Hello! I'm new to this forum, but not new to migraines.
I'll try to keep this brief and just give you enough information to hopefully help with my question! I'm a 46 year old female and I have suffered from migraines since I was about 30 years old. I have tracked down some of my triggers (most recently, I believe Propylene Glycol to be a huge issue!) and have suffered a few different types of migraines (TMJ and menstrual cycles are an issue), but the basic pattern has been fairly consistant and it doesn't seem to fit any of the usual definitions.
The day before the headache begins, I will have various aura symptoms such as patterns of light, dizziness, or a euphoric mood. The pain then starts, centered on one side, and is quite severe for 48 to 72 hours. It is accompanied by varying degrees of nausea, light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, cognitive fog, and fluctuating temperature.
Here's where it gets weird. I then get a break from the pain for anywhere from 6 hours to as many as 7 days (generally it's about 2 to 3 days) during which I still have some of the aura symptoms and just a general sense that I am still in "migraine mode", but I'm not in pain and fairly functional. Then the OTHER SIDE kicks in, and I do a full 48 to 72 hours of equally intense pain on the OTHER side of my head. Once that subsides (and I survive the postdome/hangover), I have completed a full migraine experience and should get a break until the next trigger.
I have VERY rarely been able to avoid the second side kicking in. It seems once the cycle has started, there is no way to avoid the entire pattern. (I seriously feel like people who get migraines lasting "4 hours" aren't really getting migraines! LOL)
My doctors have continually said this isn't possible, this must be a "rebound headache" or a "cluster headache" or something else, but nothing about my experience fits these diagnoses.
Has anyone else had a similar experience? Any advice? I'm on Day 2 of the second side of a really severe one right now.
Thank you and here's hoping you are all pain free right now!