New here, and Dealing with constant pain

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/6/2010 3:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone

My name is Melina. I joined this forum because I suffer constantly from headaches, they pretty much dictate my life. I've had to change my lifestyle and life completely because of them.

I am about to turn 25 and just quit an amazing job traveling, kayaking and teaching english at a private kayaking high school, because I didn't feel up to it too much of the time. Now I live in North Carolina where I work as a writer. I just moved there, and I am trying to adhere to a strict diet, breathe deeply all the time, get enough fresh air, sleep, and abstain completely from stress. My mother and her mother also suffer from terrible migraines.

What I am having coping with is that I have always been an active healthy run around tons of energy kind of girl, up for anything. Now I live in caution. I'm so frequently sick, I feel like my boyfriend, who I moved to NC to be with, will run out of patience with me. He has given me no sign of that, he is caring and wants me to be well, but I feel terrible because I have to lie low so much of the time. He is healthy as a horse, which I am very thankful for, but he cannot understand what it's like to live with the fear of being knocked down by a migraine. I would like to talk with other people who understand what it's like.

Post Edited By Moderator (tysmyboo) : 2/16/2010 11:53:01 PM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 197
   Posted 2/12/2010 7:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Melina, So sorry you are having to deal with this! I can certainly relate to having your life interrupted! I read a bit of your blog. I grew up in VT as well. Where in VT are you from? I relocated to southern CA 9 years ago. Curiously, before I relocated, I had several years of at least weekly migraines. When I moved here, they let up to a few a year. Six months ago, they mysteriously jumped back to 3-4 per month. Now I'm at a record 12 for the last 5 weeks. I'm currently working with my doctor to try to find a preventive medication to try to at least roll back the quantity and severity.

You cannot explain the pain of migraine to anyone who hasn't had one. It is so much more than just a headache. To explain to someone that you are afraid to make plans because you don't want to have to cancel.

I just found a book called The Migraine Brain, and it has some very good advice and insight. The doctor who wrote it is in Boston and actually has migraines. It might be worth looking into for you.

I hope you can find something that helps you!


Fibromyalgia, High BP, Migraines, Cervical radiculopathy

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 2/14/2010 12:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Melina,

First off, welcome to the forums. Second off, I have a couple ideas. You know hon, I'm only 29 and I used to get 14 to 20 migraines a month. I only get like 4 migraines every 3 months now. So I'm going to tell you what I did, maybe you can try it. It might help you. I kept a list of everything I ate and drank and I also listed when my migraine started. I found listing the time I ate or drank as well as the migraine started was better. Heres an example:
6:00am Toast with butter, Eggs, Banana, Coffee, Orange Juice
12:00pm Turkey Sandwich with mayo, lettuce and tomato, milk
1:00pm Migraine starts, most pain located in forehead
At the end of the week, I'd look at this list and see, oh a migraine started. I would then think well lets see if coffee gave me the migraine. And I'd have no coffee all week. If no migraine, I would resume coffee the week after and see if I got a migraine. If I did, then coffee is probably a trigger and should be avoided.

Another thing I did was ask my doctor to see a neurologist. A neurologist is also a great doctor to help you figure out why you get migraines and sometimes you can take things to prevent migraines, so you get less of them.

After I found what triggers my migraines, I got down to 8-10 migraines a month. That is still a lot of migraines. A friend told me something that helped her cousin, cutting her hair. I figured what the heck, its worth a shot. I cut my hair. I used to have really long and thick hair. I had my hair cut to the bottom of my bra strap (my hair was down to the bottom of my rear). I also had it layered. my migraines went down to 3 to 4 migraines a month. I have medical training too, so I knew some stuff on migraines. Silly things like, if its in the front of your head like behind your eyes or in your forehead its probably allergy related migraines. If its in the back of your neck it can be either stress or neck went out of alignment. ***NOTE**** If you think your neck is out of alignment DO NOT attempt to to fix your neck. It MUST be done by a professional chiropractor or a physician with the letters DO instead of MD.

When I got down to 3 to 4 migraines a month, I noticed it was all in my sinus area. I have bad allergies, so I had a hunch it was probably allergy related migraines. So I asked my doctor for Allerga, which is a prescription allergy medication. I now, only get a migraine every couple months. Not that bad.
Smurfy Shadow/Desirèe 
DX: Wegener's Disease, Migraines, Diabetese Type II, PCOS, Lactose Intolerant, Benign Heart Murmer, Depression, Asthma, Asperger's Syndrome, Necrotizing Gramultous Inflamation in eye, A.D.D., Acid Reflux, Tumor Behind the Eye, Carpal Tunnel, Fibromyolgia, Clasterphobic, Arthritis
Medications:  Tri Nessa, Percocet, Metformin, Prilosec, Protonix, Zantac, Advair, Cingulair, Albuterol, Calcium + Vitamin D, Pro-Air, Pepcid, Rolaids, Zofran, Compuzeen, Refresh Plus Eye Drops  PRN: Epi-Pen, Albuterol Nebulizer, Benedryl
Undergoing Radiation Taking Lorazepam (Ativan) on Radiation Days

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/16/2010 8:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi melina, I too understand what your going through, I used to get very bad attacks that ment my vision was impaired, to the point of not working or doing anything really.
I found ways to help me after having a holiday in China, But because we are all different what works for me does not for others but is a good start.
I had to cut out some things I eat & drink (My Favorites really) Coffee & Chocolate being the worst for me personally. Drinking some Pepsi helped with the dizziness.
I also had REFEX & pressure point massages. Some of the Chinese herbal shops can be of help if you find a good reccommended one.
But one of the biggest things is Extra Worry & Stress, You have stated you are worried about your BF, but as he has shown nothing but support, you need to try & let those feelings go as they can act as a catalis for creating the pressure to bring you more pain.
You have already taken the first steps by moving & changings things which is GREAT, you just need to expand on that & i'm sure you will slowly find releif.
I have NOT had a migraine in 4 years now, I still get bad headaches if i'm stressed out, but they are easier to deal with.
Wish you all the best for your future & being free from pain.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/16/2010 7:24 PM (GMT -6)   
This diet plan worked for me on top of Topamax.
Don't let your migraines run your life.  Try this diet plan and stay away from processed foods.

Ÿ  chocolate

Ÿ  tea (including decaf tea)

Ÿ  coffee

Ÿ  Sanka and other decaffeinated coffees

Ÿ  Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, and other cola sodas

Ÿ  alcohol, beer, wine

Ÿ  aged cheeses (like blue cheese or brie)

Ÿ  cultured dairy products (like buttermilk, sour cream)

Ÿ  peanut butter and nuts

Ÿ  onions

Ÿ  chicken livers

Ÿ  citrus fruits (like oranges, limes, lemons, and grapefruits)

Ÿ  bananas, plantain, avocados, raisins, dried fruits, red and purple plums, canned figs, herring, fava beans and pods (like lima, navy pea, lentils, pintos) olives, pickles, sauerkraut, canned soups, soy sauce, hot dogs, bacon, sausage (like bologna, salami, pepperoni, summer sausage), pizza, any foods containing large amounts of monosodium glutamate (msg) as in Chinese foods and Mexican foods

Ÿ  mixed dishes (like macaroni and cheese, beef stroganoff, cheese blintzes, lasagna, and frozen TV dinners)

Ÿ  avoid any pickled, preserved, or marinated foods


Please read all labels to check that none of these foods are hidden within certain products


Black beans and snow peas are OK to eat.  So is cream cheese, provolone, swiss, or American cheese.


Jellies and fruit preserves are OK, but if you notice headaches after eating them, then eliminate them.  Same with meats that you marinate in seasoning mixes.


Herbal tea is OK.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/17/2010 3:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Melina,
So sorry to hear that your migraines have affected your life so much.  I have had migraines for almost 30 years (since 5th grade).  When I was younger, I used to panic whenever an important event was coming up, because I was worried about getting a migraine and ruining it (I was a ballet dancer and a child actor, so there were many "performances" that I worried about).  In those 30 years, the only two years I did not get ANY migraines was during my pregnancy and while I was nursing my son. 
I get "classic" migraines with vision loss, followed by the intense headache.   While medications are supposedly better now for migraines, I truly believe that the medications can cause more problems (just my opinion, I'm not a doctor).   So, after my early years on "Cafergot" (which made me very sick to my stomach for days), I gave up on any medications except for Extra Strength Tylenol (and bedrest), and have now figured out how to prevent them in the first place.
Stress is certainly a factor.  I think changes in Barometric Pressure can also make the blood vessels in your brain more tender.  However, the biggest culprit for me is CARAMEL COLOR.    This is the dark brown coloring used in Coke, pancake syrup, some soups, dark sauces and even baked goods (I found it in dark brown dinner rolls once).   I have started reading EVERY label, before I ingest something.  I even stay away from caramel itself, as I have found that has the same trigger effect.   (One halloween I ate half a bag of those square caramels and got the worst migraine the next day - it was so bad it affected my speech).  I discovered this after MANY years playing process of elimination.
It all makes sense now, as during my pregnancy and nursing, I was VERY careful about what I ate - lots of fruits and veggies, only natural things, no soft drinks, no candy bars, no coffee (not that I drank that to begin with), no chocolate, and very few processed foods.   I probably never ate anything with caramel color in it.
I hope that you can cut down on your stress, and take a close look at what you eat/drink.  Stick to natural foods, stay away from food colorings and processed foods and hopefully you'll see some improvement soon.  Best of luck.
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