Complicated Migraine? More like a bunch of time wasted sick in bed....

I've had migraines as far back as I can remember. The earliest memory I have was when I was maybe 7 years old and my dad and uncle were taking my out to dinner at this awesome all you can eat buffet restaurant called Augustine's. I remember feeling very excited that evenening, although I didn't know why. And then the pain started, the nausea. But I ignored it.

Ok, so we get to the restaurant. The dim lights were really bothering me, but I didn't want to miss that delicious chocolate cake at the dessert line. We waited in the bar waiting area, sitting in a booth until we could be officially seated. The restaurant was really busy that night. My dad let me lay down on one of the booths, saying It's just your sinuses, I get sinus headaches too. Then, without even eating anything at all, I vomited everywhere. That was the end of that evening.

The migraines manifested themselves with a vengeance when I turned 24. I thought that it was stress. But no, I would get them even when I was on vacation. So I decided to get a checkup at the doctor (something that I hadn't done in years) and guess what... "Sounds like you have migraines, try imitrex, see how that works."

Imitrex seemed to work fine, but then I would get another migraine 3 days later. This happened over a period of maybe three months or so.... I would have at at least 3 migraine episodes a month, lasting anywhere from one day to two and a half. I was referred to a neurologist. So, after about a year or so, she diagnosed me with "Complicated Migraines".
What does that mean? To tell you the truth, I have absolutely no idea. I have been taking nortriptelyne for about 4 years or so. At first she told me to increase my dosage until my migraine symptoms were less severe, but that had really bad gastrointestinal consequences that resulted in a few esophagal ulcers and some slight weight gain. Pain reliever in just about any form is useless.

My migraines differ dramatically episode to episode, in length and in symptoms. Sometimes one side of my head hurts and light really bugs me. Sometimes I wake up vomiting. Sometimes I feel things crawling on my face and my arm and leg is numb and doesn't seem to work. Sometimes I have no pain, but see all this weird stuff, and feel slightly nauseaous. Sometimes the top of my head and the back of my neck hurt incredibly with burning pain. And when I try and search anything about my diagnosis online, all I see is "the term complicated migraine is no longer used". Ok, what then? What do I have?

The preventive medicine really doesn't work. The medicine that is supposed to stop it rarely works. And I get them like clockwork!! So I am really at a loss here... there are so many types of migraines and the closest thing to a self diagnosis I see is the hemiplegic migraine. But my neurologist just wants to see me once a year, and when I tell her about my symptoms becoming more severe, she changes my dosage or reperscribes some pain medication that like I said before, rarely works. I don't yet have chronic migraine, but I feel that I experience migraine symptoms at least for 15 days a month. I know, you will all probably tell me to get a second opinion, but the way health insurance is nowadays, that might not be possible. So I just try my best, and pray that I don't pass out at work again or get fired for not being able to do my job. Let alone spending any quality time with my family. We'll see.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy. We never sell or share your email address.

More on this topic

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.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.