Saturday, September 26, 2009

Migraines

I had always thought migraines happened to stressed out menopausal women and I guess I thought I was immune to them... until the past couple months. I have had 3 or 4 migraines since March and the worst one happened this morning. I was eating blueberry pancakes for breakfast and noticed I had this weird blind spot in my right eye. I couldn't see out of half my eye (and I've learned via the internet that those blind spots are called 'auras') Within a few minutes my head started to pound on the left side, behind my eye and left temple. I felt tension down my neck and shoulder. I downed some rapid release tylenol, hoping that would make it go away fast, but it didn't help. I was miserable and felt absolutely sick. Jake and I drove to his parents' house and I had my head in front of the AC the entire way, trying to breathe in and out slowly so I wouldn't puke. As we pulled up to the house I got out of the car and made my way to the bathroom and threw up half my pancakes. When we got home I closed all the blinds, shut myself up in our room, and went to sleep with a cold washcloth over my eyes. I can't even remember the last time I felt this ill! Hard to believe your body can get this way all because of a stupid headache. I've been reading more about migraines, the causes and symptoms, and it's interesting stuff. My very first one was just 6 months ago and each time it's happened I've noticed I get an aura right before the migraine hits. (It happened once when I was driving, scared me out of my mind having blind spots... very dangerous!) From what I've read it's hard to pinpoint a cause but some factors that could contribute to them are hormonal changes (no, not on my period right now, just in case you were wondering), stress, diet, exercise, lack of sleep, etc. Hopefully this doesn't become a common occurrence. This morning was just awful! Anyone ever had one? What makes them go away quickly?

PS Thanks for all your advice on my last post. It was fun reading about your experiences and reading your advice. I think we just need to be honest and open, willing to answer whatever he asks... not too many details, but enough for him to understand. Anyway, thanks everyone!

12 comments:

The Thornocks said...

I've had this happen to me twice before. It freaked me out! I told Chad about it and he said he wanted to check my neck. He adjusted something in my neck, and literally within seconds it was gone. I could see perfectly, and the pain was going away. I know that sounds like I'm just trying to put in a plug for chiropractic, but I didn't really believe in chiropractic until this happened. Then once it happened a second time, I was totally sold. I don't know if your insurance covers chiropractic, but it definitely works if you find someone who knows what they're doing. Anyway, sucks that you're going through it. It's not fun!

Darren and Traci said...

Luckily I have never had a migraine as bad as the ones you've described but Darren used to get them ALL the time. And to back up the chiropractic idea that's actually what we did to get rid of Darren's. He saw him only 4 times and he hasn't had them since. Darren had had them ever since high school and the chiropractor said that they seemed to be due to a sports injury from lacrosse all those years ago.

Sorry you're having them, watching Darren suffer through them I don't know how anyone can function when they hit. I hope you find something that works

Hailey said...

I know EXACTLY what you're talking about. I used to get migraines way back in 7th grade (I was a stressed 7th grader haha) and I would get those auras and such. I finally had to get some special migraine meds from the doc, when the aura hit I would take it and I would be fine.
After 7th grade I never got them again until like 3 years ago. I've gotten them like once a year maybe.....UNTIL I got pregnant for the second time. I got them pretty frequently during my first trimester and then they died off a little bit but I still get them every once in a while. Sometimes they are really bad, other times the are just kind of a nuisance. That aura thing drives me CRAZY....sometimes I think getting mad about the aura gives me the headache. I've also had some tingling and numbness happen.
Anyway, I am sold on this chiropractor thing I think, I've been wanting to see one anyway. But whenever I have a migraine I have all sorts of tension in my neck and back...probably from stress build up or something. I've really never pinpointed what causes my migraines. I have noticed during this pregnancy if I don't get enough sleep, or haven't had balanced meals they happen easier. And the bad ones, they leave me feeling wiped out for a couple days even after the headache has passed. Its weird to me as well that it can make your body feel that way. And I have not found a quick way to make these go away. Sounds like Ash and Chad and Darren and Traci have a good idea that I would LOVE to try.
Sorry this got so long and I'm SO sorry you are experiencing migraines.

Ben and Melanie said...

You should see a headache specialist about this soon. The most current theory on what causes migraines is pretty complicated but there is one important part that you should know. The more times you get migraines the harder it is to get rid of them, they start to build a rut in your neural pathways and it gets easier and easier for your brain to hit that circuit and harder and harder to bump it back out. There are some pretty effective meds you can take, especially if you have an aura and can take the meds before the migraine hits.
If your insurance covers chiropractics then go for it. One thing I would definitely recommend though is looking up an osteopath if you are really interested in some spinal manipulation. They will be able to do just about everything a chiropractor can do, but have a few more skills to offer. Make sure you find one that is comfortable doing manipulations because nowadays not all osteopaths (aka DOs) do. Hope you get feeling better soon.

Brian and Carly said...

Oh that sounds awful! My friend Dani gets them all the time and seems to be an expert on them (even gives herself shots). If you get too desperate, let me know and maybe I can get her Dr or some specific info from her!!! But hopefully that was your last!

Ashley said...

Sorry for the migraines Jamie! They totally stink. I've gotten migraines for the past couple of years, and a really simple thing that gets mine to go away is to take 2 excedrin tablets and drink a caffeinated soda (diet coke was my preference). For some reason the caffiene kicks some serious migraine butt for me, and the thing is I don't drink caffiene at all on a normal basis. I also recommend eating food right after taking it because if you are like me and not used to caffiene it can make you a little sick to your stomach and shaky. Also right when you get your aura take the medicine. Don't wait for the migraine to come and get bad. I also put ice on my neck which seems to help. Good luck with all of that.

Iliana said...

I'm sorry Jamie. I get them pretty frequently and have to agree that 2 Excedrine Migrane's do the trick best for me. And I have to take them the second I realize its coming on, then jump under the covers so no light reaches me, lock my bedroom door so no noisey kids come in and pray I won't puke. I also realize I get them most frequently if I'm not drinking tons of water constantly, but you probably hydrate yourself all the time. Good luck... wierd that a headache can be the worst pain ever huh?

Josh said...

Jamie, I always feel bad for someone new to the migraine world. A few years back I was diagnosed with "chronic" migraines. My doctor wasn't the best, and I ended up having an MRI, a bunch of blood work, and paying $800 out of pocket for him to tell me to keep taking Excedrin. I'll echo what was said above, get seen by a good doctor. I have found that most of the migraines I was having were stress/environment caused. Since leaving the job I had then, I have gone from 3-5 migraines a week to 1-2 every couple months.

P.S. I would get so desperate to get rid of the pain, that I concotted a "migraine mixxer." A Monster, two excedrin migraines, one tylenol, three ibuprofen, and two decongestants! I don't know why my liver never crapped out on me!

Nurse Heidi said...

I had a few migraines as a kid, and the first sign was the loss of vision. By the time the pain hit, I'd be looking through a little tiny pinhole. Bad nausea, the worst head pain ever that throbbed with every little jiggle. There is really nothing like a migraine - I'll take a garden variety headache any day! I thought I outgrew them since the last one was in high school, but I recently had another one. I was at the store and realized I couldn't see very well and it got worse and worse to the point that by the time I left I was afraid to drive the mile and a half home. I grabbed a coke at a vending machine outside the store and drank it down, and that lessened it enough for me to get home.

I'm not a caffeine girl, but migraines are one thing it's good for. Bring on the excedrin! Since you're getting them fairly frequently, it sounds like it's time for you to chate with your doctor about a prescription like Imitrex.

Nurse Heidi said...

I had a few migraines as a kid, and the first sign was the loss of vision. By the time the pain hit, I'd be looking through a little tiny pinhole. Bad nausea, the worst head pain ever that throbbed with every little jiggle. There is really nothing like a migraine - I'll take a garden variety headache any day! I thought I outgrew them since the last one was in high school, but I recently had another one. I was at the store and realized I couldn't see very well and it got worse and worse to the point that by the time I left I was afraid to drive the mile and a half home. I grabbed a coke at a vending machine outside the store and drank it down, and that lessened it enough for me to get home.

I'm not a caffeine girl, but migraines are one thing it's good for. Bring on the excedrin! Since you're getting them fairly frequently, it sounds like it's time for you to chate with your doctor about a prescription like Imitrex.

Tyson and Angela said...

Eck! Migranes are awful and I am sorry you have to deal with them! I have to take 2 Aleve and go to bed. Usually they go away by morning. Like Heidi said, caffeine really does wonders for headaches. I never drink soda unless I have a headache and it usually helps. Hope you can get your tricks down. Everyone is different, so you definately will have to try a few things before you find the jackpot! Good luck!

Andrea said...

Jamie- crazy, I had this weird blind spot in my eye this morning, it totally freaked me out- then it went away and now I have a HORRIBLE headache, getting worse by the minute. I remembered reading this post so I came back to read it again- because I thought you had mentioned a blind spot too. Tylenol isn't helping... sounds like I need a chiropractor and a coke-