Migraines triggers (long undiagnosed); daily pain and hope

Last updated: March 2013

I don’t remember my exact age when I had my first migraine—but I know I wasn’t yet a teenager. My parents literally took me to a migraine specialist’s house for treatment on that weekend day of my first migraine ever (my Dad is a pulmonologist himself.) Shortly after than, I started seeing a neurologist on a monthly basis to treat my migraines.

Back then, my migraines were intermittment. Taking inderal daily prevented me from getting migraines daily. But I still got stress-induced migraines once a month. My doctor treated this monthly attack of migraines pretty effectively with fiorinal. Migraines were a pesky, occasional inconvenience back then.

Before I write more, I’m a 45-year-old Caucasian male. My Mom and late maternal grandmother had intermittent migraines prior to menopause. Their migraines never “transformed” into chronic daily migraines. My Mom is migraine-free today.

As for my life, flash forward about 30 years. I moved from New England to the deep South. I started getting daily migraines—but didn’t know why. These migraines were the worst pain I’ve ever been in. Taking fiorinal for these migraines didn’t help at all.

As a result of the daily migraines, I was diagnosed with airborne allergies; gluten intolerance; and most importantly, chronic sinusitis/nasal polyps that would cause me intense pain prior to sinus surgery. I think there must be some migraineurs out there who get daily migraines who don’t know sinus surgery might possibly help them.

Now that I’m post-sinus surgery and aware of my allergies, my pain is less intense, though I do get a migraine daily. I can’t take inderal anymore, as my allergist won’t give me allergy shots while on beta-blockers. If I had a potentially life-threatening reaction to an allergy shot while on inderal, I could die. The beta-blocker would interfere with my allergist’s attempt to treat the potentially fatal anaphylactic reaction.

And although my quality of life is much better post-sinus surgery and post-gluten intolerance diagnosis, I sometimes think it would be worth it to risk taking inderal daily again—as it was the only medicine that prevented daily migraines.

BTW, not eating Gluten has also drastically affected my life. My migraines were SO MUCH WORSE when I ate foods with Gluten.

I’ve tried every preventative migraine medicine out there. I’ve tried Botox 3 times. But I think somehow developing nasal polyps somehow made my intermittent migraines chronic. I can’t prove that. But noone else even has a theory for me as to why I’ve endured daily migraines for the past 8 years.

But life goes on. And I begin each day by taking prescription pain pills at 6:30 a.m. If I sleep late, the pills don’t work. If I take the pills on time, I still have a pain level of about 5 (on a SUDS scale of 1-10) for the rest of the day (it’s better than a 10.) I never miss a day of work because of migraine unless I accidentally eat restaurant food that contains gluten.

Still, I remain cautiously optimistic that one day my chronic migraines will, at the very least, revert back to intermittent migraines. I’m studying Usui Reiki (alternative health treatment for many types of illnesses); I’m exploring the possibility that my migraines may be caused by chronic dehydration (a theory my reiki teacher came up with—for more information see Watercure.com. One’s perception of thirst decreases as we age.) I’m also considering taking Norvasc—which helped another “Migraine.com” reader who previously posted on this forum.

If my status as a chronic daily migraineur never changes, I will still live every day believing life is good, although a challenge at times. In the words of Helen Keller, "Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." Hopefully we will all overcome our migraine condition.



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