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The show must go on…

My backstory, I’m currently 23 years old; I’m a male who recently had my girlfriend of a year move in who unfortunately got to experience my second round of a 20 day stretch of straight up consistent pain. Good times. Well, anyway, I’d like to paint a picture for you first. I have had migraines since I was at least 5, not diagnosed until 3 years ago officially by my FNP and 3 weeks ago by my neurologist. Before that time, no doctor ever believed me no matter how debilitating they were or how much I vomited on my teachers, mom, or friends. I am one of six children and fortunately for my parents and siblings am the only one that was blessed with this lovely gift. My grandmother is also a chronic migraine sufferer.

In December of 2013, I was dealing with some extreme stress. I had some really nasty friends who I lived with who treated me very poorly, my car was dying, and I was attending graduate school for speech language pathology. My migraines had subsided to an average of 2-3 clusters a month prior to this since my graduation from high school. Now, they were coming back full bore. I moved back home, commuted to classes full time evenings, worked full time overnights (11PM-9AM) and student taught 4 days a week. I was getting an extreme lack of sleep and migraines were only increasing causing extreme vision disturbances. I finally decided to talk to the doctor again about my migraines. My FNP was new and she actually listened, thank the lord someone actually listened to me! I medically withdrew from school, changed jobs, and continued to live at home. I kept working many hours at work to keep my mind off of life, it worked for a while, but my migraines never seemed to have subsided from that point on, even with propranolol and imitrex. I stayed on the propranolol for 6 months with no effect, the imitrex did nothing for me, too.

Finally, in January of this year after a job change, I went through a bout of 15 days of dull head pain, which was different for me, and extreme dizziness and nausea. I could barely walk without just wanting to keel over from the stomach pain. I had a CT and bloodwork all normal, except a little extra axial fluid build up. Now, May-June-July I had 20 straight days, then 4 really good days, then just hit or miss with how I have felt lately. My stress level hasn’t been too crazy, but honestly I can’t control that part of my life right now. At work I carry a caseload of 40 clients for service coordination and at home I have a large family who consistently have something going on. I love my life and my family, but I never really get a chance to enjoy it because of these damned migraines. It is taking a toll on me emotionally and physically. I am ALWAYS tired, always sick to my stomach, always having trouble falling asleep, and can never sleep through the night. Sometimes, I wish there was a structural abnormality to be found on an MRI, which I’m going for on Thursday morning.

The thing that gets me is that everyone thinks they understand your migraines. Well have you tried this or that. Stop eating that, stop drinking this, stop doing that, “it’s all in your head.” WELL YEAH, that’s kind of the problem, thanks. Well, I guess that’s me in a nutshell for now. I just really hope that soon I can find a way to cope with my migraines so I continue to help people at work and continue to live my life.

Keep on livin’

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.


  • Katie M. Golden moderator
    4 years ago

    You have come to right place. We all can understand and sympathize with you pain. You must be physically and mentally exhausted from all that you are trying to keep up with.

    I’m really glad that you have found a neurologist. FYI- MRIs and CT scans will not diagnose Migraine, only rule out other causes like a tumor. These tests are important to do, but don’t be discouraged if everything is normal.

    What other drugs have you tried? Imitrex is in a class of meds called Triptans and there are many others in that same category that could work for you. Same with trying a preventative (like propanolol). I hate to tell you, but it can take a lot of trial and error before you find a combination that works for you. Here’s a resource on the multiple medications and treatments you could talk to your doctor about:

    Since your Migraines are so debilitating, you may want to look into seeing a Headache Specialists. These are neuros who only deal with Migraine patients. They are the best equipped to help you with all your options.

    Please let us know if you have any questions. You can also visit our Forum section (under the Community tab) to connect with others in your position.

    Best Wishes!
    -Katie Moderator

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