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I have moved across the country and my migraines are almost gone

  • By SJD

    I suuffered with migraines and non-migraine heachaches all the time from the time we moved to Denver when I was 5 until I recently moved to Phoenix at age 53.

    Not only do I not have my daily non-migraine headache, but no migraines either even when I do things that would always give me a migraine in Denver. (Not that I try to trigger one.)

    I have had just a few non-migraine headaches here in Phoenix, but they were much much less severe and not nearly as often. OTC Tylenol got rid of them.

    For people who have tried everything, I suggest taking a vacation to Phoenix or Tucson and see if it works for you too. I noticed the first week here what a huge difference it was.

    If thinking of moving here come in summer first to see if you can handle the heat. I am willing to take the heat compared to living with those horrible migraines.

    I still use beta blockers daily and always will for prevention.

    What a relief it is to not have to constantly be taking prescription pain killers and triptans all the time!

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi SJD01,

    Thank you for sharing that wonderful news with us! It’s great to hear you’ve seen a reduction in migraine frequency and severity since your move. Changes in the barometric pressure can play havoc with some people’s attacks.

    Also happy to hear the beta blockers are acting as they should be: preventing a migraine attack!!

    Again, thanks for the good news 🙂

    Nancy

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  • By Chaun

    How long have you lived in Arizona and are you still migraine free? I live in NC and my migraines have gotten progressively worse over the past couple of years. My migraine doctor told me it would be rare for someone to have a drastic improvement from chronic migraines by moving to AZ but I have read in several different places where people report having improvement. I’m just wondering if it’s worth a try. Thanks for your input.

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  • By SJD

    Hello chaunfbarnes and thank you for the well wishes Nancy Bonk.

    I have been in Phoenix for 7 months now. Even in Denver I and my friends who had migraines often had more in the autumn months. Again I believe the barometric pressure changes when the cool weather comes.

    I have had some headaches in Phoenix as it got cooler starting in November however, they have not been migraines nor have they been debilitating like they were in Denver. Mostly I just take over-the-counter Tylenol and it goes away.

    In Denver I could never use over-the counter Tylenol as it would not even touch the pain.

    In 7 months here in Phoenix I have taken my Naratriptan only a couple of times when I felt the pain was seeming more like a very mild migraine. In Denver it was common for me to take a Naratriptan several times a month or a week as well as vicodin the same amount. I’d even had times where I had a migraine that would not go away for an entire week. It was there when I woke up, all day long and when I went to bed and so on for several days sometimes.

    So yes I am still practically migraine free, with some mild non-migraine headaches.

    It’s a difficult pay off though because the summer heat here is long and brutal. It’s just awful here in the summer.

    In Denver sometimes I would have migraines so bad that I would take a Naratriptan, 2 Vicodin, Compazine for nausea and might still be vomiting over and over and going to an urgent care clinic.

    Have you always had migraines? Any idea why they are getting worse?

    My two worse triggers were 1. Stress, 2. constipation and 3. hormone fluctuation during my monthly cycle. I always take a stool softener for the constipation. I still had migraines in Denver even when I stopped having a monthly period. (I’m 53 now).

    I’d be curious to know what anyone elses triggers are. What meds you have tried. Are your migraines seasonal Etc. At what age did you start suffering?

    Keep me updated. I have much empathy for migraine sufferers. I’d love to share any information that might help.

    I have found that when I feel a migraine coming on (In Denver) taking a Naratriptan pill ASAP often prevented the migraine from coming on. It’s a good medicine.

    For some reason I mostly would wake up in the morning with a migraine already almost full blown and it would be too late for the Naratriptan.

    Contact me any time if I can help.

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  • By rarity

    That is so interesting. I live in Tucson – this is my tenth year here, having moved from the midwest. My migraines have gotten worse as I have grown older. They are especially bad in summer because heat is one of my triggers! But it’s so great to hear you’ve had relief. Must be the magic combination of variables for you!

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  • By SJD

    Hi rarity,

    I’m sorry to hear that you have to endure both the heat and the migraines. I get heat rash here and in certain areas it turns into something like a fungal infection because of the heat which is very annoying. I wonder why your migraines are worse and mine are so much better. It’s such a mystery.

    I had thought of moving to Portland or Seattle but in Denver my headaches were worse on cloudy days, though that might not be the case for me in Portland or Seattle. Seattle is too expensive and Portland doesn’t have enough jobs.

    Are you thinking of moving to get relief? Have you tired Naratriptan when a migraine is coming on?

    When I have a really really bad migraine the only thing I can do is take narcotic pain killers and and an anti-nausia suppository called phenergan. Something in the Phenergan makes you sleep and also has pain relief properties as well as anti-nausea properties. When I take that with 2 vicodin and go to sleep often I would get relief.

    If it weren’t for my huge reduction in headaches it wouldn’t be worth living her due to the heat.

    Let me know how you get on or if you find relief. Good luck.

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  • By Colorado4Now

    SJD I am very interested in the above posts about moving away from the Denver area due to migraines. I currently live in the Denver area. Have been here for 10 years. When we arrived in Colorado is about when I experienced an increase in both migraine frequency and pain. I was 48 at the time. I have since had to resign from my job they became so bad. I was getting up to 30 a month until about 4 years ago when I finally found a round of preventatives (Verapamil, Topamax, Tizanadine, Magnesium, CoQ, Botox, Butterbur) that has brought the number down to about 15 a month (I am now 58). The severity has not improved. I take Cambia (powdered form) and Migranal (nasal spray) when I feel one coming on, but of course, you can’t take anything more than 6-9 times a month in order to avoid rebound headaches. Do the math! My husband will retire (military, so no issues with health insurance or food expenses if we live near a base) in 4-5 years. If I can tolerate the pain until then we are exploring options of moving somewhere, anywhere other than Colorado. I need input desperately. I am definitely affected by excessive heat, so have kind of shied away from AZ. We’ve looked at cheaper areas inland from San Diego, but really have no input from anyone there who suffers from migraines. Please help!

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  • By SJD

    Wow Colorado4Now. You have worse migraines than I had. I had them up to several times a month, but sometimes I’d have one non stop for a week. The latter wasn’t that often.

    Thank you for sharing what you use to help prevent them from coming on in the first place.

    I basically have no money and no husband so I can’t afford decent places to live like any where in California.

    I am 55. When I retire I may move to Boise ID though I have never been there. It’s lower altitude than Denver but not as low as AZ. I don’t really know what I’ll do. Phoenix is an unpleasant place to live and not just due the heat for 6 months a year. The people are very rude and very low class. (I don’t mean low class due to money) I mean no manners.

    I have to say it’s worth living here so far just to get relief from migraines.

    I also use Verapamil. Interesting thing about the botox is I used it once about 2005 and it was amazing how well it stopped the migraines as well as daily stress headaches, but I couldn’t afford to keep using it. Later in 2014 I got it again and it did absolutely nothing to help my headaches at all. For me, it was when it was put right between my eyebrows so much that I could not crinkle them it really worked. Never worked again.

    What I did was google the altitude of different cities and compared the altitude of the exact city in Denver that I lived. Then when you find the lowest altitude cities check out via google what it’s like to live there. Like I just entered in the search engine “Whats it like living in Phoenix.” You can do that to find forums about the job market and what it’s like living in different cities.

    Good luck. Let me know of anything I can do to help.

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  • By Colorado4Now

    Thanks, SJD, for the input. So, do you think it’s altitude more than pressure changes or changes in weather that trigger migraines for you? There is so much research that still needs to be done in these areas for migraneurs.

    The botox I get consists of about 24 injections all over my scalp and neck. That does include between the eyes for me as well. The ones that help the most are at the trigger points in the back of my head on each side nearer to my neck. It was a paperwork nightmare and took almost a year, but Medicare finally covered it. They continue to cover botox completely and I get injections every 3 months. I’ve heard that they work best if you continue to get them like that.

    Hope you continue to feel better.

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  • By SJD

    My name is Sherry by the way.

    In Denver I got migraines year round but seemed to get more in the autumn Sept, Oct and Nov. Same with my friend in Denver who got them too. At that time of year I assumed it was atmospheric pressure due to climate change or something.

    Stress was a big trigger for me and crying would give me horrible migraines.

    In Denver as with Arizona I noticed that in warm weather times when it got cloudy and overcast I had more headaches.

    When I first moved here I though I had made a big mistake, had a lot of stress and cried. I got no migraines. In Denver stress and or crying would send me into a horrible migraine.

    Read this it’s about a study of barometric pressure and migraines and showed the best places to live to reduce migraines from swings in barometric pressure

    Avoiding Migraines Resulting from Changes in Barometric Pressure

    I just happen to off work today and checking my home email a lot. In the future I won’t be able to respond until evening when I get home from work.

    Oh also something to know about Phoenix and I think possibly the same in Calif which was a shock to me moving to Phoenix is you might have to see a pain specialist for prescription refills for narcotic pain killers. In Phoenix there are so many addicts that many PCP won’t even give you a 30 day supply of Tylenol 3. You must see a pain management specialist. They make you come in for blood tests and urine tests every 6 months if you want to ever refill.

    Oh you are on Medicare. Of course you had to go on disability due to migraines and your inability to work due to them. I am a license insurance agent who specializes in Medicare. Right now I am in customer service where I help people who have problems getting things covered or helping them understand how their Medicare works.

    I hope you get relief soon.

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  • By Liam Brodey

    I saw this and had to comment. I got into a whiplash accident in 1998. Started getting migraines in 2008. I lived with this severe pain for 5 years. Nothing helped! Constantly in the ER. Moved next door to the hospital even. After a ton of doctors i found the one that helped. He said I had slight arthritis from the “whiplash” and that humidity was causing the swelling in my occipital ridge pinching a nerve! (I also had a rib out causing even more pressure to my head.) Since I was desperate i bought an rv and moved to colorado lol. I felt great. So I went to utah, I was fantastic. Decided on phoenix and I have been pain free about 3 years now. Occasionally I’ll get little headaches but ibuprofen helps. I thought I’d share so if anyone has injured their neck, a dry climate might be for you 🙂
    Now if you don’t believe..listen to this. Christmas 2015 I went home to kc,mo .did fine for 5 days. 6th day the migraine roared in like freight train just like when i lived there. Had it the rest of trip. Popping pain pills, ice and maxalt til the plane. Soon as I landed in AZ the pressure instantly subsided. Still had a slight headache for week to adjust back. Don’t know if I can go back to humidity but Im pain free here ahhh and that’s what matters to my 2 sons that I dragged with me on this adventure haha

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  • By SJD

    That’s interesting that it’s the humidity that makes your migraines worse. I have found I do get more when the sky is over cast and appears that it may rain. Also when the seasons change from summer to autumn – That was in Colo, not AZ.

    I’m curious if barometric pressure is worse for high altitude places like Colorado and humid places. I don’t really know if mine are due to barometric pressure or altitude.

    I hope your pain stays under control. I am sorry to hear about the horrible accident you were in.

    Good luck. Keep us posted.

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  • By nicolestopp

    I am 28 years old and have chronic migraines. I live in Kansas City, MO, where the weather changes almost daily. I have yet to find a neurologist who can find something to control them. I just recently saw a new neurologist who has me on Trokandi, Gabapentin, Magnesium, and Riboflavin daily. I do Botox and take was given Cambia and Zembrace injections but my insurance hasn’t approved either so right now I am left without a recovery medication.

    I have had a headache or migraine since the end of September 2017. At this point, it’s just a way of life for me. I try my very best to push through the pain but there are some days I can’t make it. Just curious if there is a better place to live for all of this or if there is really any proof that one place is better to live than another for migraine sufferers.

    Thank you for your help and time.

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  • By SJD

    You poor thing. I understand what you are going through. It’s awful. My migraines were so bad in Denver. Can you take a trip for a week to a very dry and low altitude city like Phoenix?

    Remember, there is a monsoon season in Arizona around July or August where it’s very humid and rainy so don’t come during that time. It typically only lasts about a month though.

    Keep trying new doctors? Keep us updated.

    Sherry

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  • By PlumMad

    I live in Minnesota where the barometric pressure changes daily. It is also very humid in summer and very cold in winter.
    I have had three neck fusions and severe muscle cramps and have migraines 10-17 days a month.
    I have been researching the best places to live for aches and migraines.
    I stayed in Prescott, AZ and Cottonwood, AZ for a month and only had a migraine on my travel day there.
    Higher altitude seems to make me feel better. They are semi-arid cities and mild temperatures due to high elevation.
    I am planning on moving to AZ next year. Wish me luck!

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  • By SJD

    Good Luck!

    After looking at that link about which cities have the most barometric pressure changes I wonder if it was the altitude difference or different barometric pressure that gave me such worse migraines in Denver compared to Phoenix. I’ll do a bit more research on that.

    I’m happy to hear that you are moving to a place that will give you more relief.

    I have been in Phoenix now for over 4 years. I still have far fewer migraines than in Denver. When I do have one it’s not nearly as severe as in Denver.

    I still hate living here from May through October because it’s so horribly hot.

    I hear that Prescott is a wonderful place. Good luck and keep in touch.

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  • By SJD

    I will say that the first day I landed in Phoenix from Denver I noticed immediately a relief from headaches and migraines.

    The first two weeks of moving to Phoenix I cried all the time. I was living in a hotel with my aging mother and cat. I could reach the movers who had all our things for two weeks.

    Typically crying gives me a monster migraine. I was shocked when it didn’t. It was miraculous.

    Maybe travel to other cities is the key to finding where the best place is to live for migraine sufferers.

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