Student w/ 7 Day/Week Migraines

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/16/2013 7:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Everyone,

I've been diagnosed with chronic migraine. I've taken many types of preventative and acute meds. At this point, the only acute medication that works for me is Fioricet. I haven't yet found a preventative that works for me and I'm extremely frustrated right now about this whole situation.

My teachers are frustrated that I'm missing class (usually at least once a week), and, when I am in class, I'm spacey and unable to participate most of the time. I am a music major, which means that most of my grade in my classes is in participation and attendance, and there aren't any online classes. Before the migraines became such a huge problem, I was a straight A student. I don't know how to make my teachers understand my position and I don't even know if I can finish my degree. I've brought notes from my neurologist confirming that I have chronic migraine to each of my teachers and a note from my primary for each of my absences. I've cut my hours to 12, which is the least I can take to continue to have financial aid.

What else can I do? Is anyone out there experiencing a similar problem?

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 151
   Posted 2/18/2013 10:10 PM (GMT -6)   

I've gone in and out of the "chronic" definition for years. Some months the migraine is pretty much constant, other's I can go for a month without one. I'm in the process of getting my second diploma, so I can totally relate to how hard it is to study with a migraine.

The first piece of advice I have is talk to your teachers. I had one or two that where complete idiots and were horrible… But the vast majority of my teachers responded something along the lines of “Holy crap, you still come here with a migraine?!” and really took it as a sign of how committed I was to the class and were incredibly supportive.

Secondly, talk to your college. Most of them have support in place for students with disabilities, and chronic migraines are categorised as a disability by most places.

As for getting through the day, have you tried magnesium supplements?
I started taking them for my Fibromyalgia, but they’ve helped reduce the number of migraines I get.

While I was studying I was quite lucky with the type of migraines I was getting. I didn’t get any visual/audio auras, so it was just a matter of dealing with the queasy and pain.
I found Gatorade was great for settling my stomach, and the extra hydration (as opposed to what I had when avoiding water because it made me feel sick) helped the pain levels.
I also tried wearing sunglasses to counteract the fluoro lights… But that didn’t work much.

And while I’m loath to suggest it, because I know it’s really, REALLY unhealthy… Black coffee with extra sugar. (It has to be black, it doesn’t absorb fast enough if it’s white, lol)
For me, the caffeine can delay the worst of the migraine. If I have a cup or two of black coffee I can buy an hour or two before the pain really hits. However, it comes with a massive downside – once the pain hits it will be worse. LOTS worse.

Hopefully other people will have some better suggestions.
Good luck :)

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/19/2013 1:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Madisun,

Thanks for the advice! I didn't know I could get disability support for migraine through my college. Hmmm, I should talk to them. I currently have a few of those teachers who just don't understand migraine (much less chronic migraine) and who think that I'm being (and I'm quoting, here) "melodramatic about a little headache". I've tried to be open with my teachers about what's happening and why my performance/attendance isn't good, but I have no idea what to do with teachers like the one I quoted. I have to show up to his class every day with or without an awful migraine if I want to keep my un-dropped status. Did I mention that this particular class involves sitting 2 feet away from the french horns and flutes? It's pretty much hell for me, and I get to take this class every semester until I graduate!

Anyway, enough with the rant. I do the caffeine thing a lot, which is probably part of my problem. Gatorade is fabulous. I keep forgetting about it, thanks for reminding me! I tried the magnesium supplements and didn't find much relief. I may not have tried them for long enough, though. I only used them for about 2 months. Also, call me vain, but I have trouble with the sunglasses thing. I love using them (especially when fluorescents are involved) but I don't like the amount of attention it calls to me when I wear them inside, especially after being accused of melodrama in front of my peers. I still can't find something that'll really help me get out of bed in the morning other than caffeine, though. I wake up with a migraine more often than not and I have lots of morning classes (6 days/week)... What do you use ? Thanks again for the advice!


Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 151
   Posted 2/19/2013 4:13 AM (GMT -6)   

You manage to sit next to French horns and flutes?? I threatened to breaks a child's recorder and throw it over the fence last week because I couldn't handle the noise... ****.


I work with kids, so some days my job is deafening. Luckily I get more understanding from an over excited pack of 8 year olds than you seem to get from your teachers. Not only do they shut up when they know I have a migraine, the little darlings have learnt to spot when I have one.



It does annoy me how many people confuse headache and migraine. I get a lot of painless migraines. (The first time I had one I honest to god thought I’d had a stroke.) Plus the pain isn’t always the most debilitating factor.

I can work through most painful headaches/migraines… But I sure can’t work when I lose partial sight in one eye, lose the ability to process and understand sounds properly, or have my sense of balance just turn off for the day.


When my migraines returned as an adult I put myself though so many unnecessary tests because I just couldn’t believe that a migraine could have so many symptoms. All because the people around me kept saying that migraines where “just a headache.”



As for what I take, I don’t take anything to prevent migraines.


I’ve tried beta blockers, which failed epically because I have low blood pressure anyway. And then my doctor tried a few antidepressants (forget their names) which all made me so queasy I couldn’t function.


For me the biggest help has been finding the right contraceptive pill. Without the pill, or on the wrong pill, I get migraines that last 5+ days, more often than not without a break between them.

On the right pill I get maybe 3 a month, which last 1-3 days, unless I’m run down and tired, then I get them once or twice a week lasting between 1-3 days.


The magnesium seems to take a day off the length of the migraines (that should only take a few weeks to work, so you were on it long enough.)

I’ve also recently started foliate and vitamin B supplements. I’m not sure how much difference they made, because I started them when I went back to work after the summer break. But I don’t seem to be quite as sound sensitive at work as I was last year.


I also take Ginkgo tablets (again I started for the fibro) but that seems to help. I’ve run out over the last week, and my migraines are a lot worse. However it’s not been tested very well for migraines, and it can cause headaches so if you try it be careful with it.


And I take CoQ10, which helps a tiny bit. I don’t notice it helping, but I notice how bad I feel when I come off it.



I’ve had a lot of success with Yoga as well. Just don’t do any inversions…




As for relief I use Panadine Forte at night, or panadine and/or nurofen plus during the day. It’s probably really bad for you to tag team paracetamol/codeine with ibuprofen/codeine but my doctors OKed it, and it works for me.


I tried Tramadol, but it makes me hyperactive.




And getting out of bed in the morning? Sheer bloody mindedness, I’ve found getting my body moving before it’s had a chance to really wake up works.

Honestly mornings are horrible, but I’ve discovered that the only way to get through them is just shut down and keep moving. I’m in the shower less than a minute after my alarm goes off. If I delay any longer I just can’t get moving.


New Member

Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 3/31/2013 8:12 PM (GMT -6)   
School is stressfull so I suggest that you begin taking care of yourself to keep u well. I went thru the same thing while getting my degree. I took light exercise classes such as yoga that improves flexibility and promotes well being. Also, I wld stop at the mall for a quick 10-15 min massage bc u don't need an appt or go to a massage school which is cheap. Drink lots of water and do not skip meals bc the drop in blood sugar cld trigger a migraine. I drink a magnesium tea at night which really helps. Its a powder called Calm that comes in different flavors like rasberrylemon and u mix it w hot water. U can get it at health food stores. Good luck!
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