Migraines and Me

I always had headaches as a child but when I had my first pregnancy those headaches turned to migraines. Four children later my migraines have only gotten worse. My migraines were officially diagnosed a few years ago when I finally started seeing a neurologist. I have since been diagnosed with chronic migraines. I get different types of migraines as well. Every other month with my menstrual cycle I get a constant migraine that lasts consistently for about 3-5 days solid. I also have noticed that when I get migraines on my right side of my head they are gradual in intensity and as long as I take something for them soon enough then they are more or less manageable. If they come on my last side though they are 95% of the time “thunderclap” migraines (come on suddenly with intense pain). I have had MRIs that have shown white matter lesion on my left side supposedly due to my worsening migraines. Over the last 2 years, my migraines have grown in intensity, duration, and frequency with no reason found. I am currently on Fioricet (so?) and having tremendous difficulty in controlling my migraines still. I joined this site for more help and advice. My worsening migraines is a huge worry to me as they are extremely debilitating!

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  • sgirl
    1 year ago

    Your story is the same as mine. After years of suffering and doctors just throwing medication at me I found some relief by targeting both the hormone issues and triggers. I was completely debilitated for years. The first key was changing my Birth Control that I was put on to level out my hormones to a NORA-BE tab that I take non stop. It is progesterone only. It seems to level out the estrogen surges that caused the 3-5 day headaches that I too have on one side. They would for a week climb up my neck, make me tired, then BAM 3-5 days of excruciating pain, then when they finally went away I would have a weird hangover for a week so I literally got i week a month of relief. The second was BOTOX every 3 months. They inject my face, forehead, scalp, neck, and shoulders. HUGE SUCCESS! Then no more pills but tried the MIGRANAL nasal spray. Seems to do the trick with no weird feeling or hangover. I also watch all the triggers (Heavy smells, alcohol, ANYTHING with artificial sugars in it, and certain things will make my head tingle so I know if it a trigger and I avoid it. Don’t get me wrong, I am still going to get them but less duration and manageable. I wish you luck.

  • LeilaniRL
    1 year ago

    Hi Patsgirl84,

    Your story sounds so familiar to my situation. I developed vertigo shortly after I got married probably due to stress, then one year after I got pregnant, the vertigo developed into chronic migraines. The pains and sensitivities weren’t too bad. I could drive, work, and do things but very slowly. My first child was a little girl, and I suffered with the migraines until I got pregnant with my son four years later. I was migraine-free for three years until I got pregnant with a little girl. Thank God it wasn’t as bad as the first time around. It sounded like my hormones were triggering my episodes so we treated it like that.

    Last year around Summer time, my migraines have come back with a vengeance. I have CSF pressure issues and I have sensory auras and ear aches. Now I get nauseous and sometimes I vomit. Now I can’t drive. Sometimes it hurts to get out of bed and I’m waking up my children for school by calling them on their cell phones. Everything is LOUD. There’s always too much going on, and I can’t focus. That’s when it happens. Boom. On the left side, the whole side squeezes and pounds. Then my body gets tense and it takes a lot of energy to calm down. It’s crazy.

    That white matter sounds so scary. They have not spotted that in my MRIs. I’ll pray for you. Here’s to hoping for better days.

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi Patsgirl84,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I understand how debilitating, exhausting and frustrating migraine disease can be.

    I’d like to share a bit of information with you I hope is helpful. The first thing that comes to mind is discussing taking Frova (a triptan that stops the migraine process) just before and during your menstrual cycle with your doctor. Doing so has shown to be very helpful in prevention menstrual migraine; https://migraine.com/blog/short-term-option-for-migraine-prevention-frova/.

    It’s not uncommon for our migraine patterns to change over time, I know mine have. My MRI (and many others I know with long term migraine disease) indicated white matter lesions as well. Just so you know you’re not alone.

    I would imagine having increased migraine pain if taking Fioricet on a regular basis. The thing is if we take pain medications and/or migraine medications, whether they are over-the-counter and/or prescription are more than two to three days a week can increase our risk of rebound headache. And if we are in a rebound cycle, our migraine attacks may be more difficult to break and we can end up in daily pain that too may be hard to treat. You can read more about this here; https://migraine.com/living-migraine/stop-rebound-headaches/.

    I wonder if it’s time to seek out the expertise of a true migraine expert, not just a general neurologist. Neurologists may be fine doctors, but have a hard time being experts in one area because they treat so many different conditions such as stroke, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and others. A true migraine expert is board certified in headache medicine, which is different than being certified in neurology. We have more information in these articles; http://migraine.com/blog/how-are-migraine-specialists-different/ and https://migraine.com/blog/really-find-headache-specialist/.

    I hope this is helpful! Please keep us posted on how you are doing,
    Nancy

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