The pouring out of one's heart about one's brain...
I had my first migraine around age 12, after the hit of puberty. I remember it quite well as I had discovered the wonders of the handheld shower head...yeah...that. So my first migraine was orgasm induced and pretty much laid me up against the shower wall lol. I crawled out of the shower (after putting the shower head back, somehow) and told my mom I thought I was dying. She drove me to the hospital which was only a few minutes drive and they diagnosed me as having a severe migraine and told me they could give me a shot of Demerol. This would have been about 19 years ago.
I was terrified of needles and was like oh no no no. I think they gave me some Tylenol 3 and I slept it off in the hospital. I had migraines sporadically (one a month and then not one for 6 months and then 2 in a week, etc) until age 28 when for no particular reason I started getting one every other Wednesday at work?
I got pregnant the next year and was migraine free until the last month when I started getting 2-3 migraines a week with 2 that were severe enough to send me to the triage at labor and delivery ER where I was given IV narcotic. I was also prescribed opiates in the last month so I could at least finish up work before my maternity leave. I had a failed epidural which punctured the dura mater causing a CSF leak and needed a spinal catheter instead. This lead to me having spinal headaches on top of what I know now was the start of my migraines evolving into chronic, near daily, migraines.
My labor and delivery was otherwise pretty unremarkable – 24 hours of labor – 3 of it hard – natural delivery. I needed a blood patch to repair the CSF leak which was extraordinarily traumatic and painful. I have had severe back pain and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and IBS since this point as well. So since my daughter’s birth I have gone from 6-7 migraines per week to 4-6. I had a horrible experience with postpartum depression with psychosis and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital in August 2012 and started seeing a neurologist in January 2013. I also see a pain management doctor at this time. I run the gamut from 3 goes of IV infusions of steroids, Depakote, and DHE, trigger point injections, Elavil, Migranal, Imitrex injectable, Relpax, Imitrex Spray, Zomig, and at least 30 ER visits for migraines that have lasted so long I can’t take it anymore (my record is 23 days, hold the applause, my medal is in the mail).
My current diagnoses with co-morbidities to get my whole picture are Status Migranosis without Aura, Bipolar Disorder Type II, Anxiety Disorder NOS, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Obesity, and TMJ. As far as preventatives (or things that could be doing double or triple duty as) I take Lyrica, Cymbalta, Metoprolol, magnesium, and BuSpar. I definitely notice a big change in head, back, and joint pain if I miss my meds. My abortives are Maxalt or Sumavel DosePro which I am to take with a Xanax and a Zofran which seems to knock back a migraine about 75% of the time and give me 4-5 hours relief the rest of the time.
My pain relief is Vicodin as I have a Lap-band (weight loss surgery) and cannot take NSAIDs and have never found relief from any OTC medications. I find it to work well for me and have always been careful to watch for possible rebound headache patterns. I keep a migraine journal and have seen the decrease in migraines since I started seeing my neurologist, but it Is frustrating for sure. I work part time and am a full time student. I come home most days exhausted. I have missed about 2-3 days of work in the past 2 months and that is a huge shameful thing to me. I have so few triggers (smoke, bright light, dehydration, bad sleep) that I keep hoping it will get better with time. Sorry for the long story, reading all of yours has been so cathartic. To see symptoms I have ignored myself because even I thought I was crazy. Thank you.
Have you taken our Migraine In America Survey yet?