I Live with Migraines.

I live with Hemiplegic Migraines. I have had one form of Migraines all my life. When I was a young child I had Abdominal Migraines. At this time they had no clue what was wrong with me. I had horrible abdominal pain that shot down the front of both legs. This pain would last for about an hour and I had them up to 3 times a month.

My mom would give me antacids and children’s aspirin. It was not till I was much older the doctors knew what the real problem was. As I grew older I then started having Aura of Migraines but no real head pain this was called Acephalgic Migraine. My Abdominal migraines seemed to be a thing of the past. I lived with the Acephalgic Migraines for many years. Even though they were kind of disruptive I really didn’t mind them as much.

In my mid 20’s I was diagnosed with Uterine Cancer and, and then with genetic Acute Intermittent Porphyria, that runs in my family. After my surgery I started having pain after Aura now I was having full blown Migraines. I had Migraines about 3 times a month but they were really not that disruptive. I took Migraine medication, mostly Triptans. In December of 2010 I started having weakness on my right side during a migraine. I had MRI’s CT scans and noting was seen to be abnormal so they just said the weakness was attributed to my migraines. The doctor changed my medications, and come back to see them in a few weeks.

Months went by in and out of the doctor’s them not understanding what was going on. I worked full time; I was a full time student, head of my household so I made the money, I just kept going. March of 2011 I was hospitalized with what they thought was a stroke. More MRI’s CT scans and nothing was seen. The Neurologist came in and said it could have been a TIA. After 8 days in the hospital and no answers, still having migraine pain and weakness on my right side like I was cut in half, I was sent home with my mom. My son had to come live with us so my mother could work. I lost my home and my car and what I thought was my life. I was in and out of ER’s for 6 months with no help with the migraine pain. I had now been going on 10 months with a migraine that I thought would never end. They had me on 250 MG of Topamax a day, and Fiorinal as needed. The pain was out of control and going to the ER was like being in purgatory. I then took myself off the Topamax and I started feeling a little better.

I was still having migraines but the affects didn’t seem as severe. Finally I was sent to Stanford where I met Dr Robert Cowan. As far as I am concerned he saved my life. Dr. Cowan put me on a strict schedule, when I slept, when I awoke, when I ate and when I exercised. He took me off all meds and added Verapamil 240mg a day. In one week there was a large difference and now it has been a month and I have been migraine and pain free for almost 14 days. I am now looking for a job and I am going to try and get my drivers license back. I now see the end of the long dark tunnel. I will be graduating with my BS in Health and Human Services in April of this year.

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Comments

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  • Tricia Lee Bond
    7 years ago

    Hi Lynne Lee Bennett-Cassaro.

    Sorry it has taken me so long to answer you back. I live on a very strict schedule. I also keep a diary. I take 360MG of Verapamil a day and also I take 800MG of Magnesium. Living on the strict schedule has been a life saver. I know in my heart that the schedule is what has saved me. I do the same thing everyday, I go to sleep at the same time, I eat at the same time, and I exercise at the same time, I also take my med’s at the same time everyday. Once in a wile I get off my schedule but I try to get right back on it. If I waver off the schedule for to long I will have an attack. Having chronic anything will require one to have a schedule for his or her life. This promotes good stimulation to your body. This will allow your body to function better and it will teach the nerves when to shut down and when to work. It works for me that is for sure….

  • Lynne Lee Bennett-Cassaro
    7 years ago

    Please,if possible …share the details of what you do,daily. I just started verapamil despite already low BP&pulse but do notice a difference in head pain. Thanks!!!!

  • Charles Perria
    7 years ago

    Lynne: No, fortunately I have never known what a Migraine feels like although I have had a few headaches…but seldom do I have those..thank God… I was put on Verapamil for my angina..after having Palpitations….but before that I was on Cartizem which caused my arteries to collapse and then I would faint unexpectedly no matter where I would be…I would feel it coming and then have to get close to the ground to avoid falling and going out. The Verapamil was a great change…and then I simply was weened off of it.. But that article on Migraines is quite interesting …I for one thought Migraines were only in the head.. Hope you have better luck ..maybe with a reduced dosage?

  • Lynne Lee Bennett-Cassaro
    7 years ago

    Charles…you get Migraines,too? I was scared to try it for my chronic migraine…but I do feel a difference! This is the 1st time in 7 years I have decreased a dosage of a heavy-duty med I take. Verapamil makes me even more tired than usual but any decrease in this headache is a blessing….just hope it isn’t just a temporary thing, or a lull as it waxes & wanes but think it is really helping!

  • Charles Perria
    7 years ago

    Lynne: I was better with verapamil some years ago.

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