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Memorable Migraines: July 2011’s 2-week migraine

When I think about what to include in my “Memorable Migraines” series, I often hearken back to episodes of yore, terrible migraine periods from back in the day.

But for this post I am going to talk about The Vicious Neverending Migraine of July 2011 before I block out all of the horror, pain, and vomit they entailed.

It wasn’t until a Thursday at 6 AM that I started giving up hope on this one. I’d already used up my triptan allotment for the week and the “rescue” meds weren’t rescuing me in the least. I texted the family I was supposed to nanny for to tell them I couldn’t come in. (The day before that I’d babysat and had felt nauseated and slightly headachey with migraine, but I could still function. Thursday was different.)

By the time ten o’clock rolled around, I had gotten so desperate I considered taking a triptan despite the overuse warnings. I’d had a banana and a bunch of water for breakfast but threw those up as soon as I got up to pee for the first time that day. Jim had to work but did his best to take care of me—he went in late and came home early. On Thursday early afternoon he called our primary care doctor to schedule an appointment for me, but she couldn’t see me til 9 AM the following morning.

It felt like an eternity.

At last Friday arrived, and I was feeling a smidge better. A whole hour passed without my getting sick to my stomach, but I took a Zofran for the nausea all the same, knowing that being a passenger in the car would probably aggravate me. We pulled into the parking lot of the doctor’s office and I took about five hundred years to walk from the car to the door, stopping along the way to be sick in the bushes.

They took me back immediately and let me lie down in one of the exam rooms even though the doctor had other patients ahead of me. When the doctor walked in at last, she immediately came over and expressed sympathy—no problem convincing her the migraine was real. At last I confessed with teary eyes, “I threw up in your bushes outside! I’m so sorry!” She laughed and said that was fine—better there than on the carpet in the waiting room!

Hours later, I’d had shots in each buttock (um, OW), including a double-shot of toradol. I started to come out of the fog and was thrilled to hear that I was allowed to have another Imitrex if the migraine came back later that day.

Already it’s so hard to imagine how completely awful that migraine was, how many days it lasted, how everything had to be wiped off my schedule. To be pain-free is such a luxury, and I feel I only appreciate that luxury the day after a migraine passes, when I wake up and realize I am not sick anymore.

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


  • Heather Donoghue
    8 years ago

    Two weeks is nothing…today is day number 258 of my current migraine. I’ve had everything you can think of and more to try to get rid of it, including 3 spinal taps. I finally just got Botox injections about a week ago, but so far, no luck. Trying desperately to hold out hope, but getting through college in one piece is proving to be quite a challenge!

  • Sara Batchelder
    8 years ago

    Hang in there! I started getting migraines after college, and twenty years later, have only a few days a year without migraine. I have found a flexible job and work for my boyfriend, so that helps a lot. Had to give up most of my personal life. I think some of us just don’t respond to treatment, unfortunately.

  • Meredith Link
    8 years ago

    Heather, I’m in the same boat as you – never-ending migraines that last months. I’m also a student. So, I completely understand how much of a struggle it is to try to get a degree while fighting migraines.
    I started getting Botox shots earlier this year (after my third 5-day hospital stay with no luck). Not to discourage you, but, for me, it took a few weeks for the shots to kick in. My doctor kept telling me, “Just give it another week,” every week I called to update him. But by the second month, the intensity of the migraines had lessened to the point where I could live a more normal life.
    My biggest advice when it comes to the shots is be patient. I definitely thought they would be an overnight cure. Unfortunately, they aren’t.
    Hang in there, and keep pushing! If things become too much at school, consider talking to your professors about what you’re going through. There’s not a professor out there who doesn’t know at least one person that has health struggles or migraines.

  • Teri Robert
    8 years ago

    Heather, sometimes preventives don’t work if you’re in a retractable Migraine cycle. That Migraine needs to be broken first. Take a look at this article –

  • Janie Cottrill
    8 years ago

    Wondering if anyone has tried the Cleveland Clinic I MATCH program?

  • Sarah Scott Blankenship
    8 years ago

    I’ve had one since this spring…it will ease up enough that I can function at times, but never completely goes away. I gave up on my medications when they didn’t help anymore. It got so bad I went to the ER (a $1200 trip and my insurance only covered about $200) and got an IV treatment. They blew a vein and I ended up back there with a raging infection in that arm a few days later. No one understands how debilitating this is unless they’ve been there. I’m so glad to have found this site!

  • Pamela Klekar Burns
    8 years ago

    I’m really fortunate that I’ve never had the multiple day migraines (that I can remember) but I too have had migraines since I was 4. The worst was on my wedding day almost 5 years ago (11/11/06). What was supposed to be the happiest day of my life was not in many cases due to the horrendous migraine I had all day! Luckily I had family and friends to pitch in and help with last minute set-up. This was before I had rescue meds so the strongest I had was Imitrix shots, which I took 3 of! The vomiting didn’t stop. I still went on to the salon for hair and make-up (managed to eat some) and somehow made it through the day wih a smile on my face and the photos looked great! Once the reception was about half over, the headache finally started to subside.

  • Pamela Klekar Burns
    8 years ago

    Helen Lopez: I’m so sorry for your little one! It’s hard b/c kids don’t know what they’re going through and doctors won’t diagnos. My mom would give me ice packs a lot and made sure I was getting a balanced diet (not just carbs but protein snacks after school, when I would get a lot of headaches). Also, something I didn’t know until I got older was how much food affected me – so pay attention to foods that have MSG or preservatives (like deli meat or hot dogs). You can still eat that but buy all natural. Also, lots of water helps. A little caffeine can help too during a headache. Good luck to you and your little boy!

  • Helen Lopez
    8 years ago

    Pamela- I’m a mother of a 4 year old who suffers from migrains. What helped you as a child to over come they pain? And what do you think I can do as a mom to help him?

  • Betsy Uschkrat
    8 years ago

    So sorry to hear! My Mom used to get migranes from her medicine, so I know how awful it was to watch… Can’t imagine going through!

  • Eileen Sexton Rzecinski
    8 years ago

    I used to think I was all alone on migraine island,, and I’m so glad I found you guys. In 2010 I had a migraine for more than six months, and finally I got shots in both buns that stopped them. I could not continue another day with the pain. My rheumotologist gave me vicodin and oxycontin and I use it sparingly to chase it away.

  • Christina Rasmussen
    8 years ago

    OMG Reading that is like reliving many of my worst days. Still feel like that sometimes…just need my imitrex X3 and then it is a slow recovery. It is hard to imagine those days when you actually have a migraine free day. My great days are so good, and well, my bad days stink.

  • Lorna HutchLee
    8 years ago

    I know just how you feel I have had migraines since I was 8 years of age. I had a car accident 1991 then all hell broke lose, I hardly get a day without a migraine. I spend a lot of time in bed wasting my life away, people think it’s just a migraine 3 days try living with them see how long they last! I have my low days and some better days. Wish for a miracle who knows one day.

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