By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator
Do you have a question we can help you with?
I do not know how to start a new thread. I am 64 years old, have had headaches all my life and some longer migraines about 5 years ago. I now have transformed or chronic migraine per my neurologist. Everything just completely changed. Before 12/22/16, I was a normal person. Since that date–well after menopause, I have chronic migraine. Originally 15-18 migaines a month, then brought them down to 1-2 migraines a week. They recently went up in frequency again. I took nortriptyline and atenolol before this migraine as a preventive. After this migraine period, I raised the nortriptyline dose, and added depakote, then added Botox.I also take riboflavin, magnesium and feverfew and avoid histamines, tyramines, nitrates, all wine, chocolate, cheese, caffeine, soy. I cannot find a headach specialist. I am in a HMO so I have a neurologist, have had MRIs, MRAs and carotid ultrasound, have tried accupuncture and massage, I also try to get at least 45 minute of moderate exercise 6 days a week even if I am in a migraine. The 2 weird things I dont understand–1)I have a lot of “aura” or possibly retinal migraine (ophthalmologist does not know). I see sparkles in my left peripheral vision that sometimes signal a headache, and other times are just a light show. One of my MRAs showed microvascular ischemic changes in the white matter. 2)I cant tell what caused this so late in life, or what changes I have made help and which ones are pointless.
By Tammy Rome
Migraine can increase or decrease in frequency at random without any explanation. It just happens. Sometimes we can point directly to a change and sometimes we can’t. If you are keeping a headache diary, that might provide some clues. Otherwise, we all have to accept that living with migraine means that our disease severity can change from time to time without any explanation.
You need to get your neurologist to confirm a diagnosis of Migraine with Aura or Retinal Migraine. An opthalmologist is NOT qualified to make that diagnosis. Because Retinal Migraine is rare, it is more likely to be Migraine with Aura. If your neuro can’t tell the difference, then it’s time to raise hell with that HMO and demand to see a true headache specialist. You may have to fight them with multiple appeals, so don’t give up the first time they deny your request.