The ending of a pain free life

At 15 I was in a car accident and I hit the windshield… little did I know that was the beginning of my new life…

Fast forward to 2 years after the crash. I was on my way back to class after lunch I remember getting this annoying headache… I thought I need to take something quick because the pain just kept getting worse and worse. I asked a friend for midol thinking maybe I was getting ready to start my period and this was just a nagging headache to start the joy of being a woman. My friend gave it to me and I ran to the bathroom to take it… 15 minutes after taking it the pain started to get worse… and I started to get nauseous from it. I raised my hand and ask my teacher if I could please go to the bathroom and before she said yes I was running out of there to throw up in the bathroom… after I was done yelling at the toilet with such violence I sat there and thought to myself that I was for sure getting the flu… my best friend came and checked on me and I said tell the teacher I am going to the front office to call my mom. As I was walking up the hall I remember the lights were so bright and the pain having this grip on me like I owed it something. I called my Momma and said I wasn’t feeling good that if she could please come get me so I could go home and rest. 15 mins seemed like an eternity waiting in the nurses office with a pain I had never felt before… the ride home was HORRIBLE… curves, hills, and cigarette smoke…my momma was a smoker so yes I had the little devil to deal with too…. anyway as soon as we pulled up she opened the door and I took off running again to the bathroom and I projectile vomited… luckily I made it to the bathroom in time because it hit the shower so there wasn’t much of a mess to clean up. (sorry mom) She told me to go lay down and I didn’t argue and did that. I remember waking up the next morning and feeling better… but so drained….

The next one I had lasted 3 days and by the 3rd day my father had decided to take me to the Doctor. And by the time I got there it had lifted and I was feeling better. I went in to see the Dr. and that’s when he diagnosed me with migraines. I had no idea what it was all I knew was that I didn’t want to live like this anymore. So he prescribed me pain killer Vicodin, Tylenol 3, and a few more… only thing those did was make me nauseous. So then he decided to order Triptans. First one I tried was Relpax that was the first drug that helped with the migraine. I stayed on that for 4 years.

Here I am 17 years later and I still suffer from migraines. Only recently have I found out that my migraines stem from my neck and the nerves in them. Drs before that really tried to look in my diet… look at triggers… and with all those years behind me… I only have 2 that I keep away from. Alcohol and nitrates. Triggers are always changing so I usually cross off a lot and then write new ones… They never stay consistent so I just try to eat a healthy well-balance diet and keep my body moving so that my nerves and joints in my neck stay mobile and unstiff.

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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  • kirstinab
    3 years ago

    I too, was in a car accident at 15 years of age. I flew out of a vehicle and suffered facial and head trauma. My migraines, however, didn’t start until my mid to late 20’s. The nerves around my right eye and face are extra sensitive while other areas are numb, forehead. My teeth, on the right side, are also very sensitive…I had three root canals in a one year period. I have yet to find any consistent relief. It is my belief that the trauma to the nerves in my face plays a significant role in my migraines.

  • Maddy
    3 years ago

    Thank you for posting. I had a somewhat similar situation with a neck injury, not sure if I was a true migraine patient, felt like it for 3 years though. When I was 18 my vehicle was hit THREE TIMES from behind while it was standing still, stop sign, traffic light and making left turn. I kid you not. Whiplash revisited. Third time I took off the rear view mirror with my forehead despite seatbelt…tiny Honda CRX. 6 months of regular physical therapy, I had to carry a box around with me to the library in college when I studied for my feet, to keep them elevated at proper angle. Headaches would send me to bed, no relief from pain killers OTC, and sleep only help, long sleep. No aura, no light sensitivity, no vomiting but sometimes nausea. After several years of suffering I saw a chiropractor, who worked on me for MONTHS fixing my neck. Alignment and soft tissue damage. Massage, ultrasound, alignment. sometimes drastic changes in barometric pressure still can bring one on, but that is few times a year. Then was daily pain. My aunt developed migraines at 21 from fall from horse, still has them, she had a seizure from fall. My daughter got migraines after blow to head from surfboard and a subsequent traffic accident with airbag hitting face (whiplash). Our neurologist said that the migraine brain decides that pain is the normal state of being for some reason. Book, migraine miracle diet was somewhat helpful. Coconut oil has helped. Good luck to you. Our neurologist also recommended biofeedback.

  • ujijin
    3 years ago

    Maddie, thank you for your narrative.

    My migraines always start in my cervical [upper neck] vertebrae. There never was any injury there that I can remember, but I recall starting to get migraines starting in that area 30 years ago as I was finishing high school. More recent studies by a neurologist here in Honolulu showed that I have arthritis in those vertebrae. Stress may be a target; medications may be as well. Nevertheless, every migraine begins in this area [which hurts like an SOB 24-7, regardless of whether it spawns a migraine.

    Not wanting to exaggerate, I have to report that, over the past two months, I’ve had only FOUR–4–migraine-free days. So the article title “The ending of a pain free life” really caught my attention…I first understood it as “The ending of a pain-filled life”. My neurologist has prescribed Oxtellar as prophylactics, but apparently that isn’t working. The other prophylactic [I can’t remember its name] gave me kidney stones. I also take triptan drugs, but my prescription plan only allows 9 pills per month.

    So: Like so many others who write and reply on this wonderful website, I suffer almost all the time with serial, neck-spawned migraines. And–after 6 years of intense, knife-in-the-gut pain regardless of what or whether I eat at all–I’m convinced that I also suffer abdominal migraines too, given that there is nothing structurally wrong with my digestive tract.

    It’s a daily struggle to keep on living, especially when my head and my digestive tract are throwing 8-9 out of 10-scale pain waves all day, almost every day. The only factors in my life that keep me from “ending it all” are (1) my faith in the loving God and (2) my desire to be as present as I can possibly be for my spouse, two sons, and my own parents. To end my life would irreversibly traumatize those whom I love the most. But that impulse is something I live with constantly.

    It’s one of the biggest elephants in the room, but I believe those migraineurs who deal with suicidal ideation must speak up, and support each other…on this website, and primarily with their loved ones.

    I imagine, with no data in hand to cite, that a significant percentage of us chronic migraineurs deal with suicidal impulses and ideation, self-harm, and a sense that we are alone in our worlds of suffering. But we are not alone. Those closest to us should be the ones we share our pain and talk about the suicidal challenges…as they are a symptom of chronic migraines and the depression that almost always accompanies it.

    When it comes down to the center of my heart perhaps I just lack the courage to go through with it. But I choose to believe that “with God, all things are possible” [and am still waiting for the [im]possible], and live life as much as I can given the daily and day-ruining pain in my head/neck and entire digestive system.

    My aloha and prayers to you, Maddie, Joanna, and all who read this wonderful website.

  • Joanna Bodner moderator
    3 years ago

    We greatly appreciate you taking the time to share your your story and journey with migraine after your injury. You have provided such important details and information regarding the events that have occurred in your life which many in our community will strongly relate and/or help to guide them in their personal battle with migraine. I have an interesting article you may find helpful to review regarding neck problems and migraine: https://migraine.com/blog/some-headaches-are-caused-by-neck-problems/.

    Thank you for being part of our community and especially for providing a glimpse into your personal life with migraine.

    Take care,
    Joanna (Migraine.com Team)

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