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#1 Pretty in Pink

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:09 AM

How well do you function with a migraine? I've only had a handful in my lifetime and I found them absolutely debilitating. The only thing I could do was lay down in a dark room and close my eyes. I felt like vomiting.

I ask because I have two friends who frequently complain of migraines yet they function normally. One of them has been posting on FB for several days things like, "Migraine STILL won't go away...gah! On today's agenda: grocery store, furniture shopping, and perhaps date night with hubby!" :001_huh: Things like that.

So I'm thinking that either some people are just better able to cope with the pain or these ladies are, eh, exaggerating a bit about their headaches. I like to think I have a fairly high pain tolerance and yet I just can't imagine doing much of anything when I truly have a migraine.

#2 Dobela

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:12 AM

Migraines can vary in severity. I have had them both ways - vomiting in the dark and hurting bad for days but still able to function somewhat.

#3 Avila

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:18 AM

I get the debilitating ones that you are talking about, but I also get ones that are mostly a weird aura and a dull ache. Mine seem to be triggered by hormones, low blood sugar, barometric pressure, and intense light, and their severity is linked to the triggers. Some i would probably not even call a migrane, pain-wise, except for the aura and visual disturbances, which require medication to function. They all make me tired, though. And i do have a high pain tolerance, so maybe that helps. If it is not bad enough to make me throw up and my vision is clear, I usually do not have to radically change my day. It is an ugly day, but I can cope with it. But i would not be doing a date night with a migraine!

Edited by Asenik, 09 February 2012 - 08:23 AM.


#4 momdm

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:22 AM

I take medication (excerdine for migraine) as soon as I know I am starting to get headache. Yes if I don't take the medication I need to sleep and it does not go away the next day. I take the medication as I know I to follow-up on kids studies. Not worth going through the pain.

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:22 AM

How well do you function with a migraine? I've only had a handful in my lifetime and I found them absolutely debilitating. The only thing I could do was lay down in a dark room and close my eyes. I felt like vomiting.

I ask because I have two friends who frequently complain of migraines yet they function normally. One of them has been posting on FB for several days things like, "Migraine STILL won't go away...gah! On today's agenda: grocery store, furniture shopping, and perhaps date night with hubby!" :001_huh: Things like that.

So I'm thinking that either some people are just better able to cope with the pain or these ladies are, eh, exaggerating a bit about their headaches. I like to think I have a fairly high pain tolerance and yet I just can't imagine doing much of anything when I truly have a migraine.


This is a bit of a pet peeve of mine; just be forewarned. :D

I don't like it when people say they have a migraine, when they really mean 'I have a bad headache'. Because they're NOT the same thing.

I get headaches; sinus ones and good ol' fashioned no-specific-reason headaches. I also get migraines. As in, I have been medically diagnosed with migraines, and I have a migraine treatment med I can take when I get one.

The first time I got a migraine I wanted to hit my head against the wall hard enough to render myself unconscious, just to get some relief from the pain. I'm not kidding or exaggerating; I told my dh that. He was so concerened he called the doctor right then.

Now, I've had different *intensities* of migraines, like the pp said. But even a 'mild' migraine has me finding the most quiet and dark that I can. Sometimes, that means I can be in the same room as the boys, but explain they need to be quiet and keep the lights off. But if I have a bad one, I have to go be by myself in a calm dark room, because the slightest light or sound makes me feel like vomiting.

I can say for certain that the LAST thing I do willingly with ANY intensity of migraine is leave the house. Now, sometimes it's unavoidable; I mean, if we need groceries, I have to go and get the necessities. But other than that? No. And a DATE night with a migraine? NO WAY.

See, I told you I felt strongly about it. :tongue_smilie:

#6 Bensmom

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:33 AM

This is a bit of a pet peeve of mine; just be forewarned. :D

I don't like it when people say they have a migraine, when they really mean 'I have a bad headache'. Because they're NOT the same thing.

I get headaches; sinus ones and good ol' fashioned no-specific-reason headaches. I also get migraines. As in, I have been medically diagnosed with migraines, and I have a migraine treatment med I can take when I get one.

The first time I got a migraine I wanted to hit my head against the wall hard enough to render myself unconscious, just to get some relief from the pain. I'm not kidding or exaggerating; I told my dh that. He was so concerened he called the doctor right then.

Now, I've had different *intensities* of migraines, like the pp said. But even a 'mild' migraine has me finding the most quiet and dark that I can. Sometimes, that means I can be in the same room as the boys, but explain they need to be quiet and keep the lights off. But if I have a bad one, I have to go be by myself in a calm dark room, because the slightest light or sound makes me feel like vomiting.

I can say for certain that the LAST thing I do willingly with ANY intensity of migraine is leave the house. Now, sometimes it's unavoidable; I mean, if we need groceries, I have to go and get the necessities. But other than that? No. And a DATE night with a migraine? NO WAY.

See, I told you I felt strongly about it. :tongue_smilie:


:iagree: except for the grocery part. If I have a full blown migraine, my family is going to have to find food for themselves or starve, I'm not going anywhere!

#7 TXMomof4

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:38 AM

This is something I've wondered as well. I have horrible headaches - nausea, every movement feeling like my head was about to explode, in tears because my head hurts so bad headaches. I've never called them migraines because I *can* function well enough to keep my children out of danger and get through the day.

My sister says she has migraines just about on a weekly basis. She goes to bed and my parents take her kids. I don't have the luxury of shutting down completely until I feel better. It irks me, but I try to convince myself that maybe what I have is really just a bad headache and not a migraine so I should count my blessings, right?

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:54 AM

Oh, I so understand this. I pictured placing my head in a vise and cranking the handle until my brain crushed in on itself.


It's scary, isn't it? I was actually relieved to be diagnosed with migraines, because I was sure I had a brain tumor or something. :tongue_smilie:

The only other time in my life I felt that 'crazy' was when I realized I was craving dirt when I was pregnant with my second son. Again, I was relieved to be diagnosed with PICA.

Nothing like wanting to smash your head in or eat dirt to make a girl feel crazy. :001_huh: :lol:

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:59 AM

This is something I've wondered as well. I have horrible headaches - nausea, every movement feeling like my head was about to explode, in tears because my head hurts so bad headaches. I've never called them migraines because I *can* function well enough to keep my children out of danger and get through the day.

My sister says she has migraines just about on a weekly basis. She goes to bed and my parents take her kids. I don't have the luxury of shutting down completely until I feel better. It irks me, but I try to convince myself that maybe what I have is really just a bad headache and not a migraine so I should count my blessings, right?


I'd suggest seeing your doctor. If you DO have migraines (and the doctor can help your determine that by your symptoms, hopefully) then there are medications you can take.

Look, I'm not big on meds at all. But I don't think people should suffer pain unnecessarily. Migraine meds are not painkillers, so there's no 'I don't want to get hooked on that stuff' worries. They work a different way than pain meds.

Seriously, I'm not a fan of unnecessary medical intervention. But just the same as I'd get a novacaine shot to get a tooth worked on, I'm gonna take my migraine med to relieved the pain of my migraine.

You don't get extra points in life for struggling through easily treated pain. Talk to your doctor; if they're migraines, and you can get relief from them with meds, it can make a big difference in your quality of life.

#10 zimom

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:10 AM

I have migraines. Diagnosed by a doctor. I take medication, a lot, every single day to try to keep them manageable and I still get SEVERAL, usually 6 - 10, every single month. And yes, they are ALL migraines. Can I still "function" with most of them, yes. That is what the daily medication allows me to do, along with allows me to knock them out with at home medication instead of having to go to the ER each time.

But all that to say, I am one that is frequently walking around, at swim practice, etc etc WITH a migraine, otherwise I would have no life at all.

Now occasionally i can't knock it down to a manageable level, end up curled up in bed, in the ER (medStop), etc... But fortunately most of them I can keep walking, but they are still migraines. Ask the KNIFE stuck through my left eye.

I had one glorious year migraine free when we first tried daily meds. But they came back. :(.

Edited by zimom, 09 February 2012 - 09:13 AM.


#11 lionfamily1999

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:10 AM

Mine vary. I had no idea the head aches I was having that would last for days were actually migraines, because when I had had migraines before they kept me from functioning. If the pharmacist wouldn't have told me what it was I would have kept suffering with all the wrong types of treatments.

I've seen this posted here before (that's not a migraine!!!). If you did a search maybe you could find the other thread. Plenty of people suffer from migraines that hurt like hades, but don't send them to bed.

#12 bpskowski

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:14 AM

Yes, I gets lots of headaches and migraines. I guess it's the way my body deals with anything. Like another poster said, many things trigger them. I take excedrin migraine (which is recalled at the moment!). My doctors have said to take the maximum dose as soon as any headache starts. Once at work they literally had to carry me out and drive me to my parent's house (they use to live near where I worked). I don't even remember it, I just remember waking up at their house. I was unable to function. Other times, it feels like your head is being squeezed and you just wish someone would cut your head off to end the pain. During those time I am in the dark, lying down. For some reason I get a lot of real bad headaches in the middle of the night, probably sinus related. But even just during regular bad headaches, I am doing the minimum. I keep frozen ravioli in the freezer and canned pasta sauce in pantry. That's dinner. I am not going anywhere! And, I break my half hour of tv rule for the kids. Please, just keep quiet.

So it definitely annoys me when others say they have such a bad headache and continue on.

I should do as bethanyniez advised and go to doctors again. About 15 years ago I was determined to get to the bottom of it all. I even did biofeedback to learn how to control the headaches. The medications at the time did not sit well with me at the time. But it's been 15 years, there must be new stuff.

I'm calling the doctor right now. Thanks

#13 SailorMom

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:14 AM

Function? With a migraine?
I couldn't move, could barely see, my limbs went numb, and I was too busy throwing up to function. All that plus debilitating pain.
Frequently I had to go to the ER to get a shot of Immitrex (until I was able to self administer the shots at home).

I suppose there are other types of migraine out there, but I also have a friend who claims she has a migraine while she's at work, or at the grocery store..... uh - not possible (and she is not on any daily meds for them - she just takes ibuprofen) I just shrug and try not to get irritated :) I know my aunt had what are called optical migraines - no pain, but she had the visual auras that accompanied mine....

BTW - It wasn't until my early 30's that I discovered it was B/C pills that caused mine. I have only maybe had one in the last 4 years since I stopped taking it. I used to get them (the really bad ones) up to 6 times a month.

Edited by SailorMom, 09 February 2012 - 09:17 AM.


#14 lionfamily1999

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:16 AM

:iagree: except for the grocery part. If I have a full blown migraine, my family is going to have to find food for themselves or starve, I'm not going anywhere!

If it's not full blown, does your family starve? If it's the beginning of a migraine, or the tail end, is it not a migraine?

This is something I've wondered as well. I have horrible headaches - nausea, every movement feeling like my head was about to explode, in tears because my head hurts so bad headaches. I've never called them migraines because I *can* function well enough to keep my children out of danger and get through the day.

My sister says she has migraines just about on a weekly basis. She goes to bed and my parents take her kids. I don't have the luxury of shutting down completely until I feel better. It irks me, but I try to convince myself that maybe what I have is really just a bad headache and not a migraine so I should count my blessings, right?

Try a migraine medicine next time, excedrin makes a good one, imo.

I had these for a long time and didn't realize they were migraines. They are. Try the migraine medicine and when it clears up you won't feel so silly (or terrified that your head is inhabited by evil trolls that dug their claws into the back of your eyes to keep you from looking around).

#15 lionfamily1999

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:17 AM

Function? With a migraine?
I couldn't move, could barely see, my limbs went numb, and I was too busy throwing up to function. All that plus debilitating pain.
Frequently I had to go to the ER to get a shot of Immitrex (until I was able to self administer the shots at home).

I suppose there are other types of migraine out there, but I also have a friend who claims she has a migraine while she's at work, or at the grocery store..... uh - not possible. I just shrug and try not to get irritated :)

I had no idea we have so many neurologists in the hive :D

#16 Karen in CO

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:20 AM

I'd suggest seeing your doctor. If you DO have migraines (and the doctor can help your determine that by your symptoms, hopefully) then there are medications you can take.

Look, I'm not big on meds at all. But I don't think people should suffer pain unnecessarily. Migraine meds are not painkillers, so there's no 'I don't want to get hooked on that stuff' worries. They work a different way than pain meds.

Seriously, I'm not a fan of unnecessary medical intervention. But just the same as I'd get a novacaine shot to get a tooth worked on, I'm gonna take my migraine med to relieved the pain of my migraine.

You don't get extra points in life for struggling through easily treated pain. Talk to your doctor; if they're migraines, and you can get relief from them with meds, it can make a big difference in your quality of life.

:iagree: Painkillers - even the strong opiate types don't touch my migraines. Migraine medicine stops the process that causes the migraine pain and other symptoms. I have chronic migraines and typically suffer at least 2 a month which is a huge improvement from one or more per week. I am pretty sure I would have curled up and died from them withing a few months of them becoming chronic if I didn't have medicine that helped to relieve the symptoms. Currently, I take a nasty medicine that reduces the frequency and severity of the migraines (topamax) and allows the migraine medicine (relpax) to help with most of the symptoms. It usually takes care of most of the nausea, the sound sensitivity, and the light sensitivity and reduces the pain to something I can relieve with a good combination narcotic painkiller. The best migraines last a day and leave me feeling sick and kicked around the next day. The worst ones have me at the ER after 3 days begging for mercy. You will see me out and about with my migraine because I have long ago refused to let them control my life. Usually if you see me, it is only for what is required, if my dh can't do it instead of me (which he does a lot) and I'll be quietly counting the seconds until I can retreat. So that's how I function with a migraine.

#17 Ibbygirl

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:26 AM

I cannot function with a migraine at all. With a bad headache yes, but with a migraine, no.

#18 SailorMom

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:34 AM

I had no idea we have so many neurologists in the hive :D


I just meant "not possible" for me - in my experience. Sorry that wasn't clear.

I do want to mention that Excedrin Migraine is the exact same formula as their regular Excedrin - it just has different packaging (unless they have changed it since I was looking into it 5 years ago). Never worked on mine, though. Of course, no pain killers worked on mine. I had to use Immitrex, or one of it's close cousins, and even those didn't work sometimes. Pain meds just made me throw up more.

Edited by SailorMom, 09 February 2012 - 09:36 AM.


#19 zimom

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:36 AM

I had no idea we have so many neurologists in the hive :D


Not directed at you, but yes...so let's not be so quick to judge someone else, even if you suffer from migraines too. There really can be a wide range, and you don't know everyone's medical history.

#20 Desert Rat

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:37 AM

Migraines can vary in severity. I have had them both ways - vomiting in the dark and hurting bad for days but still able to function somewhat.


:iagree:

When I was younger most of mine were the vomit in the dark kind. Until my mid 20's, I had as many as 3 a week. Mine are related to hormones, although I do have some triggers like florescent lighting. BCP have helped.

As I have grown older, get migraines about 4 times a month and they are what I call "working migraines". I can function. I go to work and run my house. I only get really bad ones maybe 3 times a year.

I hope they continue to diminish as I get older and I hope after menopause to not have many at all. I have awhile to go before that happens. For now, they are manageable.

#21 lionfamily1999

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:38 AM

Me: Ugh, I feel like carp. My head is stuffed up and I'm achy and tired. I'm sick.

My mom: I have cancer. It's eating my bones and I lose about 3 pounds a week from vomiting. I'm sick. You, you aren't sick. You're just whining about some piddling little thing. I'm sick. I'm so sick. Your bones ache? Well, my bones have holes in them from cancer. You're tired? I'm being eaten alive from the inside out and I can't even keep down a good meal. You're not sick, I'm sick.



Facebook friend: Geesh, this migraine is killing me. I have to wear sunglasses all the time and the throbbing, oh the throbbing. It feels like my eyeballs are dragging across shards of glass when they move. I have a migraine and it hurts.

Other facebook friend: You have a migraine? My migraines make me vomit. I can't even imagine ever leaving my bed. The pain is so incredible I can hardly breath. You don't have a migraine. I have a migraine.



For real?

This is like people talking about getting wisdom teeth removed. Just because someone only had to have two taken out and you had to have six torn out doesn't mean that they didn't have dental surgery.

A guy who gets a toe amputated is still an amputee, even in the face of those who've lost both legs and arms.

My flu is still an illness, even in the face of my mother's cancer.

Facebook friend's migraine is still a migraine, even in the face of people whose brains actually explode and have to be sewn back together and mushed back into their skulls.

It's a matter of degrees. A higher or greater or worse degree doesn't negate the existence of lower or lesser or less bad degrees.

A 105 degree day doesn't make a 100 degree day cold. A 105 degree temperature in a child doesn't make a temperature of 101 normal, it's still a fever, even if it's not 105.

#22 Dobela

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:39 AM

Just to be clear, I have had my headaches and migraines diagnosed by a specialist - with the help of headache diaries and technology such as MRIs. When I was employeed, I definately worked with migraines as long as the intensity didn't build to the 'I have to hide in a cave' point. Was I as productive with a migraine? No way. But I couldn't afford to lose a day of pay with the number of migraines I was having. I was also having tension headaches that were pretty bad as well but they formed in the base of my neck.

If you are having lots of migraines and using OTC medications, be careful. They are known to actually make migraines worse and to make them occur more often - search rebound headaches for more information.

My triggers are weather, MSG, dairy products, and hormones. Hormones was my biggie until my hysterectomy.

#23 lionfamily1999

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:42 AM

I just meant "not possible" for me - in my experience. Sorry that wasn't clear.

I do want to mention that Excedrin Migraine is the exact same formula as their regular Excedrin - it just has different packaging (unless they have changed it since I was looking into it 5 years ago). Never worked on mine, though. Of course, no pain killers worked on mine. I had to use Immitrex, or one of it's close cousins, and even those didn't work sometimes. Pain meds just made me throw up more.

No it's not :D It's a much higher dosage and packaged with a ton of caffeine. I've looked into it too :)

Hey, you can see my bad day migraines and raise me impossible to treat. I call. It's still a migraine.

ETA, Dobela, thank you. I can't afford expensive remedies and because of the amount of blood thinners and caffeine in em I avoid using them. I would rather lay in a dark room with phone books on my head, but in a pinch at least they lessen the pain for a time.

Edited by lionfamily1999, 09 February 2012 - 09:45 AM.


#24 sbgrace

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:44 AM

I get debilitating types. If I "hit" a migraine with meds before it gets going I can function with one but it's more likely not to go to debilitating if I also go to bed.

#25 swellmomma

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:47 AM

Migraines can vary in severity. I have had them both ways - vomiting in the dark and hurting bad for days but still able to function somewhat.


:iagree: I get them for a couple days before my period and right around ovulation, clearly hormone related though I have a few food triggers and stress triggers too. As long as I hit it hard enough early enough with motrin I can mostly function normally, and if I miss that window I have no choice but to still try to function normally though I will not drive. My kids can not be left to their own devices while I hide in room in the dark and I can not take days off from my daycare. If I have hit it hard enough with motrin the worst of the pain is gone but I can still feel the pressure on my head so I am still not 100% but not vomitting and can still teach etc. IF I did not, well then I use a lot of videos with the kids and hang out on the couch trying not to move my head, with my eyes closed, and run for the bathroom as often as needed. I never drive during those ones because the pain gets intense enough that I can not see straight. I feel like all I ever say around here is "hush guys I have another headache", I had a CT about 2 yrs ago because I was having headaches and migraines pretty much daily, though I was still mostly functional.

When I was young (I started getting migraines at age 9) I had to hide in my room in the dark, vomitting until the migraine was over. Once I had kids I couldn't do that anymore though there is many times I would like nothing better to do that hide in the dark. I have been in pain enough at times to be brought to tears and still had to stay watching the kids etc. If you have no choice in the matter you figure out a way to still be mostly functional no matter how much your head feels like it is going to explode, or how much you wish it would already to just be done with the pain.

#26 SailorMom

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:49 AM

No it's not :D It's a much higher dosage and packaged with a ton of caffeine. I've looked into it too :)

Hey, you can see my bad day migraines and raise me impossible to treat. I call. It's still a migraine.

ETA, Dobela, thank you. I can't afford expensive remedies and because of the amount of blood thinners and caffeine in em I avoid using them. I would rather lay in a dark room with phone books on my head, but in a pinch at least they lessen the pain for a time.


Well - I just looked again, and here are the active ingredients in Excedrin Migraine AND Extra Strength Excedrin from three different websites:

250 MG Acetaminophen
250 MG Aspirin
65 MG Caffeine

The ONLY reason the makers of Excedrin were allowed to market it the way they did is because of the dosage information on the label.

Also - as an FYI - the caffeine in those pills can cause rebound headaches, and my neurologist highly recommended against taking them.

#27 zimom

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:50 AM

I just meant "not possible" for me - in my experience. Sorry that wasn't clear.

I do want to mention that Excedrin Migraine is the exact same formula as their regular Excedrin - it just has different packaging (unless they have changed it since I was looking into it 5 years ago). Never worked on mine, though. Of course, no pain killers worked on mine. I had to use Immitrex, or one of it's close cousins, and even those didn't work sometimes. Pain meds just made me throw up more.


Excedrin migraine:
Acetaminophen 250 mg
Aspirin. 250 mg
Caffeine. 65 mg

Excedrin Extra Strength
Acetaminophen. 250 mg
Aspirin. 250 mg
Caffeine. 65 mg

Same to me.
Looking at the bottles right here. Had to take this a.m.

#28 SailorMom

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:53 AM

I do notice that I said the "regular Excedrin" before. Sorry - I just meant the non-migraine stuff (which I consider the Extra Strength). I have no idea what the non-extra strength stuff has in it.

#29 OLG

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:58 AM

This is a bit of a pet peeve of mine; just be forewarned. :D

I don't like it when people say they have a migraine, when they really mean 'I have a bad headache'. Because they're NOT the same thing.

I get headaches; sinus ones and good ol' fashioned no-specific-reason headaches. I also get migraines. As in, I have been medically diagnosed with migraines, and I have a migraine treatment med I can take when I get one.

The first time I got a migraine I wanted to hit my head against the wall hard enough to render myself unconscious, just to get some relief from the pain. I'm not kidding or exaggerating; I told my dh that. He was so concerened he called the doctor right then.

Now, I've had different *intensities* of migraines, like the pp said. But even a 'mild' migraine has me finding the most quiet and dark that I can. Sometimes, that means I can be in the same room as the boys, but explain they need to be quiet and keep the lights off. But if I have a bad one, I have to go be by myself in a calm dark room, because the slightest light or sound makes me feel like vomiting.

I can say for certain that the LAST thing I do willingly with ANY intensity of migraine is leave the house. Now, sometimes it's unavoidable; I mean, if we need groceries, I have to go and get the necessities. But other than that? No. And a DATE night with a migraine? NO WAY.

See, I told you I felt strongly about it. :tongue_smilie:


:iagree: Migraines knock you flat from my experience while other types of headaches can leave you functional. I can do 'nothing' when I have a migraine. Do think people lump most all types of headaches into migraine category more than the used to do. But if you have ever had a migraine, you just know better!

#30 lionfamily1999

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:07 AM

:iagree: Migraines knock you flat from my experience while other types of headaches can leave you functional. I can do 'nothing' when I have a migraine. Do think people lump most all types of headaches into migraine category more than the used to do. But if you have ever had a migraine, you just know better!

:banghead: If you've ever had a fever of 106 you know a fever of 103 isn't really a fever :banghead: If you've ever had a tree fall on your car then you know that having someone open their door into your door doesn't really cause a dent :banghead:

#31 swellmomma

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:18 AM

:iagree: Migraines knock you flat from my experience while other types of headaches can leave you functional. I can do 'nothing' when I have a migraine. Do think people lump most all types of headaches into migraine category more than the used to do. But if you have ever had a migraine, you just know better!


That's BS! I have been medically Dx with migraines, I used to take imitrex daily as a preventative. I KNOW the difference between my migraine headaches, my tension headaches, and my regular headaches. That does not mean that while you are left an invalid from your migraines that others have not found a way to be someone functional with them. For some of us there is no choice in the matter. You learn to be someone funtional even while wishing you had a way to cut your own dang head off to relieve the pain. Some of us do not have the luxury of hiding out and sleeping it off etc, you train yourself to be able to go through the motions even while battling a migraine. We are talking about being functional, not been you happy productuctive usual self. With a migraine I can still watch the kids, cook meals, tidy up the house etc. I can not teach properly, take on any cleaning more than a simple tidy, take on any kind of project, etc. On a normal day my to do list is a good 20 items long and I can tackle them all while still watching the kids and teaching etc. On a migraine day my list has 3 things on it and 1 of those things includes watching the kids.

Since I do not have someone one else paying my bills here, or working to support us AND my kids are not safe to be left unattended I have no choice but to keep going even with a bad migraine.

Saying that only those laid flat by a migraine really have migraines is just plan ignorance. That's like me saying someone who is laid flat by one is just a wimp because I have no problem powering on and still functioning with my migraines. IT's not a flipping contest of who has the worst migraines, it's a matter of understanding that like most things in life there are degrees of severity, degrees of a person's pain threshold, and degrees of pure will to be functional through it.

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:20 AM

Not directed at you, but yes...so let's not be so quick to judge someone else, even if you suffer from migraines too. There really can be a wide range, and you don't know everyone's medical history.


Well of course we don't know everyone's medical history. I thinki perhaps soneone shouldn't use the word 'migraine' to mean 'bad head ache' is all.

#33 Pretty in Pink

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:32 AM

Okay. Some people can function normally with a migraine. Got it! :001_smile:

#34 Apryl H

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:43 AM

I've had functioning migraines and non-functioning ones.

There are ones I can function with..I'm usually on some sort of med, and it has been tamed to a dull roar with brain fog. Sometimes there is nausea. These are the ones that I can still act like a normal human and carry on with my day. (although I am not usually very friendly :tongue_smilie:)

I also have migraine pre-cursors that aren't painful, but I still consider part of my migraine. I get stupid. I cannot think clearly, I make poor decisions, and my speech gets garbled. I usually get hit with a major migraine within 24 hours if I don't realize that I need to pre-treat with meds.

Then I have some (rarely thankfully!) that I cannot do a thing but lay in a dark room, put pressure on my head, and pray to God that he'll ease it soon or kill me. Those are BAD.

I still consider both migraines, and one is a lesser form. A headache to me is just pain in the head, without auras, nausea or other sensitivities.

#35 Lovedtodeath

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:05 AM

Alright. I was on 3 different prescription medications for migraines and I weaned myself off of them and now I manage them by laying down when I have to (not the whole time, but the right time) ice, capsaicin, magnesium, excedrine, benedryl, lots of water, showers, etc.

So I guess when I was on the $600 a month prescriptions I had migraines, but I don't now.

Oh, but back then I had rebound headaches almost daily and I managed to hold a full time job... so maybe those weren't real.

Maybe the ones that make me blind or make me vomit are real but the others aren't.

Whatever.

#36 SailorMom

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:17 AM

Well - I think "Migraine" is a very specific medical diagnosis. You can have absolutely debilitating headaches that cause horrible illness, and they aren't actually migraines. You can also have migraines that have "non-standard" symptoms.

I have had some horrible non-migraine headaches in my life. Sinus infections can cause some doozies. Stress headaches can be insanely bad.

Also - Swellmomma, I hope you are no longer taking any triptan drugs (like Immitrex) as a preventative. They really don't work that way.... I know docs are using them off-label, but they are abortive-only as far as effectiveness goes. I would talk to a different doc about it....

#37 SailorMom

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:53 AM

Some of us do not have the luxury of hiding out and sleeping it off etc, you train yourself to be able to go through the motions even while battling a migraine.


Well - this is why many of us think maybe they aren't actually migraines. Or at least not on par with what those of us who feel like we're dying have. When all of my limbs are numb, I'm basically blind, and I can't move except to throw up over the side of the bed (in addition to the freight train running through my head).... it isn't a 'luxury' for me to hide. I seriously cannot just get over my wimpy self. By numb - I mean that I cannot feel or move my limbs. The neuro said when that happens your kinda paralyzed - this is due to what is going on with the lack of blood getting to certain parts of the brain. So - I'd like to see you paralyzed and "training yourself to go through the motions".

This is coming from someone who has had 5 surgeries. One of those knee surgeries was when my DH was deployed and I had two small kids to take care of by myself.... I did not get to hide and sleep that off.

I have had some whopper headaches that had nothing to do with migraines. I had acute sinusitis for a year - it lead to sinus surgery - and those headaches were insanely bad. The pain was on par with a migraine - but I could see, my limbs weren't numb, and I wasn't vomiting. So - with those I was able to manage (DH was in flight school and I had a 2 and 3 yo). I was like a zombie half the time, but I managed.

IMHO, migraines should only ever be diagnosed by a neurologist. Just like ADHD and ADD should only be diagnosed by neuropsychologists, etc. There are MANY horrible ways to have horrible headaches. By saying, "That isn't a migraine," no one is saying they aren't bad. But - the treatment for my severe sinusitis headaches was not the same treatment for a migraine.
Treating migraines diagnosed by GP's is kinda dangerous, as well.
Prescription migraine medicine is powerful stuff. I ended up with heart issues because of the triptans I took as abortive meds. GP's cannot accurately diagnose migraines, even though they think they can.

Anyone with horrible headaches owes it to themselves to see a neurologist and get a really accurate diagnosis so that they can help the pain. Wearing a badge of "I have migraines, and don't tell me I don't" doesn't do much good. Bad is bad, no matter what the cause, and each cause has it's own treatment.

#38 joannqn

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:36 PM

I was diagnosed with migraines my junior year of high school. My head hurt every day. I still went to classes and did my homework every day. I wore sunglasses, held my head down with my hand shielding my eyes walking between classes. I made do. My dad accused my of faking to get drugs. I was prescribed Midrin daily. It made me very high. I chose to stop taking it. If I just wanted drugs, why would I choose headaches over being high?

The next year, I was prescribed 800mg of ibuprofen three times a day. This was back before the fancy new migraine drugs.

It wasn't until I left home that I figured out that those migraines were caused by very high levels of stress and lasted three days. Nothing over the counter works and I can't afford Imitrex, though the one time I had it, it was wonderful.

I only get them once or twice a year now. When I get them, I go about my day the best that I can. I've even attended a retreat where I got a migraine on the second day that lasted until the day after I got back. People commented on how horrible I looked. But I was there, caring for my toddler by myself (she was too shy for anyone to help me) and participating in the retreat (I was in charge of one of the activities).

At some point, I started getting a different kind of migraine. I get the migraine aura (visual one) followed by a moderate headache that lasts until I sleep it off that night. These are caused by low blood sugar. They nearly all start around 2:30pm when I've missed lunch. These barely slow me down.

I think I'm getting a new kind of migraine now: migraine associated vertigo. My doctor thinks I have Meniere's Disease but my history and symptoms fit MAV better. We'll find out, I guess.

#39 Lovedtodeath

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:43 PM

Anyone with horrible headaches owes it to themselves to see a neurologist and get a really accurate diagnosis so that they can help the pain. Wearing a badge of "I have migraines, and don't tell me I don't" doesn't do much good. Bad is bad, no matter what the cause, and each cause has it's own treatment.

You are assuming that we did not. I know I did (that is who prescribed $600 worth of meds per month and gave me shots) and I still had to function most days.

That is not to say that you could have. When my migraines make me completely blind that is when I know I can't continue to function. I can still successfully fight those off the majority of the time if I don't try to fight through it and lay down in the dark, etc. when I should.

#40 Sputterduck

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:46 PM

Function? With a migraine?:lol:

Is vomiting or laying in a dark room with tears running out from the corners of my eyes functioning?

But, yes, they do vary in severity from moderate to severe. I don't function with moderate ones, though, because activity will send things over the edge to severe territory and then I'm stuck in misery for 3 days.

#41 SailorMom

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:47 PM

You are assuming that we did not. I know I did (that is who prescribed $600 worth of meds per month and gave me shots) and I still had to function most days.

That is not to say that you could have. When my migraines make me completely blind that is when I know I can't continue to function. I can still successfully fight those off the majority of the time if I don't try to fight through it and lay down in the dark, etc. when I should.


I wasn't assuming anyone here did not go.... I was just saying that, as a general rule, a neurologist should be consulted before meds for migraines are prescribed.

I know there are different types of migraines, and I'm not telling anyone here they don't have them. I'm just explaining why so many disagree with what they are. I even mentioned my aunt's migraines where she had NO pain at all, and just visual problems. Migraines are weird..... No two seem to be alike. Mine would change enough that I'd be worried they were something else :) Anyway - not judging.

#42 Sputterduck

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:51 PM

That's BS! I have been medically Dx with migraines, I used to take imitrex daily as a preventative. I KNOW the difference between my migraine headaches, my tension headaches, and my regular headaches. That does not mean that while you are left an invalid from your migraines that others have not found a way to be someone functional with them. For some of us there is no choice in the matter. You learn to be someone funtional even while wishing you had a way to cut your own dang head off to relieve the pain. Some of us do not have the luxury of hiding out and sleeping it off etc, you train yourself to be able to go through the motions even while battling a migraine. We are talking about being functional, not been you happy productuctive usual self. With a migraine I can still watch the kids, cook meals, tidy up the house etc. I can not teach properly, take on any cleaning more than a simple tidy, take on any kind of project, etc. On a normal day my to do list is a good 20 items long and I can tackle them all while still watching the kids and teaching etc. On a migraine day my list has 3 things on it and 1 of those things includes watching the kids.

Since I do not have someone one else paying my bills here, or working to support us AND my kids are not safe to be left unattended I have no choice but to keep going even with a bad migraine.

Saying that only those laid flat by a migraine really have migraines is just plan ignorance. That's like me saying someone who is laid flat by one is just a wimp because I have no problem powering on and still functioning with my migraines. IT's not a flipping contest of who has the worst migraines, it's a matter of understanding that like most things in life there are degrees of severity, degrees of a person's pain threshold, and degrees of pure will to be functional through it.


Oh my word. Who prescribed you Imitrex as a daily preventative? That's not okay.

I was on Imitrex injections, double the normal per month prescription. That was only 12 per month, IIRC. My doctor said, "I know you need more than that, but we don't if it's safe. I'm so sorry." This was during a 3 or 4 month stint of being bed ridden every day and finally having a migraine induced seizure. Even then, it was not okay to take every day. Perhaps the injections and pills have different rules. But you need a second opinion.

#43 mom23boys

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:55 PM

I have both kinds. I also have meds I can take to stop a migraine. Sometimes it doesn't get rid of a migraine completely, but allows me to function more normally. I still feel sick (think almost over the flu) and headachy, maybe like a severe sinus headache.

I almost never go to bed in the dark bc I have kids and I try not to ask people to take my kids, especially as often as I get headaches. I do lay on the couch and supervise from there until my DH gets home. If he is home, I do lay down in the dark.

Oh, and I have never thrown up from a migraine. I feel like I am going too, but never have. I can remember every time in my life since the age of 4 that I have thrown up and it is less than 10.

My neurologist knows all of the above and I have an official diagnosis of migraine.

#44 Sputterduck

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:55 PM

It's scary, isn't it? I was actually relieved to be diagnosed with migraines, because I was sure I had a brain tumor or something. :tongue_smilie:

The only other time in my life I felt that 'crazy' was when I realized I was craving dirt when I was pregnant with my second son. Again, I was relieved to be diagnosed with PICA.

Nothing like wanting to smash your head in or eat dirt to make a girl feel crazy. :001_huh: :lol:


Ha. My neurologist said to me, "Everyone who comes in here is afraid that they have a tumor. You don't have a tumor so don't be worried." So, apparently, your not alone.:tongue_smilie:

#45 Kalmia

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:57 PM

They have developed a surgical treatment for migraines. Have migraines, but haven't ever considered surgery, so I can't evaluate it one way or the other. Just throwing in the info for those interested:

http://www.scienceda...10202162043.htm

#46 Sputterduck

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 01:01 PM

Also - as an FYI - the caffeine in those pills can cause rebound headaches, and my neurologist highly recommended against taking them.


Yes. Mine did, too. If you want to cure your current migraine coming on but get another one tomorrow, then take Excedrin. Caffeine helps temporarily, but should not be used by people who get frequent migraines. Going off Excedrin was one of the things that made me functional today. The other biggy was going off birth control pills, which I was on for PCOS.

#47 Sputterduck

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 01:04 PM

I wasn't assuming anyone here did not go.... I was just saying that, as a general rule, a neurologist should be consulted before meds for migraines are prescribed.

I know there are different types of migraines, and I'm not telling anyone here they don't have them. I'm just explaining why so many disagree with what they are. I even mentioned my aunt's migraines where she had NO pain at all, and just visual problems. Migraines are weird..... No two seem to be alike. Mine would change enough that I'd be worried they were something else :) Anyway - not judging.


My mom gets those. Just the visual symptoms and no headache.

#48 swellmomma

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 01:08 PM

Well - this is why many of us think maybe they aren't actually migraines. Or at least not on par with what those of us who feel like we're dying have. When all of my limbs are numb, I'm basically blind, and I can't move except to throw up over the side of the bed (in addition to the freight train running through my head).... it isn't a 'luxury' for me to hide. I seriously cannot just get over my wimpy self. By numb - I mean that I cannot feel or move my limbs. The neuro said when that happens your kinda paralyzed - this is due to what is going on with the lack of blood getting to certain parts of the brain. So - I'd like to see you paralyzed and "training yourself to go through the motions".

This is coming from someone who has had 5 surgeries. One of those knee surgeries was when my DH was deployed and I had two small kids to take care of by myself.... I did not get to hide and sleep that off.

I have had some whopper headaches that had nothing to do with migraines. I had acute sinusitis for a year - it lead to sinus surgery - and those headaches were insanely bad. The pain was on par with a migraine - but I could see, my limbs weren't numb, and I wasn't vomiting. So - with those I was able to manage (DH was in flight school and I had a 2 and 3 yo). I was like a zombie half the time, but I managed.

IMHO, migraines should only ever be diagnosed by a neurologist. Just like ADHD and ADD should only be diagnosed by neuropsychologists, etc. There are MANY horrible ways to have horrible headaches. By saying, "That isn't a migraine," no one is saying they aren't bad. But - the treatment for my severe sinusitis headaches was not the same treatment for a migraine.
Treating migraines diagnosed by GP's is kinda dangerous, as well.
Prescription migraine medicine is powerful stuff. I ended up with heart issues because of the triptans I took as abortive meds. GP's cannot accurately diagnose migraines, even though they think they can.

Anyone with horrible headaches owes it to themselves to see a neurologist and get a really accurate diagnosis so that they can help the pain. Wearing a badge of "I have migraines, and don't tell me I don't" doesn't do much good. Bad is bad, no matter what the cause, and each cause has it's own treatment.


I was Dx by a neurologist, I am sure many of the people here who say they have migraines also have been. I have never had limb numbness but I do get teh vision issues and the vomiting etc. I still push through because I have no choice. I might be half blind and puking every time I move but I still have to get up and care for the kids because if I don't I could be dealing with something far worse, like my house burning down. I also can not afford to stop working on the days I have migraines. Again I might be half blind and puking, but if I don't work we don't eat. I force myself to make it through the day even with the pain etc because I prefer to feed my kids than to let them starve.

I was not saying everyone has to train themselves to go through the motions but that many do and therefore to claim they are not really having migraines because they appear to be functioning normally is BS. In fact I specified that there is different levels of severity etc I do not expect everyone that has migraines to be able to keep functioning, my comments were in response to those who claimed that there was no way that someone was having a migraine if they are not hiding away somewhere.

#49 swellmomma

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 01:11 PM


Also - Swellmomma, I hope you are no longer taking any triptan drugs (like Immitrex) as a preventative. They really don't work that way.... I know docs are using them off-label, but they are abortive-only as far as effectiveness goes. I would talk to a different doc about it....


I don't. For the last couple years at the first sign of an imminent migraine I take 1000mg of motrin and continue to take that dose ever 4 hours until migraine is over. No rebound headaches etc any more. If I catch it in the right window it workes extremely well, if I don't I am SOL. I keep motrin on my person at all times just in case.

#50 swellmomma

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 01:13 PM

Oh my word. Who prescribed you Imitrex as a daily preventative? That's not okay.

I was on Imitrex injections, double the normal per month prescription. That was only 12 per month, IIRC. My doctor said, "I know you need more than that, but we don't if it's safe. I'm so sorry." This was during a 3 or 4 month stint of being bed ridden every day and finally having a migraine induced seizure. Even then, it was not okay to take every day. Perhaps the injections and pills have different rules. But you need a second opinion.


That was my GP until I got into the neurologist. At that point I had been dealing with near daily headaches for almost 2 years and was literally falling apart, my hair falling out, mental health crashing etc. Once I was into the neuro, had a CT and such I am not on it anymore.