New to Migraines

At the age of 39, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder of the eyes, called uveitis. It is like any other autoimmune disease, chronic and progressive. There are treatments for the symptoms, and progression can be slowed, but never halted or cured.

One of my difficulties is a combination of night blindness and light sensitivity, because my eyes no longer process incoming light correctly. The biggest difficulty, besides from not being able to see at night to drive, is that any light that flickers or flashes will bother me more than others. That means, fluorescent bulbs, TV screens, computer monitors, movie screens, and dance clubs are pretty much out!

It has progressed to causing me classic migraines, with aura, nausea, and photophobia. Thankfully, I have a very supportive husband who doesn’t mind driving me after dark, a great boss who had incandescent instead of fluorescent lighting installed just for me, and wonderful doctors.

Because of the uveitis medication, I can’t take any other pain medication if I do get a migraine. But the doctors found a good prophylactic that prevents most of my attacks, and a really wonderful topical analgesic and eye mask for me to use when I do get one.

Being older than the average age of onset of migraines, they came as a real shock. I had always felt bad for people who had to suffer them, but until the past year I couldn’t really empathize. It was the most debilitating thing I had ever faced, being reduced to curling up in a ball and just begging God to take the pain away. Finding medications and treatments that helped me was truly a blessing!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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  • WildZan author
    8 years ago

    Ellen, I tried Biofreeze too, but I found myself unable to deal with the smell. I also tried a cream called Salicin, which had a topical form of aspirin in it, which just didn’t work at all. Then I found an old jar of something a physical therapist had given me when I had a shoulder surgery. It’s called Super Blue Stuff, which is a strange name. But it really works great! I even find the smell relaxing, which is weird for me when I have a migraine, because I am usually very sensitive to smells when I am nauseated. I did some checking, and it turns out that the company also makes a version with no scent, so I may try that next time, just in case.

    I just rub it on my forehead, temples, and the back of my neck when I first feel a migraine coming on or start to see an aura. Combined with a good eye mask and some ear plugs I have had really great results.

    I think if you just google “Super Blue Stuff” you will find it.

  • Ellen Schnakenberg
    8 years ago

    WildZan,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. As an autoimmune patient myself, I share your frustration with this nasty combination. Unfortunately, autoimmunity and Migraine (as well as other headache disorders) are often found together which seems highly unfair to those of us dealing with both.

    I’m so glad you’ve found a preventative that seems to be helping you and that you have such a wonderful supportive group of people in your life.

    I am curious about your topical analgesic though. Would you mid sharing a little about what it is and how you use it?

    I found that sometimes using BioFreeze on my scalp and neck does seem to make me feel a little better for a short time, and I do use it when necessary. I also had a compounding pharmacy make me up some topical indomethacin which worked for a short period of time, but I found I couldn’t continue with it. That said, I’m sure always on the look-out in case there might be something else out there that might be helpful…

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