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Am I alone in this pain?

I am a 41 year old female and I had my first migraine in my early 30’s. I used to only have them once a year or so but over the last 4 years, I get them about 4 or more times a year. I know to some that is nothing but to me it is completely horrible!!!

The last 4 years have been more scary symptom wise, the pain is directed on over my right ear and jaw. I have had “stroke like” symptoms from tingling, numbness in my tounge, arms and legs. Slurred and unrecognizable speech is the worst – I know what my brain is trying to say and it comes out as jibberish.

My migraines start with a visual aura, it’s like the snow that used to show on the tv when the channels went off air. Once that happens, I go into preperation mode and take the following steps:
Step 1. I get home ASAP
Step 2. Take an over the counter sleeping pill and hope to fall asleeep before the real pain sets in (usually a futile attempt)
Step 3. Call/communicate to my husband I have a Migraine in progress – I have an AMAZING husband who will take care of me in my most vulnerable hours.
Step 4. Get the heating pad – The heating pad helps the pain but never gets rid of it completely.
Step 5. Put the trash can as close to me as possible (sometimes a pot from the kitchen) I usually violently throw up for a few hours.
Step 6. Lie in bed and cry
Step 7. Hopefully pass out from exhaustion as soon as possible

The day after I have a migraine, I walk around feeling like someone hit me in the side of my head with a 2×4 – my jaw and ear are sore to the touch.

I know a lot of this is controllable. Since I moved to TX in 2008, I have not seen a doctor for my migraines. I did see a dentist about TMJ and there was a slight abnormality but not drastic enough to be diagnosed as TMJ. Part of me doesn’t want to be a complainer – as a former Marine, we ar taught to suck it up, also, I don’t want a doctor to not take me seriously.

I have read a lot of the stories and forums on here but I still have not seen one that mirrors my pain areas during a migraine. Does anyone else have the same pain center? It’s a deep, screwdriver in the ear pain – worse pain, sometimes, than natural child birth!!!!!

Has anyone else experienced pain like this? I am looking for help, answers and guidance – please!!!!!!

Thank you,

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.


  • Ellen Schnakenberg
    5 years ago


    One thing to be aware of is that we all experience Migraine differently. There is no “set” list of symptoms that every patient must have.

    Let me tell you about my symptoms and, although they don’t sound exactly like yours, might yield a clue or two you can take to your doctor:

    My Migraines also include facial pain. This is usually a boring, yet sharp pain that I often feel in my eyes, teeth and jaw.

    I also have something called Trigeminal Neuralgia, and Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia. This feels like sharp scissors, or a knitting needle being stabbed into my eye, face, behind my jaw and inside my ear. I also feel it in my throat about where my tonsils are, and down my throat. This is something you will feel on one side or another, and it doesn’t cross over the midline of your face/neck/head.

    There is another type of neuralgia that you can ask your doctor about. It’s called Geniculate Neuralgia.

    I have had diagnoses of everything from LPR (high reflux) to hyoid syndrome and Eagle’s syndrome. These came from an ENT.

    If you suspect neuralgia, a neurologist who specializes in facial pain is the one to see, IN ADDITION to your Migraine or headache specialist. Sometimes this pain can be the result of your Migraines, and getting your Migraines better managed will result in relief of the other pain that comes along with it.

    I hope this has been helpful.


  • camillesimon
    5 years ago

    Dani, I have had migraines for about 25 years & most have been on the left side of my head right over my ear. I used to tell people feels like someone drove a railroad spike in my head because i felt it to the core, it would stop my life for a few days. I started using Imitrex Nasal Spray 5-10 ml but you must take it at the very beginning of the migraine. Read side effects. I didnt have any. My 2nd option is to heat a washcloth drenched with rubbing alcohol in the microwave & hold it on the key spot. CURRENTLY….I just got a complete Hormone reading & my Testosterone was extremely low. I started receiving injections (3 months now) migraines are fewer & far between. Give it a try. Good luck

  • JanML
    5 years ago

    I have never had ear pain during a migraine (mine are a twisting-of-the-neck-muscles and a hot-poker-behind-the-eye type of pain), but I completely empathize with your situation. Have you ever tried any prescription meds such as triptans to stop your migraines? If not, please go to a doctor ASAP and discuss your medication alternatives. The first time I took sumatriptan for a migraine, it was like a miracle – all the pain stopped within about 30-60 minutes. Please don’t worry about being a complainer . . . migraine patients have every right to complain!!!!

  • wngdweeler
    5 years ago

    When mine started 8 years ago, they were so intense I would curl up in the fetal position right where I was. (I was unable to work due to a near fatal crash and at home). Usually the intensity of the aura gives me a clue about how bad the migraine will be. I still haven’t figured out any triggers except one, and it has to do with straining my neck during weightlifting, like during bench press. I completely agree that living migraine free would be wonderful! I wouldn’t wish these on anyone.

  • wngdweeler
    5 years ago

    Hey Dani,
    I have migraines with an aura as well and I thought it was a stroke many times. I just posted my “story” of how it starts. thankfully I don’t have the vomiting but sometimes the pain is so bad it makes me nauseous. I was at a tiger baseball game this past summer when my symptoms started, I toughed out the last few innings and we left. on the ride home I couldn’t put a sentence together…my friends laughed at first but, since I don’t drink they new something was wrong. I had to reassure them It was a migraine coming on. hot water bottle on the back of my neck/cold compress on my forehead/two Excedrin migraine pills asap. the faster I do those 3 and lay down the better. like you I still feel beat up for a day or two. not sure if this will help but, know your not alone! 🙂

  • Dani author
    5 years ago

    It’s so scary and I won’t take a chance next time….my mom and husband were very upset that I didn’t go to the hospital. I think I will next time!!

    I just wish I would never ever have one again – I’d be ok with that as I’m sure you would be too. It’s a horrible thing to bond over but it’s nice to know we aren’t the only ones 🙂

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