Migraines are My Life

I’m currently a 62 year old male. I started having periodic migraines when I was 35. These were managed by laying down after taking a vicodin and indomethicin. However, in 2006 I had to have stents put in my heart veins. Ever since then I have have migraines every day, all day; with pain levels averaging from 7-9. I have been seeing a migraine specialist/neurologist for three years now and he has tried everything he can.

However, due to my high blood pressure and heart problems many of the drugs available to most migraineurs I can’t use. I’m also diabetic and have severe insomnia and use a CPAP machine. As would be expected over the years my tolerance to pain meds has increased and last summer my physician tried Fentynal patches (50 mg) however the patches only mitigtated the pain level of my migraines by curtaining the level 9 headaches. I also continued to take Norco throughout the day and Percacet for the breakthrough headaches. My migraines specialist is now saying that most of my headaches are due to the pain meds I’m taking and that I should quit taking any pain meds. He has offered no other possible treatments such as Acupuncture, TENS, massage, etc. to help. I’m scheduled to see the people from my medical program’s pain management clinic on the 28th of July. Meanwhile I have been decreasing my use of pain meds gradually. The only problem is that I’m pretty non functional and try and stay in bed and sleep as much as I can to avoid the pain.

I have tried exercise, but it causes the trobbing in my temples to increase (but I do stay on the treadmill for at least 30minutes). I have kept a headache diary for many years and between my MD and myself we cannot find any food, environment or work triggers. In October 2008 I retired (from I job I loved) because I couldn’t work anymore. I thought that work was causing my headaches but after two years away from work I realized it wasn’t work. So I applied for Social Security Disability. However, my headache Specialist sabotaged my efforts my writing that my problem was abuse of pain medicines and that my headaches were a secondary considerations and that I might be a malingerer. He also said that if I would stop taking the pain meds my headaches would go away. I believe this is a cop out on his part because he can’t blame anything else on the headaches. I was so exasperated and frustrated when I got this report I was furious. My next step is to have my Soc Sec Attorney look at it and to get a second opinion – I just don’t know where to look to get a specialist who understands what 24/7 pain is like.

I don’t usually get auras but when my headaches get to 9’s I do get nauseated and sound sensitive. I’m currently down to taking 1-2 percacets and 3-4 Norco a day for my headaches – but I need to stop taking those completely very soon and stay off of the for at least 2 months to be able to prove to the headache specialist that I do have migraines and they aren’t related to the pain meds. However, the pain meds have given me the only respite from the pain (which is very temporary-I don’t get any high or euphorbic feelings – just temporary reduction in the dailys). Due to my early retirement my income is much less that I had planned and my thoughts of finding a part time job have proven almost impossible because I never know when I’ll be awake and able to woke.

But during this time I will be non functional. I’d already giving up contact was all my friends and stopped doing all my daily activities I used to be interested in (I had gone back to school and was studing art, photography and sculpture). Academically I already had a BA in Exerimental Psych and Statistics and I had one year of Inferental Statistics and Research Design at CSU, Sacramento. I hope this story doesn’t sound too much like a winer. I’ve pretty much given up and am almost at the point of determining the purpose of continueing on. I have three grown, great kids and a supportive wife-I would miss them. Sorry for this to drag on. If anyone has ANY suggestions please contact me. This is over 50 words (I’m sorry) please edit as you see it.

Thank you

Joe Perez

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Comments

View Comments (4)
  • Mayte Archilla
    7 years ago

    the meds I’m on are topomax and wellbutin as well as percocet.

  • Mayte Archilla
    7 years ago

    I also have daily migraines, which are genetic for me. My mother has had migraines since the age of five. She has high blood pressure and diabetes. Please do not give up in finding a good neurologist who will work for you and your needs. Have you tried topomas, or an antidepressent that works for migrains like wellbutrin or amitriptylene? those work pretty well. Do not let the doctors tell you you can’t take the pain meds you need for the pain, that just crazy. You need a good doctor that will find a good medication program, and will give you the pain medication you need. I hope you find the help you need and do not give up there are many good doctors out there.

  • Milka Johanna Roman Vargas
    7 years ago

    thank u so much it really helps that someonecares .

  • Ellen Schnakenberg
    8 years ago

    Perez Joseph, you are not alone. The first recommendation I have for you is to get to a headache specialist.

    There is much information for you here on Migraine.com that may help you become educated about headache disorders including Migraine, as well as fight for your disability and for gaining proper management of your condition.

    Your doctor is afraid of MOH – Medication Overuse Headache. This may seem like your doctor is blaming you for taking more meds than you need, but in reality it actually means that the pain meds stopped taking away your pain and actually began to cause it. This is a well known neurological response over which you have no control. The meds you have mentioned here are notorious for that. It is a very bad combination for a chronic Migraineur.

    There is help out there. You have started well by journaling your Migraines. Not finding a trigger makes me very suspect, as most people can find at least one. That said, it usually means that there is another health issue not being addressed, or a trigger (like sleep apnea!) that is not being considered as such. A good headache specialist would immediately tell you that sleep problems are a frequent trigger for Migraineurs. A pain management specialist will not necessarily know this.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact me privately if you’d like specific links or want to talk. I want you to understand that there is help out there for you. As you know already, there are many things that have yet to be tried that may be helpful. The key is finding a doctor to help you with that… that and having the patience to do the work necessary to get your life back. You didn’t get this way overnight, you will have to have lots of patience to get better too.

    And do let us know how you’re doing, okay? 🙂

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