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migraine sufferers?

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  • migraine sufferers?

    I did a forum search w/ migraine and was rather astounded that I did not find anything. Truly? Has no one ever posted here re:this giant life-sucking pain? I went to a much-anticipated clinic this past weekend, got wiped out after the first day and barely made it through the second day, finally rallied for the final day. I just sat there and wondered how many times this HADN'T happened to me. 20% of the time, if I were forced to take a guess.

    Any migraineurs out there with anything to get off their chests?
    Blog: The Continuing Adventures of an (ahem) Mature Re-Rider without a Trust Fund...but, finally, A Farm of Her Own!!

  • #2
    They came close to destroying my life before I got them under control (in my case, that involves scrupulous avoidance of several dietary triggers, including MSG, vinegar, nitrates, peanuts, and soy).

    If you're at the end of your rope, I really recommend trying an elimination diet. Changed my life 4 years ago.


    • #3
      I got my first one at a horse show a looong time ago. I discovered that mine were related to hormone levels, so I am able to manage them accordingly now. Sorry that you are getting them so often. Seems to be ruining your fun, which needs to be nipped in the bud! Good luck!


      • #4
        Mine were related to hormone levels and stress. And to make it even better if I didn't get the migraine I got IBS instead, or back spasms. It did affect my riding when I was young, and made visits to events of any kind worrisome. I found I needed to wear a hat, wear dark glasses and drink tons of water and I also began to medicate preemptively - I'd take the aspirin before I even left the house.

        I am much less affected by them nowadays after menopause and after having gotten some stress triggers out of my life (many things are paid off now, I worry less about money). I also have hats at every door and spend too much time inside in the ac!
        Anyway for me to have a good time at a horse show it can't be too long, too hot, or too bright or I'll be suffering by mid afternoon. I know what it is like to be the wet blanket or have to miss something like a clinic because the top of my head is going to throb right off or I am being sick to my stomach in the back of the trailer.

        I knew someone with migraines who was treated with Botox in the scalp and forehead - he said he had migraines anyway, and he said it made his life so much better not to be forever anticipating the migraine.
        Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
        Incredible Invisible


        • Original Poster

          Oh, I've been through way too many possible solutions to count. A combination of systemic daily and rescue meds allows me to cope, I find, *to a degree* as long as I don't alter my schedule too much. Over-exertion will trigger one every time. *sigh* And it's not really physical over-exertion; I'm actually pretty fit. It's just... I can't have a combination of factors like heat, socializing, heavy exercise, lack of sleep, different mealtimes, long car drive, etc. etc. all colluding together - which makes alot of fun stuff besides horses difficult to do as well. Family vacations used to be a real nightmare too, until some family members actually *saw* a real migraine in progress, and how physically ill I got.

          @ ReSomething: I was very optimistic about botox, but it didn't phase mine at all. My personal theory is that I developed mine so early in childhood, self-treated for so long with copious amounts of caffeine and Goody's powders (because dr's refused to acknowledge them) until they became so set in rebounding pattern, with the result that they're more recalcitrant than most.
          Last edited by mortebella; Aug. 29, 2011, 08:50 PM. Reason: We posted at the same time!
          Blog: The Continuing Adventures of an (ahem) Mature Re-Rider without a Trust Fund...but, finally, A Farm of Her Own!!


          • #6
            Have you seen a neurologist yet? Migraine causes and cures are very variable from one person to another. What worked for me may do nothing for you.
            McDowell Racing Stables

            Home Away From Home


            • #7
              A food diary is a good place to start to try to find triggers for Migrains.

              For me though, it is lack of sleep that is the main trigger, but if I take an Advil a day I don't seem to get them...not the best solution for my stomachs sake, but works for me.

              I also find that if I realize a Migrain is coming on, the sooner I can take something for it (tylenol Migrain works for me) AND do some sort of excercise the better. If I wait too long then I have no choice but to go to bed, so learning the early signs of my Migrains has really helped me. For me, my early signs are excessive yawning, cravings for carbs, and trouble focusing my eyes.
              Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


              • #8
                Actually horse shows were for me a way of finding my trigger for migraines. I always got them at horse shows, but I got them right after my classes right when I took my helmet off. My trigger is stress reduction, which is also why I typically get them at about 2-4 am and always when I am on vacation.

                I take imitrex and sometimes painkillers, I cannot do much on imitrex but I also cannot keep much in my stomach unless I can resolve the pain. I also need to stay hydrated and eat, heat, riding and dyhydration is certain to bring on a migraine for me.

                Hope you can find a pattern and a way to help. Since stress relief is my trigger, I do not have much control. I still hope to show again, I just need to pack my meds and I never get migraines during rides so I can ride without being medicated.


                • #9
                  i get the black out migraines.... i will only have partial vision first. then i will have numbness on one side of my body or the other, depending on where the migraine is. If it's on the wrong side of my brain, I can't formulate words.

                  I'm a big member of migraines SUCK club. I have found they usually get triggered with stress, what I eat and eating in general.... everytime I'd get horribly stressed out about a situation... migraine. Everytime I ate shell fish or consumed vodka..... migraine. Too much MSG..... migraine. Soda Pop...... migraine. I've had one accidental sip of pepsi in the past 15 years. other than that, no soda.

                  I started getting migraines at about the age of 18. The first one was so intense they had to take me to an ER and the folks there thought I had had a stroke. Currently I have prescription Maltmax to take whenever I feel the onset. Couldn't take Imitrex, it made me sick.

                  The only solution for me is to STOP what I'm doing. I pretty much have to because I can't see..... take my medicine, lay down and rest until my vision is back again. You can function with a pounding in your head, you can't function when you can't see.


                  • #10
                    I get them too, although mine are mostly weather related: barometric changes with severe systems moving through can set me off pretty quick. Been fighting one for two days, and this morning I found out why with an early morning storm and a lovely black cloud to the SW right now. I don't find any changes with what I eat but I get horrible salt cravings sometimes with the onset of a migraine. What works best for me is Anacin Extra Strength washed down with seltzer water or even better, Eno if I have any, which I don't right now. I have had them for decades now, and in retrospect, almost every memorable headache was followed by a nasty storm.

                    Do keep a food diary, you may find triggers in that. Sleep diaries also may help. If you are one of us unlucky people subject to the vagaries of Ma Nature, find a remedy that works. Also, look at other family members, the headaches may be genetic and those family members may have a useful remedy. Try to keep stress levels down if at all possible
                    Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                    Member: Incredible Invisbles


                    • Original Poster

                      @Laurierace - oh yes, been under neuro's care for 10+ years. Had a good one; she left town, unfortunately. They're a mixed bag. Good ones are...somewhat helpful, for me. Bad ones, which I currently have...I'd be better off with a really good GP or nurse practictioner. Unfortunately, both of those that I used to know have also quit the biz. (I worked in medical in this area for many years.) Medical stuff just generally sucks. "Old fashioned" neuros who have a "I am the best and the brightest because I work with the brain" and can't allow any room for a patient to self-advocate, especially with something like migraines...spare me

                      But, I think I was more interested in looking at migraineurs' plight as a whole than really talking about me per se. I was kind of dazzled that there'd never been a migraine discussion before (Is that really right?) It really is, still, a hidden sort of affliction, and I wonder if that is not the hardest part, emotionally, of coping with it - that people still don't really understand what it is. There's this, "ya, ya, it's a really bad headache, I get it," roll eyes thing, no matter how much you try to educate people, and I think it's always going to be there, because no matter what, it's just human nature for people to think, "You think you had a bad headache? Well, one time *I* had a headache so bad that..." I think migraineurs really tend to keep a lot to themselves, and don't even ask for support, because their expectations are so different from people with almost any other kind of problem - and it's because these kinds of reactions.

                      Although I have to say, everybody at the clinic was wonderful!!! It could have been so much more stressful if I had not had GREAT support in that situation.
                      Blog: The Continuing Adventures of an (ahem) Mature Re-Rider without a Trust Fund...but, finally, A Farm of Her Own!!


                      • #12
                        The last migraine thread that I remember was on Off Topic Day so might not come up in a regular search. Maybe the mods can help you find it. The main thing I remember from that thread was large amounts of Magnesium being a common recommendation.
                        McDowell Racing Stables

                        Home Away From Home


                        • #13
                          I suffered horribly with them for over 30+ years. Tried all types of meds, changing diet, etc.
                          Finally figured out mine were hormone related once I had a complete hysterectomy in 2006. Since then I have never had another one.


                          • Original Poster

                            And yes, I appreciate everybody's suggestions - I have done every single one of them. The only family member who has migraines is my nephew who was hit in the head with a baseball and developed a seizure-like disorder and migraines subsequently. The seizures went away but the migraines never did. Food elimination, I've done it all. Alcohol will trigger. Apart from that, nothing. Currently the biggest consistent trigger I have is - brace yourself - sleep. Yes, sweet sleep itself. And I have had a sleep study done. Visual fields, optic nerve, EEG, CT, you name it, if it's in Fibber McGee's closet, I've had it. I sleep in a semi-recumbent position to keep the blood vessels in my head from dilating. Every night. I'm just that special.
                            Blog: The Continuing Adventures of an (ahem) Mature Re-Rider without a Trust Fund...but, finally, A Farm of Her Own!!


                            • Original Poster

                              @Laurie - a sort of one got started on the h/j forum (by me) because I was just talking about having difficulty showing in the hot weather and I mentioned having gotten a migraine - I was asking for tips on coping with heat at shows - and suddenly migraineurs leaped from the bushes! I just wonder if it says something larger, that migraineurs didn't even speak up on *this* forum, which has lots of other chronic pain threads. I know my personal experience was half a lifetime of being blown off by practically everybody I came in contact with, including my doctors. Besides the ailment itself, there's the impact that has on your mental health and your whole personality. Jeeze, this is getting deep! Not to make it sound like gloomy gus, I just think it's interesting when you stop and think about it.
                              Blog: The Continuing Adventures of an (ahem) Mature Re-Rider without a Trust Fund...but, finally, A Farm of Her Own!!


                              • #16
                                I get them. Mine are worse since menopause. In my 30's and 40's it would be like every couple of months. The past few years its been sometimes once or twice a week. On the side of my head, or right next to my eye socket. Sometimes they are killers, sometimes just throbbing. They would last 2-3 days. I used to just call them 3day headaches cause I could count on it stopping by the 3rd day.

                                I know the ones this year are triggered by changes in the weather. Foods and alcohol sometimes trigger, and sometimes don't. Being hungry is a trigger, sunlight glare is a trigger, but this is new this year. Flourescent lights triggers. Maybe the computer screen. This sounds crazy, but thinking about it will bring it on. I was out west for two weeks this summer and never had one. I drank, I rode, it was sunny and hot, with some brief showers, I still didn't get one. Maybe the humidity triggers it. My mom got terrible migraines in her 40's but she died at 50.

                                Advil used to help years ago. Then I read dehydration could be a cause. I drank so much water I sloshed. I finally said something to my new MD and she gave me imitrex plus aleve. Its like a miracle, I can feel the blood vessels shrinking and the headache is gone in a hour. During the hurricane this weekend, it came back daily. I had to take imitrex once a day for three days. Its so expensive and I'm not sure how frequent to take it..I don't want to build up immunity. Or cause rebound headaches. I'm making another appt with the doctor about it.
                                There is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Darkwave View Post
                                  They came close to destroying my life before I got them under control (in my case, that involves scrupulous avoidance of several dietary triggers, including MSG, vinegar, nitrates, peanuts, and soy).

                                  If you're at the end of your rope, I really recommend trying an elimination diet. Changed my life 4 years ago.
                                  And my husband who we thought had a brain tumor. There are more than are on your list though including but not limited to sauerkraut, many kinds of beans, also gluten, refined sugar but he does not eat any except in pies. Also dairy products because he is lactose intolerant. It worked, he does not even get migraines any longer. There is also a theory on certain pollens cross reacting to proteins in certain foods at different times of year. Imitrex is dangerous stuff and we did not want him to use it. He also is an exercise junkie, every day at least 5 - 6 times a week for at least 30 - 45 minutes. He ran his first marathon at 53 while going back to get his civil engineering degree and worked as an intern 20 hours per week.
                                  "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by mortebella View Post
                                    I did a forum search w/ migraine and was rather astounded that I did not find anything. Truly? Has no one ever posted here re:this giant life-sucking pain? I went to a much-anticipated clinic this past weekend, got wiped out after the first day and barely made it through the second day, finally rallied for the final day. I just sat there and wondered how many times this HADN'T happened to me. 20% of the time, if I were forced to take a guess.

                                    Any migraineurs out there with anything to get off their chests?
                                    There was a thread about in Hunter/jumper not too long ago.

                                    I did the EAP this year and was in the last section of the day for Day 1. I had such a bad migraine I was nauseous and went off course...got yelled at for that one! Its so frustrating, I spent money on the clinic and felt like there was no way I could perform my best.

                                    HITs week V (the weekend with the 110 degree heat) I got so sick I spent the entire night puking from a migraine/heatstroke.

                                    I've found that lack of sleep is a huge trigger. When you have to get up at 5am and can't fall asleep before 1am its miserable. My trick is nyquil at 7pm for a full night's sleep.


                                    • #19
                                      I can remember getting really bad headaches as a kid. Of course in those days you didn't go to the doctor, just took an aspirin or tylenol and went to bed. I started having increasing frequency in my mid 20's. Went to a neurologist and he prescribed me a whole handful of drugs which I experimented with. At that time I was getting at least one per week. My symptoms were blurring of vision, often blackout of part of my field of vision, severe nausea and vomiting and sometimes diarrhea. I did figure out food(loosely used) triggers- red wine, gin, scotch, and a few types of beer. Stress, lack of sleep,weather changes, and heat were also triggers. The last severe headache I had was about 8 years ago. I had bought a new riding helmet(Tipperary) and within 5 minutes of riding with it, I got a severe headache, like need to get off now I am going to pass out. I had to lay on the bench of the picnic table for about 20minutes before I was able to even sit up. Age (past menopause) has helped, so I am sure hormones also played a part. I still get occasional sick headaches(nausea/diarrhea), but not the extreme "the top of my head is going to blow off" pain. Possibly part of the reason I don't get the extreme pain is I often get a small vision change kind of sparkling around the edge of my field of vision and I take medication right away.


                                      • #20
                                        Mine are hormonal and I get them fortnightly. They are also hereditary with my mother, grandfather and brother all suffering. I get dizzyness, blindspots and auras, nausea and vomiting, agonizing pain that isn't sorted by painkillers and I have fainted in the past. Usually I can predict within 48 hours when they will arrive (counting down this week), they last a day and I'm usually wiped out. On those days, I just don't ride. I want my rides to be positive, and they just aren't if I can't balance, see, or am wondering if I'm going to heave over my horses shoulder.
                                        Riding: the gentle art of keeping the horse between yourself and the ground.