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Quality of Life

Migraine sufferer for 16 years

Symptoms: As a child, I believe that i experienced abdominal migraines where my stomach would cramp and i’d vomit after eating certain foods (drinking orange juice for example). At the age of 20, I started experiencing headache migraines (I am now 36).

My migraines tend to come on gradually. I usually (but not always) will initially see shimmery stars and then gradually the head pain comes on with all the other symptoms. I find that the head pain peaks at a certain point. During the headache phase , i usually am nauseated, i can smell anything and everything times 100 in my environment and will see yellow spots occasionally say on a white wall. Speech gets fumbled and difficult not to mention the intense aversion to bright light and noise.

Triggers: I have pin-pointed dark chocolate, all citrus (including citric acid), pineapple, cranberries, avocado, wine and packaged juices as triggers. Basically anything acidic in taste and nature will trigger a migraine. Low blood sugar will trigger a migraine and Cloudy, rainy weather. I currently average about 3-4 migraines per month or approx 1 a week.

Prevention & Treatment: My scans only showed an arachnoid cyst which my neuro at the time had advised is un-related to the migraines. The neurologist who had diagnosed me prescribed Inderal (a beta blocker). I took it for a month and found no real change in migraine occurrence. I then did not pursue any further drugs and decided to self manage them. I find caffeine and a pain killer helpful. I take any painkiller i have on me along with a strong coffee. I take 1000mg magnesium daily in divided doses.

Effect on my life: I don’t get depressed about my condition but I do feel guilty when i have to cancel a social arrangement or my husband has to attend a function without me. I have missed out on a lot thanks to migraines but I just tell myself that i cannot help it. I have stopped caring what people think and just take life as it comes. Migraneurs shouldn’t be hard on themselves and need to understand that it is after all beyond their control when it strikes.

I am booked after 16 years to see a neuro next week as my migraines have lately increased and i am now seeking preventative treatment. I am sick of missing out on life and I worry about how migraines are affecting my relationship (although he is very understanding).

It is thanks to websites like these that we sufferers truly find solace.

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.


  • Ellen Schnakenberg
    8 years ago

    Dee, have you tried journaling your Migraines yet to look for additional triggers or other patterns that may be helpful to your neurologist? Have you seen a headache specialist?

    Someone close to me has an arachnoid cyst. He too suffers Migraine. How large is your cyst? I have spoken with others with this condition who have been told both that the cyst probably contributes to their attacks… and that it does not. When in doubt I think a second opinion might not be a bad idea.

  • Dina Issa
    8 years ago

    Thanks Ellen. Interesting what you say about the arachnoid cyst. I am planning to see a Headache Specialist soon and I think I will ask for some new MRI’s. My origional neurologist advised me to have a scan done every 4 years or so to monitor any changes to the cyst but he was quite certain that it wasnt contibuting to migraines. He said that it can be drained if it is causing pressure on the brain.

  • Gerry Fryer
    8 years ago

    Dee, I’ve had migraines for more than 35 years, learning over time that there are two parts: the physical pain, and suffering arising from associated issues including quality of life.
    I collaborate with migraine sufferers to minimize their suffering and move them up on the quality of life scale, using the hard-won lessons of experience and my training. To learn more, see., and
    All the best.

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