From childhood to adulthood- migraines

The first headache I can remember was when I was around six. My father told me that the headaches I continued to have were due to constipation. The word migraine was never said to me. My mother had suffered with headaches much of her life and they were blamed on her menstrual cycles. I really did not know how bad she had them until many years after her death and my dad said I was just like my mother with her headaches.

My headaches were always so extreme that I had to go to bed with them because I would be so sick to my stomach. In junior high my step mom took me to a family doc because my headaches had increased and were also making my neck hurt. He gave me bottles of muscle relaxers and pain meds which knocked me out when I took them. I also had so much trouble getting out of bed in the morning that I could not take them. Never did the word migraine come up. Stress and my periods were definitely triggers. I also realize storms bring them on too. I remember hurricane Alicia being one of my worst migraines I have ever had.

We were all convinced that my headaches were related to my painful neck and upper back issues. I saw chiropractor who said my neck was too limber and caused all these issues. My gyno said it was my birth control pills which I needed to take for my extreme cramping. I also saw a nuerologist who tested my and said that he agreed I was not a candidate for bc pills. I was at a loss. MRI showed no problems with my brain. So I lived with these headaches thru high school, college and my 20’s without any real diagnosis. I then saw another internal med doc who said I had severe sinusitis which was causing this because my pain would end up in my right sinus and feel like a sinus headache.

I lived off of otc migraine and sinus pills which helped a little but mostly I just suffered thru them and went to bed. I am convinced that my migraines and misdiagnosis changed what I was able to accomplish in my life. When u cant go to class or have good attendance at work it really messes up your life.

Finally, in my early 30’s I saw a gyno who gave me samples of zomig to try and see if they would relieve the pain. My life changed when I was no longer afraid of my headaches ruining my day or week. Problem was he was part of a practice with a doc who was into hormonal manipulation. She was suppose to help with my painful periods, pms…Unfortunately she put me on 3 bc pills a day along with two estrogen patches, estrogen vaginal inserts and plain estrogen pills. She believed estrogen was the cure not the cause. It was my destruction. She advised that if I felt a migraine coming on that I take an additional bc pill or slap another patch on. All of this over medicating lead me to the ER with symptoms of stroke. It wasn’t stroke but the ER doc said no one should be on this much estrogen and to stop it all immediately. It took me a month or two off work to finally feel normal. I was still having debilitating migraines and now I was getting terrible ovarian cysts. Three years, 3 labs to remove cysts and endometriosis. My internal doc said that the headaches were definitely migraines and not sinusitis. Runny nose, sinus pain and neck pain were all part of a migraine. I then went on every kind of preventative they have, topamax, calcium channel blocker, nuerotin……None worked except the topamax but it caused me to lose my hair and my stomach to feel like I had ulcers. I have yet to find a preventative that works. The only rescue drug that works for me is zomig. The others last only a few hours. Unfortunately, zomig makes me sleep for at least 24 hrs. If I need to be awake I opt for an injection.

I was diagnosed with stage 3c ovarian cancer at 35 and had total hyst and chemo. I’ve been cancer free for 8 or so years but still have my migraines. They have now gotten worse to the point of having at least 3 a week and I also get the waves in my sight now. Its like my right I goes blind. I am on pain meds for long term side effects of chemo so I’m sure that does not help with the migraines but I cant live in this kind of pain without some type of relief. I had to leave my career due to the migraines and the chronic pain because it is impossible to do anything like that on these meds and with the migraines. I have managed to find some joy in life by focusing on my good days and doing the most I can with them. I also have a very loving and understanding hubby. My friends are saints to have stuck around with all this too. Soo that is my story. Hope it helps someone.

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.

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