Hello everyone. I am new to this forum but not new to migraines. I am glad I found it as I hope to find some folks who have similar issues that I can discuss it with. Seems like mostly I just find people that say “I had a headache….once” when I tell them I suffer from migraines. I’ve always had headaches ever since I was a kid – but they were relatively infrequent. They’ve become more and more frequent as I get older. Over the years I’ve cut out certain triggers (pretty much never ate chocolate). Cut out caffeine because it gave me heart palpitations and overly sensitive to it. Now when I do have some it gives me a headache. I used to be able tolerate alcohol fine but also over the years I’ve had to cut out certain kinds of alcohol – first wine, then beer, now it seems like all alcohol will give me a migraine.
Recently (September) it seems like I have a dull headache every day sometimes progressing to migraine. Triggers (other than food) include: heat, weather/pressure changes, sleeping a certain way, cardio exercise, lack of drinking enough water in a day, being upside down for whatever reason (like looking under the bed), smoke, etc. I am so frustrated because I feel like I cannot lead a “normal” life. At Thanksgiving I couldn’t have a glass of wine at the toast with my family nor sit out by the fire pit after dinner. I have to be careful about loud noises and getting over excited. I like to go hiking in the great outdoors, but have to be careful to not overheat myself and drink close to a gallon of water a day. It’s constant “living in fear” (or worry) with a purse full of drugs. Who wants to live like that? I don’t.
In September after a straight week of migraine I went to a migraine specialist here and they did a number of tests – allergy tests, stress tests, vertigo tests, ordered an MRI. They found out that I indeed have allergies – so I got put on an allergy medication. On the stress tests I was on high end of moderate, but not quite enough to say definitively that was the cause. Vertigo I was fine. On the MRI they found out that I had degenerative vertebrae, a chip out of one vertebra, a slightly slipped disc. They also found that the blood vessels in my brain were “malformed” but that was probably congenital. I found out my grandmother had a similar issue.
Anyway the headache specialist has had me on some drugs while we try to find one that works while we do physical therapy. I’ve been seeing a chiropractor for a couple years now and a massage therapist on and off. Pretty much any professional who touches my back/neck/shoulders cringes from all the knots and muscle scar tissue. The physical therapist has been doing e-stim with heat, ultrasound, laser, and massage for 12 sessions 2x a week. I personally feel like there’s been no progress made. The headache specialist thinks there has been. So she prescribed 12 more sessions. We have also added dry needling sessions to try to break up some of the scar tissue.
The drugs I’ve been on: rizatriptan (didn’t work at all, stopped taking it). Cambia (worked sometimes, still take it). Zomig (hated it, worked sometimes, made me nauseous and drowsy, stopped taking it). Now I’m trying Sumavel and Replax (obviously not at the same time). I also take Topomax as a preventative.
I’m due for a follow up MRI and an MRA to take a closer look at the blood vessels. I’m just kind of frustrated that we’re still doing all these drugs and physical therapy…and I feel like we’re still not positive what is causing my headaches. Is it the messed up muscles in my back? The blood vessels? The disc? I usually am an all natural/holistic person and I hate relying on all these drugs but when it hurts, I don’t care I’ll take whatever to make the pain stop. And along those lines, I would like to hurry up and get off these drugs as soon as possible.