The Mailbag: Migraine Treatment
Thank you for your post on migraines. (Original post here) I was able to get my doctor to listen to me finally and got on beta blockers last spring. Mine got so bad with the perimenopause I thought they were going to kill me. My migraines have improved so much, I can’t believe how much better it is.
(Letter edited to protect privacy. Published with permission.)
I’m so glad you are feeling better. Treatment really works for most people, and doesn’t work at all for others. I’m glad you are one of the lucky ones! I’m really glad you let me know the blog was of help. That makes my day!
My migraines appear to be a symptom of an endocrine disorder. Even a little bit of wonkiness in your body chemistry can cause big problems. Mine became so bad I was disabled for about 3 years. They were also accompanied by crippling brain fog. Brain Fog is a symptom of many things, including Lupus, COPD, Lyme Disease, Chronic Fatigue, and of course, endocrine disorder.
I tried beta blockers and had such a bad reaction, I was off them in a matter of weeks. I am glad they work for you! I am realizing good results with Maxalt, and keeping an eye on my daily habits. Lack of sleep is a big trigger for me, so long nights at the drawing board need to be carefully managed.
I had surgery last year for a growth pressing on my head, and after that my migraines disappeared for an entire month. I thought that perhaps the growth was pressing a nerve or something and its removal was a miracle cure. But it wasn’t. The migraines returned. On the plus side, they’ve lessened in frequency and severity, but it’s been steady progress since 2012 when I was having up to 21 migraine days a month. I only had a few severe migraines last year, whereas before I was having them at least twice a week. I routinely have about 4-5 migraines a month, but my medication handles them very well. I only lose a couple of days of activity a month to migraines now.
I’m really glad you got treatment, I know many people aren’t very sympathetic to this, and some doctors are just plain ignorant. Lots of people call sinus headaches or stress headaches migraines and they’re not. Some people assume that stress is giving you whiny women problems. It’s annoying as hell when a doctor won’t listen.
Migraines aren’t mere headaches, they are similar to epileptic seizures, and they can completely ruin your life. My article on migraines describes what many people experience, and it’s not pretty. No one should have to suffer this.
Now that health care reforms forbid your insurer from excluding pre-existing conditions, it’s much easier to get help. Generic Maxalt is very affordable.
Please don’t suffer through this. Your doctor should be able to diagnose your migraines without going through CAT scans and so on. Symptoms should be enough.
And for those of you starting out on your medication, remember it takes time to work. Don’t get discouraged.
Thanks for writing, I really appreciate it! And I hope things continue to get better!