Posted by: Kim | December 31, 2010

My migraines….

I believe I had my first migraine when I was about 14 or 15.  It woke me up in the middle of the night…intense pain…and vomiting.  I remember getting up and going to tell my mom that I had a really bad headache.  At that time, I had never even heard of a migraine.  I can remember my dad having “sick headaches” when I was growing up and laying on the couch while mom rubbed his head with this really stinky cream.  Looking back now, I really believe he was having migraines.

Anyway…I can remember getting a few more migraines while in college…again, with them waking me up at night.  I had my first one while awake during a date.  We were at a restaurant called Garfields in the mall at Bowling Green and my eyes started doing this really weird thing.  I had no idea what was going on but I couldn’t see the menu very well.  Then the pain hit…my poor date didn’t know what to do.

There never has been a pattern to my headaches…I could go for months without having one and then have it hit me out of the blue. As a matter of fact, I believe I went for almost a year without having a migraine but this year I have had several.  I used to take imitrex but that stopped working.  Most recently, I have had success with Maxalt.  If I can take one when I start having the aura and go lay down, I usually feel better within a couple of hours…not great…just better.  The next day, I have what I call a “migraine hangover”.  I feel like I have been hit by a truck.  My back hurts, my neck hurts, I am tired and feel like I am recovering from the flu or something.

As I said…I have had several headaches this year and more recently, more often than I ever have.  About a month ago, I had one hit me at church.  I tried to stay…didn’t want to miss a class I was in.  The pain was so intense, I ended up getting sick.  I should have went home when my aura began.  Then the night before Christmas Eve, at a family gathering…bam, another headache.  This time, I had hubby take me home, took meds, went to bed and was able to rejoin family about 3 hours later.  Less than a week later, standing in Walmart (no wonder), another one hits.  Thankfully, again, I was able to get home, take meds and avoid the whole throwing up thing.

The aura I experience prior to a headache is fairly easy to describe.  It is very sudden…one second I am fine and the next, I am not.  The best way to describe it is the sensation of a strobe light going off inside my eyes.  My vision is impaired while this is happening…kinda like blind spots.  I am very sensitive to lights and sound and just want to close my eyes.  When I do close my eyes, the strobe light effect does not go away and usually lasts for about 20 minutes.  I have noticed recently that I also see zig zag lines when I close my eyes.  The strobe light/zig zags usually only affect one eye and when it stops, the actual pain is almost always on the opposite side as whatever eye was affected.

I have also noticed with the last several headaches, my fingers tingle some.  Also have noticed my nose running more…especially the next day.  I also sneeze quite a bit the next day.  Another thing I have noticed is that the day after, I have to pee a lot…could be related to the medicine.  The most recent headache, I was very very thirsty with it.  Never noticed that before. 

The last 2 headaches, I can remember being chilled prior to the onset with my hands being very cold.  Not sure if there is any relation or not.  I have tried to come up with something I am doing differently to trigger them and the only thing I can think of is that I am working out on a regular basis.  That should not make a person have a migraine!  I’ve had several people tell me to limit my cheese and chocolate intake and that makes me sad.  I love cheese and sometimes a girl just needs her cholocate…know what I mean?

Here is a brief food diary for my last 3 headaches…

#1…don’t remember breakfast and lunch but had chili and pimento cheese for supper

#2…probably a poptart for breakfast and coffee, no lunch, headache hit before I could eat supper

#3…poptart for breakfast and coffee, some cheese ball and crackers and a bowl of fruit salad for lunch with sweet tea, cheeseburger, fries, jr frosty and unsweet tea for supper.

I really hope I don’t have another one for a long time but just in case, I am trying to record everything I can.  For anyone out there that has frequent migraines…I don’t know how you do it.   For those of you who don’t have migraines and you made it to the end of this post…say a prayer for those of us who do.

Thanks for reading…K


  1. I had them since teens as well.

    My mom has as well.

    I’ve studied them, given oral speeches on them, and continued to endure them.

    What has helped me most long-term:
    1. My husband started praying over me. I didn’t have another for about 5-7 years.
    2. Each balanced meals, prepare ahead of time during stressful seasons or when time is short. I believe mine are worse when I’m eating poorly due to time pressure (big exams, holidays, big events). Stress plus more high sugar food means even greater sugar spikes up and down. This isn’t scientific, but it’s my theory, and watching that seems to help. Take care of you. Higher lean protein, more complex carbs, less simple sugars.
    3. Don’t overdo. Learning to get further and further ahead means I’m not as stressed, sleeping better, eating better…and less likely to have the “bottom out” that seems to occur. My mom always did the same thing…she’d make through the actual event fine, but it was like she bottled up all the stress, and when the next rest day came, or “time off” with family…BAM. She’d be in bed all day.

    I would guess the exercise is helping, not hurting. Are you drinking plenty of water?

    We often see increases in headaches with humiDity levels too low when the heat stays on in the winter. Running humidifiers seem to help with both allergy symptoms and headache…I think, my theory, people get more susceptible to colds and sinus infections because the air is too dry. It’s still a #1 recommendation given for headaches that appear more in the winter months.

    I’m anxious to see how it goes.

    I would suspect the stresses from holidays had a lot to do with it for you this year.

  2. Never had a migraine. Hoping and praying that things get better for you! I’m sure there are many triggers…environmental, diet, etc. Maybe you can narrow down some of your personal triggers by keeping track of it.

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