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Thunderstorms in my brain...

Okay, I have a health-related poll for y'all. Since a person's health is an extremely personal issue, I'm keeping the poll results private but I'd really appreciate any and all feedback. My migraines have been getting more frequent and more severe lately, and I am curious to see if there's anything I could be doing, or if any of you have some advice.

Poll #882777 Not Your Average Headache

Do you get/have you had migraines?


If so, how often?

A few times a year.
A couple times a month.
2-3 times a week
Every day / mine never go away.
Other (please explain in comments)

If you had to rate them on a scale of one to 10 (with 10 being unbearable), how bad are your average migraines?

Mean: 6.83 Median: 7 Std. Dev 2.17

Please check all symptoms that go along with your migraines.

Steady, unrelenting aching.
Pounding sensations
Pressure behind your eyes
Cracked vision
Eye watering
Dry mouth
Other (explained in comments)

Do you know what triggers your migraines? Please answer if no. If yes, please explain.

What medications do you take (if any) to prevent/treat a migraine, and do they work (in your opinion)?

Do you have any non-medical practices that help you deal with yours?

Your participation in this poll is very much appreciated.

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( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 6th, 2006 01:58 am (UTC)
How often: Usually about once a month, sometimes less.
Other symptoms: General weakness and soreness all over my body. Just like it's really, really hard to move anywhere (even disregarding the whole headache part of it).
Triggers: Stress, periods (hence the 'usually about once a month' thing), not eating enough, not getting enough sleep. A lot of things; it really depends. Mostly it's stress, though. Or the period thing, if that's not TMI.

And this isn't me personally, but it might help anyhow, just to get more information -
My migraines are hereditary, my mother gets them much worse and more often than me (which is a bad sign, as mine are getting worse, but that's not the point). She takes medication (not sure exactly what kind though), but it really fucks with her system since she has to take it every day and she hates it. (Although I think it does help, generally - every few months she stops taking it for a couple days to get it out of her system, and she's in really terrible shape for a few days then, but besides that it's mostly okay.) Her migraines are triggered by EVERYTHING, though, which I thought might be interesting. She absolutely cannot drink alcohol because that's pretty much an instant migraine; she can barely have any chocolate (God, I hope my migraines never get to that point, I don't know how I'd live), she avoids any chips or snacks or anything with MSG (Cheetos, Doritos, etc), and just basically has to be really obnoxiously careful about what she eats. Personally, I haven't noticed any trends relating directly from my migraines to certain types of food; with me it's usually sleep or stress or something.
So, hope all that info wasn't completely unecessary, and that it helped a little! Good luck - migraines are a total bitch; I really hope you can figure out something that helps.
Dec. 6th, 2006 02:14 am (UTC)
Thanks very much!

My aunt gets migraines, but she's the only other person in my family who really does. Everyone else gets brain aneurysms, which is totally reassuring. 0_o

I don't know that mine are triggered by any food, but I should probably start keeping a chart again just in case. When I first started getting them we did a bunch of tests, and I had to monitor eeeeeverything I put into my system and it s-u-c-k-e-d. I think beer might do it to me. I can handle liquor, but I had a Heinecken last night and my head almost exploded two hours later. But that confuses me, because I've drank beer before without ill effects? Maybe it's just the Heinies? Maybe I'm allergic to Holland?
Dec. 6th, 2006 02:34 am (UTC)
so here's my deal...
I have had only 4 or 5 migranes in my life...but I still consider myself as someone who gets them.
I have kind of the "classic migrane." The by the book type...Migranes are so different with different people but the most used medical definition of it is pretty much what I get.
I get tired and fatigued...I get the "aura" which is when a section of my vision gets blurred or just obscured by what seems like something in my eye. My doctor told me that if I realize that I'm having the aura then I've noticed it far enough in advance that I can do something like take 600 mg (three tablets usually) of ibuprofen which is a pretty normal amount for some people, and it should stop the migrane before it starts. The aura goes away for up to a half an hour before the pain part actually starts.
If I miss this window of taking meds then what happens is it starts with a sensitivity to light and sound which progresses into a headache which gets so painful to the point of vomiting. I never feel naseous really...it's always that I just hurt so much that I'm puking. I will keep puking until I fall asleep. That's how it always happens. If I run out of things to puke then I drive heave until I can fall asleep. It has only happened once or twice and only once since I ever talked to a doctor about it and that was a time I couldn't get to meds fast enough

And that is my migrane story.
Hope it helps?
One of the girls I live with has them bad...like she takes constant meds so that she doesn't get them...if you have any specific questions about migranes I could probably ask her...she's got lots of experience with it!
Dec. 6th, 2006 02:35 am (UTC)
oh yea...and when I wake up I have a dull headache for a while...but just a normal one.
Dec. 6th, 2006 02:36 am (UTC)
PPS. Forgive my inability to spell...haven't slept much!
Dec. 6th, 2006 02:38 am (UTC)
No worries! Thanks for the info! I'm in the midst of replying to it.
Dec. 6th, 2006 02:55 am (UTC)
See... I've tried cutting my migraines off at the pass, but ibuprofen isn't enough. If I'm lucky I can dull it enough with hydrocodone, but I can only take those once every 6 hours. If I don't take the vicodin quickly enough, or if the migraine is just too strong to be phased by it, I'm down for the count and sleeping is the only thing that will save me.

I tried taking some nasal mist anti/migraine meds but I had a really horrible medicine reaction to it... so they've pretty much given up on prevention with me, but I'm really worried about getting a steady job when I have migraines... sometimes debilitating migraines, this often.

Can you ask your friend if different types of light trigger her migraines? Because... now that it's winter, I get mostly white light instead of yellow and I'm really beginning to wonder if that doesn't trigger them.
Dec. 6th, 2006 03:42 am (UTC)
she says it doesn't trigger any of it but that white light makes it worse when she has one.
Dec. 6th, 2006 04:23 am (UTC)
Hmmm... interesting. 'Cause mine are definitely getting worse, and it's definitely winter light. Thanks loads for asking your friend. I totally appreciate it.
Dec. 6th, 2006 03:28 am (UTC)
i haven't had a bad migraine since last summer. i've been lucky enough to figure out the main causes and prevent them.

if i get dehydrated, any major adjustments in my caffeine intake (suddenly stopping after i've had a lot, or suddenly drinking a lot of it after i've gone a while without it), or if i don't have a regular sleep schedule, i get them pretty badly. but those things i can control. sometimes it's rapidly changing weather/pressure systems.

typical migraine begins with a visual interruption followed by pressure behind my eye. then just an unbearable ache. i usually puke once and then it gets better. i've only had one where i've been unable to stop throwing up.

that being said, if i catch it in time excedrin usually does it for me. otherwise, nothing does because nothing will stay down long enough. after i get done throwing up i usually try to drink some tea to calm my stomach/help me get to sleep.

my migraines are hereditary, too. my mom gets them and 75% of the time she ends up in the emergency room because she can't stop throwing up. i'm just hoping mine never get that bad.
Dec. 6th, 2006 03:47 am (UTC)
Whenever I actually puke it gets better for about 10 minutes, but then intensifies. =/ And, as we recently discovered, puking is also a problem for me because whatever hormone gets produced to induce vomiting... my body goes overboard with... which is why I almost always end up in the hospital whenever I get the stomach flu. Maybe your mom has the same thing?
Dec. 6th, 2006 03:52 am (UTC)
I get at least one a week. They're pretty unbearable. I get all the symptoms I checked plus I'm extremely sensitive to any light & sound.

I've tried Immitrex & it didn't help me. I think my migranes might be allergy related (mom says I had bad allergies as a kid, I get them when the atmosphere changes - ie. right before it rains & they're more frequent in the spring/summer), so I've tried various allery & sinus medicines, but nothing works. They're getting worse with age. I've suffered as long as I can remember, & when I was little I'd get them for a few hours, then start to feel nauseas & after I threw up I'd feel back to normal. Now they last at least 12 hrs at a time.

The only thing I do to make my migranes go away is sleep. I stick a pillow over my head to drown out any light & sound then try to sleep.
Dec. 6th, 2006 04:21 am (UTC)
Allergy related, huh? I should probably check that out. I'm allergic to dust (aka EVERYTHING) so that's definitely a possibility.

I hear you on the light and sound thing. I can't believe I forgot to put that in the symptoms list. You really should be able to edit polls. Aiye.

I pretty much do the same thing. Shut out all light, bury my head under a pillow, and wait to fall asleep. *sigh*
Dec. 6th, 2006 04:02 am (UTC)
In fact, I had a migraine today, and I had one yesterday. Most people don't know the difference between headache and migraine, but I haven't had a head ache since...well...I can't remember but I've had them since i was about 8 or so.

From a couple of sources I've heard that birth control helps some people with getting rid of migraines, I'm actually thinking of going that route since mine can't be touched by my usual excedrin/aleve cocktail I put in my answers. I also try to drink something with caffine in it to help my brain calm down.

another thing that helps is just laying down, putting on some meditation music, and slapping a damp washcloth over your eyes.

hope this helps.
Dec. 6th, 2006 04:18 am (UTC)
I had a migraine today too. My vicodin wouldn't touch it.

We tried the birth control route for me, but it gave me blood clots so I had to stop. =/ Caffeine generally does help, though. I should keep a steady supply of Red Bull around.

Y'know though, I haven't tried the cold wash-cloth over the eyes. I'll have to give that one a go. Thanks a lot!
Dec. 9th, 2006 10:16 pm (UTC)
the major symptom of my migraines are sensitivity to light and sound.

especially lights. it really hurts to be in a brightly lit room. and i have to close my eyes.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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