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It Started With a Concussion

Migraine #1: no big deal

Unlike many people who live with migraine, my journey had pretty clear beginnings. My very first migraine came on while I was hanging out with friends in a Toronto restaurant called, of all things, Nirvana. First the lights started glowing more strongly. Then my friends’ voices and the clinking of dishes became loud and distracting. Then my head began to feel just a tad too tight for my skull. The only thing I could stay focused on was my post-dinner chocolate craving, which was more intense than usual. I took myself home to my dark quiet bedroom and then the nausea crept in. I wondered briefly if these were the pesky “migraines” my mother was always dealing with. Then I slept if off, and more or less forgot about it.

Face, meet sidewalk

A few months later on a beautiful spring day, I was cycling home from the gym (a place I used to frequent with voracity) with a friend.  I made a brazen move to pass another cyclist and landed my front tire directly in the rut of a streetcar track. Time slowed, and the feelings of panic and calm washed over me simultaneously as my body floated down to the black pavement. A quick moment of darkness, and I was already trying to push myself off the ground. Helping me to the sidewalk, my friend and I inspected the damage. Bloody elbow, knees, and chin. Very sore jaw. I’d been over my handlebars before and bounced back in a jiffy. Surely this would be no different.

Weird symptoms

But it was. I wanted to lie in the dark and sleep for days. I was tired all the time. As the scabs fell off and the scars started to fade, I started to experience constant muscle stiffness, endless urges to nap, trouble with word retrieval, jaw pain that interfered with regular chewing, and for the first time in my life, carsickness. Instinctively, I took up gentle exercise and yoga. These helped a little.

The following fall, I started to have weekly migraines. My doctor prescribed triptans. I medicated at the first sign of attack, always. The migraine attacks became more frequent. The triptans stopped working. My doctor prescribed T3s. The migraine attacks became more frequent again. The T3s stopped working. My doctor finally referred me to a specialist. I had chronic migraine, in part no doubt to medication overuse, and I was forced to take sick leave from my teaching job.

In hindsight…

Since then my life has changed dramatically to treat and accommodate migraine. There have been many silver linings. But, like most of us, I can’t help asking myself sometimes, what if? What if I hadn’t made that dumb move on my bike? What if I had been referred to a specialist right away? What if I had learned about preventative “lifestyle” modifications and medication overuse back when the migraines were still weekly? What would my life look like?

Of course these questions are not really productive. Maybe I would still be working my but off in the big city, rocking my number #1 career choice. Maybe not. It really doesn’t matter. But one thing that does matter, that could actually improve outcomes for other people in the future, is if migraine disease were handled with greater care and seriousness the moment it rears its head. Although both concussion and migraine are still poorly understood and difficult to treat, there is a part of me that wonders how things might have turned out differently if I had some basic information early on.

I’m curious to know if there are readers out there with similar experiences. Did your migraines start or escalate as a result of concussion?

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

  • knother
    1 year ago

    I know I’m a little late in commenting, but having a variety of stories to read has always helped me, so why not contribute?

    I’ve had one confirmed concussion (when I was 8) and one that I didn’t realize was a concussion until a few days later.

    The first was a scooter accident. The second was trying to hold my dog back from biting another dog. He threw me off of him when he jumped and I hit the back of my head on the corner of a brick fence post. Some people were also in the yard and heard my head hit. I spent the rest of the day icing and resting and drinking water. I was 14. Only a few days later did I wonder if maybe the nausea and pain and tiredness had been a concussion.

    That was in the summer, maybe July or August. A few months later I started to get headaches, along with regular nausea and tiredness. The headaches increased in length and strength. By February of the following year, I was regularly waking up with dull sparking migraines that would last up to 3 days. I never had an appetite, and it had started to really worry me to the point of always being stressed.

    After many ridiculous precaution tests (EKG, EEG, etc) from the doctor (none of which included concussion screening), I was referred to a neurologist who said it sounded similar to basilar migraine and prescribed.. I don’t remember what. I took it for 6 months and found no relief. The side effects were literally all of my symptoms.

    I’m now 22. My migraines have become MUCH less frequent, but also much more intense. I’ve had some of the most “violent” migraines of my life this year. And only recently did it occur to me that the BASILAR (base of head) migraines tarted after I hit the BACK of my head. Crazy.

  • r2qcve
    2 years ago

    My migraines started 50 years ago after I was hospitalized for a slight concussion following a bicycle accident. I have had years without migraines and I have had years with multiple headaches per week. Doctors always want to know, “What is different in your life?” when the headaches get frequent. The difference is that I am having frequent, intense migraines! I have had Botox, trigger point injections, triptans, preventative meds, and even counseling. I am currently pursuing accupuncture as a preventative measure, but what I really need is a relief product that allows me to function while I have a headache. Anyone?

  • DadOhio
    2 years ago

    I was off work due to a snow day. We lived in West Virginia in the mid 80’s when we still had winters strong enough to knock out bus transportation for days in our rural county. Our department gathered at the house of one of our friends whose husband owned a tire shop.
    We spent a glorious afternoon riding down her hill on a truck tire inner tube. (Imagine 6 or 7 people sitting in a circle knee to knee.) Late in the afternoon we took a break to eat and more people showed up as they were able to dig themselves out.
    My family and I were about to go but I agreed to go “one more time”. While we were eating the sun went down and the hill turned to ice. Our group shot down the hill gaining speed as we hit bumps the sent us flying higher and higher.
    On the last bump the tube tipped sending us all into the air. Up until this point this was the epic ride of the day. I landed and a 12 year old landed sitting on my head. He rode it 20 to 25 yards until we stopped.
    Full of adrenaline I jumped up as if nothing happened. Everyone else stopped once they saw me. The lef side of my face was looked like a badly skinned knee.
    I went to the ER and they did a good job of bandaging but since I had not lost consciousness they didn’t treat or mention the head injury.
    31 years later I am still burdened with the 24 a day headache. It has been a journey that stopped my doctorate and pared the number of friends I can maintain to a number I can count on a mitten. It has cost me jobs and opportunities for public service and office.
    It has also been a “gift” in that it has brought out the very best in my wife and son who have rallied to keep me going through dark days of under treatment, incorrect treatment, doctors who have the nerve to retire, doctors who take promotions, doctors who move away and every damn time I get the tiniest sniff of tobacco smoke or drop in the barometer which raises my “moderate” pain score by 3 or 4 points.
    Treatment has been a roller coaster from the first doc I saw who looked up my nose and declared it was a case of deviated septum to dozens of hospitalizations, endless combinations and permutations of various meds, an neurostimulator implant and lately ablation of my sphenopalantine ganglion and more nerve blocks.
    Along the way I found that I married well above me station. She runs interference for me when I get foggy and cooks a pretty stilted menu. She puts up with me when i run low on charm. At least once a week my son who is a journalist sends news of some new therapy. He has set up some kind of RSS feed that alerts him to every development in migraine treatment.
    If it weren’t for them I would be in much sadder shape. I retired 6 years early when I began to make little errors and before I hurt anyone. Retirement has been a great gift. I can take a nap anytime because every day is Saturday. I limit my activities to accommodate the weather and life goes on a a dull roar.

  • Marian Andrews
    2 years ago

    I always had headaches, and also motion sickness, so my family took my “sick” days for granted. I also fell off ponies and horses a lot with my first concussion in college during a horsemanship class. The doctor gave me T3 and told me to rest for three days with no instructions for my roommate. My headache was worse each time I woke up until I realized the medicine was making them worse
    I cannot take the usual pain meds and was not diagnosed with migraines until my sister began having headaches as a teenager. My EEG showed mild epilepsy or migraines and I was not diagnosed with epilepsy until 2001. Now I will be 60 next week with headaches every day because my doctor says they are rebounds and refuses to give me any medicine. There must be a better way to live.

  • swhiteCT
    2 years ago

    I too believe my migraines began as a result of multiple mild concussions throughout my early childhood, teens years and as an adult. I would say I have had ten, maybe more, mild concussions throughout my life. I believe over time the cumulative effects of all of these mild concussions have damaged my nervous system.

    First let me tell you that I am 66 yrs old and have been experiencing migraines since my teen years. At first it was a couple times per year, then it gradually became a couple times a month, then a couple times per week, and increased to daily chronic migraines about 5 years ago. I have some level of headache 24/7. It is just a matter of whether it is a level 4 or a level 9. The pain levels vary in intensity throughout the day. I also suffer from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue.

    Most of my migraines are not the blinding, intense one-sided migraines many sufferers experience. They encompass my entire head, and as with the varying levels, the focal intensity moves to different areas of my head practically by the hour. Needless to say this has been very challenging to try to treat.

    At first I thought my migraines were sinus headaches because they encompassed the front of my forehead and frontal lobe, so I started my quest for help about 12 years ago from an ENT doctor. He was the first to recognize my pain as migraines and he prescribes a triptan. This helped lower the level of my migraines, but not eliminate them. As with others in this conversation, I have a cupboard full of tried and failed prescriptions from over the years.

    After trying several doctors and neurologists I have been fortunate to have had a startup headache center open locally that my neurologist referred me to. The Hartford Hospital Headache Center in Hartford CT has been a godsend. I began treatment with the Director of the Center, Dr. Brian Grosberg just about a year ago. If you Google him you can learn more about his background and his treatment center. He vision is to have a world class headache center (yes, he does have people fly in to see him from other countries and from around the US) which specialized in treating all types of headaches. He is also planning on initiating a web-based treatment system. His treatment plan for me has been quarterly Botox injections, bi-weekly nerve block injections, physical therapy for my neck and occipital region, and by-weekly psychological sessions with Dr. Brooke Pelligrino; who has been interviewed in a recent Migraine.com article. I use Migranol and Floricet for pain management, but I have been able to cut back on my usage from two times per week to about 2 times per month. Dr. Grosberg’s practice is an academic based practice, meaning that he teaches other physicians, PA’s and APRN’s to treat his patients. He also attends conferences in other countries and teaches worldwide physician’s on his methods. He now has several pain management associates, hands-on instructed by him, that are part of the team. I am sure at some point he will be too busy to see me himself, but I have confidence in his team. It is such a wonderful feeling to have a care team who can relate to what I am going through. Most of the staff are also headache sufferers. It has not been an easy road, as all of you fellow sufferers know, and I have a long way to go yet, but I now have hope.

    Dr. Grosberg has told me that my treatment was not going to be a sprint; it is going to be a marathon. After a year of treatment I still have 24/7 migraines, but the levels have dropped to about two thirds of what they were a year ago. Unfortunately, he has told me I will never be headache free. He goal is to have my pain reduced by 50% so that I can get some of my normal life back. Slowly I have been able to do more of my normal activities, although I still have trouble with social get-togethers and events. Over the years I have been able to identify all of my triggers. Some I can avoid or control, but others such as weather changes, certain noises, certain smells, food cravings (especially chocolate), and fluorescent lights I have no or little control over. As with some other sufferers chocolate, caffeine and heat help ease some of the symptoms.

    I still have days when I am so emotionally low that I cannot get out of bed, but they happen once or twice a month now. Overall my outlook has improved. I try not to think of how active I used to be and try to focus on the good days when life is a bit more normal. I fully empathize with all fellow sufferers and hope that you are fortunate enough to find treatment that will also give you hope.

  • Casper6
    2 years ago

    I was 16 years old ridding my horse. When a car went by and spooked my horse. She threw me off. I don’t even remember being thrown. I remember waking up on the ground with my horse running circles around me, and my Grandpa coming up to me to see if I was ok. At that moment, I thought I was alright. Would you believe he made me get right back on my horse again.

    When my mom saw me, I had a huge grass stain across the back of my shirt. Buy this time my neck was hurting. I went to Dr. a couple days latter. My neck was out of alignment. But I firmly believe that was the start of my Migraines. Also didn’t help Migraines are in my family history.

    It is now more than 38 years, and I an still battling them. Triptians do work for me most of the time, along with heat. My main trigger is still neck problems and the changes in weather. Any advice on how to treat migraines when it is weather related?

    I wish all of you best of luck with your treatments.

  • Casper6
    2 years ago

    I was 16 years old ridding my horse. When a car went buy and spooked my horse and she threw me off. I don’t even remember being thrown. I remember waking up on the ground with my horse running circles around me, and my Grandpa coming up to me to see if I was ok. At that moment I thought I was. Would you believe he made me get right back on my horse again.

    When my mom saw me, I had a huge grass stain across the back of my shirt. Buy this time my neck was hurting. I went to Dr. a couple days latter. My neck was out of alignment. But I firmly believe that was the start of my Migraines. Also didn’t help Migraines are in my family history.

    It is now more than 38 years, and I an still battling them. Triptians do work for me most of the time, along with heat. My main trigger is still neck problems and the changes in weather. Any advice on how to treat migraines when it is weather related?

    I wish all of you best of luck with your treatments.

  • Joanna Bodner moderator
    2 years ago

    Casper6,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story how migraine unfortunately all began for you. What an awful, terrifying experience…I am so sorry you went through that. You mention weather being a big factor and a trigger for you, so I thought I’d share this article which discusses a treatment which may help.

    Thank you for being here & always feel free to reach out for support.
    Take good care,
    Joanna (Migraine.com Team)

  • bluesjr
    2 years ago

    I can relate to your first migraine at the restaurant. Mine started with 4th of July fireworks. Got up off the ground after the display and was really dizzy. Then had to cycle home in the dark. This was unequivocally confirmed the following 4th when the same thing happened. Actually dizziness was my only symptom and I went to 6 or 7 medical people before a neurologist said: “sounds like you are having non-headache migraines”. Well, it wasn’t long before the headaches startest in ernest.

    I’m very sensitive to light now, and that was especially the case before my doc found a chemical solution (it was the last item in his bag of tricks). Bright sun could trigger a serious attack within seconds.

    And in general now, whenever I’m in loud crowded environments the headaches start to creep in and my vision, hearing, and brain function degrade quickly.

  • Antzus
    2 years ago

    There’s comfort in seeing my situation normalised a little, in similar cases to my own. Seems I’d been getting migraines on occasion since I was a child, undiagnosed until several months after a concussion.

    Since about 10 years old, aside from standard triggers of deodorants, and piercing or mechanically thumping sounds, I’d have phases where protruding angles of table corners and spoons in cups jutting toward my eye would freak me out.

    A cycling accident left my face fractured 3 years ago. Not sure if consciousness left me for half a second, or if it all moved too quick for me to register. In any case, a CT scan said my brain was still there, so I took it easy a couple of weeks and tried to get back to continuing my thesis (ironically, on neurology!).

    6 weeks later, some unnecessarily accusative doctors dismissed my persisting symptoms (symptoms are “supposed” to last only 3 weeks) after an MRT reconfirmed my brain was intact. I ignored their professional advice and disenrolled from uni for a semester, ending up at a migraine specialist 10 months post-accident.

  • LTyler
    2 years ago

    Like yours, mine began with a minor car accident. My head slammed into the headrest so hard I lost consciousness for a few seconds.
    I had been used to my cluster headaches most of my life. I never took medication for those since they passed quickly for me.
    These migraines were new and I didn’t know how to explain them. The doctor told me it might take two years to get over the concussion and accident, but I might never get over these new migraines. Now I have pill bottles lined up and the migraine won’t stop. I’m out of my job and the migraine limits me on what I can do.
    I feel for you. I only hope they find a cure one day for migraines.

  • Minxy
    2 years ago

    Hi sounds very familiar and way to close to home. I live an hour away from you I had a car accident 7 years ago this weekend that changed my life. I was t boned. Left with concussion and whiplash. I didn’t use ambulance or go to the hospital I took the day off to deal with police and insurance. I started to stiffen through the day and by morning I was in the hospital being told nothing was wrong see your family dr take Advil and Tylenol. No tests. Well. It only got worse. I have had migraines before but this one grew and grew and brought nasty friends like vertigo insomnia numbness spotty vision. Couldn’t eat couldn’t stand couldn’t drive. Now this was may 24 weekend and I’m a hairstylist make up artist and pro lash artist. I couldn’t work. I was sleeping between clients I could barely function. The noise alone in the salon was nothing I have ever experienced before just to much I had to make it stop. I finally left work end of July. Permanent since have been on every treatment specialist trial Botox nerve block zeomin pill some patches. But nothing. I have just asked to come off my high dose off slow release pain meds to now find out with all the addicts that if I need to go back up to west I could function this will never be an option. It’s always a loose. I try and go holistic after so many years of abuse of trials and drugs go natural reiki energy work massage osteo yoga cupping acupuncture meditation tooamax vegetarian and I’m bed ridden again. So I need some quality of life. I lost 7 years and I’m only 33 so if I must medicate now it’s not available to me cause people use it recreational and the ones who need it suffer. I don’t find this fair. Pain killers never take the pain away in any manor I live st a level 7 or higher but to go to even a 6 or 5 for a few hours is holiday. Medical marijuana helps but is so costly. Anyone else have ideas or help. Desperate on disability and really want my or a life back miss friends work and relationships. Not many people want the broken girl or want to be friends with her. I travel as much spring and fall for the relief in weather change as I find it kills my body with cold and rain and berometer. Thanks

  • pigen51
    2 years ago

    I am a chronic migraine sufferer, near daily, on disability, the whole thing. I have had them my entire adult life, with a few when I was younger. I have also got a family history of migraines, as well. But I also had at least 5 concussions in high school football, most of them would be considered severe. Now days, they have protocalls that they follow for post concussions, but back when I was in H.S., ( I graduated in 1978), they didn’t really have much. I was knocked out completely once, went to the sidelines, and 2 plays later the coach looked for me and put me back in, where I played the last couple minutes of the first half, and the entire second half, which I cannot remember one single second of. I can only remember what I saw on the film the next week. I was running one way, turned around and got hit under the chin with the top of someones helmet.
    Did these several bad concussions and the other minor ones have anything to do with my migraines that I have had my entire adult life? I don’t really know. I do know that I have had many CAT scans done, but these were done years ago, when they used to do CAT scans routinely for migraines. I also had an MRA done at MSU, which is like an MRI with a special dye, where they look at different things in the brain, and they said it was all normal. But this was also over 20 years ago, so I don’t know if things simply had not shown up yet, of if they didn’t know what to look for at that time. Anyone who has suffered with migraines for over 30 years knows that the medical profession has changed it’s mind as to what causes migraines at least 3 times over the years. It used to say it was caused by pulsing blood vessels, then by chemical imbalance, like dopamine, now they are leaning a different way, until it is almost like a joke as to what they are going to blame next.
    I do know that many professional football players that have had many severe concussions deal with migraines, but they also deal with much worse diseases also, that cause serious mental decline, and I watch for that in my own life, because of the concussions. Concussion syndrome tends to be cumulative, and getting one while not fully recovered from a previous one is especially harmful, which is something that happened to me twice.
    I wish you all well, no matter whether or not you had concussions and also deal with migraines now, but if you did have concussions, make sure that you at least mention it to your doctor, to the point of being sure that they understand that you are serious about it. It is probably nothing, but it at the very least should be written in your chart in bold letters, so that every future doctor sees it. Every small piece of information that you can add to your migraine profile can only help the next doctor to possibly try something that will work better for you. I have had things work for me at times, for months at a time, then quit working. But those months that I went without daily migraines were a blessing.

  • labwhisperer
    2 years ago

    My migraines started from a concussion too. Someone put a rope across the road and I was clotheslined off my bike. A couple months later, the migraines started and increased in frequency until I had over 15 migraines a month. Thankfully Triptans help. Tried many preventive meds without much success. Finally did Botox for a year. It reduced them in half. I stopped Botox, was migraine free for about three months recently but now getting 3 to 4 a month again. I too get vertigo. I have gone to one of the top migraine clinics in the country. I’m not sure things would be different.

  • RebekkaT84
    2 years ago

    Sorry you had/have to go through this! So glad though that I finally see a report on concussion induced migraines.
    I am 32 and have been dealing with 4-10+ migraines per month for almost two decades. The frequency varies greatly. Tritptanes do help and are a true life saver. 16 months ago I ended up with a concussion. Banged the base of my skull full force (right above the neck) against a metal shelve. My husband misread the situation and dismissed it. I almost blacked out and went to the car to lay down. (We were at Home Depot). What followed has been the most traumatic health scare I’ve ever dealt with. I never saw a doctor in the beginning and was months later diagnosed. Right after it happened, and for many months after, I wasn’t able to walk without trembling, talk, comprehend the things I was reading (student), write, work out, scroll through my phone (eye movement) and the worst physical sensation must have been the chronic vertigo. It felt like I was in a slowing down elevator. Movement made all of it worse. I educted myself as well as I could and learned that minimum movement, especially during the weeks after the accident, are crucial to expedite healing. (We were moving at the time and this probably prolonged my healing process)
    Now – in terms of migraines, I had never had so many migraines in my life. Daily for almost three months! They were different from my usual one-sided migraines and that’s why I initially wasn’t sure whether they were just bad headaches. Once I started taking triptanes I knew they were indeed migraines. The migraine frequency went down over time but I also limited any physical high-impact activities and even yoga, as they seemed to make the post-concussion syndrome, and as a result my migraines & vertigo, worse.
    It took a year for things to get better. I had almost given up hope. A month ago I hit my head again – this time less severe, however, every doctor will tell you if you’ve ever had a concussion, try to avoid any further head bumps. It gets harder for your brain to recover. Vertigo kicked in, along with those very specific migraines, once again.
    I’m much better now and always try to keep my stress levels down as well as plenty of sleep, water and only low-impact activities. It’s been an uphill battle but it will get better! I was told it takes at least a year for things to settle down.
    Migraine frequency will get better according to (at least from my experience) overall recovery.
    Baby yourself – it was absolutely essential in my case! Concussions are greatly underestimated and underdiagnosed. Unfortunately, migraines (if already present) can get worse – but there is hope! It really is a waiting game.

  • aliceann54
    2 years ago

    Yes, I believe my migraines started with a concussion. Someone crossed the center lane and hit me head on. My seatbelt didn’t hold me. I went up over the steering wheel and hit my head on the windshield.

    I started getting migraines a few months later and did not put the two together. My doctor gave me triprans, same as you and when those stopped working sent me.to a specialist who gave me more.meds that did not help.

    Now I have chronic daily migraines most likely due to Medication overuse. The first person to spot my problem was a pain specialist who was the first to take an MRI ( I had been to at least 5 neurologists at this time who all gave up and said there was no treatment). The MRI not only showed signs.of concussion but also cervical vertebrae that were pinching nerves. The specialist’s reaction was – of course you have migraines.

    Pain clinics are great. The meds seem to really loop me out, even though they reduced migraine frequency, I couldn’t drive.my car reliably enough to get to work. I discontinued that treatment. The pain came back.

    I am now trying vitamin therapy and CBD strains of medical marijuana. The CBD combined with smaller amounts of THC is bringing down my inflamation and pain levels. The vitamin therapy helps me sleep better and helps me feel more productive during the day.

    I too wonder if I had received the right help at the beginning, would it have made a difference? As it was the insurance companies for auto accidents were anxious to declare me healed to avoid paying for proper care. My migraines started after the insurance company closed my case.

  • Tamara
    2 years ago

    I have thought the same things too over the years and finally starting to actually believe it’s not my fault. Mine were starting to get more common and then I had a bad car accident (blacked out because of a migraine and of course I was on cruise on the highway so I ended up crossing the median and hitting someone the other direction – yes I know I’m super lucky that “all” I got was a concussion and whiplash). And after that they were bad and daily.

    I think all the time what if I haven’t driven that day, would they still be so hard to treat and painful? I also am pretty sure I had a few mild concussions with all the horseback riding I did the past few years.

    I knew about medication overuse from the get go and I try desperately to stay under the limits. Some months are hard and it does come down to either take the meds I shouldn’t be or jump off the bridge. I don’t think not knowing about that at the beginning makes a difference.

    They is something called post concussion syndrome you can look up – may explain some of your symptoms. I am a planner and hate not knowing what my life will look like in 5 years, heck even in 5 days is a mystery.

    My migraines personally seem to be caused from my neck, whiplash causing weak ligaments and muscles spasms …. so I do a lot of yoga, always conscious of the position of neck is in, nerve blocks to control pain for now. I also am doing PRP – which is injections of platelets into your neck (and jaw for me TMJ has been a huge issue since childhood) joints to trigger the immune system and initiate healing again,

    Reading over it again ….. are you still having probems with your jaw? If yes, contact your dentist – you may need a bite guard because you knocked your alignment off and that is known to cause migraines. You may have to find a TMJ specialist for it.

  • Mmelle
    2 years ago

    Hello! I’ve been reading this newsletter for over a year and have learned a lot about this condition that at times rules my life. It is a shame that the doctors treating me don’t take time for patient education. I am fortunate now to be seeing a good neurologist at a headache center now. I have brought up issues that I read about here at migraine.com and have had some very fruitful discussions with her as a result. Thankyou.
    It seems like I’ve always had headaches As a child when I complained of one my mother told me that I just had “growing pains”. My family accused me of faking it to get out of homework or doing chores. Needless to say, I was not given treatment at that time.
    In college I went horseback riding for the first and only time and fell off the horse, landing on my head. When I came to the horse was grazing happily next to me. I have no idea if I was out for only a few seconds or if it was longer as I was alone at the time. My friends caught up with me and they made me get back on the horse. Because I was 19 years old and therefore invincible I did get on and ride back to the stable.
    I went to the college infirmary, where they put a soft collar on my neck and admitted me for bed rest for a few days. On discharge, I was instructed to wear the collar for another two weeks but I hated the thing and why would anyone who was invincible bother with that? I did have some severe head pain after this and eventually was sent to a nearby small city to see a neurologist. He took X-rays and did what was then a neurological workup (it was 1969) The doctor seemed to be almost angry and most definitely disappointed when he told me that I was normal. He prescribed darvon and told me to go home. After this, lived through several decades of different diagnoses including tension, sinus, occipital neuralgia, ruptured disks in my neck, hysteria, bad posture, malingering, etc. In the late 1990’s a pain management doctor asked more questions about the pain and the headaches my maternal grandmother and aunt had. For the first time I was diagnosed with migraines. Since then, the migraines have become more frequent (with one melding into the next so that I can’t honestly say how often I have them. I was being treated by the pain management team for migraines, occipital neuralgia, ruptured disks in my neck and lumbar spine and sciatica. They were giving me several different kinds of injections, including cervical nerve blocks, Vicodin and a muscle relaxer. Last year after reading info on migraine.com I was able to get a referral to a headache center here in New York City. I have learned that I have symptoms that are part of migraine disease and are not indicative of my brain rotting away, which still leaves me needing to deal with them, but does not mean I have a bran tumor or am just crazy. (actually I am, but that is another story).
    Getting back to the point, I do believe that the concussion I had in my college days may have accelerated the development of my migraine condition. Once again, thanks migraine.com for much needed information.

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