Migraines and How They Ruin My Life

Living in a Migraine

Notice I didn't say living with a migraine. That would imply that I have the migraines under control. No. They have me under control. I have more days with a migraine than I have days without a migraine. Then on the migraine free days, I almost always have a headache. Yes, there is a difference. A headache doesn't stop your daily life. When I have a migraine, I can do nothing but lie still in a quiet dark room. I am losing days out of my life here. I am sensitive to light, sound, smell when under the spell of a migraine. I do not want to be touched or even have anyone in the same room with me it hurts so bad. I have unbelievable nausea and often vomit from the migraine.

There are many triggers for migraines. It took me a long time keeping a migraine/headache diary to realize what my triggers were. Some of my migraines are caused by food additives. That means I can have no MSG, no artificial sweetners, no nitrates or nitrites and I cannot consume much salt at all. Those are just some of my triggers. The list is rather quite long of things I avoid so as not to be sick with a migraine, including most dairy products, yeast products or even chocolate. With all of these food triggers, eating out is nearly impossible. Smoke, extreme heat, extreme cold, rain, bright lights, flashing lights, strong perfume or cleaners, loud noises, too much exercise or lack of exercise are some of my other triggers of a migraine. Too much caffeine or not enough caffeine can also cause a horrific migraine. Exhaustion and stress are two of the major contributors. It's a fine, thin line that I try to balance so I can continue with my life and not watch it go by from my vantage point in the bed. Most times, I am not successful in finding that balance.

I have tried several remedies for relief. I have been on prescription medications to prevent migraines and prescription medications to treat migraines. I have been on blood pressure medications and antidepressants all in the search to cure my migraines. I've tried every over-the-counter migraine or headache solution there is. I have found that B vitamins offer some relief, especially B6 and B12. Drinking a bottle of Powerade with the B vitamins is helpful. Taking calcium and magnesium help some too. So does rotating the types of pain relievers I use. I may take Tylenol in the morning, ibuprofen in the afternoon and naproxen sodium in the evening. Or any combination thereof. If the nausea isn't too bad, orange juice helps because of it's potassium content.

Some of the migraines are hormonal. Around the time of my period, they get way more severe. Also, as I get older they get worse. Menopause starts early in my family and it's quite possible that I am in perimenopause which can start as early as 10 years before actually going through menopause. If that's the case, some of these migraines are definitely due to shifting hormone levels. The best remedy I have found is sleep. But too much sleep to make the migraine better and I'll have a rebound headache which then develops into a migraine. It's a viscious cycle. One that I wish I could get out of. What I hate the most about these migraines is the exhaustion that always follows. I am so drained that when I finally get over a migraine, I cannot function and participate in life to the level I want or need to.

Some of the worst migraines I have are migraines with aura. I see silver worms swimming across my field of vision or my eyesight goes blurry. I know when this happens, it's best to load up on B vitamins and head to bed or at least change my activity to something quiet because I'm in for a doozy of a migraine.

That's all for now. I have to go lie down. I feel a migraine coming on.

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Comments 14 comments

JillKostow profile image

JillKostow 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

I suffer from horrific migraines too. Reading your post strangly made me feel a little better because I thought it was impossible to have a migraine for more days than not. I know you said you tried persciption medications, but have you ever tried Fiorinal? I know for me this works very well especially with migraines that make me sick to the stomach. I also tried a wide range of medicines and treatments that did not work. I also joke and say I would sign-up for a clinical study and have them cut out a section of my brain if it meant my head would never ever hurt like that again.

lcbenefield profile image

lcbenefield 6 years ago from Georgia Author

JillKostow, It's nice to know that we don't suffer alone. Misery loves company. Isn't it comforting to know you aren't the only one going through this? I know it is to me. Thanks for letting me know about Fiorinal. I'll ask the doctor about that next time I go. And if you find a clinical study like that, let me know. I'll sign up too.

the clean life profile image

the clean life 6 years ago from New Jersey Shore

I feel so bad for you. I know you suffer bad. Migraines are horrible. My wife suffers bad too, with loss of vision and light flashes as you said. I on the other hand at age forty, I suffered for almost a year straight with Cluster headaches so bad I spent a lot of time in the ER to get a pain shot with no narcotics in it so that I could drive home from ER. It was only one side of my face and the eye would water and was a red as a tomato. So I can relate too with your pain. After MRI's and scans and many different pill my Dr. gave me and pill called Sancert and after just taking the first pill it vanished and never came back Thank God. Now 54 years old and 14 years after the Cluster Headache I haven't had a problem. I hope you can find something to relieve your pain as I did.

Feel better!

lcbenefield profile image

lcbenefield 6 years ago from Georgia Author

What you went through sounds horrible. I am glad that you were relieved from the awful pain. Headaches of any kind including migraines are exhausting. It's even more exhausting trying to get rid of them. I sympathize with what your wife goes through. Thanks for letting me know what you went through.

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

Bless your heart. Although my own headaches are non-migraine, I'm very familiar with the devastation wreaked by the migraine type. I hope you will find respite from them. There are so many migraine sufferers that I can't understand why more migraine research is not funded. As you say, you actually "lose days" due to migraines, and this is true for all people who suffer from this ailment.

lcbenefield profile image

lcbenefield 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Jaye, so sweet of you to drop by. Migraines are something I wouldn't wish for anyone. Headaches are too. I'm sorry you suffer with them. More migraine/headache research would be beneficial to millions.

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

I watched a loved one suffer with migraines for years and have several friends who suffer from them also. My headaches, while painful and unpleasant, aren't as severe, long-lasting or debilitating as migraines. I do wish a better treatment or preventive for migraines could be developed for the millions of sufferers.

lcbenefield profile image

lcbenefield 5 years ago from Georgia Author

It's hard to watch a loved one suffer. It makes you feel powerless. In the case of migraines, there is not much that you can do to ease the suffering of someone with a migraine.

kris8199 4 years ago

I am sorry to say that you have to go through this. I know all to well what these kind of migraines feel like. I have suffered with them for 12 years now. They have consumed my life. People tell me not to pay attention to the pain and yet some days I can't move because its so bad. I have been on every medication, had botox injections and, had my deviated septum fixed (thinking it was my allergies) and I still have them! With all of this medical technology you would think something could help!

lcbenefield profile image

lcbenefield 4 years ago from Georgia Author

kris, I am so sorry you have to suffer that way. I wouldn't wish for anyone to know this type of pain. Do you have food or food additive allergies? That is what causes most of my headaches/migraines. Try keeping a food diary for a while to see if you can see a pattern of eating certain foods and then having a migraine. Don't give up. Keep seeking medical help. I will pray for you to get some relief.

BlackJena 3 years ago

I felt a bit like I entered the Twilight Zone reading this hub. It's my life almost word for word. I too get headaches and migraines .. Yes, it's true, we can tell the difference! I also have more days with headaches than without. It often doesn't feel like a life worth living to be perfectly honest. It has stolen so much from me. I often feel like I am blindly collecting the remnants of what's left after headache days, and trying to shape them into something that passes for normal living. It simply isn't normal to live a prisoner to your brain. Few people can truly understand. I also just feel like a broken record informing others of my compromised state, (so I don't feel I've let them down if I can't talk on the phone long, am not particularly witty, or can't meet for coffee). My chronic migraines started at age 16. I have surely tried all OTC meds, as well as 95% of prescription remedies. I have also tried some alternative therapies, and 13weeks of nerve-block injections (25-35 pricks to the skull each time, which in fact were less bothersome than the headaches). I'm now 43 and after a 10yr respite, the headaches have returned over the last few years. I am at a true loss, as are my team of specialists, and they are excellent Drs. Fortunately, or unfortunately a small tumor has been found in my head, and I'm hoping this might explain the silver maggots sometimes invading my vision, and the Scintillating Scotoma I have been getting as an aura lately. In my case they say the tumor and headaches are unrelated, but I remain unconvinced as the literature says otherwise. I'm not really too troubled by a small brain tumor if it means I get some answers. As Migraneurs know, there is nothing worse than suffering in the dark. Not even a tumor, in my case. A life of migraines is a lonely, cold hell. I hope you all get some answers, and your keys to freedom.

lcbenefield profile image

lcbenefield 3 years ago from Georgia Author

BlackJena, I sympathize with you and I will hold you and your doctors in my prayers.

Cal B 2 years ago

Icbenefield, my heart goes out to you. It rings true with many of us. I can somewhat empathise with you as my brother goes through bad migraines where he also gets pins and needles and tightening of his chest, leaving him incapacitated . I wish you all the best and hope you have the support to cope with it.

lcbenefield profile image

lcbenefield 2 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks, Cal B for reading and commenting. Hope your brother gets well.

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