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thundercats 03-11-2011 11:03 PM

My Chronic Migraine
First of, I can't believe how many people go through the same thing I'm going through. The thing I noticed though, a lot I've read seems to have gotten more meds than I do. I mean, I get really bad ones too and last me days with nausea too. Sometimes I kept throwing up or gagging that I would start having blood spots on my neck. When I showed my doctor she said I popped some veins from throwing up. But no one gave me meds for nausea until late last last year.

I started having migraines 15 years ago. I used to only get them twice a month. I didn't even take any strong meds. Just took over the counter meds. I was even so happy when they started coming out with Tylenol/Advil for migraines. But it only worked for a year or almost a year. Then all of a sudden I started getting them 4 times a month and it lasted about 2 days. It was so painful that sometimes I would punch my head or ask someone to punch it for me to get rid of the pain. I was given Imitrex and Vicodin which worked for awhile. I didn't even take the vicodin that much. When I researched about migraines I read that sometimes birth control pills can give you migraines. So I stopped my birth control pills. It did lessen my migraines but was still having them. So my doctor had me try Relpax. It did not work for me at all so I went back to Imitrex. Then after a few months, it started again to visit me more. Every year, my migraine attacks seems to increase. I started having them every week and last me 3 to 5 days.

I went to several doctors, some of them do not seem to believe that I'm in pain, even when I'm literally gagging in front of them because of nausea. One of them gave me vicodin and continued my imitrex. I was told that when it get severe, to take one of each at the same time. That really helped with the pain. After awhile, with having the migraines almost everyday, we realize it is because of stress and my monthly period. They had me try some anti-depressant meds which didn't work. I had a bad reaction to Cymbalta. So only took that once. The other anti-depressant meds I can't even remember the names maybe because I can't pronounce them. They also gave me Xanax which I did not take much, only when I am having anxiety attacks. Doctor's kept talking to me about trying more anti-depressant meds but I keep telling them that I am not depress so why should I take it. Plus, the ones I did not have a bad reaction to just made me feel like a zombie. I had a demanding job and a daughter so being a zombie-like is out of the question. At one point when they were discussing anti-depressant meds with me again, by this time I am starting to get depressed and really frustrated. I told them that I am not getting migraines because I'm depressed, I'm getting depressed because I keep getting migraines and nothing is helping. I also tried Topamax last year. I felt really good the first 2 days of taking it, not even sure if it's because of Topamax, but the third day, I was having a hard time getting out of bed. It was hard to drive to work and hard to take care of my daughter. By the fourth day, I could literally sleep standing up and started having suicidal thougths. I couldn't even concentrate at work. I even almost got into another accident. When I say another, it's because of the days I made myself go to work when I have my migraine because I did not want to miss any more days. It's hard to focus on driving. I stopped the Topamax and I was back to normal. Back to normal like getting migraines every week that last 3 to 5 days. My doctors and I figured, that it probably last so long because I still make myself go to work and do my normal routine instead of resting and let the migraine takes its course. Which is hard to do right? especially if you get it that much.

I finally found a migraine specialist who put me on disability. Without the stress from work, it helped. I don't get it every week anymore. I get them now when there's a weather change, around my period and when someone or something stresses me. It still last me a few days though. My husband had asked me to be a stay home Mom for awhile until my migraine goes away or until we figure out how to fix it. This is the reason why we moved here so we an afford for me to stay home. We used to live in California.

I think I saw at least 10 doctors already. A Neurologist, Internal Medicine, Family Practice, Migraine Specialist and even a Rheumatologist and now I am about to see a Pain Management/Headache Specialist next week. Meds I was given since my migraine started 15 years ago, Imitrex, Relpax, Vicodin, Maxalt, Propanolol, Xanax, Promethazine, Reglan, muscle relaxant and some anti-depressant meds. But right now, the only meds I am taking is Maxalt and Promethazine. These two alone does not work for me when I have a full blown migraine. I just moved here and have not yet established a doctor. So no one would give me vicodin or other painkiller. When I went to Urgent Care last month they just gave me two to take there and a shot for nausea. My migraine that time lasted 3 1/2 days so I just kept doubling up on Maxalt after that but it only helped for an hour. Then I have to take it again.

My biggest frustration besides having migraines are doctors who looks at you like you're faking it. They haven't even checked you, they just walked in the room they put you in and you're already judged. One time I was asked what I usually take or given when I get migraines. When I told her maxalt and vicodin she quickly said "we don't give vicodins here"....I told her okay just make the pain go away. I'm here coz it won't go away and I am in pain. First of all, SHE ASKED ME I did not ask her to give me vicodin. One doctor wondered why I drove myself if I have a migraine. C'mon Doc, not everyone has someone to take them at all hours of the day. My husband was at work and I could not reach him so since the clinic was only 5 minutes away and I couldn't take the pain anymore I drove myself. I would have taken myself to ER but it was farther and they would probably make me wait a lot longer.

That's why the doctors that are more sympathetic, caring and listens I cherish. Problem is, now I have to start all over again since we just moved here in this state. I am hoping the doctor I'm going to meet next week will be knowledgable, caring and sympathetic. Wish me luck!

thundercats 03-17-2011 12:59 AM

Re: My Chronic Migraine
Been having migraines and tension headaches this whole week. I've been taking Maxalt & Promethazine but it's not working. Today I woke up without a headache so I was happy and able to do some errands but by the end of the day I started having tension headache again, with a matching neck pain. The neck pain started yesterday but did not have it when I woke up this morning. Now it's back along with its headache friend. I took Soma earlier but it doesn't seem to work. My head and neck still hurts.

My appt. with a Headache Specialist is not until the end of this month. Does anyone know what I can do to make this pain go away? I can't take Ibuprofen stuff because I get bad hives. Tried over the counter Tylenol but it does not work. Massage helps but once I take off my hand off of my neck and head the pain just comes back. :(

It hurts!

painman2009 03-17-2011 11:42 PM

Re: My Chronic Migraine
hey i feel your pain ive suffered since i was 2 1/2 and my drs kept telling me i was nuts because only women get migrains it wasnt til i was 16 that thy stared believing and gving me meds(37)alltogether and so far the only way I can treat them is if I take advil before it is full blown.. when i start to see floaters or my eyes hurt as if i slept to long or not enough.. also i found if you take advil tylenol etc daily and you stop you will get a migrain triggered by with drawel (odd right)but you can get addicted to those as least your body can.. a cold compress on neck warm one on temples and a tractor trailer pressing om forehead.. last part was a joke . when my wife first saw me get one she thought i was seizing. i now suffer from many other things ..i thought the migrains were bad.. but now its just part of my evvery day life thus i am painman..i get migrains often and thy get worse. unfortunately my boys get them too ..and we all suffer at the same time sometimes my drs from when i was a kid must love eating crow..i wish you luck they do have organizations out there simply for migrain sufferers......godspeed

tUrRrRa 03-18-2011 01:35 PM

Re: My Chronic Migraine
I am sorry to hear about the bad experiences you had with various doctors! I am sure that is so frustrating. I asked around lots of people I know before I saw my neurologist and luckily, I like them and they seem pretty understanding. I'm still working on finding the right medications though. I think some people don't take it seriously if they don't go through it themselves. They might just think it's a regular headache and we're making a big deal over it. I try to explain that I literally can't do anything... once I even wanted to call for help and could not manage to make a basic phone call. Another time I remember getting a migraine before a final exam and attempting to study... hours went by and I managed to get my textbook and set it in front of me (which took me hours), and I don't remember anything else! It definitely interferes with your life and I feel for all of you!!

I used to take advil and excedrin migraine, but my doctor told me I need to stop taking it every day like I was, because it was giving me rebound migraines and headaches. I didn't realize that! Now I just take it a couple of times a week like he told me.

I am the opposite with the birth control pill... it helps me TREMENDOUSLY, so I will not go off of it. I started getting the migraines after I had already been on the pill for a few years, so I didn't think it was that (plus, it runs in my family and even my brother, who obviously doesnt take the pill, gets them). Anyway, my worst migraines are during that time of the month, so I use the pill to skip it every other month. I can't skip it more than that or it completely throws my body off and I still get the migraine somehow. The pill can either help or make it worse!

I was fortunate enough to identify a lot of my triggers, but stress like you mentioned, can never be eliminated 100%. I haven't had a bite of chocolate in years, because it's a trigger for me. Wine as well. Luckily cheese does not seem to bother me, and caffeine helps me as long as the amounts are reasonable.

There are sooo many different medications out there, and unfortunately some of us just have to try just about every pill out there! I just got some samples of Frova, which I haven't heard too much about. Maxalt MLT works for me if I take it at the start of the migraine, but just one won't do the trick. I have to wait the hour per the instructions, take it again... and you can only take 3 a day. Most people I know that tried Imitrex said it only helped a little or not that much at all.

I hope your next doctor visit goes well! Let us know!

tUrRrRa 03-18-2011 01:46 PM

Re: My Chronic Migraine
Forgot to mention something I am VERY hopeful for~

I am visiting an institute (the only one in the state of Texas- where I live- that has this) that specializes in headaches/migraines of all types due to cervical spine problems. I have no idea if I have this, but it could be since they said cervical spine issues can cause headaches/migraines, sinus pressure, neck and shoulder stiffness and pain, ear ringing, TMJ disorder symptoms. Since I definitely have all of those, I figured why not visit this doctor and get an evaluation to see if I'm a candidate for their program. I haven't seen anyone else mention something like this, so wanted to bring it up. I read stories of patients who tried everything with limited or no results who were able to find some relief! Some were even able to get off of their medication. The only downside is that you have to go regularly for physical therapy-type treatment, but I'm not sure how often. I'll be finding out very soon and am expecting a call back so I can schedule the evaluation.

It sounds like the people here are very understanding since they see so many people who are in pain and struggling. They want to help!

painman2009 03-18-2011 09:44 PM

Re: My Chronic Migraine
good luck with you visit when it comes i hope you find the release from migrain hell..

shannabelle87 08-29-2011 06:13 PM

Re: My Chronic Migraine
Hi! I've been having chronic migraines for about 5 years now. I did try antidepressants and they made me depressed too...and then I went on what my dad was taking for his migraines, gabapentin. It does seem to help me. I took topimax too and I didn't like it, it gave me tingly sharp pains in my feet and hands. So now I'm on a mix of gabapentin and propanolol and I take frovatriptan when I get a migraine. It seems to work pretty good. Frova was the only one that I could take without getting dizzy and sick afterwards. If you haven't tried those meds yet maybe you should ask your doctor about them....they helped me a lot. Now instead of migraines 2-3 times a week I'll get one or 2 every 2 weeks. Good luck!

thundercats 08-29-2011 11:42 PM

Re: My Chronic Migraine
I've tried Frova but I didn't like it. It only gave me relief for 45 minutes then my migraine comes back. And my doctor told me I can't take Frova more than twice a day. So that's really not going to work for me since my migraine usually last me at least 2 days straight. My PCP referred me to another Neurologist and that didn't really help much either. They told me that if I take Maxalt twice and still didn't take away the migraine at all then it would be a waste to take another one because it wouldn't do any good. So they advice me to just sleep it off. Problem is, I can't just sleep it off. I have a daughter to take care of. They also advice me to take some vitamins, Magnesium and Riboflovan (I think that's the name) but she said it will not take the migraine away but it should lessen the times I get it. And it may not work for weeks or even months. So my visit with them was not comforting at all. I'm frustrated and have no trust with doctors anymore. They don't seem to have any sympathy with their patients and they seem paranoid. They ask me what I'm there for and once they hear that I'm seeing them because of a migraine they quickly say they don't give narcotics. I wasn't even asking for any. It makes me mad. So I'm pretty much been miserable this last few months. Taking care of my daughter and doing house chores/errands when I have a migraine is torture. These doctor's are making me hate moving to this state. I miss my doctors in California. I'm already depress being here in a new state away from my family and friends, it makes me more depress that doctor's here are paranoid and insensitive. I've given up already, I'm pretty much screwed.

So for those who have real amazing doctors who cares and understand your migraine situation, I suggest you give them a big thank you hug. Not all of us are fortunate to have such care.

tUrRrRa 08-30-2011 09:04 PM

Re: My Chronic Migraine
Frova did nothing for me unfortunately :( I might as well not even taken it, because I had no difference whatsoever. Maxalt MLT (in the 10 mg dosage - I've never tried the 5 mg) does help me, but sometimes it doesn't help completely. This last time I got a migraine, I took a Maxalt MLT along with 2 Excedrin Migraine and a diet soda, and I was very fortunate that it helped me. It wasn't one of my very severe migraines though, so it might only work for moderate migraines. I agree that if you CAN sleep, it's usually helpful, but with a severe migraine, it certainly wakes you up from the pain and prevents sleep even if you are able to try. I am able to take Maxalt MLT without feeling completely out of and only a little drowsy and still function.

In addition to Magnesium (usually 400-500 mg is recommended) and Riboflavin (also known as vitamin B2), I've heard about Feverfew being a good one that helped prevent migraines. I have yet to try it myself, but I certainly want to order some and give it a try! I think most of us with migraine will try most things to at least see if it somewhat helps.... any help is worth it!

Thundercats - I hope things get better for you very soon. I know I'm not ready for children, but it would also be too challenging with how I feel, so my heart goes out to you. Each and every day, I spend a little bit of time doing more research on migraines and headaches and different things that might help them. Have you ever tried Immitrex Statdose (injection form)? I've heard a few people who got good relief from this migraine medication when pills didn't help. I'd consider it myself because I often vomit up my pills anyway! The reviews I read on it were from people who tried Immitrex in pill form and many other pills with no luck, and the relief was quicker too. Of course it doesn't work for all, but perhaps it's one other option to look into. I wonder what else might help prevent the migraine since it happens all the time!

painman2009 08-30-2011 10:01 PM

Re: My Chronic Migraine
hey all.. IM a 37 year old male and ive suffered migrains since 2 and i have 4 kids 3 of them suffer migraines too..all r my boys my daughter is lucky.. we all get them the same way.. the blur spots in vision nausia cold sweats in ability to sleep intolerance to light and sound. plus we get nose bleeds. I have a lot of experience with this and i feel for you all.. now if you can feel the early warnings for YOUR specific migrain ..that is when you should treat it.. i drink coffee and take 4 advil then a individual bottle of gatorade and 16 oz.s of water and works when i get it in time..(timing is every thing) but if you miss I aggree there is nothing else to do eccept try to sleep..ive tried ice packs vicoprofin imitrix icocet naprelan fioricept fioricept with codiene percicept neurontin .. putting a couch on my head etcetc... i used to be able to make myself pass out with proper pressure... i was told that the best way to find a treatment is to see my dr during a migrain(right like i can drive whilst having a migrain) and get a petscan so they can see its far no luck but try asking your drs see what they say..good luck

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