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Hello! I’m a 16 year old girl and have had migraines since 7th grade, so 5 years. For the past 4 years I thought they were just normal headaches, and everyone expierenced them the same way I did so I didn’t bother ever mentioning it to my parents. I would take naps everyday after school because thats the only way they would go away, but then my mom started accusing me of doing drugs -which I wasn’t- because thats the only logical thing she could think of for my constant sleepiness. She eventually got over that when I told her they’re just headaches and she told me we should go see a doctor. We went to my pediatrician for my yearly checkup and we mentioned the headaches and he told me thats not normal, but thats about it. The whole summer what he said was in the back of my mind and I knew I should go to a specialist to see what was up but never ended up going.

Once I got my job at the end of the summer/beginning of the school year my migraines got 10x worse. I work at a screen printing company so it’s loud and hot and I use a lot of chemicals that I’m sure aren’t to good for you to breathe in. Anyways, after they were getting worse I went to go see a neurologist a couple of times. The first day I went in he acted like I was just another patient and that my problem didn’t seem important enough for him to deal with. He asked me about 10 questions and told me that I had migraines and that I needed an EEG to make sure nothing was wrong. I felt like he was only giving me an EEG to take our money because nothing showed up. I’ve been back there a couple of times with him giving me various sorts of medicine like topamax and maxalt. The last time I was there he basically said “there’s nothing I can do for you.” He prescribed me Fioricet and sent me on my way.

I can’t quit my job because I need the money to drive to and from school/my job, and junior year of high school is super stressful because of all the standardized tests, which makes my migraines even worse. I miss school so much now that my parents think I’m faking them just to get out of going to school (I’ve missed about 25-30 days so far). I’m trying to look for a new job, but no one wants to hire a 16 year old with very little experience. On top of my migraines, recently I’ve been having these headaches like ice pick headaches but not only in my head but also my back/leg/fingers, and have had lots of times where I almost faint. I have mentioned it to my parents but they think I’m being a hypochondriac now.

I feel bad asking to go to the doctor again, even though I know I should, because my dads boss just put us on an HMO plan so I can’t go back to that neurologist… not that I’d want to anyways. I eat regularly and most of the time have a scheduled sleeping plan so problems with either of those can be factored out. Am I being a hypochondriac and am somehow convincing my brain that I’m having these problems, even though I can feel them? Should I urge my parents to take me back to the doctors and have them spend lots of money on tests that could all come out negative? I don’t know what to do at this point.

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.


  • Stefane Digianno
    7 years ago

    I don’t believe you’re faking it. I’ve had migraines since 14 and as the years go by they have gotten worse and and to boot I get other sorts of headaches like tension headaches and sinus headaches. My doctor a few years back had me go through all sort of test and nothing including the MRI he sent me for showed anything. I defintely agree you should keep a journal and also try to fnd ways to help deal with the stress as others suggested. Also understand that people who have never had a migraines do not understand how it feels because all they have probably had is a regular headache which I know I would love to have just that. For me I try to watch what I’m eating and also try to stay well hydrated with water. When I can afford it I try to purchase organic products as I believe alot of chemicals contribute to the problem. I wish you luck 🙂

  • Christian Emmanuel V. Mancao
    7 years ago

    Migraine management today is simple and outright. It takes only one(1) second to abort it and 15 seconds to prevent it from coming back in a period of 2 to 10 years. You do not have to take triptans which may result in sudden death nor the repeated use of NSAID’s which will eventually upset your stomach, destroy your kidney especially if your are a diabetic and result in cartilage deterioration. I have been managing migraine for over twenty years and the result is always consistent. Check the anterior fold of your upper trapezius muscle by turning your head fully left then right and this becomes prominent. Yes, migraine is a genuine neck ache and this is perhaps the reason why up to now there is so much confusion to what it is. Check Mancao Myotherapy or Dr. Christian Emmanuel V. Mancao or this name in the topic of Immediate Relief of Chronic Pain. There is no more mystery in the management of migraine and you do not have to suffer the side effects or poor effects of drugs. Have a nice day and God Bless You!

  • Denise Wisham
    7 years ago

    I have had migraines starting at about the same age as you were, our family physician thought I was faking to get drugs fromhim. Fortunatly my parents believed in me and found me a wonderful Neurologist that got them under control. They cna be very debilitating and I too missed a lot of school or would have to call home sick. My problem was the teachers at school, with the exception of a few very undrestanding ones. This is not something you have made up ( I too have wondered that about myself) they are real and can be helped to an extent with the right kind of help. Keep looking for a neurlogist, mine stated his pratice specialized in headache pain, so try to find one that specializes in this. Good luck and know you are not alone in this.

  • Lori Maltby
    7 years ago

    I am a severe migraine suffer and I firmly believe that someone that has never experienced a “true migraine” cannot understand the severity and internsity of them. They say they are heriditary however no one in my family had them but I was in a car accident that I feel must have triggered them.I have been thru sooo much tests EMGS, EEGS, MRI, CT I have seen multiple neurologists. I use to live in MN and I went thru the “Rochester Mayo Clinic” supposedly the best in the world, they trial testes me on many medicatons for 8-12 weeks to give it long enough to see if it will work and after checking out of the clinic they had no answers other than you will get them and if they are any different you need to go to an ER. I did follow up with a neurologist who wanted to try botox into my head but it was experimental at the time and the ins companies would not pay for it. My Dr pushed for me and got it approved so we did the botox, about 300 needles all around my hairline, into my head, across my shoulders, and down my neck, I’m not going to lie it hurt and I was reallt bruised for about a week from it BUT it did not work:( So now I end up having to go into an ER to get Narcotics for the pain and then fluids because I through up so much and that can make the migraine worse. But we just moved to FL and when I walked into an ER for the first time I was treated like a drug seeker since I KNEW THE NAMES of the narcotics and doses that I had had in the past, so they become learly and do not want to give it to you. SO I reccommend if you have this problem you develop a repor with one ER so they know you are not “dr shopping”. I have been told their is no prevenitive drug out right now that would helpand that I have to go to the ER when this happens, I was admitted for 10 days one time which was my longest! I thought I had a brain anursem and was going to die.
    My info to you is to get established with a primary Dr and talk about what you should do when you get a migraine, some are usually worse than others but I ALWAYS wake up at 4AM with mine and they are all right sided and I have to be in a dark room with NO noise and a cold cloth on my forhead and once the throwing up starts I have to go in to get fluids. I have no colon so I get dehydrated very fast. I live in FL the capital of “pill poppers” so they are very learly to give any perscriptions, in fact if you have been seen in the er more than 2 times in a year for the same thing they want to send you to a pain specialist who monitors everything you take and after you get established with pain mgt you sign a contract stating you will not take or get any other narcotics from anywhere else., they are hooked up to data bases that can check if you lie about it and then I thinks its a felony.
    But for the 16 year old girl that has migraines, I would pursue all tests just to make sure nothing is wrong, the hard thing is you could be having migraines because your heart is not functioning properly, that is part of mine also, I have anterior eschemia meaning my heart is not getting enough blood flow to the back of it which can cause migraines.
    This has turned my world up side down, it is impossible to work because you never are reliable, you have no ideas when a migraine will hit, so you end up calling in sick to work a lot which ends in getting fired, its a vicious cycle. I finally pursued Social Security Disability because I physically could not hold down a job, it was a hassle all the paperwork and going back and forth with the gov. you need well documentaion from all doctors so they can determine their outcome. Mine was finally approved so I am now on Social Security Disability for my migraines and my back (I have had 2 lumbar fusions). So now it has taken the stress off of me trying to work, when your on SSI you can make an addtl $800 a month, so I now have a cashier job that is flexable and I have a wonderful boss who knows my sitution, if I have to call in sick. I am only 44 years old but at least I get a check everymonth for $1200 and then I have the capibility of making 2000 a month. Its certainly not what I would be making if I was FT somewhere but it is close, I am thankful that it all worked out in my favor. But for the 16 yr old girl I urge you to keep a migraine diary write down everyday how you feel, what you eat, because sometomes you can go back and find a pattern that may be causing your migraine. Good Luck, keep us posted here is my email I would love to talk moreor help you

  • Monica Waggoner
    7 years ago

    Ok I am 26, I have been having MIGRAINES since I was 8. My mother never took me to a doctor when I was younger. It wasn’t until I was 21 and over the counter pain killers stopped helping that I actually went to a neurologist. After five years of trying everything doctors finally told me I am in that small percent of migraine patients that can’t ever be helped, all they can do now is make me comfortable. I wonder all the time if I had gotten help back when I was younger would I be the way I am now? I understand you feel guilty about your parents having to pay for your disease. At the very least talk this out with your parents, tell them your worried about the strain this will put on them. But look at it this way if you had cancer wouldn’t you need medical care? Our disease is not any different, you still need medical attention. Even though the migraine disease might not kill you letting it going it untreated could only put your health at risk.

  • Pamela Curtis
    7 years ago

    Your parents need to understand how serious migraine disease is. Left untreated, it can turn into status migrainous—a fancy term for a migraine that doesn’t end. Mine didn’t for 4.5 years. DO NOT ignore migraines, especially if your symptoms are changing, increasing or getting worse. STAY AWAY from any doctor that treats you like crap. There is A LOT that can be done medication-wise, lifestyle-wise, treatment-wise, etc. etc. Find a HEADACHE SPECIALIST. That may mean a neurologist. Migraines are real, and debilitating. You have protection under the disabilities act at work. Look up the laws for your state and see what you can negotiate for your working conditions. You’re not a hypochondriac *at* *all*.

    Keep a diary, as others have said here. See if you can find out what your triggers are and avoid them. You mentioned stress… see if you can practice meditation or breathing techniques you can practice during the test to see if that can keep from triggering your head. Bio-feedback is sometimes a useful technique, if your insurance will cover it. Yoga. For some people botox works (it cuts my pain in half). Depending on your triggers, a headache avoidance plan can be made. Once you rule out (or take out) dietary triggers, then you can start playing with things like adding natural supplements (many people with migraines do well on increased magnesium, some do well on CoQ-10— TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR). I even went so far as to have a bionic implant to get rid of mine, a device called an Occipital nerve stimulator. If you catch yours early, hopefully they wont get as bad as mine did. I’m proof that “toughing it out” is the WORST idea ever.


  • Kelly Hord Buck
    7 years ago

    You are not a hypochondriac. You are suffering from a debilitating condition, and from what it sounds like really doing a great job trying to fight thru it. You should not feel guilty going to the Dr. And your family Dr can and should write you a referral to a different neuro or a headache specialist. Most HMO plans will cover a specialist as long as your primary care dr refers you. I would go to one other than who you saw, because there are dozens of medications , and hundreds of combinations, to try, giving up after a couple is unacceptable. You should have an MRI to rule out anything structural, and I do mean rule out. Don’t worry they will find something. If you haven’t, you should also have labwork for thyroid issues among other things, as those can aggravate migraines. If you go in they have a list of Drs who are headache/migraine accredited. They will better know what labs need to be run, and medications to try. Not all neuros are headache accredited, and there is a substantial differnce in the treatment you will get from a neuro who mostly sees stroke patients, and one who is headache accredited. Do not feel guilty about going to the Dr. If you had pneumonia you would go. If you had diabetes you would go. They are very different but diabetes and migraine are both chronic medical conditions. You deserve treatment. Also, I understand about the job and money, but strong odors are a common trigger, plus some of those chemicals are dangerous if not well ventilated. I would strongly recommend discussing the benefit vs. The risk of your job. I hope you get the care you need.

  • Kathy Jo Horton Bishop
    7 years ago

    You are not faking these things are real and they hurt a lot..the chemicals at work could really be a contributing factor…..but so can the foods you eat….yeast , preservatives, caffiene and even chocolate can cause migraines to flare up if you are sensitive to them so can gluten allergies etc..1st things first learn some yoga and relaxation techniques, keep a migraine journal…so hope fully you can identify your triggers…. my daughters were 7 and 9 years old when their migraines started I was 5 when I had my first one……people who have never had a migraine find it hard to understand them..but above find another job..your health is more important than money any of luck to you..once you can pinpoint your triggers it will be easier to avoid them….keep in mind not all can be avoided…but you can better prepare yourself for them when they do show up..I’ll be praying for you 🙂 <3.

  • Danielle Howell
    7 years ago

    I do not think you are faking it or overreacting. You do need to find a way to handle all of your stress (it is going to grow as you continue your schooling). You need to find a dr willing to take the time to listen to you and and help you. Do migraines run in your family possibly grandparents,aunts, or other family? They might be able to talk to you and help you cope with the migraines.

  • Shonda Dew Grimes
    7 years ago

    Are you keeping a migraine journal? If not, you should start. I personally use Excel. I have columns for the date, the severity (I go on a 4 scale. 1-Mild 2-Moderate 3-Severe 4-Mind Blowing), a description column that describes any circumstances or when it started, a column for what I did to treat it, and I also note the day of my cycle because mine are mostly related to my hormones. I also note anything I ate that was out of the ordinary. Doing this I have deduced that one of my triggers is artificial sweeteners. Do you drink diet drinks? Artificial sweeteners are a very common trigger. As for your doctor, he sounds like a jerk who is only in it for the money…find another one. I am very sorry about your parents feeling you are a hypo. All I can say to them is please do not ignore this. This is a problem that those who don’t suffer them have a very hard time understanding about them. Having a migraine journal might really help them understand. I take Relpax for mine and I have had great success with it. Keep persevering and stay strong and let us know how it goes. The best thing you can do, though, to help your doctor is to keep that journal.

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