Sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy.

I had my first migraine when I was 12. I thought I was going blind, the spots in my vision all grouped together and everything went black. The pain was intense and felt like my head would crack open above my right eye. It lasted for several hours, my mother called the doctor but no-one seemed overly concerned. After it went away the next day I began to forget about it.

Jump ahead 15 years until my next migraine. Now I would get maybe 2-4 a year until I was 30. Not enough for my doctor to worry about putting me on medication. No OTC medication would touch the pain, I just had to lie in a silent, and dark room until it would finally go away.

By the age of 34 I finally called it enough. I had a migraine that hit when I was driving home from seeing my horse. By the time I got home I could only see my right hand on the steering wheel. The pain lasted 2 days and I actually asked people to hit me in the head, begged them even, just so I could focus on something else for a few seconds.

The doctor prescribed an anti-depressant to try to prevent them, and Imitrex to take when they hit. The first didn’t hit for 6 months and I had that brief moment when I thought I was cured. But no, I got one when I walked outside one day and had some glare. The Imitrex made me throw up, that didn’t help the migraine at all. My doctor gave me another abortive drug to try, when that migraine happened the drug not only didn’t stop the migraine but gave me vertigo, that I needed to take yet another medication to make go away after 3 days of being dizzy. The doctor on call that day wondered why I hadn’t come sooner, like it was my fault I could barely stand, they also upped the antidepressant and gave me yet another abortive med to try. A week later I had another migraine, the new drug literally knocked me out and the next day I felt hungover. I wasn’t sure if this was an improvement, but I’ll take anything over the pain.

By now I was starting to try and find any links to triggers that I could. Caffeine, sunlight or briight lights, stress, dehydration, aspartame, not enough sleep, too much sleep, over hydration…you know what it’s like. Tenuous links at best that I tried to cut out, but it’s hard to avoid some of them and still be alive.

This month I have had 3 migraines. That’s more in one month than I’ve ever had before. I feel like my body is betraying me. I have no idea why it’s doing what it is. I get worried that maybe I’ve got something more serious than the label of migraines is. I wish there was an answer out there for something that I could try to make them go away and never come back. I’m 35 and sometimes I have to spend my day alone in the dark to feel better…that makes me feel nuts.

Sorry for the downer of a story. I am hoping there is light at the end of this tunnel for me and my migraines, but right now that light just feels like a high speed train running me down.

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Comments

View Comments (17)
  • Joyce Ludlam
    7 years ago

    Botox Botox Botox. It saved my life after 20+ years of debilitating migraines. All oral meds had unreal side effects. Now I only have menstrual migraines that are easily manageable. So much better than years of sometimes suffering for days at a time three to five times a month.

  • Annie5Star
    7 years ago

    Hi Puff614,
    After reading your story, I can totally relate – I think I could’ve written the exact story almost word-for-word. I’ve suffered with migraines since the age of 13. I used to get them once a month or so – mostly hormonal, some due to weather/pressure changes, etc. As I got older (in my 20’s), I noticed more triggers (alcohol, too much/little sleep, etc.). After I had my two children, my migraines became exponentially worse – not sure if it was the stress of the two children (LOL) or hormone changes or what! I went from approximately 3-4/month to getting 3-4 a WEEK! 🙁 It’s been hell – no quality of life and I’ve been ending up sick in bed most of the time with trips to the Emergency Clinic every few weeks for treatment when I become so dehydrated from getting sick for days from these God-forsaken migraines. It’s such a vicious cycle. This is no way to live …

    I have a family history of migraine on both sides, 2 generations – I have been able to pin-point numerous triggers – some I can avoid, some I can’t. Tried the gamete of medications, as many of us have, including the Botox injections, etc. I’m currently off work and trying some preventative medications, including Topamax – which I had some bad side effects on before. I’m still getting migraines several times a week – not quite as severe, but having constant vertigo/dizzy spells and numbness in my hands and feet. As you mentioned, I feel so completely frustrated with the whole situation and feel like I’m going crazy … I’m sure there are people out there who have NO idea what we, as migraineurs, have to go through … I’ve actually had people at work say “It’s a headache – take a pill and get over it!” as IF they have ANY clue!!! I wouldn’t wish these on my worst enemy! 🙁

    I hope you find something that works for you – believe me, I feel your pain – as do so many others. This site is fantastic and I’m so glad I’ve found it. I try not to dwell too much on the negative and try to stay in a positive frame of mind. After dealing with constant pain, frustration and hopelessness for so long, it’s easy to sink into despair … I’m trying to stay positive! Surely there must be SOMETHING out there that will work! *fingers crossed* 🙂 Best of luck to you!

  • arden
    7 years ago

    Dear “going crazy”,
    I’ve had migraines since 12 years old and I am now 68. That’s a long time and alot of pain. I now get them about every week. The only time I did not experience them consistently was when I was pregnant. I would have kept having children except I reached 45 and the “at risk” flag popped up everywhere.
    Dont be sorry for the downer of a story. It is what it is and its better to be able to express your anguish to people who understand. Its good to know you are not alone, others have the same despair and you are not crazy.
    I too have tried to avoid every trigger known to man at one time or another. I wear dark glasses in movies and and deny myself the pleasure of chocolate. Anti-depressants are to mitigate depression over headaches, not to prevent them. So I take that little help. The triptans worked well for awhile until I became aware of rebound headaches and the fact that I was nibbling these little pills every few days. Now I restrict myself to one medication a week and suffer through the pain if I get another.

    This condition is a disease and recognized as grounds for seeking disability. The sooner we accept that and begin to learn how to live with it, I guess the better. There is no magic pill, no avoidance of anecdotal triggers, and no preventative that will cure these monsters. There is coping and managing and learning how to avoid the obvious triggers. Some people get lucky and do find treatments that work. I was not one of those.

    I dread their return but try not to have “pain panic”.
    I try to enjoy my life to the fullest on the days I am not afflicted.
    I try to learn something from these enemies and maybe make them friends in some way.
    I dont despair because I have faith in the resurrection and eventually replacing this faulty body for another perfect one.

    Go ahead and cry and moan all you want and then patiently wait until the oppression lifts and you can think and feel and act like a “normal” person again. If the good days outnumber the bad ones, you are ahead of the game.

  • Debbie Johnston
    7 years ago

    I haven’t had migraines in years….now I’ve had one last week, three yesterday and one now. Mine are just visual and leave in 20 minutes…but the ones yesterday were the pits…one right after another….was feeling nauseated tonight before I got this one….They all started after I had my son 26 years ago….

  • Erin Gio-Escandon
    7 years ago

    I have had Migraines since the 2nd grade, and lived with them until I was 42, now 50. I have always said I would cut of my pinky finger to be done with them. I currently take Topamax 200 mg a day, Metatoporol ER, and 1 30mg Morphine ER, and Norcco for when I get a migraine. what are some of your treatment plans..

  • Bensmom Rodriguez
    7 years ago

    The opiates (morphine and norco) can actually lead to rebound headaches. I couldn’t do topamax; it gave me vertigo. Maxalt had some soothing effects. Also ssri’s (anti-depressants like zoloft). Was told but never tried rubbing peppermint oil on temples. Muscle rubs like Biofreeze or Maxfreeze to the temples. Fioricet for tension headaches helps sometimes if there is muscle tension leading to headache. Do believe in the hormonal aspect. Much better during pregnancy. Environmental, the barometric pressure. Foods, MSG (it is in more than you could possibly fathom), red #40 dye, red wine. The list goes on.

  • Karen Mawer
    7 years ago

    Mamma Gio, I two have suffered from Migraines. When researching my family tree, I found out that my father and grandfather had been victims as well. I have tried just about everything….the meds you talk about to some extent, changing the things I ate, drank, etc. It wasn’t until I started going through “the change” that they started tapering off. When I noticed this happening I brought it to the attention of doctors and to my amazement was told that they were probably hormonal all this time……now that I’ve pretty much through “the change”, I find myself getting a headache on occasion, but it seems that the migraines are gone…….they are sure a different kind of headache.

  • Miriam Nockenofsky
    7 years ago

    I never had migranes until 6 years ago when I started having them so badly I had to be in the hospital for a few days. finally after having them 2-3 times a week my dr made me take a mri and he found that I had a tumor growing in my brain. the story is very long so I wont write it here but suffice it to say I had surgery to remove it and even though now I still have migraines, its not as bad, and my neurologist prescribed me an excellent drug called cambia, which is ten times better than immitrex or anything else and it really works!

  • Cherry Wooten
    7 years ago

    I will def. Be asking my doctor about that one at my next visit. Cambia

  • Esther Baxter
    7 years ago

    Well here I sit..day 3 of my migraine. They are brutal. I too started having them at 12-13 and my first one I thought I was having a stroke as well. Numbness, tingling, slurred and mixed up speech. I am now 48 and I swore if I had of known when I was younger that I would still be suffering over 30 years later, God knows what I would have done.
    I suffer from migraines weekly and they seem to be getting worse. Just left work today and have only done that a few times. I take Imitrex and Noritryptiline..still waiting for some freakin miracle pill!

  • Peggy Daughtry - Wise
    7 years ago

    I have migraines with stroke like symptons. The pain is so bad at times that I can’t hardly bare it. The Dr. has put me on topamax to try and so far I can’t tell taht it is working. When it gets really bad my left side of my body goes numb and tingling and my speech goes bad. Does anyone else have this and how do you deal with it.

  • Peggy Daughtry - Wise
    7 years ago

    Cherry Wooten those do not help me at all. i have to get something strong,but i have tried everything

  • Cherry Wooten
    7 years ago

    I also take tramadol and imitrex injections which i hate the side affects but anything is better than the pain.

  • Cherry Wooten
    7 years ago

    We have the exact. Symptoms. My left side goes numb as well and my speech is slurred and i may loose my vision for a few min.Actually havent jad that extreme one in a while

  • Michelle Springston Pingel
    7 years ago

    Sheryl, Cluster headaches are unbearable and ER visits are frequently on the schedule. I’ve had ’em since ’88. Is that what you have? You mention “clutter”; did you actually mean “cluster?” Either way, I feel for you and will pray for you! Puff, you mentioned pain above your right eye. Is your eye bloodshot? If so, maybe it’s a cluster…also perhaps your doctor could have you on a daily medication like an anti-epileptic. My neurologist put me on Topamax. It did help a bit. At least the CHs are not all “screamers.” Each person has to find the med that works for them. Just keep trying ’em until hopefully you’ll find one for you. I have had 2 adjustments (increases) so far. The durations of my CHs have gone down from 30 days straight to a week and I’m verrrry tired. Probably a side effect of meds. Lots of people with CHs (maybe even just migraines) take Verapamil. It’s for high blood pressure, but works for headaches. Even if you don’t have HBP, your doc can prescribe it for you to help. Are you seeing a neurologist and not just a general doctor? You should be. Have you had an MRI of your head? CAT scan? You should have both.

  • Sheryl Lovingme
    7 years ago

    I am 42 I had my first migraine when I was 30 at the time the doctors thought they were due to impact from a car accident. Well a month later the headaches were still there and it felt like they would not go away. They classified them as clutter headaches (rebound headaches). Finally got them under control and they went away all of maybe 2 months to return and I thought I was losing my mind I was given a Imitrex spray to take when I felt a headache coming on well I sprayed that spray one day and my head was spinning and I was yelling the pain was unbearable went to ER was told to never take that spray again. Never did headaches went away for a while when they returned the first few were not to bad but then I got one and it has yet to leave. The doctors can’t find out why and I am about to lose my mind I am so tired of this headache. I have had a headache everyday for 2 years, most days I’m am dizzy with double vision scared because I hate feeling like I am not in control and don’t know when I might not make it, lips numb, head cloudy, heart beating scared, and add this to my other health issues that happened after the headaches returned walking on crazy right pass insane.

  • Carla Dul
    7 years ago

    I can certainly relate to having a headache every day. some days its there but not so severe and I can sorta block it out and contine with my day. Others it makes me irritable to the point ppl dont like being around me. and other days yet where it is so bad I cant even get out of bed. As a mother of 4 active younguns )8 and under) it makes life very difficult. I feel like I have tried a million different things with no relief. All I know is unless the pain is so bad it immobilizes me I am going to do my absolute best to get on with my life. My babies need me.

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