Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

I’m at the end of my rope

I’m at the end of my rope. I have had chronic daily headaches/migraines for the past 17 years. I’m lucky enough that where I work is so slow with the economy that my boss doesn’t mind if/when I call in, but I also cannot earn enough money to actually support myself so I live with my elderly parents.

I have tried numerous doctors and treatments — from holistic to prescription to injections and nothing works.

The first two times I had Botox, it helped lessen the frequency of migraines and lessened the severity of the daily headaches, but the last couple of Botox injections haven’t really done much.

It’s been bad enough knowing that others do not understand; to them “it’s just a headache” and you should take some Advil and get over it. I’ve lost all friends because I can’t make plans and I can’t go anywhere that there’s a lot of noise. So, that pretty much has left me with my mom as my friend. Except yesterday when I had a migraine and just wanted to crawl into bed after I came home from work and she got angry. She yelled that “what kind of never-ending headache is this already; go find somebody who can do something.”

For crying out loud, this woman has watched me suffer with this for almost 20 years and knows how many doctors I have seen to try to control the pain. The way she said it was like my pain is fake or something. I don’t suffer from depression but this has kind of put me over the edge. In my mind, my answer to her never-ending headache is to just end it. It’s a living hell living with this pain and now the last person who I thought understood has turned against me. I can’t even move out since I can’t afford to. I’m trapped. Has anyone felt like this and can tell me how cope? It’s a very lonely place to be in.

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

  • Amber Ulrick
    6 years ago

    Hi, I am so sorry you are in such pain… Have you ever thought about using medicinal marajuana? I know when I have it my migraines are at an all time low. it helps with MANY of my sympthoms and I don’t have to rely on my rescue meds

  • abipolarpenguin7227
    6 years ago

    I can definitely relate. In addition to dealing with chronic migraine, I’ve been having to deal with a diagnosis of idiopathic intracranial hypertension for the past 9 months. I often feel like others think I’m making it up or just looking for sympathy, but I know if they could feel what I’m feeling, they would have a change of heart. What hurts the most is that some of these friends and family members also experience migraine, so you would think they would be more understanding… In addition to the medical treatment I’ve been receiving, what has helped me tremendously is talking to a counsellor. While it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, I find it helpful to have someone who is completely removed from the situation to talk to and suggest ways of getting through it. It may be something you’d like to consider trying. Good luck 🙂

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    6 years ago

    Ricki and pucklover – Thanks for sharing and your words of encouragement. I’m sure they mean a lot to the author.

  • Ricki
    6 years ago

    Please hang in there. I have felt that many times and it can get better. The things that have helped me are a vegan diet and taking melatonin at night (reducing my morning headache frequency). I know you have tried a million things but feel compelled to pass that along in the hopes that it will give you some things to try that you can do on your own. Give the melatonin a few weeks if you try it and keep us posted.

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    6 years ago

    Hi Tall Blues Fan,

    You are definitely not alone! Glad you’ve found us for support and information. You’ve mentioned that you wake with headaches. Have you every had a sleep study done? Many times when we wake with headaches, they may be due to sleep issues. We have some information on sleep and migraines in this link; http://migraine.com/living-with-migraine/migraine-and-sleep-disorders/. Melatonin is a substance that occurs naturally in our bodies and we have some information on that in this article; http://migraine.com/blog/melatonin-for-migraine-perhaps-not/. Check with your doctor about it before you take anything over the counter ok? Even though supplements are natural, they still act like drugs in our body.

  • agreenan
    6 years ago

    What brand and strength of melatonin do you take? Maybe that would help me avoid my morning headaches. I took sleeping pill for almost 10 years and quit them cold turkey a couple of months ago. It was terrible getting off them but I finally did. I thought quitting would cut down on the migraines. It did have that effect for a few weeks and then they came back just as strong. Melatonin is for sleep isn’t it? Is it habit forming?
    I’m so glad I found this website. Was thinking I was alone in this pain and isolation.

  • Ellen Schnakenberg
    6 years ago

    agreenan – Melatonin is a chemical found in the brain. It’s purpose is to tell the brain it’s time to get ready to sleep. Your brain senses the daylight, and your circadian rhythm also plays a part in its natural formation. As we age, we produce less and less melatonin. Also, not letting our body’s circadian rhythm work properly by using lights, TV’s etc can disrupt its production.

    So, melatonin is typically suggested for sleep at very small amounts. It tells your brain “time to sleep”. It doesn’t put you to sleep like a sleeping pill. Most patients find that they wake up in the middle of the night if they take it for very long, because they’re using it incorrectly.

    The sad part is that we really haven’t done a lot of tests on melatonin. We don’t know what the long-term effects may be. Remember, it is a brain hormone. Too much of a good thing is rarely a good thing. That said, it may be that you aren’t producing enough of your own and you need the boost. Just, please be careful, and remember to talk to your doctor about taking it.

  • kristyd
    7 years ago

    I have had a daily migraine for the past 2 weeks and it is causing major problems at work. I’ve taken my abortives and pain pills but they are not helping so I suffer in silence. If I complain, people think I’m being dramatic about a “bad headache”. I don’t know how to break this migraine! It’s been hell and I just want it to stop. I come home and crawl in the bed and cannot sleep (I never can with a migraine), which causes the migraine to worsen. Help!

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    7 years ago

    Hi kristyd,

    I’m sorry to hear your migraine is sticking around for such a long time, but we really need to do something to break this current cycle you are in. Contact your doctor to discuss how he can help you get rid of your pain.
    When disabling migraine pain lasts longer 72 hours we may be at risk of having status migrainous. I’ve provided you with the link so you can read more about this;http://migraine.com/blog/what-is-status-migrainosus/

  • georgiaslesinger
    7 years ago

    I’m sure your mother snapped out of frustration. No mother can watch her child suffer like that without having a meltdown at least once.

    Yes, I’ve been where you are and felt like you’ve felt. I’ve had severe chronic migraine for years and years. I’ve felt, “unrliable” “worthless” “useless” and all those terrible feelings that go along with the pain and illness.

    But,I learned to stop expecting people to understand and I learned to stop expecting other people to validate me. The only one who can validate you is You. I learned to just do the best I can whenever and wherever I can and accept the rest. Without acceptance, there can be no peace.

    I wish you peace.

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    7 years ago

    That’s good information, georgiaslesinger. I also find when I expect too much from people I am often disappointed.

  • body
    7 years ago

    I feel for you as I had chronic and rebound migraines for decades. A change of diet, lifestyle habits, regular exercise and the incorporation of relaxation techniques like meditation, along with regular acupuncture have made an incredible difference in my headache patterns. I realize you mentioned you had tried some holistic treatments but I wonder for how long? For me, I didn’t notice a change immediately, but I hung in there because I had no choice. Thank goodness I didn’t give up as month by month and year by year, my headaches gradually diminished in frequency and severity. One of the great things about many of these treatments is that they can boost serotonin levels which can help with depression. I hope this helps you and wish you well.

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    7 years ago

    Good for you sharron. I’m not sure people with migraine realize just how important lifestyle changes are in disease management. Trigger identification and management (I don’t think) is emphasized enough if at all with some of our doctors. And there is no quick fix, which is another problem.

  • elizabethfoster
    7 years ago

    Opps. Wrong button. She helped me deal with the trials both physical and emotional. It helped that she herself has chronic illness. Look around there are many counselors who can help you get assistance with the cost involved. I would highly recommend it.
    I also had to remember that I’m here for a reason. I have to keep my faith ihave to believe

  • elizabethfoster
    7 years ago

    I suck at using a kindle when I’m not quite my self. Sorry.
    I have to believe I can make a difference. You can to.
    I know the feeling well. Good luck.

  • elizabethfoster
    7 years ago

    O…… I’m so sorry for the Paine that you are being put through. I know how much it sucks to be in migraine mode at every stage and how hard it is for the ones closes to us to get fed up and vent at us not with us.
    What helped me when I was there and could not see any light was seeing a counselor. She helped me see that my family was just as frustrated as I was and still get. She helped us learn how to talk about it and helped me learn Boston deal with

  • dawnrobertson-furchi
    7 years ago

    I feel your frustration..I am living it as well! I am 41 and have had migraines since like 3rd grade. I don’t work now because of them, I miss out on everything. I have tried it all…Botox, Nerve Block, Sinus surgeries,….I suffer daily with massive pain! I am lucky if I get 3 days in a row with no pain. I have seen doctor after doctor but nothing seems to work and I am also at my wits end and feel like giving up!

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    7 years ago

    Hi dawn. Migraine can be so very frustrating. I wonder if you know what any of your migraine triggers are? Then you can avoid them! We all have them, it just takes a bit to figure them out. It could be as easy as not skipping meals and sticking to a regular sleep schedule or a bit more complicated like fluctuating hormones and changes in the barometric weather pressure. Let me give you some information that may be helpful; http://migraine.com/blog/migraine-management-essential-trigger-management/. I hope this helps.

  • Michele
    7 years ago

    I have been forced to see a department psych for PTSD issues relating to my work, and he is so full of erroneous ideas as to what causes migraines. I have lived with this disease for 30 years also. They continue to worsen. Botox was a disaster for me, allergic to triptans. Now this idiot is lecturing me on a disease that is 100% curable and only related to my stress he says. Um.. how come I had migraines at 16? I was under that much stress then? Frustrating when a Dr who is supposed to assist you is hindering instead.

    Hang in there, dont let them win. Tomorrow will be better.

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    7 years ago

    UGH! I’m really sorry you have to deal with an uneducated person. Would it help to bring in this department psych some information that there currently is no cure for migraine, a genetic neurological disease? I can give you some links to provide him if you’d like?

  • tinamontgomery
    7 years ago

    I feel the same way.

  • arden
    7 years ago

    I’ve had migraine syndrome for over 50 years. I just keep at it all the time working out the triggers, the diet, the sleep pattern, the things I can handle or not, the medications, the doctors. You can’t give up, not an option. You can make progress in coping with the disease if you are willing to search out knowledge. When you find a good doc you will know what is happening and not be led astray. You CAN make progress if you are willing and persevere. Forgive your mother and your body and keeping trying to put the puzzle pieces together. It will gradually come to you what needs to be done, or whom you need to see. Trust. You are bigger than this problem.

  • pamkerstner
    7 years ago

    It is getting harder to keep friends and have family members understand this is NOT just a headache to keep U home, I too am looking for a solution but it gets so hard, Just try to hold all and know you gave friends HERE

  • GSD author
    7 years ago

    Thank you, Fresta.
    Turns out, that’s exactly why my mother had snapped at me – she’s frustrated that I’ve gone to so many doctors and nobody can seem to do anything.

  • Fresta
    7 years ago

    I empathize with your deep frustration and encourage you to keep searching for treatment. I am still searching and it has been over 30 years. At least today there research being done so don’t give up hope. Because there is so much ignorance about the true nature of migraine disease even people who love us begin to doubt our experiences. Sometimes they are frustrated by their inability to help and for some reason they lash out at the migraineur. Know that you are not alone.

  • sylviag
    6 years ago

    I’m so sorry for all your suffering, not only the pain and the isolation, but getting dumped on emotionally! It is very hard to lose out on jobs, friends, vacations, not being able to do things you wish you could do because of noise, etc. It really makes you feel so lonely! Little by little you can make things better for yourself. I’ve been going through it for decades. When I thought I couldn’t take it anymore I began making many changes. It was a relief just to talk about and admit how bad it had become. Some ways to cope are to find a doctor that really knows about migraines and get good some medication. The doctor I go to is a neurologist who specializes in migraines but many doctors can treat migraines if they are educated in this problem. I take a beta blocker every day to prevent headaches. To treat pain during migraine I take Relpax. I also have a rescue medication (Frova) for long lasting migraines. I can really relate to your frustration with people not understanding that you can’t just take Advil or push through it like a regular headache! Try to find any triggers you might have like MSG or the other common ones because if I didn’t know mine I’d get a lot more headaches and never know how to avoid certain restaurants. Practice being more patient with yourself, the migraines are not your fault! It took me way too long to stop feeling guilty for all the times I called in sick, couldn’t do things with my kids or had to cancel something I had planned. What your mom did only makes you feel worse but maybe shes desperately trying to get you to a doctor. Ask her calmly to please not say that to you again because it makes you feel really low, which makes it harder to try to get help! You do need tools like medication so you can cope, so please don’t hesitate to find a doctor that knows how to help with this awful pain and isolation. Your feelings are so normal but the bad thoughts are no good. You deserve to enjoy life and with some help you could have a lot of good times in life. It’s good that you’re talking about all your feelings because migraines can lead many people to thoughts like you’re having, it’s so hard. At least people here go through the same thing so they truly understand. Unfortunately, I tried to hide the migraines and my desperation for years because I was scared that nothing would help. Anyone who hasn’t been there just don’t know what you’re going through, and their comments will make you feel worse most of the time. I talk only to people who understand now. That has helped me a lot! By the way, many drug companies offer assistance programs for those who can’t afford their medication. Tell the doctor that you need the cheaper meds with those programs so they will prescribe with that in mind. Pfizer has an assistance program and so does the company that makes Topamax. Generic beta blockers can cost a lot less than the widely prescribed but expensive Inderal, for instance. Please let us know how it goes! I wish you peace and wellness.

  • Poll