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ATP
12-05-2006, 02:40 AM
[Roundtable seemed to be the best place for this thread and its type. Mods - feel free to move it should you consider otherwise]

I am a migraine sufferer, just like my mother. I know what the chief cause of my migraines are (such as cold wind on forehead and back of neck) and so am able to generally avoid them.

Unfortunately, I had a 'mild' attack during the night. The best medicine
I have available is ordinary headache tablets eg. Bufferin. Helpful, but only a bit.

Do any other writers out there suffer migraines? If so, what methods do you use to deal with / combat them? What medicine do you take for this, if any? What is the active ingredient/s? And what trade names do they/ does it go by?

Thanks.

WackAMole
12-05-2006, 03:57 AM
[Roundtable seemed to be the best place for this thread and its type. Mods - feel free to move it should you consider otherwise]

I am a migraine sufferer, just like my mother. I know what the chief cause of my migraines are (such as cold wind on forehead and back of neck) and so am able to generally avoid them.

Unfortunately, I had a 'mild' attack during the night. The best medicine
I have available is ordinary headache tablets eg. Bufferin. Helpful, but only a bit.

Do any other writers out there suffer migraines? If so, what methods do you use to deal with / combat them? What medicine do you take for this, if any? What is the active ingredient/s? And what trade names do they/ does it go by?

Thanks.

I had them so badly for two years following a pregnancy that I was frankly very nearly suicidal. They are extremely painful and seem to last forever. I would have them often for a week at a time..they would start out as an aura (the little twinkly spermy lookin things) and gradually start as a pain in my left eye..after a week of pain it got more intense until I would throw up and then I could go about another week or so before I had another one. Thankfully I no longer suffer from them but I DO HAVE a handful of suggestions because GOD i so understand how painful that is.

1. Imitrex - ask your doctor about this one. It is by far the most effective cure for a migraine ive found but if you suffer from high blood pressure its probably not a good idea to take it. There are other forms of Imetrex - they are known as "triptans". If Imitrex doesnt work for you one of the others might.

2. Excedrin - works well for me now as I dont get them as severely as I used to.

3. If you are on birth control pills, try taking a lower dose pill as hormones play a HUGE factor in these things with women. Again MAKE SURE and talk to your doctor before you do any of these things!

4. Coffee. Caffeine sometimes helps

5. Ice or Heat to the affected area. Which ever seems better. Lock yourself up in a dark, quiet room and apply!

6. I would recommend you go see your doctor during a particularly bad attack and ask him if it would be ok to try a Toradol/Vistaril injection combo. The Vistaril will make you sleepy, but in combination with the Toradol it seems to knock out migraines cold.

7. Beta Blockers - another route that works for some migraine sufferers. Ask your doc

8. Anti Depressants - Depression can exaserbate(spelling?) the effects of a migraine. Sometimes getting on a good anti - depressant gets rid of migraines all together.

9. Vicoden - I hate narcs so I always considered it a last resort, but during my bad phase I always had some on hand. It took the edge off the pain at least.

I so feel for you! I thank god every day that I dont get them like I used to. Mine were totally related to my first pregnancy and I actually ceased to get them altogether after the second one.

I hope something here helps you!

Sean D. Schaffer
12-05-2006, 06:29 AM
[Roundtable seemed to be the best place for this thread and its type. Mods - feel free to move it should you consider otherwise]

I am a migraine sufferer, just like my mother. I know what the chief cause of my migraines are (such as cold wind on forehead and back of neck) and so am able to generally avoid them.

Unfortunately, I had a 'mild' attack during the night. The best medicine
I have available is ordinary headache tablets eg. Bufferin. Helpful, but only a bit.

Do any other writers out there suffer migraines? If so, what methods do you use to deal with / combat them? What medicine do you take for this, if any? What is the active ingredient/s? And what trade names do they/ does it go by?

Thanks.


I usually have a problem with migraines if I do not have my coffee on time in the early morning. Sometimes, however, I have the problem regardless of what I do, and in those cases I try to have a bottle of Exedrin Migraine with me.

My only problem with this med is that I end up using it so much that I run out and forget to buy more.

Which reminds me: I probably should buy some at the supermarket tomorrow.

If I do not have the aforementioned med, I usually rest, keeping all the blinds closed and the lights off. Most of the time, this takes away the pain although it takes awhile, as my migraines generally center around my optic nerves.


I hope this helps, and I wish you well in treating your migraines.

billythrilly7th
12-05-2006, 08:58 AM
I don't have bad headaches very often, and this might sound crazy, but if I get one and it isn't too bad, I run on the treadmill. Just a solid mile or two. Maybe 8-10 minutes.

For some reason, the endorphin release makes the headache go away.

I discovered this accidentally.

But as always, please seek a physicians advice before undergoing any type of training routine.

scarletpeaches
12-05-2006, 07:21 PM
I've had migraines since I was around 11 - so that's nearly 20 years now.

Every so often, the pattern changes, whether it be down to hormonal changes in my body or my general health going up and down, or just circumstances.

I read somewhere that the smell of apples helps headaches, though as we all know, migraines aren't just headaches...still, it seems to help with the nausea a little.

Sometimes I burn scented oils or candles, as each time I get a migraine my senses are affected. I have colour flashes, distorted vision, and I can taste the things that I smell (did that make sense)?

Anyway...my trick is to take painkillers in soluble form as pills make me gag. Also, indigestion tablets such as rennies can help with mild nausea, but not the plain mint ones, as they're rather chalky. I prefer the fruit-flavoured ones.

That said, all treatments I've discovered or developed only seem to work if I catch it early. If it gets past a certain point, I'm in for a night of vomiting (my last one was six trips to the bathroom...) and not being able to eat properly for days.

I know there are several 'big guns' available on the NHS but every time I speak to my GP about them, he pleads poverty. :(

So anyway...my suggestion? Catch it early. Recognise the signs. Be vigilant about your symptoms changing so you can learn what treatments work. Look into things that affect each of your senses - perhaps certain smells or tastes will help settle your stomach? And don't be afraid, when people refer to it as 'a headache' to say, "No, it's a migraine, and I have to go lie down now. Everything else can go hang, 'til I feel better."

Sheryl Nantus
12-05-2006, 07:37 PM
it's run in my family for generations - however, it wasn't until this one that we got a "real" diagnosis other than just bad headaches and nerves.

while my sister and I can and do get prescription drugs (tylenol 3!) we more often than not try to hit it with peppermint tea (the REAL stuff with peppermint leaves, not flavoring!) and just curl up in a nice dark room with tea and toast from our hubbys until we recover. The problem with the drugs is that you become tolerant of them and end up taking higher and higher doses. At one point I could take two T3's and you'd think I had taken nothing and was able to function perfectly normally.

coffee/pop/tea for the caffeine, peppermint tea and a dark room is pretty well what I fall back on - try to keep away from the hard drugs until you have to take them, imo.

:(

Momento Mori
12-05-2006, 07:52 PM
ATP, I suffer migraines as well, but mine are linked to my contraceptive pill. If you're based in the UK, then there's an over-the-counter product called Propain, which is v. strong ibuprofen, which I'd recommend (but speak to your pharmacist first). I also recommend cutting the amount of caffeine in your diet - not just coffee and tea but also diet soda drinks. Diet Coke and Coca Cola Zero are real beggars for caffeine additives and I found that cutting them out really reduced the incidents and intensity of my migraines. Increase the amount of water that you drink and limit the amount of time you spend staring at a computer screen as that can really exacerbate things as well.

Susan Gable
12-05-2006, 08:02 PM
Me, me! I'm a fellow migraine sufferer.

First, Excedrin Migraine is the EXACT same thing as "regular" Extra Strength Excedrin. It's just different packaging.

That said, the best combination of OTC meds I've found is 2 Excedrin (and actually I use generics - active ingredients are asprin, acetaminophen & caffeine. Please note that's the only caffeine I injest, otherwise I stay away from caffeine as much as possible. Okay, I also get it from chocolate, but that doesn't count <G>) and a Benedryl (diphenhydramine). (I use generics for that, too.) The Benedryl may make you a little sleepy, but I find that's generally part of what helps. Lie down, take a snooze and let the headache break.

I'm a big fan of heat instead of cold. I like to wet a hand towel, wring it out, and heat it up in the microwave. Be careful! Usually a minute is enough. Make it as hot as you can stand it because they cool down pretty quickly. Lay it over your forehead and I usually cover my eyes as well -- the darkness helps. When I have a really bad headache, hubby will bring me fresh hot towels every 10-15 minutes or so, until the pain eases enough that I can drop off to sleep.

But seriously, the combo of Excedrin and Benedryl is fantastic. I don't leave home without those two meds with me.

Susan G.

TrainofThought
12-05-2006, 08:04 PM
I suffer from sinus headaches that turn into migraines. They get bad during the winter season from the dry air. The only medication that helps me is Excedrin Migraine (caffeine, aspirin, and acetaminophen). I also keep peppermint tea around, make a cup and breathe it in when I feel a headache coming on. It helps relieve the pressure and pain. Also, a cup of coffee sometimes takes gets rid of it. Good luck and I feel your pain.

ColoradoGuy
12-05-2006, 08:45 PM
Migraine triggers and their remedies are as varied as the people who get them. A neurologist friend of mine has a special interest in them, and tells me each migraineur is unique.

A mixture of ergotamine and caffeine (Cafergot) works best for me. Both of these constrict blood vessels, counteracting the blood vessel dilation that causes migraine headache.

scarletpeaches
12-05-2006, 09:12 PM
Migraine triggers and their remedies are as varied as the people who get them. A neurologist friend of mine has a special interest in them, and tells me each migraineur is unique.

Love that word. :D


A mixture of ergotamine and caffeine (Cafergot) works best for me. Both of these constrict blood vessels, counteracting the blood vessel dilation that causes migraine headache.

Isn't that in the LSD family of drugs?!

WackAMole
12-05-2006, 10:16 PM
Imitrex is a prescription drug that actually stops migraines before they get bad. It is non narcotic, and has a few small side effects that occur relatively quickly after you take it, but nothing long lasting. The "triptan" series of drugs are by far the best thing (and most successful) for treatment of migraines.

I agree, the trick is to catch it early. With mine, I always got an "aura".

And yeah, the excedrin migraine is the same thing as extra strength excedrin. Just the packaging is different..and the price LOL.

Susan Gable
12-05-2006, 10:47 PM
And yeah, the excedrin migraine is the same thing as extra strength excedrin. Just the packaging is different..and the price LOL.

Since Excedrin has always worked well for me, I was so excited when "Excedrin Migraine" came out. Then I stood in the store aisle and compared the packages, because I wanted to see what was going help my migraine more. I was shocked and more than a little angry to discover that there was no difference. How many people don't make the comparison? If they are charging more for the migraine label, what a blatent rip-off that is! Migraine suffers are in enough pain, they don't need to add that to it.

That's why I made sure I pointed it out in this thread. <G> Don't let them trick you. :)

Susan G.

WackAMole
12-05-2006, 11:02 PM
Since Excedrin has always worked well for me, I was so excited when "Excedrin Migraine" came out. Then I stood in the store aisle and compared the packages, because I wanted to see what was going help my migraine more. I was shocked and more than a little angry to discover that there was no difference. How many people don't make the comparison? If they are charging more for the migraine label, what a blatent rip-off that is! Migraine suffers are in enough pain, they don't need to add that to it.

That's why I made sure I pointed it out in this thread. <G> Don't let them trick you. :)

Susan G.

Heh yeah I had the same excitement level too until I read the ingredients

Kate Thornton
12-05-2006, 11:22 PM
I always got the visual disturbances first - then took my Imitrex and stopped the thing from happening.

Now I get migraines much less frequently and take a tongue-dissolve prescription med called Maxalt at the first sign of the horror.

Without the prescription medication, I don't think I could have survived the regular, severe migraines I used to get.

piscesgirl80
12-05-2006, 11:25 PM
For me, a very simple (and cheap) but effective headache remedy is to take some magnesium. Either a pill or a teaspoon or so of epsom salts. One of the functions of the mineral is to serve as a muscle relaxant, and I remember reading somewhere that the majority of people have at least a mild deficiency.

Comics Writer
12-06-2006, 02:56 AM
I get a headache of some kind every day. The doctors have not been able to figure out why and nothing they've given me has helped with the pain. I even had an MRI of my head done in case there was a physical reason for the headaches. No problems there.
But, I get a fair number of migraines mixed in with the rest. Just came off a three day migraine whose pain ebbed and flowed, but never totally went away.
I have found that my triggers for migraine headaches are monosodium glutamate (MSG-a flavor enhancer for foods), dark chocolate, and a messed up sleep schedule. The latter two I can control easily, but having to read the ingredients panels of all the foods I buy is a royal pain. Lots of things I can't have. It's surprising how many foods have MSG.
But, your trigger may be something else entirely. Use a search engine and try to find a list online and see if there is anything on it that might be causing you trouble. Sometimes the only way to narrow it down is to eliminate them from your diet one by one.
I have found that sometimes Excederin does give some relief, but to save money I usually buy a store or off brand. Same ingredients and same strength for a lot less.

WackAMole
12-06-2006, 03:18 AM
Most docs will recommend keeping a food diary so you can better track what foods you can associate with the onset of a migraine.

And ya, the dissolvable maxalt is great! I remember when Imitrex first came out and it was only in injectable form. I had to stick myself in the leg every time i felt one coming on..i HATED that..but it worked...maxalt is one of the "triptan" family. There is also Zomig, which also comes in dissolvable forms. The thing about the triptans is they dont make you sleepy and they stop the migraine dead.

truelyana
12-06-2006, 03:27 AM
[Roundtable seemed to be the best place for this thread and its type. Mods - feel free to move it should you consider otherwise]

I am a migraine sufferer, just like my mother. I know what the chief cause of my migraines are (such as cold wind on forehead and back of neck) and so am able to generally avoid them.

Unfortunately, I had a 'mild' attack during the night. The best medicine
I have available is ordinary headache tablets eg. Bufferin. Helpful, but only a bit.

Do any other writers out there suffer migraines? If so, what methods do you use to deal with / combat them? What medicine do you take for this, if any? What is the active ingredient/s? And what trade names do they/ does it go by?

Thanks.

Have you ever tried looking at it from a different light? Perhaps questioning why you receive them in a pattern? Or even looking at alternative natural remedies? Any form of pain in the body is directly linked with how you feel inside.

Susan Gable
12-06-2006, 05:09 AM
MSG is totally one of my triggers, too.

Susan G.

Millie
12-08-2006, 03:30 PM
Hi All,

I'm in the Uk and take a pill known as Propain

Propain can be used for the treatment of migraine, headache, muscular pain , period pain and toothache. Propain can also be used for symptomatic relief of influenza, feverishness and colds.

Paracetamol and Codeine phosphate are analgesics ('pain killers'). Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine and is used for it's ability to reduce feelings of sickness which can be associated with migraine. Caffeine is a stimulant which is used to counteract the possible sedative effects of the analgesics.

Do not use Propain caplets if :

You are allergic to paracetamol, codeine, diphenhydramine, caffeine or any of the other ingredients in Propain.
You are taking any other medicines containing paracetamol, codeine, antihistamine or caffeine (without consulting your doctor)

My migraines are triggered by change in hormone levels around the time of my period, tooooo much red wine or lack of sleep. I've recently been prescribed mefanamic acid tablets for my problematic periods and they seem to have had an effect on my migraines - reducing the frequency and the intensity.

Propain works for me when I do get one, but they're quite expensive.

Migraines seem to run in families, my grandmother, mother, sister, me and my daughter, all suffer from them. None of us get an aura, and very rarely get sickliness with it, but the pain is extreme at times.

It seems to be suffered by the female of the species more than the male - am I right?

Millie

DanaS
12-08-2006, 04:05 PM
Of course as a fellow sufferer I found this thread quite interesting. I started getting Migraines at 15 (which is a pretty long time ago), I would get a couple a year, come home, lay down, perhaps lose my lunch a few times, sleep and a few hours later it was gone. However 4 years ago, I suffered a medically induced thyroid storm and since that point I am strapped with a head ache (usually lasting three days each) 6-9 days a month or more. I've tried the immitrex and a variety of the others, only to suffer chest pressure 24 hours later-so they're out! I even had an arrogant doctor put me on a birth control pill (his thoughts-all hormonally based) (wrong hormone doc!), I ended up going to the emergency room several times with the worst headaches of my life. After months of torture, I told him I was stopping. Those severe (Emergency room) headaches stopped, but the occurences increased. I usually will take Extra Strength excedrin (I am so drug sensitive)and I too discovered the same ingredients in both pills, and if I get IT in time, I can deal. Otherwise, nothing to do but try to keep moving as long as possible, until I finally have to lay down and ride it out. I never had aura Pre-storm, but now I get them all the time; lights flashing, squiggling lines going across my eye, light and smell sensitivity and the list goes on. One time, scared the daylights out of me, I had an aura of clear rushing water running across my entire left eye-it was horrible! I considered topamax for daily use, but haven't been that brave yet. Also, when my thyroid levels are off, migraines occur more frequently, also dizziness is always rearing its ugly head at any time. One would think that in this day and age, they would be a miraculaous discovery for treating/possibly curing mirgraines-would be nice! I just read an article (I think it was the American Journal of Medicine), that reported that people who get auras with their migraines, should be monitored for stroke and heart issues-as they seemingly have found some connection with auras and possible furture strokes and heart issues. If I can find the article, I will come back to post. Best to all, Dana

Susan Gable
12-08-2006, 08:34 PM
Yes, it does seem to be more females than males who suffer with them. Although my son's best friend also gets them. Hormones tend to be a trigger for me, too. And birth control pills made my migraines worse, too. Stress is also a trigger.

I started getting migraines when I was about 8.

I think everyone ought to get one at least once in their lives so they can understand the difference between "I have a mild tension/sinus headache, but with some OTC meds, I can continue to function," and "I have a migraine, don't talk to me, don't breathe near me, pull the shades, I think I'll throw up and take a nap and hope I feel better when I wake up, if not, someone just shoot me and put me out of my misery."

:)

Is anybody else a hair-puller with some of the bad ones? I usualy end up with my hair standing straight up afterwards because tugging on my hair seems to create distrationary pain.

I had an occular migraine for the first time last year. Got this funky little thing in my eye, like when you look at a light and then look away. But it didn't go away. Then it got bigger and started moving across my field of vision, and it was still there when I closed my eyes. Freaked me out! All I thought think of was, this is very bad! Called my eye doc's office, and they told to come in, and they checked everything out, then told me it was an occular migraine. But I had absolutely no pain, so to label it migraine seemed weird to me.

Eventually the "spot" moves all the way across my field of vision and vanishes. I've had one or two more of them since the original. Very strange.

Susan G.

victoriastrauss
12-08-2006, 09:27 PM
I have atypical migraines--either I have the visual disturbance with a very mild headache to follow, or I have the intense headache with all the trimmings--light and sound sensitivity, nausea--but without the visual disturbance.

The first ocular migraine I ever had was in college--a gray veil that started at the corner of my vision and eventually blanked out the whole right side. It was freaky; I thought I was going blind. I didn't connect it till later with my mother's migraines, because her visual disturbances are very different.

I never had another ocular migraine until I was about 45. This time, it was a sparkling spot that began on the right, and expanded over the right side of my vision--like sunlight on crinkly tinfoil, with flashing iridescent geometric patterns. I was in a store at the time; obviously I couldn't drive, and had to sit there for half an hour till I could see again. For a while I had one of these every six months or so, but for the past couple of years I haven't had any at all.

My mother's migraines, which were pretty severe, pretty much vanished on menopause, so I'm hopeful.

- Victoria

WackAMole
12-08-2006, 10:13 PM
Ive also lost vision in my eyes because of this. It is very scary the first time it happens. I too thought I was going blind.

Kate Thornton
12-08-2006, 10:15 PM
My migraines - which were horrible in ways a mere headache sufferer cannot imagine - pretty much ceased at menopause, too - with just about one per year since (and the Maxalt is a miracle for them - stops 'em dead on the spot!)

My doctor (neuro guy for my stroke) said hormonal changes affected the vagus nerve (up behind your nose sort of), causing blood pressure changes in the surrounding blood vessels which produced the migraine. Foods can trigger this in some people. He said 85% of migraine sufferers are women with hormonally-triggered migraines.

Shadow_Ferret
12-08-2006, 10:26 PM
I rarely, if ever, get headaches unless they are my own fault (hangover).

If I do have a headache, I generally just take the cheapest generic aspirin I can find. 3 325grain tablets does me fine.

When my son gets headaches I pinch the webbing between his thumb and forefinger very hard for 30 seconds and that cures it.

WackAMole
12-08-2006, 10:27 PM
My migraines - which were horrible in ways a mere headache sufferer cannot imagine - pretty much ceased at menopause, too - with just about one per year since (and the Maxalt is a miracle for them - stops 'em dead on the spot!)

My doctor (neuro guy for my stroke) said hormonal changes affected the vagus nerve (up behind your nose sort of), causing blood pressure changes in the surrounding blood vessels which produced the migraine. Foods can trigger this in some people. He said 85% of migraine sufferers are women with hormonally-triggered migraines.

I am not surprised by this at all...took doctors years to figure out what a lot of women already knew! LOL

Kate Thornton
12-08-2006, 10:34 PM
I rarely, if ever, get headaches unless they are my own fault (hangover).

If I do have a headache, I generally just take the cheapest generic aspirin I can find. 3 325grain tablets does me fine.

When my son gets headaches I pinch the webbing between his thumb and forefinger very hard for 30 seconds and that cures it.

A regular headache is to a migraine what a papercut is to passing a kidney stone. There's just no way to describe the pain of a migraine. The only relation it has to a regular headache is that the pain is centered in the middle of your head.

Beyond that, the intensity and the length of time it lasts and the other physical debilitations (nausea, light sensitivity, blindness, aural hallucinations) are so severe that medical attention should be sought.

I am so glad your headaches can be treated easily (You are lucky!) - and that web-of-the-hand trick is one I learned from my doctor for regular headaches, too - it really works!

Sheryl Nantus
12-08-2006, 10:51 PM
I realise this is a rather odd question, but does anyone have major hallucinations during their attacks?

I must confess to having the best dreams and then transcribing them while hovering in and out of consciousness... and since I go the no-drug route, it ain't 'cause of da good pills!

anyone?

anyone?

or am I just *that* weird...

;)

tlblack
12-08-2006, 11:23 PM
Migraines have been in my family for generations. My Mom had the worst, in the bed for a couple days, food won't stay down, head feeling like it was going to explode, migraines. Mine start behind my right eye and later in the day if nothing has quelled it, I feel like the eye will suddenly pop out and go bouncing around the room. My son has them too and they affect his vision right before the onset of the migraine. . Stress is the biggest factor for us, and the more stress the worse the migraine. I get lucky with tylenol for mine and a higher intake of caffeine... and my son takes aspirin for his and then sits in a dark room where it is quiet and gets totally relaxed. I think it depends on the initial cause as to what better fends them off.

Kate Thornton
12-09-2006, 12:24 AM
I have had aural (sound) hallucinations - I have heard of visual hallucinations, too, though.

DanaS
12-09-2006, 12:34 AM
Wow there has been some great sharing in this thread! I feel so much better just reading other's experiences-thanks for starting this!
I'm just curious, has any one else been tested over and over for a variety of maladies? For example, I've have EEG, ENG, MRI, CT Scans, various blood work for all sorts of weird disorders, etc. Just curious what anyone else might have been drug through, and still ended up with the same diagnosis-Migraine or Migraine variant.
Dana

scarletpeaches
12-09-2006, 12:44 AM
I realise this is a rather odd question, but does anyone have major hallucinations during their attacks?

I must confess to having the best dreams and then transcribing them while hovering in and out of consciousness... and since I go the no-drug route, it ain't 'cause of da good pills!

anyone?

anyone?

or am I just *that* weird...

;)

The closest I've had, is this experience. I was in my bathroom, giving my forehead the wet flannel treatment, and I looked up and there was a green patch on my white-painted wall. As I moved around to see if there were any other suspicious patches of discolouration on the walls, I realised the patch of green was actually 'in' my eye.

I see patches of different colours with each migraine. I wish I could filter everything through purple; it's my favourite colour.

I also have 'smell' hallucinations. I often smell toast, or frying bacon...other food items. Once I even smelled burning. But it wasn't my house. It was just that pesky migraine!

WackAMole
12-09-2006, 01:16 AM
Wow there has been some great sharing in this thread! I feel so much better just reading other's experiences-thanks for starting this!
I'm just curious, has any one else been tested over and over for a variety of maladies? For example, I've have EEG, ENG, MRI, CT Scans, various blood work for all sorts of weird disorders, etc. Just curious what anyone else might have been drug through, and still ended up with the same diagnosis-Migraine or Migraine variant.
Dana

Basically all of the above :/

I cant say this enough..if it had not been for Imitrex and the fact that the damn things finally went away with my second pregnancy..I might have been found with my head thrust into a brick wall.

Years ago, migraine was not a recognized phenomenon and people that said they had them were labeled as "mental". We are lucky to live in an age where medicine has finally acknowledged the problem and is actively researching ways to treat it.

gkt
12-09-2006, 01:30 AM
I live with a constant headache. It feels like an oil filter wrench wrapped tightly around the top of my head just above the eyes. This is enhanced by an ice pick being driven through my right eye. The oil filter wrench never comes off - no matter what medications I take. The ice pick will jab itself in and stay for anywhere from a week to (the most severe) three months. This is often triggered by changes in barometric pressure. Tons of fun when you live in a state where they say if you don't like the weather, don't worry - just wait five minutes!

My neurologist diagnosed these as cluster headaches. He tells me they are very rare in women. I guess my husband is right - HE tells me I think like a MAN! We have tried beta blockers; blood pressure medications; antidepressants; DHE IV's; narcotics; and sansert which is not even available in the U.S. anymore. Nothing works. The best thing to do is lock yourself in a dark room, cover your eyes with something to block out any remaining light and place an icepack on the back of your neck. Keep a trashcan close by so you don't have to move when you need to vomit. Gross - I know! Sleep seems to be the best way to get past it. Unfortunately if you sleep 24 - 7 you never get any writing done.

Good luck!

Sheryl Nantus
12-09-2006, 01:36 AM
my sister, literally, had one headache for five years. She had to miss a year or so of schooling and went for acupuncture, MRI, catscans and a few shrink appointments to make sure that it wasn't "all in her head". We literally went through dozens of doctors who all verified that it wasn't anything physical; which was little comfort to us all in a way.

then, one morning, she walked into the living room and announced to my mother and I - "My headache's gone."

my mother cried for hours in relief. We knew that migraines had run in the family before, but never such severe ones.

sis is better now, but we still both get bad migraines. We could, at our best/worse, pop six milligrams of Fiorenal a day and still be in pain.

:(

Millie
12-09-2006, 02:38 AM
I became a Reiki practitioner around three years ago, and I've used Reiki both on myself and my daughter for our migraines. It does work in lessoning the pain, but regular sessions work in lessoning the regularity of the attacks.

Millie

WackAMole
12-09-2006, 03:24 AM
I became a Reiki practitioner around three years ago, and I've used Reiki both on myself and my daughter for our migraines. It does work in lessoning the pain, but regular sessions work in lessoning the regularity of the attacks.

Millie

Reiki is pretty new and interesting. We now have a Reiki therapist on hand for our hospice patients :)

Millie
12-09-2006, 03:48 AM
What I've discovered about Reiki is that it's so gentle and so relaxing, even if it doesn't help the actual pain, it helps you relax enough for your body to deal with it.

Giving your body some 'downtime' helps in all sorts of ways.

Sometimes when I have a migraine I lie in a darkened room - the usual - flat on my back, with my hands almost in a prayer position, but with just the fingertips touching. Then I concentrate on the pressure on the tips - nothing else - simply focus on that light pressure. Meditation empties the brain enough sometimes for the pain to subside.

There's a yogo method too, involving bending over - forwards, then raising your hands above your head and bending backwards, arching your back - something like that. You might want to look it up before trying it!!!! It's supposed to work, although the last thing I want to do with a migraine is move my head about.

victoriastrauss
12-09-2006, 04:15 AM
my sister, literally, had one headache for five years. She had to miss a year or so of schooling and went for acupuncture, MRI, catscans and a few shrink appointments to make sure that it wasn't "all in her head".I had something similar for about six months. It wasn't acute pain, but it was nearly constant, and pretty much impervious to aspirin or other pain killers. That kind of relentless, low-level pain can really wear you down. Then it went away, right after I got a new job. I realized it had started when I started my old job (I was doing temp work at the time), and figure it was something to do with the sealed building where I was working, or maybe the slight flicker of the flourescent lights in my office. I've been wary of flourescent lights ever since.

gkt, the only time I ever feel lucky to have migraines is when I hear about cluster headaches. Sympathies.

- Victoria

truelyana
12-09-2006, 05:13 AM
May i ask what a headache means to one?

allion
12-09-2006, 09:14 AM
My husband and I both get migraines. He gets them for about 3 days at a time and is lucky (?) enough to get the aura effect. He's very sensitive to odours and light and usually tries a triptan with a Fiorinal kicker to make the pain ease off. He can tell he's going to get one because he will smell things and can feel a tingly sensation in his forehead. Fortunately, he gets them only every 3 months or so, so it's manageable.

Me, I get them usually every month (damn hormones) and if I don't have one, then that is a good month. Mine only last for about a day, unless the sinuses are involved. For me, I need to sleep it off. If I take two Excedrin and curl up in bed in a nice dark quiet room, then I'll be ok. Cold packs help on the hurting side of my head. If that doesn't work, I move up to a Tylenol 3 or two.

My mother has them, so I suppose I have the genetic disposition for them. The headaches basically make it difficult to function for a day or so. It's like lost time for me.

Karen

nimuae
12-09-2006, 02:47 PM
Dear Fellow sufferers,
I, like other members of my family, used to get severe migraines (blind, deaf, nose bleeds & vomiting) until: I recognised the warning signs 24hours before the onset. All my senses were heightened to an amazing extent.
Our doctor gave us Migralieve (don't know what this is outside UK) which comes in two forms, 1 to take as soon as you feel the onset, or 2 to take if the attack has already started, it became very rare we had to take 2.
We also found that removing all non-organic foodstuffs from our diet, and synthetic paints and cleaning products from our environment, reduced the number of potential attacks to almost zero.
I still regularly drink cammomile tea (feverfew) and peppermint tea as calming and relaxing to various systems. I also have an aromatherapy mix of cammomile, lavender and basil that I discovered when I took a diploma in aromatherapy (Do Not Use This On Your Face!).
Sometimes we still get a warning of a flashing and shaking in the eyes, but a pint of water, a whole pint of spring water, and a lie down for half an hour is all we need. None of us has had a migraine of any intensity for over twenty years and that's all twelve of us, so there is hope people. I wish you luck in finding what works for you.
Nimuae

LaceWing
12-10-2006, 02:16 AM
I eventually realized my ocular migraines were always triggered by having unbalanced lighting in the room. Typically I would have a lamp on my left only while I read and wrote. And the aura would start in my left field of vision.

Now I avoid having just one light for reading, etc. I keep another light burning across the room. I have torchiere lamps so that if I need to, I can flood the living room with light and have none of it glaring in my eyes or on the paper.

Lilybiz
12-10-2006, 10:40 AM
Hi all,

If you can see a neurologist, you might be able to get a prescription for Topamax. I believe it's generally used for seizures, but in small doses it can help prevent migraines.

I was experiencing daily migraines, which can happen when you get into a cycle. Imitrex cured them, but it's dangerous (not to mention expensive) to take Imitrex every day. Plus, no one wants to wake up with a migraine every morning. At least I don't.

I started at 25mg of Topamax a day, and now I take 75mg. (I had to build up to it because it can make you a little drowsy at first, but now I don't feel that at all.)

There are as many different causes and types of migraines as there are migraineurs, I'm told. But it's worth a try. From having a migraine every single day to having one every six weeks or so, I'd call that progress. I sure get a lot more writing done when I'm not nauseated and I can stand to look at the computer screen.

I sure do wish you all the best. Those suckers can be incredibly debilitating. And those of you with cluster headaches, my heart goes out to you.