For about 25 years I have suffered from migraines. I don't really remember having them until my last three years in high school; from then on migraines have been a part of my life. I remember the first time I went to the doctor to try and get some help; our family had moved to an area that was not up to speed when it came to medicine so the doctor prescribed medicine to deal with the pain and did not try to diagnose the problem. I received many prescriptions and shots over a five year period with no help.
For five years I suffered with excruciating pain when I had a headache. Not only did I have pain, but I also had nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound. Ninety percent of my migraines effect one side of my head with a pulsating pain. The other ten percent will effect the whole top of my head with the same pain.
Living with Migraines
One day in 1994, I had my first AURA; I went to work with a blinding headache. Literally, I could not see to drive into work that morning. To this day, I don't know how I got to work without having a wreck. After being at work, I took 2 Tylenol and waited. Two hours later, I took 2 Advil and nothing happened. Two hours later, I took 2 more. A friend had a sample of a new Tylenol rapid release that had not hit the market and I took them; nothing worked. I was at the point where I could not see, nor could I stand. I was very ill with the nausea and had to lay on a couch in an office. Everyone was afraid for me to fall asleep because of all the medicine I took, so a friend called my mom.
I spent the next two days trying to recover from the worst headache I had ever experienced up until that week. After visiting an ENT doctor to rule out sinus problems, I was seen by neurologists in a headache center. I will never forget that day as long as I remember. When the doctor came in, I explained the pain, the side effects and how I felt at that moment. The doctor's assistant came in with a tray of several syringes. I was given five shots in my neck and in the area of the headache in the back of my head. Let's just say, I felt good not long after those shots. That day I was diagnosed with migraines.
After being sent home with a little homework (a detailed journal) I discovered I had inherited my migraines. Both of my grandmothers suffered from them. My father's mother who was still living at that time, told me how she would have to lay down under the cotton plants while she was in the field when one hit. My mother's mother had them and would drink an icy cold Coke and take a Stanback powder for hers.
I also learned I have a trigger food I have to be careful eating. Processed meat is my biggest contributor to my migraines. We don't eat a lot of processed meat because of this, but when we do, we eat turkey. I personally love a fried bologna sandwich and a good hot dog, when we eat those meats, I have to buy turkey.
Anytime the barometric pressure rises, I can count on having a migraine. I use to watch and listen to the weather all time, so I would know what the barometric pressures was doing. Now days, I don't even pay attention to it. When I have a migraine and know for a fact that I have not eaten any processed meat, I know the barometer is moving up.
Sadly, my son has inherited the dreadful migraine headaches. Thankfully, he doesn't have them too often. He usually only has two or three a year and his are mostly weather related, although, I suspect process meats maybe a culprit.
Migraines are not like other headaches
Migraine headaches are NOT your typical headache. I have been told by people over the years, "I come to church with a headache" or "I got all my papers graded and I had a headache" the list goes on and on. Unless you have personally had a migraine attack, it is hard to understand what one goes through during an episode. These attacks are violent, they can last from 4 hours to 3 days or longer, the pain is debilitating, the other symptoms are not only bothersome but some of them are down right scary.
I deal with migraines at least four times a month. Within the next few weeks, I'll be writing more about how I deal with my attacks and explain what I go through while trying to live comfortably through one.