43 years and counting…

I have experienced what has been diagnosed as severe classical migraines since the age of 14; the headaches have controlled a good portion of my life for the last 43 years through High School, College, marriage and being a newlywed, wife to a great husband and mother to two beautiful children.

They come on with unrelenting frequency and violent throbbing ; vomiting until there is nothing left but dry heaves and green bile… they have been a part of my most utterly devastating days such as cancer, or the deaths and funerals of dearly loved family members, and they have insidiously snuck into my most joyous family occasions such as wonderful holidays or weddings or even the births of our precious grandbabies…..migraines have sought to ruin the most special times of my life and for many years and through many drs I felt that I was partially “responsible” for “letting the stress of the situation get to me” thus causing my horendous monster migraines….I just “have a feeling” that I am going to have a headache…it begins on one side on my head and then into my eye, throbbing so hard that I feel that my eye will jump from it’s socke.

I have found that an ice pack, an Imitrex and a dark room will help alot but for many years before the MIRACLE of Triptans, I made myself sick with tylenol #3, and all of the other meds that my Drs and I tried in vain to use….If the Imitrex does not work after using the max of 2 in 24 hrs, I have learned not to wait but go in to the ER for an injection of Demerol/Visteral.

My Dr does not give narcotic injs in his office so it is necessary to go to the ER but it is worth it because a quick shot will take care of the vomiting and the headache and will most times give me quick relief from the pain. At this point I am finding it necessary to go for a shot about once every month – 6 weeks. This is much better than it used to be as there were times over the years that I was having an injection 2-4 times a month and sometimes more than one shot per headache and even a few times of 2-4 days in the hospital because of migraine pain/vomiting that was uncontrollable. At this point, I take preventative meds daily (Topomax) and I also have supplemented my nutrition and have been able to reduce the frequency of my migraines from 18-20 per month to 1-5. I have 5 siblings and all have severe migraines, grandmother and mother did and my son and daughter have since childhood…

I continue to pray for a cure or a miracle or some sort……..

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Comments

View Comments (29)
  • Vanessa Aragon
    8 years ago

    I’m 28 iand I have suffered from severe chronic migraines since age 11, when I was 21 I was dignosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma which is a form of cancer the year of going through treatment I did not have one migraine they started to come back gradually around 1 a month a year after treatment and about 2 years later they were back to about 3-5 a month and every year progressing worse and worse to where I ve had them everyday for the past 2 years I’ve taken every prevenative and abortive meds known to work and nothing had a long term effect I’ve also had botox and opcipticol nerve blocks done multiple times and still not enough relief to live an everday normal life until about 6 months ago my neorologist put me on cymbalta 30mg to start for a couple of months then 60mg after a couple of months I noticed they were starting to come back I went in for my appt my usual neorologist wasn’t in that day so I saw another one he decided to add lyrica 50mg 1day for a week then 2 a day for a week ending at 3 a day one morning noon and night plus the 60mg cymbalta at night and I haven’t felt this good in years I’ve been migraine free for 3 months I have felt one or two coming on but I take either maxalt or imitrex injection and they were gone in under an hour.. I just wanted to let you all know if your looking for a mircle drug ask your doctor about a combination of cymbalta and lyrica it could get you on track to a start of living a normal life again as it did me.

  • Vanessa Aragon
    8 years ago

    Thanks yea I’ve had them since middle school they jus weren’t as bad back then. I’ve been through a lot but I am doin pretty good now, hope u are doin good as well!

  • Sebastian Madrid
    8 years ago

    Wow I remember we talked a lot freshmen year but I never knew u got migraines. Well I’m glad those meds are wrking for u

  • Marquita Fuchs
    8 years ago

    HI all,
    55 years old, migraines since I was 11! as jodi stated triptans are sent by heaven!
    My migraines were the worse when I was in my 40’s. As I age ( haha), the headaches have decreased in frequency. Botox has worked for many. Jodi and I.

  • Louise Parlee
    8 years ago

    I am in my 40’s and have had them most of my life, I have tried about everything I can think of (Dr’s included) and upon reading your story – I thought I must have written it. I am so sorry for those of us that have to suffer so. They do control our lives & I hate it!

  • Tammy Rowe Dawson
    8 years ago

    I feel your pain, Louise. Migraines are the genetic gift I received and then passed on to two of my children.

  • Chave D Sladia
    8 years ago

    What caught my interest is the fact that your migraines run in your family. There is a genetic disorder CADASIL. The symptoms include migraines.You can learn more about this at http://www.cadasilfoundation.org.

  • Alina Mele
    8 years ago

    non vi abbattete, a voklte le cose cambiano.

  • Dawn Robertson-Furchi
    8 years ago

    Wow, I could have written your story myself…that is exactly my life to a tee! I take the exact meds, I go to the er for Demerol/visteral…there were times I had to go twice in a week! I have had migraines for about 30years though and even underwent 2 sinus surgeries in hopes to help relieve them and that didn’t work. I take 200mg of Topamax a day and it doesn’t seem to help anymore. My mother gets them, my sister and my daughter. My sister and I and my daughter were all diagnosed in early elementary years. I continue to pray as well, daily that someday, something will change and these will one day ease up or go away, I suffer daily!

  • Marcy McKinlay Hanson
    8 years ago

    Sounds like me to. I’ve tried so many that I can’t remember them all. Some worked but side effects were too bad and some did nothing. The only thing that truly help me is a good strong shot of demerol. My hospital no longer handles that they’ve switched to morphine. It helps for a few hours but comes right back. And now they’re new head doc at the ER only believes in anti-seizure meds which do nothing for me. I’ve had a horrible one since Saturday so yesterday after a small shot of morphine they gave me a prescription for ergo something. sorry can’t remember the whole name and sorry this is so long. I can’t fill it til tomorrow so I’m praying it works. I find the ER treats you like a drug seeker which we are not.

  • Heather Larson Reed
    8 years ago

    I read a book called the migraine brain and it had some stuff that helped. I have suffered from severe migraine for over 12 years. It would be nice to have a day without a headache.

  • Heather Larson Reed
    8 years ago

    I got it at the Haslett library but they are closed for a month so maybe anither branch will have it.

  • Kristy Cook
    8 years ago

    Thanks for posting this! I just suffered a killer migraine today. Will definitely be checking this out!

  • Sherri Franklin
    8 years ago

    I’m 24 and have had them seven years now.it really scares me to see you older ladies that hv suffered for sooo long..it makes me think”am I going to suffer withvthis thecrest of my life?”..i also have family member that say they had migraines at my age and at some point or another they grew out of it.. I don’t get that. How in the hell do you grow out of them? I will b trying botox on friday..praying for relief.

  • Janene Zielinski
    8 years ago

    Sherri – I’m 46 now. What I wish is that I had kept better records when I was in my 20’s. I can’t remember everything I’ve taken or tried over the years and I’ve moved several times so don’t have access to old paper records. Now I am with my 7th neurologist/neurodiagnostician who basically wants me to try everything again – and I really don’t want to go through all that again – but can’t remember. I know it is scary to think of it as continuing for all these years, but you can really help yourself by buying a simple notebook and keeping records of drugs you’ve tried, side effects and anything else related to your health. You will be so glad you did – I promise! Now, I do hope yours don’t last that long – but don’t bet on it and then be sorry 20 years from now. Stay strong. Even though I’ve suffered for decades, I have learned to live slowly and carefully and enjoy every migraine free moment. Learn how to “single task” and simplify your life.

  • Sherri Franklin
    8 years ago

    Ty ms.dwyer..i really hope so too and i hope mellisa gets sum relief too!

  • Becky Sweet-Dwyer
    8 years ago

    I really hope the Botox works for you!! Stay strong:) Praying for you to be migraine free and able to enjoy life!! Don’t ever give up hope.

  • Joanne Van Dyk Haynes
    8 years ago

    Does anyone have an encouraging story? I need one.

  • Marie Girlando
    8 years ago

    I was able to track some of my triggers to orange juice and sesame seeds. I’m not able to avoid all headaches, but at least I know about those triggers and I love oranges and juice 🙁

  • Mary Prunty
    8 years ago

    Try Snergistic Magnesium – the brand is quest. 2 a day. I have gone 15 days without a migraine since doing this. It also has vitamin B6 in it. I haven’t changed anything else in my life so it has to be this that is helping – give it a go because believe you me I try everything and also have books out the whazoo

  • Cindy Wallace Holt
    8 years ago

    Hi Concetta! I have just started chiropractic treatment this week and will see how that goes. I woke up at 6:30 this morning with a terrible migraine but I think this one is hormonal which are always the worst ones for me. I have tried about everything to get some relief from these migraines. My chiropractor said my neck was out of line so maybe getting my neck back in line will help. (Praying !!) I’ve had brain surgery for temporal lobe epilepsy which was a success, but I think I have scar tissue on the nerves that have healed back from the surgery, well that’s what my doctor thinks could be the problem. I don’t know if I will ever have complete relief but right now I will take each day migraine free a huge blessing! I started having migraines when I was a teenager but they were usually just once or twice a month, now they are Daily! I would love to talk to your friend. my e-mail address is cindyholt02@yahoo.com Thanks!!

  • Concetta Snyder
    8 years ago

    This might not be encouraging in one sense but….a family friend who has suffered for MANY years as well with migraines(multiple ER trips, morphine to try to alleviate pain etc…..she began accupuncture treatments in July(after nothing else worked and many different doctors) and has has tremendous relief!!! Want her name and contact info???

  • Joanne Van Dyk Haynes
    8 years ago

    I have books out the whazoo. They have become relentless.

  • Corinna Mitchell
    8 years ago

    My story is long, but i got a book on migranes and kept a log. Have been able to stay ontop of them for 5 yrs. Been really batteling this week though. Call me I will try to find the book if it helps.

  • Suzanne Johnson
    8 years ago

    I am a 47 yr old mother of one. My migraines started at the age of 18. I currently live the life you write about having prior to your Topamax and I am on a preventative med (Zonegran) that keeps me out of the ER. So I believe it to be a plus in my migraine world. Anytime my 9 yr old son gets a headache I start with the questions. Where is it?, does your tummy hurt?, how do your eyes feel? what about sounds? The minute he tells me it hurts over his eye I get a pain in the pit of my stomach and pray its not a migraine. I pray he doesn’t have migraine disease like me. And if it is a migraine that he doesn’t ever have them as badly as I do. As a parent you know, I would take all the migraines & pain in the world so he would never have them. This way of life is not ment for man nor beast.

  • Robin Melton
    8 years ago

    hi robin, I am robin too… and just like u, I have suffered daily since age 12, now 39… I didn’t even have kids until age 30 because I felt I could not take care of them properly. My grandmother, mother, and aunt all suffer from severe migraines, my grandmother the worst, which back then there were no treatments…. my six year old son was diagnosed with migraine at age 4, he would get pale faced, cry and barf.. he didn’t even know how to tell me what was wrong… after the second episode, I knew it was migraine, I remember that’s how I felt as a kid, unfortunately for me, my mother told me that headaches were part of “our” life and there was nothing we could do about it.. which is what her mother told her.. I went YEARS without treatment… My son now, gets about 1 a month sometimes two, we are praying he outgrows them :(( imitrex is the only thing that works for me, I have tried topamax, botox, even had an occipital nerve stimulator implanted in my body, that’s does NO good at all not to mention all of the preventative pills like anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, anti-seizure meds not just topamax… I walk on pins and needles when I feel good, hoping to not feel bad, and I feel that the stress of not wanting a headache sometimes gives me one…. its a viscous disease….

  • Genie Skinner
    8 years ago

    My last few visits to the ER for a migraine, they did not give me the traditional Demerol/Visteral. Instead, the gave me what they are referring to as a “migraine cocktail”, which is IV fluids with injection of Benadryl, ibuprofen, and anti-nausea. This has been more successful for me than the Demerol, since once the Demoral wears off the migraine returns. And, with the Demerol I basically pass-out and cannot function for the rest of the day. With the migraine cocktail I walk out of the ER totally fine, a bit sleepy from the meds but capable of driving and the migraine is GONE! I have started using OC Benadryl along with perscription ibuprofen when I take Imitrex and have a better chance of the migraine completely going away rather than a relapse in 4 hours. The key to success when taking the combo though is to go to bed, turn up the air conditioner, turn off the lights, and down as much water as I can.

  • Mary Corral
    8 years ago

    your Kids have migraines too! UGH>>> I pray mine don’t get them this is the most life taking disease. WHY? because it controls your life 100%. 🙁

  • Ellen Schnakenberg
    8 years ago

    robin,

    I’m so sorry you have to deal with the Migraine Beasties. It does sound like you have been pretty successful in management though – congratulations! Someday I too pray for either a miracle or a cure.

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