Let My Migraine Take Its Course to Decrease Frequency

I started getting migraine attacks at 19 and for several years just suffered through them unmedicated as best I could. The attacks (about 8 a year) lasted 5 days, with 3 days of intense throbbing pain and throwing up with no ability to keep down any food or water.

At 24, I was introduced to Excedrin. This sometimes relieved the pain, but I very quickly became immune to any help from it and it seemed to worsen my attacks.

A few years later, I discovered that Aleve (naproxen) could sometimes ward off an attack if taken early enough. This worked many times, though I still had an unavoidable attack lasting 5 dsys once every couple months.

Finally, being financially able to seek answers (at 30 years of age) I went to an ENT for a CT sinus scan. I hoped they would tell me a sinus infection was triggering my migraines (because my attacks are always accompanied by severe congestion of my right side sinus). They found nothing. I was referred to a neurologist.

The neurologist seemed very uninterested with my concerns regarding sinus congestion, constant dizziness, and lightheadedness. I wanted to know why, and how, and what kind of migraine I have. He was in a rush. He said an MRI would be pointless. He diagnosed me with migraine and prescribed sumatriptan.

Sumatriptan. Where had it been all my life? Oh, magic pill of normalcy! I was elated to find a drug that truly made a migraine go away.

Alas. Instead of one migraine every 3-6 weeks, I now had at least the onset of an attack every 2 weeks. I voiced this concern to the neurologist, which he quickly dismissed as ridiculous. He said to my face that the migraine frequency was not increasing. When I had just told him that it WAS.

This week I have had the onset of a migraine 3 times, each time aborted by sumatriptan (after unsuccessfully trying ibuprofen or naproxen). I am scared. I do not want to take this drug every other day. I don’t know if a doctor would even prescribe me that much.

I am looking for another neurologist. Meanwhile, I have tried to research this idea online, that allowing my migraine to run its full course, 3 days of vomiting and all, is the only way to lessen the frequency. I can’t find anything to back that up. But in my personal experience, when I experience a full migraine attack, it is several weeks until the next attack. If I abort it early on, stop it in its tracks with medication, I’m just pushing it off- but it comes back in full force a few days later.

Does anyone know what I’m talking about?

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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