Wife of man with LOTS of migraines..HELP!!

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 4/13/2005 8:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,
I normally post in the crohn's forum, but decided to explore further on this site to see if there was something for migraine sufferers. I was pleasantly surprised to find this.
I have been married almost 14 years to a man with chronic migrain headaches. He was in a serious car accident as a teenager where, at 90 mph, they crashed into a tree. He was the passenger, the driver was drunk. He went through his seat belt, through the windsheild, and into the tree. He died but was revived by some very good doctors who sewed a major artery to his brain back together. He has a large scar on his forhead. Had they  not saved him we wouldnt be where we are today.
Ever since the accident he has had migrain headaches. The last 7 or 8 years or so have been pretty bad. He began seeing a neurologist about a year ago who put him on Topamax. That seemed to help. He would get the headaches, but they would not be as severe, almost in the background...if that makes any sense. He neurologist then added an antidepressant into the mix. Cant remember the name..starts with L. He has had alot of side effects from the Topamax that really bothered him, so he asked for something else. The neurologist put him on Depakote. That seemed to make it WORSE. He had 3 or 4 severe attacks every single day. His doctor is IMPOSSIBLE to reach, so I suggested he go back on the Topamax, despite the side effects...it's better than those horrible headaches. He went back on it and is doing ok again...but still does get some pretty bad ones. He takes Imitrex, Zomig, Axert or Excedrin ( if he doesnt have anything RX) when he gets the headaches. Sometimes it helps sometimes its totally useless. He always gets in the bath tub, screaming in pain, vomiting, begging for relief. Im tearful just thinking about it. It's really hard knowing my husband is in severe pain and there is absolutly nothing I can do to help him. I make the room dark, Im there to get whatever he needs, but stay out of sight because I know he needs his privacy. I pretty much babysit him when he has the attacks because he did try to kill himself before to escape the pain ( yes, it gets THAT bad). When I hear him starting to reflux I run and get the "puke bucket" so he doesnt have to get out of the tub or puke all over himself in the bath tub. Sometimes orange juice seems to help, and sometimes antihistamines help a little as well . Whatever the case, I am there for him 100%. It is hard sometimes because I have my own health problems ( severe crohn's disease) and am not always up to babysitting.
Are there any other drugs he can try? What about testing? Any home remedies I dont know about? He has had several CAT scans and they all come back normal ( very frustrating), but his doctor hasnt said anything about any other type of testing. Having my own health issues I know there are tons of different tests they have done on me..surely there has to be more than just CAT scans for someone with migrains like he gets.Clearly, the cause of his headaches is the severe head trauma he experienced in that car accident. We both hate his doctor but have no choice in the matter. He acts like my husband is only seeing him to try and get narcotics. Nothing could be further from the truth. Narcotics make him throw up...why would he be seeking them out? Because of his headaches he hasnt been able to work in 2 years ( he is an ex retail manager..had no escape when he had a migrain at work, and the stress from the job made it worse)...so he is on the state medical program, which isnt the best but we are glad to have something verses nothing. He can go through a month's worth of migrain medicine in a matter of days ( his health plan will cover 6 Axert a month, nothing more, if he has imitrex or zomig it's because the doc gave him some from the sample closet..and he doesnt give him more than 3 or 4 doses)
Sorry for the long post...I just dont know what to do anymore. I am concerned about the triptan drugs and what it will do to his heart, among other things. Can anyone give any advice?
If you dont eat your meat, how can you have any pudding? How can you have any pudding if you dont eat your meat?
The BEST things in life are not things

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 103
   Posted 4/18/2005 2:07 PM (GMT -6)   
My goodness, Jean, you and your DH are trying to cope with quite a lot here. I also have fibro and have posted there and also have learned a lot from another headache forum, just happened to wander over here today.

First, there is no reason your hubby should have to be vomiting all the time. There are so many anti-nausea medications out there. When I've had to get a shot of Demerol (not for a couple of years now), it has ALWAYS been with 50 mg. of Phenergan to keep me from the nausea and vomiting. Phenergan, Compazine, Visteril (I think) and Dramamine all are available in suppository form, ALL are available in pill form ~ Dramamine is available over the counter. I don't need them very often (thank goodness!) but my doc is very kind about keeping me supplied with both the oral and supp. forms of Phenergan. Sometimes when I am at my very worst, I will take a phenergan pill along with my pain med ~ the combo works better and keeps me from getting so nauseated in the first place. The antiemetics (for nausea and vomiting) work better if taken BEFORE the n&v get out of control. Once or twice I've heard of people that say that vomiting will make them feel better, but for myself, I'd just as soon not have to even go there.

I would assume your husband has had EEG's (electroencephalogram) of his brain, is there any unusual activity?

I was on Topamax for a while, got up to 175 mg, but unfortunately for me, it triggered huge migraines (a rare side effect) so I had to go back off of it (you need to taper down off this med...). Some people who have a tough time with Topamax have said that Neurontin seems to help them, usually with less severe side effects. Indocin can help certain types of headache, but needs to be taken with food as it can be hard on the stomach otherwise.

Antihistamines do sometimes help certain types of headaches and in the past, I've had daily doses of them ordered ~ it might have helped a bit. Has your husband ever tried taking an antihistamine once a day? His doctor should be aware of what he is taking though, to make sure there are no drug interactions with other meds.

He should try to follow the diagnosing rules for the triptans (Imitrex, Zomig, Axert) as I'd be concerned about the effects on the heart, too.

I was hospitalized for an entire month at MHNI (Michigan Headache and Neurological Institute) and their 'headache diet' eliminated citrus fruits, sugar replacements except for Splenda, don't remember all the rest.

I've been dealing with severe and very frequent migraines for over 30 years now and I understand the feeling of "okay, God, go ahead and take me now". Your husband needs to realize that there really are a lot more medications to try, that life isn't over. I'm one of the very rare people for whom basically nothing has worked but as I said, that is rare ~ most everyone finds something to help. Sometimes it may be a combination of things. There are so many other things left to try. Hopefully, he will get a doctor that is more compassionate soon.

I'll be wishing both of you the best and hope I've been of some help to you. Hugs ~
Take care ~ Renee

"Do what you can with what you have where you are."
- Theodore Roosevelt

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 4/18/2005 3:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi singing,
Thanks for your reply. No, he hasnt had an EEG, just CAT scans. If they did find something out of order on an EEG, what do they do about that? I dont like to go with him to the neurologist...simply because I see enough doctors myself, and Im really tired of them...but I think I will go with him this month for his appointment. His neuro doc is just a jerk. I dont like to call anyone names..but he has earned it. His doctor pretty much just goes over what he's taking, how much, and how often. Then, if my husband can get a word in edgewise...he says how he will change the meds. He doesnt ask many questions nor does he seem to have the time to answer any. If you call the office and manage to get a human being on the line...he never returns calls, nor does his nurse ( not sure if he even has one!). Because I have so much experience with doctors...I am more "pushy" I guess you would say about getting what I need/want, and my husband isnt like that. I guess I will have to be his advocate. His doc hasnt given him any antiemetic meds..but I usually do have some phenegren on hand that my doc gives me ( I get alot of n&v with crohn's disease). He usually does feel alot better after vomiting. I will offer it next time he gets a bad migraine. I actually have suggested he take some benydryl daily and that seems to have helped some, especially since spring is here and the pollan and such are just insanely high right now. It effects everyone in our family. I guess it doesnt help having three huge water maple trees in our little yard, but we dont own the land so we cant cut them down. It probably wouldnt help even if we did as our entire neighborhood has hundreds of mature trees.
I really appreciate your reply. I was hoping someone could give me some suggestions. I think Im going to do a little homework online and see what I can find out about various tests and treatments for migraine. Im sure what type of insurance you have has alot to do with weather or not you can have those tests done. Keep in touch!
If you dont eat your meat, how can you have any pudding? How can you have any pudding if you dont eat your meat?
The BEST things in life are not things

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 4/19/2005 9:13 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Jean

I do feel for you and your husband - you seem to have such a lot to cope with.

Taking loads of meds could also be the problem with the side effects they bring, but what else can you do?  Have you looked at alternative methods?

As a sufferer i've tried loads of meds and treatments.  needed meds to help with the pain, meds for the nausea.  I was recommended a migraine cap from the Uk and I must say it has helped me enormously.  It uses cold and darkness to ease the pain and gives relief to the head so much that the nausea feeling just goes so no more vomitting. 

And its a one-off payment so it will probably last me a good few years.  I'm even thinking of getting another one.  I would recommend anyone giving it a go.  I use it inbetween attacks as its so soothing.  Your husband may find comfort from it.

I'm sure the company are still offering free postage to send from the Uk and the added bonus is a 60 day money back guarantee, which i haven't had to use.

The website address is www.migracap.com and you can also get it at www.worldwidehealthcenter.net

You may also find relief from it bearing in mind the stress you are obviously under.  I do hope you find comfort whatever you choose.
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