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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
The O'Meara BS: Migraine sufferers, advice please? (140* d) RE: BS: Migraine sufferers, advice please? 07 Jan 04

I've had classic migraines since I was a kid. They got much worse after Vietnam. I think the problem in dealing with them is that both physical and psychological factors are involved. An excellent psychologist told me "You get migraines from wanting to run away and not doing it." I'm pretty sure they are stress triggered, although not necessarily "caused" by stress.
Even that is tricky. For example many migraines happen on a weekend when you should be relaxed and not stressed. But the fact is you are still revved up psychologically form the week befoire but now you are just sitting around and not doing anything and the steam builds up until the migraine happens. Or a migraine can be a way to check out of a stressful situation for awhile, and so on.
   It used to be that conventional wisdom said that a child would "grow out of them" after adolescence.I expect that's true in many cases since adolescence is extremely stressful and when that stress is gone the headaches would diminish.
   But the pain and the other symptoms are physical and very real, caused by expanded blood vessels in the brain.
The only thing that helped for me was a painkiller and euphoric called Fiorinol. The trouble was that while I started out taking them when I got a migraine, I progressed to taking them for any headache in case it might become a migraine, then to taking them in case I might get a headache, and then I was hooked big time.
With the help of shrinks and MDs at a Veteran's hospital I got off the stuff and started taking verapamil, which is a med originally for angina but found to lower blood pressureand and prevent migraines in some people. That was in 1985 and I still get the aura and visual problems occasionally but no full blown migraines since then.
So the gist of this windy war story is try verapamil and see if you can figure out your stress business.
I really do hate long-winded war stories. But that reminds me of the time I was surrounded by hostile natives and I was armed with nothing but...


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