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The Life of a Migraine Prisoner

My name is Elisha and I am often a prisoner of my migraines. I have had them for as long as I can remember, even as a child and I am now almost 27. My migraines are severe and are often sudden in onset and include Aura, vomiting, nausea, light and sound sensitivity, and sensitivity to smell.

I have several triggers: heat, hunger, caffeine, lack of caffeine, too much sleep, lack of sleep, stress, hormone changes, etc.. the list is just far too extensive. I guess there is not many specific triggers of you look at it the way I do. I never got any help for the migraines until about a year ago when I was getting about 5 a week. I usually averaged about 5 a month. But for some reason they spiked and I was miserable.

I saught the help of my primary care physician. I am a very spiritual person so my first concern was that I was not over medicating myself. We started with a calcium channel blocker and amitriptlyine. After a few months of little improvement I started looking for a neurologist that would take medicaid, that specialized in migraines. When I was not successful, I started looking for answers with people that I network with. That is when I came across Topamax. I then asked my doctor about it and he added it to my daily medicine. I thought topamax was the answer to my migraine prayers, because it worked!! But not long after I started taking it I began to have trouble seeing while reading and driving mostly on focusing on things. I began to wear reading glasses and continued to take the Topamax, even after my doctor asked me if I wanted to stop taking it due to the side effect. It was still working on the Migraines, and I am a single mother. I have to work.

The Topamax worked until i had a couple of teeth pulled that made a hole in my pallet. Now I am back at having 4-5 a week. I have started taking Ginko Biloba with my daily Medicine and I am hoping for some positive results. I have to wait until march to see a neurologist, and I am hoping that I can get into some new and helpful treatments that will change my life. I suffer from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and Fibromyalgia. All of the overactive nerve endings that I have do not help the situation at all. I cannot wait for relief.

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.

Comments

  • Zandra Murray- Woodbury
    8 years ago

    IT WANST MY IME TO. I PRAISE GOD EVER DAY FOR GIVING ME ANOTHY.
    DAY. IT YOU HAVE THE WORSE KIND OF PAIN YOU EVERY HAD GO THE THE DOCYOR IMMEDICALLY CASE EURYSM ARE SERIOUS. I HAVE 3 FREIENDS I GROW UP WITH THAT LOST FRON THERE LIFE ANERYRYSMS. HERERTYIY.

    Screening for brain aneurysms.
    The use of imaging tests to screen for unruptured brain aneurysms is generally not recommended. However, you may want to discuss with your doctor the potential benefit of a screening test if you have:

    A parent or sibling who has had a ruptured brain aneurysm, particularly if you have twO SOME OF THE BEST NEURO DR & SURGERNS IN FL. I HAS A CAT SCAN ND AND MRI IN THEY DID FIND ANYTHING. AFTER HAVING THIESE HEAEDHACES THTREE THE WEEK. MY HUSBAND WASS LIVING FOR WORK ABT 4:30 AMTHE WORKING ND THE CAR GARAGE WORK ME UP. I HEAD A LOUD NOISE ND I COULD FELL ANYTHING FROM MY LEGS DOWN. THAT GOD I HAD A PHONE OVER MY HEARD. I CALLED 911 AND TOLD THEM WHAT WAS HAPPENEING TO ME. I GOVE THEM MY CHILDERNS NUMBER DID WANT THEM TO WALK IN MY BEDROOM AND I SPI HAD, MIGTAINES FOR SINCE I WAS 18 YEARS. i.M NOW A MORE 2 TO YOUNG ADULTS, I HAVE BEEN PACED WAY.SO MY SON CAME AND CHECKED ON ME ND THE SAME TIME THE EMS WAS BANGING ON THE DOOR. MY DAUGHTER OPEN THE DAUGHTER AND WAS BEHIND HER SELF WITH WORRIED. THE WERE PUTIING IN IN THE ABULACE WHEN MY HUSBAND CAN BACK HOME. I DID REMEMBER ANY THING AFTER THAT FOR THREE WEEK I WAS IN A COMA. BECAUSE I HAD A BRAIN ANY ANEURYSM THE BUST. I ALSO HAD THE MOTRE THAT WERE BUGING. IM TELL MY STORY CASUE I THOUGHT THRY WERE JUST BAD HEADACHES. BUT THE WERE MY SURYGEN CALLS ME HIS MERICAL PATION CASUE HE NEVER HAD ANYONE SERVE FOR ONE ANEURYSM. I ASLO DAD TWO STROKES. BUT THE GOD BY MYSIDE TELLING ME IT WASNT o such first-degree family members with brain aneurysms.
    A congenital disorder that increases your risk of a brain aneurysm.
    Treatments and drugs.
    Click to enlarge.

    A surgical procedure to treat brain aneurysms involves opening the skull, finding the affected artery and then placing a metal clip over the narrow neck of the aneurysm.
    Aneurysm clipClick to enlarge.

    With endovascular coiling, the surgeon feeds a soft, flexible wire into the aneurysm via a catheter. The wire coils inside the aneurysm, causing a blood clot that seals off the aneurysm from the artery.
    Aneurysm coilSurgery
    There are two common treatment options for a ruptured brain aneurysm.

    Surgical clipping is a procedure to close off an aneurysm. The neurosurgeon removes a section of your skull to access the aneurysm and locates the blood vessel that feeds the aneurysm. Then he or she places a tiny metal clip on the neck of the aneurysm to stop blood flow to it.
    Endovascular coiling is a less invasive procedure than surgical clipping. The surgeon inserts a hollow plastic tube (catheter) into an artery, usually in your groin, and threads it through your body to the aneurysm. He or she then uses a guide wire to push a soft platinum wire through the catheter and into the aneurysm. The wire coils up inside the aneurysm, disrupts the blood flow and causes blood to clot. This clotting essentially seals off the aneurysm from the artery.
    Both procedures pose risks, particularly bleeding in the brain or loss of blood flow to the brain. The endovascular coil is less invasive and may be initially safer, but it also has a higher risk of subsequent re-bleeding, and additional procedures may be necessary. Your neurosurgeon will make a recommendation based on the size of the brain aneurysm, your ability to undergo surgery and other factors.

    Other treatments for ruptured brain aneurysms are aimed at relieving symptoms and managing complications.

    Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), may be used to treat headache pain.
    Calcium channel blockers prevent calcium from entering cells of the blood vessel walls. These medications may lessen vasospasm, the erratic narrowing of blood vessels that may be a complication of a ruptured aneurysm. One of these medications, nimodipine, has been shown to reduce the risk of delayed brain injury caused by insufficient blood flow after subarachnoid hemorrhage of a ruptured aneurysm.
    Interventions to prevent stroke from insufficient blood flow include intravenous injections of a drug called a vasopressor, which elevates blood pressure to overcome the resistance of narrowed blood vessels. An alternative intervention to prevent stroke is angioplasty. In this procedure, a surgeon uses a catheter to inflate a tiny balloon that expands a narrowed blood vessel in the brain. A catheter may also be used to deliver to the brain a drug called a vasodilator, which causes blood vessels to expand.
    Anti-seizure medications may be used to treat seizures related to a ruptured aneurysm. These medications include levetiracetam (Keppra), phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek, others) and valproic acid (Depakene).
    Ventricular or lumbar draining catheters and shunt surgery can lessen pressure on the brain from excess cerebrospinal fluid (hydrocephalus) associated with a ruptured aneurysm. A catheter may be placed in the spaces filled with fluid inside of the brain (ventricles) or surrounding your brain and spinal cord to drain the excess fluid into an external bag. Sometimes, it may then be necessary to introduce a shunt system — which consists of a flexible silicone rubber tube (shunt) and a valve — that creates a drainage channel starting in your brain and ending in your abdominal cavity.
    Rehabilitative therapy. Damage to the brain from a subarachnoid hemorrhage usually results in the need for physical, speech and occupational therapy to relearn skills.
    Treating unruptured brain aneurysms.
    Surgical clipping or endovascular coiling can be used to seal off an unruptured brain aneurysm and help prevent a future rupture. However, the known risks of the procedures may outweigh the potential benefit.

    A neurologist and a neurosurgeon can help you determine whether the treatment is appropriate for you. Factors that they would consider in making a recommendation include:

    The size and location of the aneurysm.
    Your age and general health.
    Family history of ruptured aneurysms.
    Congenital conditions that increase the risk of a ruptured aneurysm.
    If you have high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about medication to manage the condition. If you have a brain aneurysm, proper control of blood pressure may lower the risk of rupture.

    Lifestyle and home remedies.
    If you have an unruptured brain aneurysm, you may lower the risk of its rupture by making these lifestyle changes:

    Eat a healthy diet and exercise. Changes in diet and exercise can help lower blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about changes appropriate for you.
    Limit caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that can cause a sudden increase in blood pressure.
    Avoid straining. Sudden, forceful and sustained exertion of the type you expend when you lift heavy weights can cause a sudden increase in blood pressure.
    Be cautious of aspirin use. Talk to your doctor before taking aspirin or other drugs that inhibit blood clotting, because they may increase blood loss if you do have a ruptured aneurysm.

  • Kayleen Hilyer
    8 years ago

    As someone who also suffers from PTSD & Fibro, the migraines just add to the suffering. The med that I have found that has helped me the most is Namenda. I take it daily as a migraine preventative. It is actually a drug to treat Alzheimer’s Disease. It is not FDA approved for migraine prevention, but research has shown it works. My fibro isn’t being treated right now….one thing at a time. Good luck

  • Karen Mullins
    8 years ago

    Right there with you…
    My migraine headaches are a fascists regime holding me in a Jewish ghetto….

  • Ralph Vitale
    8 years ago

    lol

  • Karen Mullins
    8 years ago

    I eat for the same reasons!

  • Ralph Vitale
    8 years ago

    i only drink when i’m sad, depressed ,and and happy or pissed off. did i leave anything out?

  • Karen Mullins
    8 years ago

    you are always soo willing…

  • Ralph Vitale
    8 years ago

    sure put the blame on me.

  • Karen Mullins
    8 years ago

    Having migraines the reason that I am a food addict and not an alchohlic!

  • Ralph Vitale
    8 years ago

    why do women get migrains and men just get hangovers.

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