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Migraine Awareness MonthWhile I’ve suffered migraines since I was 12, I had never suffered like this before. It hit me that something just wasn’t right when my husband said to me “You just never seem to feel well anymore.” That was late 2009.

I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what was wrong. It was like I was living with a migraine hangover daily in between more frequent migraines. As with most migraineurs, the problem wasn’t just pain, but fatigue, diziness, and light, sound, and smell sensitivity.

I first sought treatment from a neurologist in the small town I live in, but he had no concern for migraineurs. He gave me a list of foods to avoid and sent me on my way (with a bill for his time of course.) He didn’t even bother with abortives or preventatives because I said ibuoprofen would knock the pain out enough for me to rest.

I let it go for another year before my husband told me I had to do something, I couldn’t keep living like this. (Yeah, my husband really looks out for me, I couldn’t get through this without him.) So I asked to be referred to a neurologist in a bigger city. I had the good fortune of meeting my current neuro, who is a headache specialist.

I went in thinking I already had the answer. My headache met much of the criteria for Hemicrania. We wasted almost a full year following that path, only to find no relief. In hopes it was an out of control migraine I stayed three days at the hospital for in-patient care. Still no help.

In case my neurologist had missed something, I went for a second opinion from one of his colleagues, a professor who had taught him. He agreed my headache sounds like migraine, and reminded us that I had yet to try Botox.

6 weeks ago I had my first series of botox injections, (to the great enjoyment of my children who wondered why I would want buttocks injected into my forehead.) Again, to be disappointed, as I have seen no results from the injections.

I visited with a chiropractor, but he didn’t seem convinced his care would help my headache, and for the price of the 12 sessions his treatment plan would require, I had to decline. I might look into this again, if I can ever afford it. I think my neck would benefit if not my head.

Since the Botox didn’t help, and I’ve tried something from every class of drugs, my neurologist is out of ideas. He has recommended I try biofeedback, relaxation, and meditation.

For the moment I am filing for disability benefits. I’m also meditating and doing mild yoga. I don’t take anything for the pain unless it’s unbearable, maybe once or twice a month. My family has become accustomed to my absence or my inability to concentrate and my irritability. But it hurts to hear my youngest say I wish you felt better so we could go ________ or do _______(fill in the blanks with just about anything.)

I’ve never wanted to be average before, but If I could just suffer from the average migraine I’d be happy.

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.


  • Donyel
    6 years ago

    I wouldn’t have thought to describe the after/in-between fatigue and exhaustive periods as hangovers but that is most certainly appropriate. Thank you for helping me accept that what I experience is not some psychosomatic thing I made up.

  • Wanda Rogers
    6 years ago

    wow you mirror my life!! I refused the botox– have done everything else–nothing works–I miss so much work that I cant accrue any vacation days– I am so tired of the constant pain & all the LIFE I have lost– I keep telling myself that there are people out there who suffer WAY more than me–but I live on excedrin most days- not much help but better than none- all my kids want me to try pot, but its not possible for my job–I cant tell how much $$ these have cost me(have had them over 30yrs)my neuro specializes in them but he just says eliminate certain foods-& wants me to have a sleep study- & may put me back on anti-seizure meds-they didn’t help before either–good luck! I still am praying for a cure–

  • Renee Shiffler
    6 years ago

    I COMPLETELY understand where you’re coming from with these issues. I, too, have constant migraines, or the after-effects before getting another one, and my quality of life has suffered greatly from it. I know this may sound strange, but the only thing that has helped me greatly is photography…I go out by myself to whatever place catches my fancy that particular day and, for some unknown reason, I don’t experience the extreme pain when I have a camera in my hand. I’m not saying this will work for everyone, and there are days that nothing, even taking pictures, works, but this has helped me enough to make a significant impact on my daily pain levels.

    I do hope that something will give you some relief at some point. No pain meds have been able to help me much. It is a never-ending process.

    I have been able to figure out through process of elimination that a daily B-complex vitamin and cutting back on sodium intake also help.

    Topamax worked for me for a short period of time too, but not very long (maybe 3 months or so). My neurologist at the time couldn’t figure out what was causing my migraines, and apparently what they were doing to my brain was quite obvious in the MRIs, so he threw samples of everything under the sun at me. Nothing really helped much and, once the Topamax quit working, I got tired of spending money on medicines that weren’t doing much except draining our wallets and I weaned myself off of everything. Now, I just try to deal with them the best I can…

    I don’t know if any of this helps at all. Please know you’re not alone.

  • lindabriere
    6 years ago

    So sorry I hope you find some relief soon, I am having botox injections in the nerve bundle at the back of my head in the divot behind the ear, it has helped tremendously to have rhe botox injected there both sides. The occipital nerve injections have been discussed on other sites it helps me, we are all so different so never give up hope try another pain clinic and good luck!

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