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You Liar!

I have had migraines for my entire life. I am 34 now and remember having them as far back as 7 yrs old. I am brand new to this forum and one of the first questions I read was the one about describing your migraine triggers in one word. After reading it, I felt my eyes tearing up (but my brain said “don’t cry or you’ll get a headache!).

The only answer I could come up with that was totally inclusive was “life.” I have a headache at least once a week. Some are mild and just the everyday throb or the quick, shooting headache like when i stand up. And some are the debilitating ones where I throw up a lot and cry myself to sleep. That has always been the required cure = medicine, a wet cloth on my head in a dark room with a pillow clutched firmly on my head and sleeping.

I really don’t know what it’s like for other people to live without feeling this type of hurt. I remember telling my husband on several occasions that I must have a tumor in my head because it can’t be natural to hurt all the time. And – the kinds of migraines? I never really understood that question when it was on the patient forms – I could check every box!! Cluster headaches – yes, migraines – yes, migraines with nausea/vomiting – yes, migraines with auras – yes, etc… I’ve just had to learn to live with them being a part of my life. Thank goodness I have a very supportive family. They really do understand the pain I am in and try to leave mommy alone so she can get better. My husbands great at taking care of things while I’m sick.

Sometimes I just emotionally feel so bad that they have had to make changes to accommodate my headaches also. If we plan a family trip, like to a theme park, I know that I’m going to get a headache (stress, heat, riding rides) so we now get a hotel on site so I can go back to the room as needed. I hate it that I get headaches during fun family times. I have even lied before when asked whether I had a headache or not. Because of course I do. Don’t I always?? But it seems my family members , esp. my mom, can tell when I’m lying. I am much happier now though because I am taking a daily med that has reduced the headache frequency. I still get migraines but I have noticed the time between them has increased.

So, have you ever lied when asked “What’s wrong? Does your head hurt again?!?!

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.


  • ChrisK
    5 years ago

    I have lied to others about whether or not my head hurt more often than I can count. My friends and family are supportive of me, for the most part. But, after years of enduring migraine pain and missing out on holidays, birthdays, vacations, day trips, cookouts, etc., I know that some of them get frustrated by the fact that I have “another headache.” I fear disappointing them, so I lie sometimes about getting them. Of course, my cover is often blown once the migraine takes full effect and the symptoms are impossible to hide.

  • DanaH author
    5 years ago

    ChrisK – I can relate to everything you said!! It sounds just like my life!!

  • Katie M. Golden moderator
    5 years ago

    You have a really great family who cares for you. Every family has their quirks and you needing a hotel room to enjoy a day at the park is one that you all have gotten used to. I’m sure they appreciate that you are there even for part of it, instead of staying at home.

    You mentioned that you feel you fit every category of Migraine. It’s true that one person can be diagnosed with more than one type of Migraine. But there are differences. Some people get auras before the pain begins, but some only see an aura without the headache. And while the name “cluster” headache seems to mean that you get multiple Migraines in a short period of time, these Migraines are characterized by pain on one side of the head, eyes can become swollen and tear up, nose gets runny, there is NO sensitivity to light and sound, and the patient gets very restless or agitating (instead of wanting to lie down in a dark room). Here’s an article about the different types of headaches/migraines.

    Having the right diagnosis means getting the right treatment. Treatments for Basilar type Migraine can be different than Medication Overuse Headache. That’s why working with a Headache Specialist (instead of just a regular neurologist) is important since they are well-versed in the types of Migraines, the symptoms of each kind, and the best treatment option.

    And yes, I lie sometimes when people ask if I’m ok. We all do it!

  • Pendragon
    5 years ago

    In a word: Yes. I’ve had a constant headache for 5 years, and there are so many times when people ask “Are you alright?” or “Is your head okay?” because I’ll do a double take due to pain or whatever, and almost on instinct, I just claim that I’m fine.

  • Stacy Dalton
    5 years ago

    I also remember having migraines as far back as 9 years old…and the types of headaches you described are true for me also. The ice pick through the brain, the cluster, the auras, the vomiting, etc. I took a DNA test a few years ago and answered about 5,000 questions (literally) – they are trying to find genetic markers that identify medical stuff. Anyway, on the headache section they asked questions about all the different headaches – and they actually came back and said that “although you indicated that you suffer from migraines, the symptoms that you experience are not true for migraine sufferers.” I was a little upset – I guess because I have several different types of headaches – like I couldn’t have migraines and clusters?

    Anyway…I wanted to share that I’ve been migraine free for 4.5 months. I’ve even felt that the triggers were there – like I could feel my brain trying to muster up a migraine and auras, but just couldn’t. It was very weird. The only thing I’ve changed is using a new probiotic and detox…and a supplement that regulates my blood sugar (I also had hypoglycemic seizures when I was younger – I’m now 42). That’s amazing for me. I don’t know which supplement has made the difference. I don’t really care.

  • DanaH author
    5 years ago

    Thanks for the reply and information. I am going to try the probiotics you suggested.

    Wow – 4.5 months without a headache!! That is amazing! I’m happy with going 4 days without one.

    I should clarify that I interchange the words headache and migraine often. To me, they have always been one in the same – “basically, my head is hurting.” I do know the difference though but it’s hard for me to say whether I’ve ever just had a headache because all head pain, if untreated or tried to ignore, becomes a migraine. But 90% of my headaches are the one sided intense throbbing pain (like your heart beating in your head) that can result in me throwing up. I sometimes refer to the headache I get during menstration as a cluster headache – seems to last the whole time and nothing helps it go away. It is a general head pain but will turn into my usual migraine if I overexert, etc.

    I take Inderal ER 80mg daily. It has helped a lot.

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