Migraines: What They Are, Who They Affect, and How to Find Relief

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Duane Hawkins

Subject: mine grane head aches

i have read all posts and believe doctors need to go back to school or college and learn more on head aches. I have had a few and scare the hell out of me. I am limited on pills to take for it. I have had open heart surgery about 9 years ago, my gallbladder taken out just this past dec and still recovering from surgery, have panic attacks daily and are very scarey . See heart dr, regular dr, hospital and was told I am having a panic attack, but I was not given ant drug to help my attacks. Now I get a real bad head ache first then a full blown panic attack. I learn to slow it down by breathing slow and exhaling out , relax my mind . In the mean time deal with it the best I can with out going to hospital. For them to do nothing for me besides stick me with needles and test and find nothing wrong . I take Tylenol for head ache , works ok but for panic attacks no. See my dr in a few days I will tell him every thing and hope he gives me something for the attacks .


Subject: migraine dizziness

I have migraine since 12 yrs old. they've progressively gotten worse over years. now I have vertigo and dizziness all the time.. I was diagnosed with migraine disease 3 years ago. taking topamax,50 mg aday helped much but not completely.50 yrs old now. still looking for help. anyone else have dizziness?


Subject: Migraines Life Sentence

Have had to manage life with chronic severe migraines for over 20 years. It is truly debilitating and life altering and of course a real medical issue which causes many missed days of work. My doctor compared it to epilepsy. When having a migraine, it is hard to think clearly. Had tried all the different drugs for prevention with no success. I wish I had never tried the Topamax. Made things worse for awhile. Got off birth ctrl. pills in my thirties. Helped a little. Going to the ER is tough as docs not trained well to recognize this, may think you are drug seeking. Very annoying to deal with that issue. I had my physician write a note explaining my condition, which I carry with me, in case I end up in the ER, so the docs won't have doubt. In the end, I found that for me, management consists of avoiding triggers which are hormones/cycle, stress, coffee, alcohol, MSG, gluten and rich food. I try to maintain good sleep patterns and take vitamin supplements. I have to avoid over-exertion, especially in the hot sun. Strong smells are an awful trigger and magnified by 100x it seems. For migraine treatment itself, I use triptans, antiemetics, anti- inflammatories and pain meds. Its the only thing that has worked for me. In our family it is genetic, maternal side. It can be depressing as you miss out on a lot of life's events. For those who have never experienced this condition, it is hard for them to truly understand. Sometimes they may think we are exaggerating it. Not so. I empathize with all of you who suffer with this pain. It is crushing!


Subject: migraine relief

My daughter has been suffering from migraines for years, as have I. Her neurologist suggested taking B2 (ribovflavin) 100 mg 2X per day. She still has migraines but they are much less severe and by taking OTS migraine meds. hers are gone, at least for the day. She was having migraines 15 out of 30 days since becoming a teenager. The frequency has tapered off as well.

I rely on hormone replacement otherwise, I'd be in the same boat. While I was pregnant with my son, I had migraines for weeks on end. Since no medicine that would help was available to me, my father-in-law would come over every day and massage my shoulders, neck and head. It was the only relief I had, and only while he was actively doing it. But, strangely, they were no problem at all when I was pregnant with my daughter.

I have a long family history of migraines, all on my dad's side of the family.

Keep looking for something that works for you. It took me many years and sometimes what was working stops being effective so you have to start all over again. Thank you sumitriptan!


Subject: migraine pain

I have suffered w/ migraines for over 26 yes unless someone has suffered with a migraine they do not understand the pain at all trying to get a doctor to understand how severe the pain is is ridiculous I have had every pain med from codeine to very strong pain meds topamax did not work for me imitrex does not work for me Zomig helps as long as I can catch it otherwise nothing besides pain med will kill that pain trying to get a doctor to understand that is another story they have given me steroids everything but what I'm telling them will help I feel unless the doctor has suffered with the migraine they should not be treating people who have migraines cause they don't get it. I vomit for hours when the pain finally goes away it us as if I got hit by a bus for the next two days. Trying to get them to prescribe a pain med is always a chore not sure what they need to see to verify you need pain med?

g moran

Subject: botox

In case anyone is wondering, I had botox injected 6 or 7 years ago. I had severe chronic migraines and also terrible muscle problems in my neck and back (which allowed botox to be covered by my insurance back then). I won't go into the long story about how badly and frequently I was suffering but it was awful. After the botox I felt "cured" for over 2 years before migraine starting to become any kind of issue again. I had a side effect for about a week, where I couldn't use one of my neck muscles, maybe the doctor was too aggressive - but it wore off quickly enough for me, considering the pain relief I achieved in exchange. 7 years later I'm having serious problems again and trying to get it covered by my current insurance. I've tried 6 different medications, trigger shots, nerve blocks and 5 months of physical therapy 3x week. I anticipate after botox, which I'll pay for myself if I have to, that I'll again say "bye bye" to these doctors for a long time. If you relate to any of this, I'd recommend bringing it up to your doctor or seeing a pain management doc about the option.


Subject: Lifelong migraine attacks

Reading thru these comments, I could have been the author of all of them. I have had migraines since 2 years of age, that I can remember. Over the years I have likened the attacks the same as epilepsy seizure. In the 1950s no one listened to a kid with a headache. Because it was accompanied with severe nausea (from the head pain,) I spent my childhood being treated for stomach problems! Puking until my ribs hurt and I cannot breathe always scares me. I was officially diagnosed with migraine when I was 32 years. I have used Imitrex injection with 99% success rate. Over the years I have been tested, used as a guinea pig "to see what works." I am currently on 5 meds just for migraine. I could not carry a child because I could not take meds while pregnant, it was too painful, the pregnancies self-aborted. I have been used and abused by doctors, some of whom said they did not believe me, one said I was having regular headaches, not migraine. Every negative experience I had was always with a male doctor. Female doctors empathasize. I know of no other family member that has migraine. I have had one on each cruise we took to the Caribbean, one bad enough to go to infirmary. The cruise doctor watched me suffer for 2 hours before he finally believed that I needed help and was not "looking for drugs." While I was there, they had staff go thru our room/belongings to look for something incriminating. There is no respect in the medical field anymore - and it goes both ways. No respect for the medical professional and no respect for the patient, especially a female patient.

donna dailey

Subject: migraines n how other docs think little of how serious they R !

I've started having migraines per-teen n just like the rest of the stories i read, been down the road of lots of doc's n also an arsenal of meds. I now take Topamax I'm on the full dose for migrainers I also take frova for that u know bad old ugly frova has been by far the best as far as topamax i've been on it since 2001 approx. & i feel it not working as well as it was but no one is willing to go down the road of change . So i do as much up-dated on new meds. n treatments as i can, n as i was doing my reading i read where a doc wrote no one ever DIED FROM HEADACHE well i'm here to say this mayby not the MIGRAINE BUT how bout this on for size i was in the hosp. cause they could'nt get me from stop vomiting, so of they started all their test found out my potassium was low 2 I could have had a heart failure Good thing I have A strong heart n i knew that, BUT back to that doc who said headache can't kill ya I think he needs to rethink that one. Now i know topamax also depletes my potassium which my dr. @ the time was keeping a close eye on w/ topamax u do have to do blood wk. every 3 mo.so that being said when r they going to come up w/ some more updated than what we have now im willing to try anything . 53years

Susan Bell

Subject: migraine management

My migraines were largely caused by arthritis in my neck, a factor that my doctors would not consider until an epidural in my neck stopped my migraines. Also, not mentioned here, is the fact that regular moderate aerobic exercise has been proven as effective as preventative medications. This is important, since migraine sufferers are often as sensitive to the medications for prevention as they are to light and chocolate. Getting a 30 minute walk every day can get your migraines under control and the side effects are a lot of other health benefits.

Ed Johnson

Subject: migraines

I began suffering "migraine" headaches at age 17, and through my mid 40's, they were something I (and my family and co-workers) had to deal with. For the first 10 or 15 years, most doctors put very little priority in my pain, even though it got so bad at times that I thought about taking my life. Finally, I moved to a town where my doctor took me seriously because he had suffered with headaches in the past. He eventually changed the diagnosis to "cluster headaches". After trying a number of drugs, he came upon the solution. A five minute session with pure oxygen. The pain melted away like a miracle ... and after a few sessions, the oxygen therapy seemed to break the cycle. The great thing about this treatment ... no drug hangover. I could go right back to my life.

Fortunately, I have not been plagued with bad head pain for about 15 years now. I don't know if this would work for everyone ... but it could be worth a try.


Subject: I can certainly sympathize

I can certainly sympathize with you. My first remembered migraine was at the age of 5 or 6, so I have been suffering for about 55 years now. HRT did not increase nor decrease the frequency nor the intensity. They say migraines ease once you hit menopause, but I would strongly beg to differ. Unless you have had a true migraine, you have absolutely no idea what it's like. Those people who say they can "work through" one do not know what they are talking about. With the newer triptans, I have been able to avoid the nausea and vomiting, but I definitely have to go lie down when I get a bad one. Currently, scientists have used BoTox injections to reduce the frequencies of migraines, but I'm not sure I'd want to have a nasty bacterial toxin injected into my head. Most doctors are unsympathetic to the plight of someone with migraines. And, yes, there is a large genetic component. My mother and her sister had them, my sister has them, and both of my kids get them (sorry about that!). Keep trying to find relief. I know I'll certainly be!

Cheryl Ribes

Subject: Migraines

I have suffered with these awful headaches for 40 years now. I have co-workers who think that I should be able to push through and work even though I have one. One also claims to have had "several" migraines and knows what she's talking about - yeah, right. I have tried the myriad of medications, chiropractic care, dental appliances, regular eye exams, and am now adding acupuncture to my toolbox of therapies. I almost lost my job because of frequent absences due to the migraines.

I have many triggers: food, scents, stress, etc. I have also been told that part of my problem is hereditary. For me, one thing that has helped decrease the severity and frequency is hormone replacement therapy. I was very suprised with the positive result. Until you've been knocked down to your knees, you don't know what it's like.

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.