etc. It is really frustrating when a doctor tells me they don’t know what to do with me or they look at my medications list and just go wow that’s a lot.

    I understand people are just trying to help me when they say oh why don’t u try this (drink more water, eat this, take this supplement, etc) I usually go with ‘I am way past that’, or ‘I’ve tried everything.’

    I know there are a few things I have not tried, such as the Cefaly, and acupuncture. But after trying so many things you have little hope left for the next thing.
    I have been trying for so long I feel that I am all tried out.
    I am curious about the surgerys they do for migraines. Because that is my next step, such as the burning of the nerves- medial branch ablation, or implant nerve simulator or any other invasive procedures?

  • christievickers1975
    5 months ago

    I too am curious about the nerve ablations and implants. I think my liver and kidneys have “had it” with me trying all of the medications. I am on a (knock on wood) ok regimen right now, including one of the new CGRPR antagonists injections.

    I have been thru the “alternative” therapies…no help in my case (and too expensive)…..Cefaly-just a cool headband…..however helps when it is on!

    I live in a state that WILL NOT approve medical marijuana…so CBD it is, however, I have not seen much help from it (I mean, how do I know the purity of the stuff I buy??)

    I work full time and have to have my head together….so there really is not much I can do during work hours anyway except pray that an attack does not happen.

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