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Old 07-20-2002, 10:50 AM
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mwnjw mwnjw is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
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On the different variations of migraine . . .

I've also had migraines all my life. I get about 3-4 per year.

After a really bad one about 5 years ago that put me in the ER for relief, I saw my doctor. We talked about it extensively, and he suggested that my migraines might be tension based, since I didn't see spots or get that halo effect before I got one.

The one that I had seen him for had lasted 4 days and I just couldn't kick it, even when they gave me Compazine in the ER (an anti-nausea drug that apparently sometimes help with migraine). I finally took Sudafed and Ibuprofen, and the combination, after 4 days, worked. Let me make clear here that my headache had nothing to do with my sinuses -- it's just that the sudephredine in the Sudafed seemed to work in my body in such a way that it kicked the headache finally for good (that time).

I have an old college friend who works for Glaxo, so he got me some Imitrex to try. It did nothing for me -- again, probably because my migraines are tension-based. I passed this along to my doctor, who prescribed something called Fiornal. Fiornal is a big-guns addictive pain killer. It contains a barbituate, caffeine, aspirin, and acetominophen. I also started trying to nail down the things that possibly brought my migraines on.

I figured out that I can't eat M&M's anymore. It's the combination of sugar and dye in the candy that just do me in. Now don't get me wrong, I can have a few. But I know I will pay dearly if I eat an entire package, especially if I'm tired and have been stressing out. Ice cream also works against me in the same way -- if I'm tired and getting worn down, I shouldn't have ice cream. It's the milk/sugar combination that will trigger a migraine and just do me in.

Sometimes my migraines come out of nowhere. I've learned to recognise one; it's the kind of pain that comes from the back of my head and settles around the back of one eye on one side of my head. And it's a different kind of ache than just a regular headache. I've found that I can head off a migraine if I take ibuprofen at the outset. But I'm in serious trouble if I think that this is just a headache that will go away without doing anything. I have had my Fiornal prescription refilled just twice in 5 years. When you get 3-4 migraines a year, that's pretty good. I try and really limit the times I take it to only when I really, really need it. And I go to a dark room where it's quiet and there is no light, and I lay down. The last one I got was last December, and I was in a wedding. I spent about a half-hour laying on the floor of a church nursery with a heavy winter coat over my head. Everyone was elsewhere -- it was quiet, dark, and I was as good as new in about 30 minutes. That's record time for me kicking a migraine! The Fiornal did its magic once again.

Doctors in general do not like Fiornal because it is a narcotic that is so highly addictive. But used wisely, it has really, really helped me not suffer. And one last thing -- I had a spinal headache after the birth of my youngest daughter (after the epidural), and when I balked at a "blood patch" (essentially another epidural), they told me to go home, drink as much water as possible, and drink caffeine once per hour until the headache subsided. This worked, and has continued to work with any headache. Drink as much as you can, and make it water, not soda or tea. This flushes toxins out of your system and really helps speed the process of healing along.

jen in california
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