The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #65794 Message #1951551
Posted By: Slag
29-Jan-07 - 04:06 PM
Thread Name: BS: Migraine sufferers, advice please?
Subject: RE: BS: Migraine sufferers, advice please?
World Health Org released a statement a few years age that said to the effect that "Migraine" is one of the most debilitating diseases there is. The net effect of a grand mal migraine is blindness (due to both increased light sensitivity and vaso-dialation in the occipital lobe), quadraplegia because "you ain't going nowhere, baby" up to and including the bathroom (keep that bottle handy), and unremitting pain, some of the worst known to man. People have committed suicde to escape and most who have the bad ones have seriously considered it. Yup, throw in nausea and you got a real pinic.
Migraine usually has MULTIPLE triggers; flickering lights (include neon, TV, anything that strobes), TMJ, molds, neck pain, wine and various foods (alas, chocolate too), stress, and too often, no known reason!
Frustrating is what relieves them or fails to relieve them. I've had people tell me, "Yeah, I used to get migraines but all I do is take an Excedrine at night and that ends the problem." FOR THEM! It makes me doubt that they were ever really diagnosed with the condition. However different things work for different people. Ergotamine "works" but not if you have chronic migraine. It can poison you and give you Burgess' Disease where your toes and fingers rot off. And you get "rebound headaches" when you stop taking it.
I heard the head of the UCSD Pain Clinic state that all rebound and chronic migraine is caused from continuing to take pain killers.
My case: I occasionally got migraine as a kid and a teen but I thought all headaches were the same. Asprin never worked and I'd just tough it out. They seldom lasted more than a day. Then for some unknown reason at age 31 I got one that lasted almost a month. I finally concluded that "this was not normal" and went to a neurologist. Heck! I might have a brain tumor! No, I had Chronic Migraine. I tried various meds. This first migraine lasted ( at various stages of intensity) about 3 months. I got over it finally and thought " good, no more headaches" That lasted about a monthe and the next one lasted about 6 months. Since then, (I'm 58 now) the most time off I get is 2-3 weeks, maybe once a year. I have meds that lessen the severity but they are never gone.
For many years I would go in to the Dr.'s office once or twice a month for 125 mgs of Demerol w/ Phenergan or Vistoril 50mgs. There goes a couple of days. That would break the pattern and I'd have 2 or 3 days relief, then wham! I've done elimination diets, bio-feedback, Tooth guard ( yea, TMJ to boot!) all to no avail. Today I take Imitrex for the one's that don't want to let up under painkiller. I get 10 of those a month and I don't really want to take them as there is a real risk of heart attack. Other wise I take #4 Codiene w/ asprin every 4 or 5 hours. This allows me to function, like right now.
I always read labels very carefully for the one thing that will always trigger a grand mal migraine and the is MSG (mono sodium glutimate, one of the more pernicious poisons known to man). This is the stuff in much Chinese cooking and it is marketed as a "flavor enhancer". It is used in brain studies on labortory animals to kill certain portions of the brain. Great stuff. If I chance to encounter it ( usually because it was unamed and listed as "flavorings") it's a trip to the Doc's for Demerol. I have stories, but don't we all.
My advice? Find what works for you. Don't leave home without it. Find a Doc who really knows what terrific pain is involved. So many Dr.s simply do not believe that it could be as painful as they are. You don't want one of those Docs. Make sure that he is available and will promptly give you whatever you need to take the pain away. Most of all, you may feel alone but you are not alone. We who suffer KNOW what you are going through.
One last note. My lady love also suffers with Migraine too, though not quite as chronically as I. However she has what are being called ischemic episodic migraines. The blood vessels in her occipital lobe swell so tight that blood fails to circulate and little by little these portions of her brain are dying. From her migraines she has stroke-like symptoms and has residual effects that have lasted over a year. They effect her muscular response and speech and vision. She was at first diagnosed with MS because of the scarring on her brain but further work came up with the present diagnosis. I suppose you could say, in a very real sense that some migraines have the potential to be fatal.