I’m a 51 year old woman and have suffered from migraines since I was a kid. As did my mother before me (and two of my three brothers). Between my siblings an myself, we’ve tried just about every migraine treatment there is out there. It’s only been the last few years that, with the help of a new neurologist, I have actually had any success in reducing the number of headaches I suffer, and getting through the ones I do suffer more quickly.
Granted, as we age, our migraines often reduce naturally. I know my Mom told me her migraine frequency reduced dramatically after she turned 40. For me, I was still having multiple migraines a week well into my late 40’s.
My new neurologist and I took a three-pronged approach that has really made a difference in my quality of life. First, I got serious about eliminating food triggers from my diet. So, I finally kicked the Diet Coke habit, and eliminated all sugar substitutes from my diet. I was never a coffee drinker, so once I eliminated soda, I pretty much wound up eliminating caffeine from my diet too. I’m also careful about other food triggers (for me aged cheese, cured meats and red wine are all triggers).
Next I changed up the prescription medication I take if I do get a headache. Lately I’ve been taking Onzetra. I saw at least one person on this site mention paid associated with taking the drug. I’ve never experienced any spike in pain with Onzetra, although I often did with other sumatriptans like injected Imitrex. I’ve not found the Onzetra to totally relieve my headache, but it will beat it back enough that I can function and go to work, without making me so sleepy that I want to curl up under my desk. (I do try to lay down for at least an hour after taking it.)
The third prong in our attack has been trying to prevent the headaches in the first place. The reason I sought out this neurologist is because he is one of the few in my area that will use Botox to combat migraine. I don’t mean to sound like a commercial here, but Botox really did change my life. I HATE needles, and I have panic attacks in his office every three months when I get the injections…but it’s still worth it. I have WHOLE months that I go headache free, and often only have two or three between injections. It took a while to get insurance to approve the Botox. It is expensive (even with “good” insurance, my co-pays are probably $300 per quarter). But if you can find a provider and have insurance to help with the cost, I highly recommend it.
I hope you all find your own path to living with less headache pain.