What it is like to have a migrain

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


This is what it looks like to have a migraine. Stare at the sun for a few minutes and you will have a small sense what I deal with daily and I don't even have to be outside.

So many of you know or have heard of one of the reasons I have not posted on the blog regularly. For the rest of you here is the reason. I am on week 8 of a migraine headache that just won't quit. So many have been so kind to offer suggestions on how to cure them, so here is a list of medications and other remedies I have tried, maybe others will find the list beneficial. My doctor has now thrown her hands up and referred me to headache specialist in Portland. A neurologist that specializes in headaches.

Ready for this long list:

  • Advil/Ibuprofen - provides very little relief wears off in under four hours.
  • Tylenol - Provides more relief than Advil wears off in under four hours.
  • Aleve - Used to be my go-to medication for migraines but in this case provides little relief.
  • Vicodin - provides moderate relief last four hours, knocks me out cold. Gives me strange dreams.
  • Percocet - Provides moderate relief, last four hours, knocks me out in five minute intervals.
  • Compozene - Given through an IV in combination with benadryl out cold for 6 hours very groggy.
  • Demerol- Given by shot. Effective until wears off. Can not stay awake either.
  • Phenergan- Given by shot and pill form. Effective in dealing with nausea, but also knocks me out cold.
  • Pamelor (Generic: Nortriptyline) 25 mg- on it two days and weird side effects, light headedness, nausea, electric pulses felt at odd times during the day.
  • Zomig 5mg- taken at the onset of migraine (not just a headache)- hard time breathing, light headedness, pain in nostrils, nausea, hard time concentrating, muscle pain.
  • Inderal LA 60mg (generic form Propranolol ER)- beta-blocker used to prevent headaches or lessen the frequency. Still there daily. DR is upping dose tomorrow. But at least no side effects noticed. Though most commonly reported is light-headedness when getting up quickly. We will see with the new dosing.
  • Epidrin - A triple drug combo (muscle relaxer/sedative, vasoconstrictor, and tylenol)- hot flashes and drogginess.
  • Imitrex 100mg- taken at the onset of migraine (not just a headache)- hard time breathing, light headedness, pain in nostrils, nausea, hard time concentrating, muscle pain and GAS. Yes, gas, each time. Not a fluke. Sorry if I was at your house.

    13 new prescriptions and still have a headache each and every day.

Some days worse than others. Headache can vary in intensity through out the day too.

Now we love all the helpful advice received from well meaning people. Here's a few:

  • Peppermint oil on temples- not tried
  • Tigerbalm- not tried
  • Sex- didn't work to have it or avoid it
  • massage- didn't work
  • pressure points- not this either
  • eating fresh pineapple- tried for four day. Okay you can't blame me for trying.
  • sun glasses- works to avoid migraine from getting worse from light sensitivity. Sunday during church the lights in the chapel were bringing on a migraine, so I threw the shades on and then had to spend hours explaining why. Anna though just told people that I was joining the FBI.
  • Exercise- working on it, but still there.
  • Avoiding cheese- same whether eating cheese or not. It should be a sin to not eat cheese for a whole week.
  • Avoiding Chocolate- See Cheese
  • Avoiding Soda- big deal, not like I drink them often anyway.

    Do you have any other suggestions, might as well let me know. After all if it works, you will be my new hero. - SG

2 comments:

Amanda May 29, 2008 at 3:04 PM  

I was going to suggest sex, but noticed it was already on the tried list... Don't know what to tell you but it usually works for me.

Julie June 4, 2008 at 10:18 AM  

Boy, I don't know what to say. Usually it has been my female friends that get the migranes and they are able to stay home. I can't imagine what it must be like to be the bread-winner and have migranes!