Male with migraines

I began suffering from migraines in 2003. I was involved in a work related motor vehicle accident in a commercial truck. I was broadsided by another commercial truck who had tried to beat a red light. I suffered several injuries including a concussion. To date I have had 5 surgeries related to the accident.

The concussion set in motion the beginning of my experiences with chronic migraines. I played football in high school and college. I had at least 4 concussion related to playing this sport. Along with that I have split my head and received stitches several times during my childhood. All combined this has taken a heavy toll on my brain.

The accident of 2003 put me over the edge. I awoke the day after to ringing my ears, severe head pain and vomiting. This was the first severe migraine I had ever experienced. My orthopedic surgeon suggested I see a neurologist. He diagnosed the migraines along with other work related injuries.

I worked for the same company for the past 23 years. A big package moving logistics company. The refused to take me back at work to finish my career. I filed for disability, which was granted. I was suffering about 10 migraines a month at one point. It took three medications to find something that would help. Triptans seem to work best for me but it is a race to get medication in my system before the migraine completely takes over.

Things have improved slightly. In the month of September, 2011 I only had 5 migraines. Unfortunately one is too many. Last week I had a migraine so severe I lost three days. I experience the aura associated with migraine, also light and sound sensitivity. I was on the first floor of the house when the symptoms began. So dizzy, I stumbled twice going up to the 3rd floor of my house. I used an imitrex needle, which seems to be the fastest to get into my system. Unfortunately, the migraine won this battle.

I was so sick with vomiting, my 15 year old daughter wanted to call 911. I settled down with that after taking Compazine to calm the vomiting. I fell asleep for 14 hours following awakening to the feeling of being hangover. It’s the only way I can explain it. Dizzy, upset stomach and light and sound sensitive were loud. Even the air conditioner. It took three days to recover, 72 hours only then did I feel somewhat normal.

I have recognized some of my triggers, artificial sweeteners, bright sun and grape fruit juice to name a few. I kept a journal and still there is no pattern or cycle of migraines. I can only say, I would rather have a route canal instead of a migraine. And it’s not even close.

I know three other people who suffer with migraines; they are all female, including my neurologist. She definitely understands what I am going through. Family members do not always understand. They do not understand how debilitating they are. I have missed holidays, parties and wedding due to migraine. I have sympathy for people who suffer from pain. It crushes you at times. Along with migraines, I have chronic pain from injuries I suffered through work and the accident. The stigma that comes along with pain medicine, opiates used to treat the pain, led me to seek other avenue to pain management. Suboxone is a drug prescribed and approved for the treatment of opiate addiction. It contains buprenorphine, which not only helped with my pain but also eased the migraines.

I am a single father of two young kids, doing the best I can with what has been dealt to me. I can’t physically do the things I was able to do before disability but I am trying not to be optimistic about the future. Depression sets in at times but I have learned to ask for help. Whether I ‘d be around the house or with kids. I have built a support network to cope with it. I attend a pain group with other people who suffer from pain and understand. Doctors who understand and are patient. But the most important part of my on going struggle, has been my faith, in god and his spirit. He provide healing and inspiration.

100DollarHeadache, Richmond, Rhode Island

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Comments

View Comments (3)
  • Not Carly Simon
    6 years ago

    My brother gets migraines, too. There is definitely a stereotype that only women get them and that men get clusters. You and my brother are proof that that’s not true. I do know a guy who gets clusters and he has just as much fun with his as I do with mine.

  • Danielle Turney
    7 years ago

    I know your pain; I too suffer from chronic migraines and so did my father. I am in a black out bedroom more than 20 days a month; just this past 6 months my sensitivity: to sound, smell, light and movement, has increased. I bought ear plugs to wear when I have to be in public and I also got an eye mask to block out the light where ever I am. I was declared disabled in 2006; so I truly know about the depression, I have other medical problems too and that just compounds my depression. There are not any specific triggers, they just hit me. What is even more special; I get various forms of migraines: just my forehead, temples, entire head, neck and ocular migraines (I lose my ability to see when those hit). Once when my son was 9; I was on my hands and knees crawling to the phone to call 911 and I couldn’t even make it to the phone, my son had to call 911 for me. The ER staff at the hospital knew my by face when I would come in and they knew why I was there without me saying a word. I have had a migraine hit me and with in 5 minutes be incapable to move. Theses lovely migraines can be passed down via your DNA and I was the lotto winner the DNA, both my mom’s side and my dad himself suffer with migraines. Mine started when I was 16 and as each year passed they became more frequent. When I became pregnant, I had a migraine everyday until birth. As for family not understanding, mine were the same way for many year, but now that I have had them for 28 years they have learned to understand. I wish you the very best and know you have lots of support on the website.

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