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Migraines triggered by Weather, MSG, and unknown

I have been living with migraines for almost 20 years. They are usually caused by barometric pressure changes but can also be triggered by MSG and then other times I have no idea what causes them.

The pain usually starts on the left side, temple and eye area, then spreads all over. They pain can be overwhelming, like acid burning my brain and can last for hours or days. Sometimes I vomit.

Over the past year I have experienced new aura symptoms when I previously did not have/was not aware of any aura at all, just a sudden onset of pain. Now, my aura symptoms are numbness in my fingers and left thigh, and a smell that isn’t there. The smell is hard to describe. It is like someone is using a blowtorch to scorch or burn a chemical or maybe blood on metal. The smell lasts about 2 days.

During the migraine my speech may be slurred, I have trouble finding words, and my ability to even think coherently is impaired.

Years ago I got an MRI and tried several medications. Nothing worked and some even made the pain worse, one resulted in my doctor giving me a shot to knock me out because the pain was so bad. I gave up on medications after that.

Now, I just function as best I can. I almost missed my daughter’s high school graduation because of a migraine. I was outside throwing up minutes before she walked across the stage.

I take Excedrin Migraine but it rarely works now. Sometimes if I drink Iced Espresso really fast it helps a little. I have a cold pack I strap around my head and that helps a little. I also stand in the shower with my head in the water as hot as I can stand it. I don’t use heating pads on my head anymore because I burned myself once. Chewing ice can help in a pinch.

I have a full time job and loads of other family and volunteer responsibilities. I do the best I can but I hate missing things or having to say I can’t because I have a headache. I feel like I let people down and my “excuse” gets old, I know it gets old for me. I hate my migraines and what they do to my life.

They only up side is when the migraine is over sometimes I feel GREAT! Almost euphoric!

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.


  • Anne
    2 years ago

    don’t give up on finding medication that works for you! I’ve been to millions of doctors, healers, acupuncturists, etc. I finally found a good neurologist and am on a preventative that’s helping cut down the number of migraines I have. When I do get a migraine, I have medication that takes the pain away – I still get the aura, muscle aches, fatigue, etc,, but no crippling head pain. And, I can make it through a day of work. Sometimes life with migraines is just about getting through the day. If your current doctor has exhausted his/her knowledge of migraine prevention, don’t stay miserable with them. There are many other neurologists that can help.

  • DonnaFA moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi starbuck, thanks for being part of the community and for sharing your story with us. We’re sure glad you didn’t miss your daughter getting her diploma! As you’ve discovered, migraine can be changeable.

    You may be interested in reading Is it time for a new migraine doctor? and Hiring the right doctor for information on connecting with a headache specialist in your area. -All Best, Donna ( team)

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