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post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I was wondering if anyone on here suffers from migraines and what do they feel like?

About 3 years ago or so, I went to the Dr. because I was getting bad headaches. Tylenol wouldn't help .... it would help only if I was getting ready to go to sleep. The doctor looked at my eyes with a bright light and said everything was good. She determined they were tension headaches. She recommended me buying Alieve, which did help.

I've thrown up 3 times at work within the last 3 years. The last being my 2nd day at the new plant that I'm at. I think it was because lack of caffeine.

What do headaches behind the eyes represent? Today I have one & I think I know of the cause: I've only had maybe 1-2 sodas within the last day! My neck & shoulders are sore, too......

Anyways, I was just wondering if any of you suffer from these types of headaches and how you deal with them? Usually I take tyleno & take a hotshower.
post #2 of 17
Well, this is what I told my doctor:

"I get these headaches. I always know they're coming and I get real woozy when I have them. If I'm lucky they only last a few hours but they almost always last all day, and sometimes even two or three days. Nothing gets rid of them, and they are always in the same place, right here" pointing to the right side of my head just beyond my forehead "and light really bothers me when I have them as well as loud noises. Often my right eye will get red and water and the right side of my nose will also plug up or run or both. This is going to sound weird, but sometimes I even get the headache except don't actually have the headache. I got them in the last trimester of my pregnancy but they went away and now they've come back."

This was his one-word response: "Migraine."

He said my symptoms were classic (exept that I don't vomit - I have an iron stomach), especially about "knowing they are coming". He said most migraines have an "aura" period preceding them - I feel woozy and have flashes of light in front of my eyes. He said it is common to have the aura only, which was my "headache without a headache."

It would be really good if you could find what triggers them, although sometimes it's not anything you can control.

For women, often the menstrual period is the trigger. Sometimes it's certain foods or drugs, it can even be change in barometric pressure! For me it was three things: my periods or lack of sleep was obvious. What was not so obvious was the main thing - I have kidney disease, and as the years wore on my kidneys were filtering less and less protein out of my blood. Since I had toxemia when I was pregnant, the same thing was occurring. After being started on a certain class of drugs that slow progression of kidney disease as well as decrease the amount of protein being spilled into the urine, my headaches have almost stopped, except for times when I don't get enough sleep during my periods!

The only thing that makes me think the doctor may have been right about them being tension headaches is the fact that your neck and shoulders are sore too. I don't know what she was trying to do with the light, except maybe try to detect photosensitivity. But since not all migraine sufferers are photosensitive, surely she didn't use that alone to rule out migraine!

The fact that you are throwing up when you have them would lead me to suspect migraine. Do you get any kind of feeling or sensation to clue you in to the fact that they are coming on? Not everyone has the same symptoms, and not all of them occur each headache in the same person, but as far as I have read the nausea and aura are pretty universal.
post #3 of 17
I'm another migraine person. I got the diagnosis from a neurologist, not my g.p.. If you have not seen a neurologist yet, get a referral from your doctor. It's okay if he thinks this is unnecessary or you are a bit of a hypchondriac. Recurring headaches are not always migraines, but sometimes they are symptoms of other neurological disorders that a general practitioner might not pick up.

My experience, in case it is useful to you:

I don't get nauseous, but I get very specific points of pain, tunnel vision, extreme light and sound sensitivity, and sometimes a kind of blinking light effect, as if I had a flashing neon light on the bridge of my nose. Oddly enough, if I do get any nausea, it means I need to eat! If I can force down a protein food (usually scrambled eggs or some chicken for me), most of the headache passes.

The best thing I can do for it is sleep, but that's impossible with a kid! Esp. since I could sleep for 2 or 3 days given a chance. If I catch it early enough, Excedrine for migraines and a nap are very effective. The only really effective meds for me are advil / motrin and aleve, or if I need something stronger, they give me codeine, but usually as a shot. Imitrix, which I gather is the prescription version of aleve, doesn't seem to work for me. Tylenol doesn't even begin to touch it, but they always insist on giving it to me.

I have a list of foods to avoid, but the most common food triggers are: caffeinated drinks (tea, coffee, soda), red wine, certain hard cheeses, and tomatoes / potatoes / green bell peppers / eggplant, which are all botanical cousins of nightshade (the same group as belladonna, a poison). If I drink too much or too little caffeine, I get a migraine. If I don't get enough sleep, or work too long under fluorescent lights, or get to emotional about something, I get a migraine. Some women get them when their hormones shift during the month, but I have not been able to spot that pattern in myself.
post #4 of 17
Biggest trigger of them all. Tigger you really should go and see a neuro. I get bad headaches as well, because of a horse accident. My GP couldn't even come close to helping me, it had to be a specialist. Now I am on medication and these headaches that used to last for days are now manageable. Not something to fool around with, go see a specialist!
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
No, usually when I've gotten the ones where I throw up, it starts out as a regualr headache & keeps getting worse. Usually if it gets that bad, my face feels tight (well, around my forehead), and then right before I'm about to throw up, I get this watery mouth feeling. Usually, when I get a headache like that, I think it will just go away so I don't take tylenol right away .... by the time I think it time, I'm usually tooooooo late. It doesn't happen all the time. It's an infrequent thing that happens. But, after I throw up, my headache has gone from such a bad one to a dull, achy one, as if I have a normal one. Oh, and I don't get aurora like most people who suffer from migraines. But, when I have ones like that, I wish I could shut the lights off ...... That usually helps.

Actually, when I first got married I was going to an internal medicine doctor (like for colds & such). I remember when I tried to make an appt. she was so booked up she had the nurse call me back saying she wanted me to see a neurologist without even seeing her! I found another doctor, which is a regular physician. She was the one who came to the conclusion that it was tension headaches. I was in a car accident in 1996, and I had brought that up with her and asked if that had caused them, and she didn't think so. I think I might just make an appointment for a checkup and bring it up to her. Plus, I'm on that depo provera shot (birth control), and I know that shot DOES contribute to those types of headaches. Hell, maybe it's just eyestrain, too ........ But, it can't hurt to make an appointment. I have one at my gyn. for my depo injection, and I'll ask her about it, too.

Oh, and at work, they make you use 100% isoprophyl alcohol to wipe things down & I was getting headaches everyday. It's part of the job, but I quit using it whether or not the supervisor says we have to.

And ........ as you all know, I don't cook I went to the Doctor last year because I was feeling nauseous (sp) and she asked me a bunch of questions and said it was my diet!
post #6 of 17
Sunlion, I hate to break it to you, but evidently caffeine is not a trigger since the only difference between Excedrin and Excedrin for migraines is the caffeine in it! :confused2 :confused3

Also, Imitrex is not the prescription version of Aleve. Imitrex is sumatriptan which is a serotonin agonist, and Aleve is naproxen sodium, which is an anti-inflammatory. That would be why one works for you and the other doesn't.
post #7 of 17
I get Migraines also, Tigger. I think it was because I got hit by a car a while back. I had one yesterday and today, and I still feel like throwing up today. When I have hem I have to lay down in a dark room sometimes, or other times, I just take some Aleave(sp?) and they begin to subside.
post #8 of 17
I was told by a pharmacist that Aleve was Imitrix, just goes to show what she knew.

But about the caffeine: For me (I don't know about other migraine people), I have a tolerance for a certain amount of caffeine. If I get more than that, I get a migraine. On the other hand, if I am used to consuming a certain amount of caffeine over the course of a day (when I worked a typical day was a coffee in the morning, a coke at lunch, and tea later in the day) and then if I go a day or two without getting as much caffeine, I get a migraine. My dad used to practically live on coffee at the office, and since that was back before drip coffee makers and mom didn't perk coffee regularly, he got headaches every weekend. The father of a friend of mine had a heart attack, and his doctor had to write him a prescription for a cup of coffee every day to prevent migraines. (Caffeine raises blood pressure, among other things, so cardiac patients often don't get coffee.)

There is caffeine in Excedrin for migraines, also aspirin (asa) and ibuprophen (advil, motrin). I understand that the caffeine helps the other stuff be absorbed faster. It might also be therapeutic in some cases.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Maybe I will trying buying Excedrine to see if that helps, too. I tried Alieve when the Dr. recommended it, and it worked, too. My headache went away after I had another pop. I discovered this tonight: if I have the lights out, it seems to go away.

Either way, I think I will call on Monday to make an appointment ... can't hurt to.
post #10 of 17
I guess I am pretty lucky, the "cause" of migranes for me has been heriditary. I started getting them when I was about 10 years old. I was referred to a neurologist when I was about 16, but skipped the appt in fear there was really something wrong with me. Over the years, the older I get the less I seem to get them. Most of the time, I would just wake up in the middle of the night with one. Which by the way, is NOT a good way to wake up..lol. Once I would get one, the only thing to do would be to make sure and take some exedrin every few hours and try to lay with my head proped up with a hot water bottle. For awhile I had a real problem with them and would either end up in the ER for a shot and the Dr had prescribed Vicaden for them. From what I understand, now days they have some good medications once you have been diagnosed with migranes. The only thing I have learned over the years is my signs of one coming on. If I can stay ahead of it with a combination of ibuprophin and exedrin I am fine. If I just wake up with one, I am plain out of luck.
post #11 of 17
Gee, I'm jealous of you folks who can just take a pill and make it go away.......
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
I bought some all-day Alieve today ..... seemed to help a little. I think I'll make an appt. for this coming week. Also, I am wondering if it is because I didn't sleep good yesterday?
post #13 of 17
I don't know, Cooie, seems like meds only work if I take the right one at the right time. Otherwise I have it for days and they give me narcotics. Which of course means I sleep, but I'd sleep thru' the pain without the shot if I could. What I want is something that will kill the pain and allow me to have a life.

Tigger, sleep is sometimes a factor for me. Good health, proper rest and nutrition, all that stuff makes a big difference for some people. Note: My MD told me, even though you can only take Aleve every 12 hours (I think), if it doesn't get rid of all the pain you can take something else in between doses, like Advil. Different painkillers work on different kinds of pain, so sometimes you need a combination to get it all. Take care of yourself this weekend!
post #14 of 17
My ex-husband has suffered from migraines since he was a child. My mother-in-law used to tell me that he would often vomit from them. When he has a headache it can go on for days, and no meds help. I remember one doctor prescribing a set of exercises for the muscles around the shoulder blades, trapezeoid muscles, I think. (I know I must have massacred the spelling of that one.) He was supposed to do the exercises regularly to help prevent the migraines.
post #15 of 17
I get something very close to migraines. I went to a neurologist due to the severity of my headaches & I was diagnosied with a condition call idiopathic begign intercranial hypertension. This was determined after 2 yrs of tests (spinal taps, MRIs, catscans, neck vein ultrasounds, thyroid tests, plus numerous other tests). While waiting for a diagnsis I did research on different types of headach to determine what it could be. Migraines normally have triggers - it can be different things for differnet people. One person may be triggered by caffine - others may be helped by it. Atmospheric changes also contribe to migraines. It sounds like you have tension or stress headaches. They often push out from behind the eyes and also affect neck/shoulder areas. They can be severe enough to cause vomiting or even passing out. Pain meds help, but the best thing is often working on what is causing the stress - if unknown then there are other options. Chiropractors & massage therapist are helpful if used on a consistant basis. I see my chiropractor at least once a month. I really can't recommend a generic pain killer because they never work for me - I have to use major prescription pain killers to knock me out until the pain is over. If they are persistant get your Dr to refer you to a neurologist. If you can avoid it however - don't get a spinal tap - horribly painful!
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 

Isn't that where they stick that big, gigantic, humongous needle into your spine? OUCHIE! It just sounds painful to even think about it!

This is going to seem weird, but when I get headaches, I close my eyes, and press on my eyeballs (well not press, but you know) until I can take as much as I can, and that seems to help!
post #17 of 17
Yup - it is a needle put in between 2 vertabrae to remove spinal fluid to test. It is also known as a lumbar puncture. I have had 2 & my body never deals well with them - they put me flat on my back for at least a week after the test.

It sounds like a tension headache to me if applying pressure to your eyes helps. I would get them to check to see if your optic nerves are swollen - that is part of my problems. Anti-inflams may help with that.
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