Ugh, the dreaded migraine. Mine are mostly weather based (pressure rises/drops) and occasionally triggered by either stress or food. I can't physically function when one is really in full-swing, and I've had to take a lot of time off from work during the stormy seasons of the year. A lot of times, people at work have had criticism about it, but honestly there's nothing I can do about it. If I can't even see -- how am I supposed to type on the computer?!
My father and aunt (brother & sister, so same family line) get severe migraines, and that side of the family has passed them onto my sister and myself. I seem to get the shorter end of the stick with frequency, but my sister's tend to be worse in nature.
I've heard from friends that acupuncture works for them as a more 'natural' remedy than taking medications. I have been looking into trying it myself when I get a chance! I have a prescription for Treximet/Imitrex for mine, and as long as I take it early enough I am alright.
What also has tended to work for me is a steady supply of ice packs that I wrap in a towel and either wrap around, or press against, the veins in my neck. When the pack starts warming up too much, I go get another one. It's a slow remedy, but it tends to help me out a lot!
Fitness Minutes: (2,193)
302 11/30/12 9:30 A
Migraines are the worst. I've suffered with them since I was 8. Some of them come with stroke like symptoms. Those are the ones that leave me in a heep on the floor completely unable to do anything for myself. Amitryptiline has been a lifesaver. I still get migraines, but significantly less often than I used to. I've had to make some lifestyle changes as well. Avoiding triggers and taking better care of myself are so important. I feel healthy for the first time in years, because I'm not always throwing up from the migraines and popping pain pills to take the edge off.
Fitness Minutes: (19,755)
720 11/30/12 8:45 A
Migraines = very negative situation and experiences for sure.
This blog = very positive way of describing migraines and the negatives.
Thank you and wishing you a good weekend. Take care.
I have headaches now and than that Advil takes care of. But...two or three times a year I have the worst migranes that nothing helps. It effects my stomach and I just have to lie there with a cool cloth over my eyes. They are terrible!!
Fitness Minutes: (2,100)
56 11/30/12 5:03 A
Thanks so much all for being understanding. It doesn't help that here in Italy people use the word "emicrania" (migraine) all the time to describe headaches so there is definitely some confusion about what the difference is between my "emicrania" and the one most people refer to.
I'm going to have to work out what my triggers are: I luckily only get them about once evry couple of months but they are really bad when I do get them - especially if I don't get the frovatriptan down my neck quickly enough!
I am extremely lucky with my migraines in that as long as I avoid triggers (UV light, caffeine, MSG primarily) and take my daily preventative medication I rarely get them. However it took some time to figure out what my triggers were and how to best manage my migraines. I think I tried about every preventative medication available before finding the one I'm currently on. I actually have to use a compounding pharmacy because it is no longer commercially made. However, it provides the most reliable relief for me. I've been told that throwing up is a good way to relieve the pressure, but I can't throw up usually. If I get a full blown migraine I usually end up in the ER with someone trying to explain to the dumbfounded ER staff that the caffeine they just administered against recommendations in my chart and by me, and the person with me actually made my migraine worse, not better. No one seems to understand that what works for some people doesn't always work for others when treating migraines. More than anything I recommend figuring out your triggers and avoiding them in addition to taking a preventative medication with tolerable side effects.
Fitness Minutes: (7,872)
103 11/28/12 6:26 P
I know what you mean about the fybromyalgia. It is awful, and unless you live through it,you cannot imagine the pain
I know how you feel,I have fibromyalgia and Lyme and get vicious pains in the head where it feels as if my brain is being crushed and your absolutely right it's not a simple headache it's debilitating and people don't understand it unless they r going through it.... The muscle in my neck tightens and off we go, I constantly wear sun glasses because of the sensitivity to light... I feel for you!
Fitness Minutes: (7,872)
103 11/28/12 5:57 P
When you say migraine. People assume you must mean a headache. Little to they know, they are debilitating, and can leave you completely unable to take care of yourself, or anyone esle.
Fitness Minutes: (97,937)
6,952 11/28/12 5:38 P
I feel your pain since I too suffer from those horrible things! I found a great neurologist that does botox injections in the scalp/head/face area and it has changed my life. I really recommend it if you have not tried this route. And with regular exercise, I have gone from at least 15 to 18 migraines a month to 1-5 in a month's time. This is so worth looking into!
Fitness Minutes: (439)
3,641 11/28/12 5:30 P
A few years ago I was soldiering on through a migraine when I realized driving down the road that I had so many blind spots that it wasn't safe for me to drive. I managed to pull into a left turn lane and turn on my emergency flashers and waited until I could see well enough to drive on. In my 20's I was having the worst migraine of my life. I managed to drive home before it really kicked in. I was almost blind, my lips and gums were numb, I felt awful and my head was throbbing. I remember thinking to myself that I might be having a stroke or an aneurysm instead of a migraine. I thought about going to the ER but then thought to myself that if I went to the hospital it might end up being something worse than a migraine but if I stay home it would just be a migraine. Somehow this seemed logical through the cloud of pain and nausea. Later I thought to myself that I was darn lucky it was just a migraine and promised myself that if I have another one like that I'll go to the hospital to be safe. My most frequent and severe headaches were in my late teens and early twenty's. Now I only get one or two migraines/year and usually I just get the aura and nausea without the headache.
I used to get debilitating migraines when I was a child - sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, vomiting and then eventually passing out for several hours to wake up feeling like I have been through a meat grinder. I haven't had one in years, maybe I grew out of it but I definitely know what you're going through. Yours sound especially severe, I hope you can get it resolved. Best of luck!
Fitness Minutes: (41,840)
4,512 11/28/12 1:57 P
I haven't had one it a long time, and I do not miss them at all. Mine were never bad enough to send me to the ER, but I would 'cave up' and hopefully fall asleep long enough for the migraine to pass.
Fitness Minutes: (2,227)
1,427 11/28/12 1:25 P
OMG you poor thing... How awful... Sending you warm thoughts! And I hope you are able to find some things that help quickly. xo
Fitness Minutes: (21,886)
51 11/28/12 12:39 P
My heart goes out to you. Anyone who has them knows they are debilitating, and those people that dont understand that are being jerks. I go through periods where I get migraines frequently and then there are times I only get them once in a while. Usually I get them on Fridays when work is stressful and I haven't had enough sleep and depending on my cycle...and what I eat....how the stars are aligned ...lol. My goto when I feel an aura coming on is to have something with caffeine and sugar (although not very spark friendly) like a coke and some chocolate. Then I take tylenol with codeine and a gravol if I'm nauseous. I try to get straight to bed and a I rub "muscle mist" on my head. Its one of those essential oil blends with mint, eculyptus, rosemary, in a pinch smelling peppermint oil helps me. I think it works because it smells so strong. I've had migraines that last for several days. One of my facebook friends told me about taking magnesium and vitamin B12 regularly helped her headaches. She apparently got this info from her doctor. Not that I am giving out any medical advice, but if you are seeing a neurologist you might want to ask about taking a daily supplement as a preventative or even a daily medication to be preventative. I did this at one point and it did help with the severity. Now I am in perimenopausal hell and I don't seem to get them as often.
A migraine can have all sorts of symptoms, varying from person to person and from one attack to another. I am fortunate that I don't have them very often and mine are not often very severe, but I have noticed a few things over the years that other sufferers may find useful. I tend to get sinus symptoms or catarrh for a couple of days before an attack, and often I am hyperactive compared to normal. I now recognize these to be as much a part of an attack as the aura, nausea, blindness, headache and tiredness that can follow and they give me an early warning. I find that if I spot the aura early and immediately have something starchy to eat and a couple of mugs of non- sugary fluids, take paracetamol at once and just take 10-15 minutes time out to relax I can often prevent the migraine becoming a full blown attack. I think that the nausea that some people experience can be caused by the drop in blood sugar that often occurs at the beginning of a migraine, so having something like a banana or a sandwich that is not sugary can help to prevent this. It may be worth trying this to see if it works as well for you as it does for me.
I suffer from them too, so does my daughter. In some small way it is a matter of pain tolerance. What I mean is, someone who doesn't have a very high tolerance for pain could call a mild headache a migraine. I know that is incorrect, you know that is incorrect but I wonder if that is where the insensitivity from your friends, parents and colleagues is coming from. Case in point, When I have a migraine I need silence, a dark room and a barf pan. when my daughter has a migraine she is not that extreme.
Blanche - I hear your frustration....no one can know what a migraine is like unless they've had one. I don't get them often anymore (menopause does have its benefits), but when I do they are excruciating. I agree with the previous poster who suggested Excedrin Migraine---if I take them at the earliest possible moment, they work just about every time for me.
If they're affecting your ability to function that much, I'd be heading to a doctor and keep going until you figure out what works for you. I have a coworker who takes Imitrex (sp?), and she swears by it. A chiropractor might be part of the solution as well, but finding a good one is very tricky. You also might want to keep a journal (in addition to logging your food) to see if there are any correlations there.
Good luck--don't give up!
Fitness Minutes: (2,100)
56 11/28/12 8:31 A
I might try a chiropractor. I definitely need to see the neurologist again - that last episode which made me go blind was bad, and this one has left me with a numb face. It should resolve in 24 hours but this is ridiculous - I'm at work because I have used so much sick time and really don't want to have to use any more :(
So sorry, I used to have a lot of migraines a few years ago and all I could do was to get into my room, shut the door and close the blinds to have it very dark (I even had it paint in a very dark, deep purple so it was soothing when the migraine attacked). Try Excedrin migraine, is the only thing that worked for me. Even though the formula is quite simple (aspirin, acetaminophen and caffeine) it did wonders with me, cut my nausea, let me be in presence of light and eventually ceased, Migradorixine did absolutely nothing for me.
Fitness Minutes: (2,100)
56 11/27/12 3:13 P
Me: I have a migraine (what I mean at this stage is aura - flashing lights, dizziness, visual diturbances, ringing in ears)
Colleagues: Um, take an asprin
Friends: Yeah, I have a headache too.
Parents: Well you donít want to take time off for a sore head
Me: (Gets crushing, debilitating pain in head)
Me:(can't move without vomiting)
Me: (so hypersensitive to light and sound that sensory deprivation sounds like bliss)
Me: Ends up in neurology ward after trying to work through a migraine and going temporarily blind
Rinse and repeat as required
Please learn about migraines - they are debilitating and can even be dangerous
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.