Thursday, November 6, 2008


I’m a migraine sufferer. Unless you’ve experienced a migraine there is no way of relating. The pain, light sensitivity and utter misery associated with migraines are almost indescribable. It’s as if China pinpointed my head and launched a nuclear bomb. Although severe I can deal with the pain, yet with most “category 10” migraines I lose vision. The auras are so intense within minutes the spots turn to black.

A few migraines ago I was on the subway in the trenches of Manhattan when I felt one come on. By the time I made it to the 86th Street stop I was in agony. I ended up walking across the street into Barnes and Nobles and hiding out in between the stacks hopeless and suffering waiting for my vision to come back so I could make it the few blocks home.

This was before my doctor subscribed me Imitrex. Oh how I love thee you lil’ pink pill you.

As someone with a history of migraines I guess I couldn’t have picked a better city to live in. 1. I don’t have to drive anywhere. 2. When I sit rocking back and forth in pain momentarily blinded in a Barnes and Nobles no one thinks twice about it considering the amount of crazies we see on a day to day basis here and 3. I can get home within 15 minutes from anywhere on this island (thank God for cabs).

To hopes of discovering my triggers I tried keeping a food journal. After the third piece of chocolate I secretly shoved into my mouth before 10 AM it was too depressing to write down my eating habits and I quickly nixed that idea. I tried alleviating stress through exercising more and meditation. And again I failed considering I work like a manic and unless I move to a farm in rural Kentucky I will never ease the stresses brought on by this wonderful city and the incredible excess of daily stimulus. Basically, I’ve chalked up my migraines as God punishing me for something I must have done in a past life (as of course I’ve been a perfect saint in this one). So in the end my only hope is that lil’ pill - the joys of the pharmaceutical industry.

Do any of you suffer from migraines? Any other treatments/mediations/exorcisms I’ve overlooked?


Melissa Pecor said...

I've heard Imitrex can have really bad rebound. My mom, sister, and I all have them, though I've only had a few. Migraines are the reason my sister missed her entire freshman year of high school and ended up going to the alternative school, eventually dropping out and going to an entirely different school.

I'm now on Topamax, which is actually for a different reason, but it's main use is for migraines and most people that take it swear by it, insisting that it's a Godsend, that's it's worked for them when nothing else has. You may want to try it. It can cause "brainfog" and parathesia, which is tingling in your feet and hands, and tiredness. I get parathesia when I first start on a higher dose, but it goes away after a few days and I get tired after I take it, but I deal by taking it at night.

As I said I've only recently developed migraines, this year in fact, but I will say this, I haven't had a single one since I've been on Topamax.

Chinese food and Pork, not to mention my menstrual cycle, all seem to trigger Migraines for me. I get them in the back of my skull, right in the center and the only thing that helps is extreme pressure and sitting in the dark. My husband takes Percocet for a spinal injury and I will admit to being in such excruciating pain that once I had to take half of one of his pills to make a dent in the pain enough so that I could go to bed.

Anonymous said...

There was recently a great interview on NPR with a doctor from Harvard doing research on how people who get migraines have brains that are different from people who don't get migraines. They also went into how everyone has different triggers and more importantly different reliefs, what's chocolate for you could be red wine for me.

Best of luck with your search for your cure