A long, long time....
Last updated: October 2020
My first migraine was at 14--at that point just "a really bad headache" but I've had them for over 40 years and now they have a name. I would get them a couple times a year until I hit about my early forties. They became more frequent--enough that I asked a doctor about them. I was taking some mild meds, a prescription painkiller with Tylenol that seemed to help. I was having to take more Tylenol to alleviate the symptoms and that really concerned me.
My physician sent me to a neurologist who put me on Imitrex and I've been using that for probably 7 years (I take the generic stuff). If I take it when I first notice symptoms, it works great. The side effects are acceptable. Sometimes I take the Imitrex and it does nothing and I have to take a second dose. I think maybe the first dose doesn't dissolve or something. If I get the nausea and can't keep the pill down, then it's basically 36-48 hours in bed, dark room, trying to keep down fluids and just wait it out.
I don't have food triggers. I do have environmental triggers (sunlight, bright lights, barometric pressure swings, odors) Stress will certainly trigger an episode as does dehydration, constipation, sinus issues. I'm down to (luckily) a migraine a week as opposed to 3-4 a week. I can only take 4 Imitrex a week so the multiples were very worrisome. I live in the Pacific Northwest now so the barometric swings have lessened compared with my former residence in Florida. I still get allergy triggers because of pollen etc, as well as sinus. I try to treat the sinus with decongestants and steam to lessen the chance of a migraine. I have started taking CoQ10 and melatonin to see if that helps. Butterbur supplements never helped, but feverfew did, I believe.
My Mom had migraines but never to the extent that I have and she said they disappeared in her 40's. I can only hope they'll disappear in my 60's....
How many medications do you take to manage your chronic migraines?