Hanging In There

I was first diagnosed with migraines by my chiropractor when I was in my early 20’s. Thanks to my husband we visited our chiropractor fairly regularly and I mentioned my symptoms to him. He told me that I had the classic signs of migraines. I was shocked. I always thought migraines were these horrible things that would have me unable to do anything. At that time, in my 20’s, the headaches didn’t show often and when I thought about it, I think I had mini versions of them as early as grade school. The triggers at that time were the florescent lights at school and bright sunlight. Thankfully, the headaches didn’t happen too often.

From my teen years until after my 1st pregnancy, the headaches were beaten back by mostly Excedrin and coffee, and then Midrin (waste of my time), and then Imitrex injectable, and the pill form of that. After my pregnancy (and after breastfeeding) my headaches became my monthly nightmare. The only time that would let up was during the latter 1/2 of each pregnancy and during breastfeeding. I’m so glad I have 3 beautiful boys, but I wish/ed that I didn’t have to go through each episode (lasting any where from 2 to 10 days) being a pain-riddened bitch. I tried all the triptan meds, I tried the nose drops. I found lately in the last year that the rebound headaches were not worth doing these meds. I’m 47 now and I’m praying for menopause to arrive, as peri-menopause is slowly shifting my cycles.

I write this now while experiencing a migraine that I had hoped that I was hiding from. I actually went a month and a 1/2 with out a migraine. But, no, It found me. Two years ago I went to a neurologist, the only one who would accept medicaid. She put me on a bunch of meds, things to counter inflammation, and amitriptyline, topamax. Two almost good things came out of it was how great amitriptyline was for a sleep aid and I lost 20 pounds from the topamax. But I had to quit the topamax. I literally could not think with topomax, and the vibrations I experienced with the 400mgs of the ami was just too much. I weaned my self off of both mostly, except now I’m on 30 mgs of the ami and now I take 50mgs of traZodone. My regular doc suggested this. All I know right now is I like that I can sleep. That was also a huge problem for me for years.

Now my mode of operations is that if the headache doesn’t go away with advil, then I’m in for it. I quit the advil so hopefully it doesn’t cause rebounds and I take Vicoden at night, just one, to help me bear it. Promithezane suppositories help if I get into the vomiting jags. I’m sure, also hanging out at the computer doesn’t be too helpful but it is a distraction (currently watching One Tree Hill on netflix, ha ha).

For who ever is out there reading this, I hope you know that you are not alone. I finally, I hope, realize that by just saying the word “migraine” will not cause me to have a migraine, I think, ha ha……

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Comments

View Comments (16)
  • Karolee Klofft Aspin
    7 years ago

    Hang in there – I had similar issues. had a hysterectomy at 50 (4 yrs ago) – migraines are much better (?) since. Well, they are far fewer and less severe. If I feel it coming and catch it quick, the Excedrin works for me. If not, I take a fiorcer and go to bed. that usually calms it down so I can function (although it is there for about 72 hrs total). If no relief after the fiorcet then I take an Indocin. I usually don;t have to take too much of either. Saving grace is knowing that no matter what – in 72 hrs it wll be gone.

  • Aspen Marks
    7 years ago

    Curious, did you have a radical hysterectomy? I think the ovaries are key to the hormones, though I could be wrong….thanks for sharing, having a headache now, dang it

  • Staci Gardner Carey
    7 years ago

    great story, I perhaps need to write one, I’ve suffered since I was about 14 and I am now 42. Mine were bad in my 20’s, better in my 30’s, and seem to be getting really bad again in my 40’s. Botox has been the biggest blessing I have found recently except for that it wears off, but I just found new insurance company who is covering the Botox now, most important thing about migraines is never to give up trying new things. Peppermint essential oil is also a great thing to have with a migraine.

  • Aspen Marks
    7 years ago

    I’ll have to try the peppermint, lavender I’ve been told helps, though I use it in my bath. thanks ; )

  • Teena Riley-Braun
    7 years ago

    ahhhh….Im not alone, cant wait for menopause.

  • Aspen Marks
    7 years ago

    Amy Jones Bagnall that’s great to have it taken care of!

  • Amy Jones Bagnall
    7 years ago

    I, too, was hoping menopause would help me, but it didnt’ change a thing. Turns out, for over 7 yrs, and many top neuros, I was misdiagnosed. I have had unrelenting pain since May 26, 2003 and nothing helped. Finally I got to the Headache Clinic Georgetown University Hospital and got a correct diagnosis!!! What a blessing! I actually have compressed nerves in several places in my head which required surgery. No prior Dr EVER mentioned Occipital Neuralgia, even though I expressed the exact symptoms of it. If anyone wants more info, we have several support pages on FB.

  • Lola Aileen Vanslette
    7 years ago

    I hope you are right about menopause ending your migraines. I get one every month, but I’m not sure if it is due to my cycle or the fact that my daughter is on the same cycle and just brings it on. Either way, I hope there is an end to it sooner rather than later. I heard that lack of estrogen can bring it on too, though, so I’m not sure I look forward to that ending because I won’t go on estrogen.

  • Aspen Marks
    7 years ago

    what about yam creams? I don’t know much about that yet

  • James Alberino
    7 years ago

    Thanks for the post…I am a male who suffers from migraines.I am also 47 and I have to say migraines impacted my life from the time I was in high school. Its funny what you said about midrin it was a waste of time. Imitrex seems to be the only thing that works for me and coffee. Excedrin or any other pain killer would not touch it. Many people I know have out grown these headaches…but it looks like they will stick with me forever. Good luck and once again thank you for your post.

  • Aspen Marks
    7 years ago

    I seriously wonder about hormones in men. I wonder if men are affected by suttle changes as I think men have some other hormones besides testosterone. You hang in there too ; )

  • Headache Recovery
    7 years ago

    Thanks for the post. I am the same age and have chosen not to go on preventative meds due to side effects. I was getting daily headaches, but hormones seemed to be the worst trigger. Several months ago, I started getting B12 injections and also switched to a vegetarian diet, incorporating fresh vegetable juice for extra nutrients. Now I am getting maybe one headache a week instead of daily, and I can usually get it to go away with no Imitrex, which was what I relied on. Check out the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. It’s on Netflix. I believe it’s saving my life. I think many of us are not getting the nutrients we need in food due to factory farming. Good luck!

  • Katherine Meryweather Cavness
    7 years ago

    I started having migraines in my late thirties, and it went down hill from there – weight gain, fatigue, confusion, panic attacks, mood swings etc. – It took me ten years to realize it was from low estrogen – I am now on estrogen, and the only time I get migraines now is around the time I have my period. I am 49 and waiting just like you – and it can’t come soon enough – my 40’s were hell – I was so sick, I had to stop working and finally when I did, I could only clean houses – I am now proud to say I am back to nursing again 30 hours a week. I still have trouble with feeling “depressed”, but know it is just from my physical symptoms – and I try to incorporate exercise and diet to alleviate alot of the symptoms.

  • Aspen Marks
    7 years ago

    Going to have my 48th bday this month. I wondering if I’m even employable with my headaches, they last usually 4 to 7 days

  • That M Word: A Migraine Blog
    7 years ago

    I love your article, especially your use of the phrase “hiding from” a migraine. I have done that countless times.

    I completely understand where you are coming from with the Topamax woes! I’ve also tried just about every drug out there, and my friends and family now understand the term “rebound headache” as a result.

    It’s funny you say that about the word “migraine.” Sometimes just saying it gives me a migraine, which is why I actually called my blog “That M Word” – I couldn’t bear to refer to migraines by their actual name! Best of luck to you and thanks for such a great article!

  • Aspen Marks
    7 years ago

    you are so kind ; ) thanks for being out there, as it’s day 3 of the M’s for me now ; (

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