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Migraine Sufferer for Many Years

By Tara

I was clinically diagnosed with migraines when I was 16; I'm now 31, see a neurologist and take a daily med.

Early on, I would get migraines sporadically. But with the stress, lack of sleep and the general way a college student treats her body, I was getting them one to two times a month. That lasted until I got out into the real world and found that the more stress I had at work, the more likely I was to get a migraine (and teeth grinding didn't help).

Then I got pregnant and had my first son – that's when they got worse. Along with the migraines, I had thoracic outlet syndrome (tingling in the left arm). I had my first rib (up in my collar bone) removed. There's more to explain to that...I was born with an extra rib, often called a floating rib or cervical rib. For most people with this, it isn't a problem because it's soft (like your ear or nose), but mine calcified...got hard like a bone and was pinching nerves through the collar bone. After the rib re-sectioning (removal) my migraines were pretty well maintained.

I got pregnant with my second son, and was put into the hospital for fluid replacements. Morning sickness was feeding off of my migraines (for me, getting sick does not get rid of the headache – it actually makes it worse).

I got through the rest of the pregnancy, and then whoa nelly! I was getting two to three migraines a week, each lasting one to two days. Traditional treatments had quit working (I've used Imitrex, Maxalt, Migrinal, Fiorecet, and some others) and I was trying daily meds to ward them off. I tried Topamax, and a couple others I've forgotten the name of. Now I am on Lamictol, and it's done a great job of keeping my migraines to one a month.

For those migraines that I do get and can't sleep off, I have to go to the ER for treatment. Treatments have ranged from a couple of shots, a couple of shots and fluids (IV), or an IV filled with a *magic* concoction of happy stuff that leaves you drowsy but with out a headache!

My dad occasionally gets migraines, one of my brothers got them when he was young (lucky him, he doesn't get them any more), and we think my six-year-old son has had two in the past 18 months. He's being monitored, but at least he has the headache, feels nauseous, gets sick and then the headache is gone.

I feel bad for my family. When I do get a migraine my husband has to pick up the slack, even if he's just come off a 12 hour shift at work. My kids had to learn how to manage on their own much more than they should have. And they've probably seen more TV than they should have. They know that when I have one of my headaches they have to be quiet, calm and do the best for themselves (i.e., snacks, movies) while I rest on the couch or recliner.

Not only do migraines suck for the sufferer, but they affect those around as well.

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