Just thought I would throw an update in here.
I get migraine headaches; my triggers seem to be alcohol, altitude, the solanaceae plant family (tobacco, tomato, potato, etc.), stress. I have not identified any others, even with an eight week elimination and re-introduction diet. If I avoid these triggers, I only get about one headache every three years. Usually I get one if I go hiking in the Rockies or something else that makes the trigger unavoidable.
The headaches are in a band on the back of my head at the base, on both sides equally. I never have one-sided headaches. They throb horribly, are intensified if I walk upstairs or do anything with physical effort, and on a scale of one to ten for pain I would put them at the seven to ten range. Sleeping does not make them go away; they have to run their eight-hour course, I have to throw up, and then within twenty minutes of vomiting they are gone and I am euphoric for about 24 hours.
I also get painless ocular migraines with scotoma. The experience is like looking through shimmering water, then I get tunnel vision and areas of blanked-out sight which gradually comes back within an hour. I have absolutely no clue what triggers that.
However, I seem to get painless vestibular migraine no matter what I do. I used to get them a few times a month and didn't know what they were; just knew I was ill enough to have to cancel my plans for whatever I had planned. Now they seem to blend into one long episode so it seems almost constant. I have tinnitus, sensitivity to sound and light, motion sometimes makes me ill (by the way, those animated ads for topamax make me nauseated), and I am constantly dizzy. I have been told by a neurologist I am a classic MAV case. It never dawned on me this was migraine but it makes perfect sense.
They have all the symptoms of migraine without the pain, and with short bursts of vertigo added and at this point, constant dizziness. I also have chronic inner ear inflammation that shows up on MRI (cochlea, labyrinth) and hideous tinnitus and ear beeping, muffled hearing, hearing loss. I feel like I am always walking around on sofa cushions. Physical therapy (VRT) helps with the balance issues.
This all got worse during perimenopause and constant after menopause.
All I want to know is....how to manage them so I can get my life back. My husband wants to know this, too...and so do the people I work for. They are all as worried as I am. This pretty much sucks. And so do the drug solutions, as far as I can see. The most common drugs make one stupid, bald, and sleepy. What's the difference from dizzy, not bald and sleepy?
I want a better solution.