A Lifetime With Migraines

My name is Nancy. I am a 54 year old woman who suffers with a chronic daily Migraine disorder. It feels as though I have been suffering with migraines for a lifetime, although I didn’t have my first one until I was eighteen years old.

My first severe headache occurred when I was in Army basic training. I had joined the Army right after high school in 1975, for the adventure and educational benefits. During training on a rifle range at Ft. Jackson, SC a bad thunderstorm came upon my unit. We were rushed to a pavilion with bleachers covered with a metal roof for shelter. Unfortunately for us, lightening hit the structure and many young women were injured. Some were taken away by ambulance, but most of us were dazed for a short time and received no medical treatment. As for me I was wearing my hair up that day with a metal barrette, and when the lightening hit the structure it felt like being hit with a baseball bat to the back of my head. I was left with a sore spot on my head and a nasty headache.

I had undiagnosed migraines several times a year until my early thirties. Gradually the frequency and severity of my migraines escalated overtime. I experienced the most severe migraines associated with my menstrual cycle. I was treated early on with the old drug Midrin which was of little help and then with narcotic pain relievers. Then when they came out with Imitrex that helped for a while with acute attacks.

The summer of 2002 was when I started having near daily attacks. Between June and September of that year recorded over 70 attacks. I was so debilitated with pain and nausea that I finally was able to pursuade my PCP to send me to a neurologist. Over the years I tried a variety of anti-epileptic medications as preventive medications with modest improvements. I also developed some other health problems such as Fibromyalgia and Angioedema. Because of the Angioedema I am now very sensitive and allergic to a lot of medications, especially antibiotics and narcotic pain medicines.

At this point I am post menopausal and although I no longer suffer from menstrual headaches I still have well over 15 migraines a month. A recent concussion has exacerbated my condition. I am currently taking Namenda as a preventive medicine. I use triptans regularly, and I have been trained to give myself injections of Toradol when things are really bad. The treatment that has offered me the most relief has been Botox. I am in the care of a Neurologist who specializes in headache management and operates a headache clinic in Indianapolis.

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