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50 Years & Older Living With Migraine

Multiple migraines daily

  • By napa219

    I am a 55 year old husband and father. I often times have more than one migraine per day. I have tried a lot of different medications, from triptans to pain killers like Morphine and Fentanyl patches. I have been diagnosed with prinzmetal angina, from the triptans. So I had to discontinue use of them. I am currently on 60mgs of morphine er 3 times daily. I am trying to taper off the morphine and am down to 60 mgs twice daily. However almost every day for the last 7 years I have been getting migraines , at times I have more than one a day! I have been told by doctors at the Mayo clinic that it’s because of the morphine use. So my question is this, If I don’t take the pain killers, and I can not take the triptans, what do I do? I can’t take the pain! It has cost me.my business and countless social and family events. I have tried Botox injections and many other natural and prescription medications. I am at wits end! Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

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  • By adkrauss

    I feel for you. Your pain, frustration, struggle to stay positive and greet the morning with something more than “let me just get through this day…” I have tried daily preventatives and Botox to no avail. I am scheduled for my first occipital nerve block later this week. Thankfully, Imitrex (tablet and injection) does work for me and has been my only salvation, although lately the migraines are daily and have continued for weeks on end. Anyhow, you may be aware, but there are several drugs pending FDA approval that offer some hope, including one for people who cant tolerate triptans. Unfortunately, none of these are yet available and the pricing will likely be high at first, at least for the CGRP class of medications.
    Here are links discussing these drugs. May you find relief soon.

    https://migraineagain.com/new-migraine-medication-lasmiditan/
    http://www.newsweek.com/migraines-can-new-drugs-stop-debilitating-headaches-they-start-726951

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  • By KSvendsen

    I understand your pain. I have been suffering with daily migraines too. Only I don’t know whether or not I would call it daily multiple migraines or just one. My migraine never leaves. It’s been like this for over 6 years. I have been on disability for the past 5 years. I’ve also tried Botox with bad results. Most of the daily preventative medications don’t work for me and the one I’m on only does a partial job. My migraines rarely go below a 6/10. Because of the possibility of rebound headaches I take as little pain medication as possible so most of the time I just try and suffer through it. It is very disrupting to life.

    Have you tried ice packs? They seem to help me some. What about finding your triggers? I hope you are able to find some relief soon. But know that you are not alone!

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  • By adkrauss

    I have enough gel ice packs to supply a whole NFL team. I use the Southwest Technologies brand (I believe) and the eye and cranial caps in particular for migraine. Unfortunately, all the ice in the world will not make my headaches go away. It usually just provides some relief while I wait for my abortive meds to kick in.

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  • By dvalentinem

    I can relate to all of you, it’s absolutely horrible. Have any of you tried nerve blocks or trigger point injections? I go to a headache pain clinic that specializes in non narcotic treatments and those have been the only thing that really help. Haven’t been headache free for 8 years and failed about 15 meds and Botox. I went to be inpatient at the hospital for the “Head pain unit” run by my clinics top neurologist and that’s when I had the blocks. I have temporal headaches and the C2-5 facet blocks helped me get to a mild range! They also did a C2 nerve root block which wasn’t as helpful because that hits the whole midline of your head where mine weren’t. Those were with sedation. And then you can have superficial ones around your hairline/forehead that were also amazing. Sadly they don’t last forever

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  • By adkrauss

    Thanks dvalentinem. As I noted in my earlier post above, I am scheduled for my first occipital nerve block tomorrow afternoon. I have a lot of occipital pain and most times can not even lay on a pillow when migraine is full blown, because it makes pain worse. As such, I am hopeful the block will provide some relief. ANY, relief, however slight is a positive at this point, assuming side effects don’t outweigh. I am interested in some of your other blocks/procedures.
    what was injected into your hairline? As noted above, I tried Botox for almost 8 months and got zero relief in frequency or severity.

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  • By tlforaie

    I do the following to try and avoid migraines:
    1,Watch what I eat
    2Avoid my triggers(everyone’s are different)
    3.Careful not to take too many triptans(rebound headaches)
    4.Exercise when well
    5.Get at least 8 hours of sleep
    6.Try and live stress free
    7.Always wear sunglasses
    8.Botox every 3 mo. helps me alot
    Even doing all these things I still get chronic migraines.now this week I’ve had what i call 7 jaw attacks,like an electric shock in jaw and moves up to forehead and eye,teeth sore too. Going to doc in a couple days. I wanted to add something that helps me, once I’ve taken a triptan, makes my stomach really upset,I drink pear juice,hope it helps you.

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  • By napa219

    Thank you all for responding to my post, I also have tried Botox, with no results, I would like to try the nerve block, unfortunately I live in a very small town, I have been to Mayo clinic and talked to them about it, but they thought they could control them with medications. After my last trip there I decided not to go back, because I felt the doctors were not very interested in helping me. I drove 550 miles to get there and the doctor did nothing! What he did was just ask me several questions about the migraines and never even so much as checked my blood pressure! He didn’t change my medications or even give me any type of physical examination. What he did could have been done e a phone call. I left there so frustrated! I also wear sunglasses all day. If anyone has any other comments please pass them along. 7 1/2 years and counting with no relief.

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  • By adkrauss

    napa219 – I am outraged to hear of your experience with the Mayo Clinic and find it unfathomable they would do nothing. Please disclose the doctor’s name so others can consider avoiding.

    In the meantime, I went for my first nerve block last night administered by a nuero I have been seeing for several years. (You can read my partial history above.) In addition to the occipital nerve block (one shot on either side at base of skull), he administered four trigger point injections in the trap area (upper back). First off, was very little discomfort in the procedure, given he numbed the area. Botox was much more uncomfortable. Shortly after head got pretty numb and neck, upper back, shoulders got stiff. Felt WORSE than when I went in. I had taken half an imitrex that morning. Used ice and heat that evening and went to bed last night not feeling too good. Was going to take another half of imitrex to try and wake in a better state but decided to hold off so I can better see if the nerve block had any benefit. Low and behold, woke this morning feeling better than I have in many months, especially considering I did not re-medicate. It is now almost noon as I write this and managing without what had been my daily imitrex dose for months now!! Not saying I feel wonderful, as there is definitely background headache and still some numbness in head, BUT if I am able to get off the meds for even two days I will consider this a success. Scheduled for repeat injection next Friday and probably one or two more before we gauge its full usefulness. Importantly, I typically wake with bad migraine (or it wakes me ahead of time …) and have terrible occipital pain, where laying on pillow makes migraine worse. Thus, if you do not exhibit occipital pain, there is probably less likelihood of the block providing relief. Good luck and keep in touch. Please find another doctor!!

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  • By ddowlen

    I totally feel you. I suffered for 30 years and found a company that had a migraine product. No migraines in 4 months and counting now. They also let me try it first before I had to pay full price which was awesome. You don’t have to suffer Napa and never give up hope that you will find your thing someday. Doctors don’t have all the answers sadlyI God does answer prayer :)) Praying fo you all on here!

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  • By ReneeG

    My family learned about the MTHFR (MethyleneTetraHydraFolateReductase) gene variant.

    It’s now saving seven people in my family from massive migraines. MTHFR causes a Vitamin B9 (Folate) deficiency. We all take a methylated B complex with Folate. We try to eat a Ketogenic diet — which is a bit of a challenge for the teenagers — to control getting Folic Acid (the synthetic form of B9. Folic acid blocks Folate from getting into the cell.

    One of my four sisters learned of MTHFR and was getting relief from the B Complex. I and another sister were tested and also went on B Vitamins. All other meds, diets, supplements and Botox treatments had failed me. Chiropractic care failed me as well. My neurologist was going to send me to Mayo Clinic or the Headache Inst. of Chicago. I tried the B Vitamin instead — and it worked! We then had three of our young teens try the supplements due to their ever increasing migraines. Their headaches subsided as well. Lastly, our 70 year-old-uncle began the B complex and had great results. It’s almost too simple to believe that this was our solution!

    Dr. Ben Lynch is the leading expert in MTHFR. Dr. Suzy Cohen, a pharmacist, has great knowledge about genetics and migraines, as well. Her husband suffered from Lyme disease.

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  • By Kimberly65

    Hello my name is Kimbetly . I get migraines everyday , I spend my days in bed and it sucks. Health care isn’t what it used to be. I tried it all. Just got out of the hospital for three days doing the DHE 45 infusions. Years ago it helped , went five months without a headache. This time two days after being home they are back. No one cares and looks at me like we tried not much more we can do. So frustrated. Thanks

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  • By Kimberly65

    I pray for all of us going through these terrible headaches. Hopefully we a.l can get answers we are all looking for . Good health and answers to all..

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  • By napa219

    I just want to thank everyone for the comments. I currently have an appointment at the Diamond headache clinic in Chicago next month. I have researched it and it sounds promising, they have an inpatient treatment center specifically for headache. It was the first one in the US and has been operating since 1981. I will update everyone on how it goes. Thanks again. Bill.

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  • By Arulneocare

    Hi. Thanks for including me into this group. I read all the posts with concern. I am Dr Arul from India. I too suffer from migraine thrice a week. My triggers are,

    1. Non vegetarian oil fried / deep fried foods
    2. Vegetarian fried foods
    3. Loss of sleep
    4. Too much screen time
    5. Loud noise
    6. Work stree

    I have tried to come out of the triggers. It works and sometimes, it doesn’t. I take NARATRIPTAN to abort an episode. What I found amazing was during the time of a flu, when I am down for 6 days with cold and fever, I NEVER get migraine. SO basically I think our system immune fighters are without any job. They keep attacking the healthy arteries. And when there is an infection, they leave the arteries alone and attack the viruses. Once the war is over, they again attack the arteries. That’s is AUTONOMIC. Not under our control. So I think its basically an out-of-control spikes of immune malfunction.

    Now how can we control something that is not under our conscious control? I mean, getting deep into the system of immune / triggers. I have tried meditation. It works for me and many. We don’t need a MASTER or a GURU to teach meditation. Just sit in a quiet room for 30 minutes every day and watch your breaths moving up and down. That’s enough. Believe firmly that the “out-of-control” immune system will be fixed. That will release endorphins- the positive hormones

    AVOID triggers. Walking is good exercise. Have good fun in whatever way you can. Help someone (for eg..to carry a baggage) – it gives self worth and positive feedback to our systems. Some sort of a DISCIPLINED routine and lifestyle is a must for us.

    Mint leaves are supposedly good healers. Try it please.

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  • By Anonymous

    Dr. Arul, I have a similar experience to yours — when my immune system is busy with a very bad winter flu or stomach virus, my migraines completely disappear! I wonder why that is?!

    When my immune system isn’t busy fighting external Invaders, I have constant pain that worsens with dietary, weather, stress, hormonal, sensory, and other unknown triggers.

    And yes, I agree with you that mediation and kindness to others, as well as a gently structured, healthy lifestyle provides our bodies a good Foundation for healing.

    Thank you and thanks to everyone for writing. Let’s keep sharing our questions and our resources and find what works towards healing for everyone 💖

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  • By Anonymous

    Napa/Bill, how did your appointment go??

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    • By napa219

      It went well, I am still hyper sensitive to an unknown number of external triggers, but the change in medications has greatly improved my migraines. I still have them, but I did go one complete 24 hour period with out one! I have not been able to say that for over 9 years. I would highly recommend Diamond headache clinic in Chicago. I am not expecting miracles, but any chance to spend more time with my family, is an answer to my prayers.

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    • By Anonymous

      That’s WONDERFUL! I’m so happy for you!

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  • By napa219

    Thanks everyone. I now have had 3 migraine free days! They were not in a row, but I honestly feel better than I have for a long time! My brain is still adjusting to the meds and I have some bouts with depression, but that’s getting better daily! I can actually get out and do some much needed work outside! Before I was either in the middle of a migraine or wondering when the next one was coming. I can spend time with my family, which I couldn’t before. I know a lot of you can relate to being a prisoner of migraine. The clinic I went to was the first one of it’s kind in the nation! It has so many different approaches to treatment its phenomenal. They understand more about headache then any if the doctors I have been to before. We had to drive over a thousand miles to get there, one way, but it was sure worth it. I feel like I am” getting myself back” as many of you understand how much migraines effect everyone and everything in your life.

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    • By JoannRR

      @napa219 Could I ask you what they put you on? I, too, have daily migraines. I WILL say that since starting the Aimovig 140 mgs once per month, they’ve decreased in severity, but frequency is pretty much the same. Neuro has decreased my Fiorcet w/out caffeine to 60 per month which is just two per day when I do best with 4-6 per day. I can only have 9 imitrex in 30 days. That’s not good either since I have more than 9 days per month of severe enough migraine that warrants the imitrex. I do not take the imitrex each time as it is not healthy and I don’t have enough. This makes me worry more about not having enough meds and running out before I can fill them again. What then?? I have to work. Only 3.5 more years to retirement. If they would allow me the pain meds again, I’d be okay, I think.

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    • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

      Hi JoannRR,

      Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Good to hear you are getting a bit of a break from severity, but sorry to hear about the frequency. When did you start Aimovig? Some people see better results as time goes on.

      I can tell you Fioricet is not the best option for treating migraine disease, as it masks pain, and will not stop the migraine process. I wonder if its time to see a doctor who is more knowledgeable in treating migraine disease, a true migraine/headache disease expert. These doctors have extra board certification in headache medicine, which is in addition to being certified in neurology. These articles have information on how these doctors are different and how to find one; https://migraine.com/blog/seeing-a-board-certified-headache-specialist/ and https://migraine.com/blog/looking-for-a-migraine-specialist/.

      Let me know what you think,
      Nancy

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi napa219,

    Thank you for the update! Good to hear your appointment at Diamond went well!

    Keep us posted!
    Nancy

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi napa219,

    Thank you for the update! Good to hear your appointment at Diamond went well!

    Keep us posted!
    Nancy

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  • By snorkiefree

    Hi, I am writing to you today because my husband has suffered with chronic headaches for years. We have tried everything for him; he’s been on pain medications, Botox (Had a terrible reaction after about a year) acupuncture, every medication out there; then off pain meds to see if they were causing it. Does this all sound familiar? His headaches were diagnosed as Chronic migraines, ice pick, and whip lash…although he’s never had a whip lash injury he can remember. He had been a swimmer, played football in his youth and karate with our daughter so who knows if one of these caused some sort of neck injury…which could not be diagnosed either. After years of headaches and doctors we have found something that has gotten rid of his headaches. We found a neurologist who did occipital nerve blocks in his office. Studies show having weekly occipital nerve blocks for 5 to 6 weeks in a row can break headaches of many types. Also, we added the new medication Aimovig 70 mg shots once a month. At first my husband started the occipital nerve blocks but didn’t get them weekly so the headaches came back. I really think after the first few weeks he began getting them weekly was the key to them working. He’d been advised by a pain specialist to try the blocks and add Aimovig. So after the 5th in a row nerve blocks he began the aimovig. The 6th week of nerve blocks and now he is headache free. He’s fought the flu and his headaches have not come back. He’s continued with his second Aimovig shot the following month and I really think it is helping. The occipital nerve block stopped the run away headaches and the Aimovig stops them from coming back. I had to share this wonderful news because we have been trying everything since 2007 to help him and to have found a combination that is working is a miracle for us both. If you have not tried this combination I encourage you to talk with your neurologist about this process and see what they say for you. Good luck and God speed.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi snorkiefree,

    Thank you so much for sharing your husband’s journey with us. I’m thrilled to hear he has found a treatment plan that is helping reduce his pain!!

    Keep us posted!
    Nancy

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