Life with Migraines

 

I was born in winter of 1955, in south Louisiana. My mother had a history of Migraines, and had a lot of her characteristics. My first migraine was at the age of 8. I was out riding my bike when I turned a faced the afternoon sun, like I had done many times before. I fell off my bike in severe pain that was my first experience with “Light Sensitivity“. In those days you took an aspirin and went to bed in a dark room.

Later in life around the age of 20, I started getting more frequent migraines and went to see a specialist. They did a CT scan (took 4 hrs to complete) and found nothing in my brain, and put me on Midrin. By 1979 my migraine were so bad that I would bang my head against a concrete wall on the opposite side of the migraine, so as to take my mind of that pain.

Over the next few years with such severe pain, I would experience Personality change, becoming easily agitated, threatening family and friends. Of course, none of them understood what I was going through. The pain led to depression and suicidal thoughts. Antidepressants removed the depression and a strong will to survive surface. I fought back, still experiencing the pain, I would isolate myself when in pain, I took prescription drugs to relieve the pain, as well as high doses of Tylenol. Ergotamines cause severe rebound headaches, appetite stimulants helped but then I gained weight. Ice packs and a shaved head became part of the remedy.

I saw several Neurologist from 1987 – 2001 & had many more CT scans (I saw that machine evolve in to what it is this day), finally I saw a neurologist a couple of cities over from where I am now living. He did an MRI and a Sleep Study, the MRI was negative, but the Sleep Study revealed that I had Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea. After starting CPAP therapy, I found relief from the daily migraines. It appears that when I was in REM sleep, that I would stop breathing, for longer than normal periods, much longer. In the last two years I noticed the migraines coming back, more & more frequent and more with increased severity of pain. A recent sleep study revealed that when my jaw relaxed, that my mouth would open & I would lose oxygen. Easy fix, a chinstrap.

Now my migraines are manageable with Imitrex 100 mgs by mouth taken as soon as the pain starts, along with three Aleve. This past week I’ve had a migraine everyday, big storm coming. But pain is easier to control now.

Life is getting better, and I found my smile again, along with hair on my head. I may never be Migraine-free, but I will have better days and be able to be me again.

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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