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Thread: Migraines.

  1. #1
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    Cool Migraines.



    This is a somewhat ethereal looking representation of migraine aura, or onset of a migraine.
    It's not this dramatic or cool-looking. It sucks.


    Anyway, this thread isn't to whine about migraines [however, feel free to do so!].

    I tend to get mine sporadically, no particular trigger. I don't think to research them/or read about people who experience them, until I feel one coming on, which is the last point in time I ought to be staring at a computer screen.

    The week before last, I had one that spanned nearly 8 days; it was debilitating & miserable. Typically they don't last more than a day or two. I just got another the night before last, & am getting over it, presently, I believe. [I have that lingering feeling in my eye/cheek like someone punched me in the face]

    I've made this thread to just sort of get a string of other people's experiences with migraines, so I [& other sufferers] can refer back here from time to time. Perhaps people can look out for other signs of migraine onset, & take medicine for it even sooner, to alleviate the severity or prevent it entirely.

    If you get migraines,

    - how long do they last?

    - do you have any specific triggers you've noticed?

    - what kinds of 'auras' do you experience when they're coming on?
    [I used to just get slightly blurred vision before pain, but the past two times, I've also gotten an earache and a persistent metallic taste in my mouth as the migraine came on. The blurred vision in my right eye was more severe.]

    - what Rx or OTC medications do you take for it, & when? I take tylenol most often, as that's what I keep on my person most of the time when I'm out of my house, for pain. It didn't do much for the 8-day migraine, unfortunately.

    Often I switch off between Tylenol[acetaminophen {or paracetamol for those outside the US}] & NSAIDs like ibuprofen[motrin/advil] or naproxen[aleve].

    NSAIDs are processed differently in the body than the active ingredients in tylenol, so you can safely switch off through the day to manage pain between doses. This is useful for other types of pain management outside of migraines as well. Ibuprofen you can take 800mg every 6hrs, OR [not and!] Naproxen 600mg every 6hrs, [TAKE NSAIDs with a little food, it'll be good to keep away some of that migraine nausea as well], AND, you can also take 2-500mg tablets Tylenol every 4hrs between that.

    Obviously, the above is just directed twd otherwise healthy individuals. If you're on other medications, etc, it's better to ask your doctor or local pharmacist about drug interactions [I call my CVS pharmacy & pester them to verify information as often as I feel I need to. It's what they're there for.]

    With the onset of my most recent migraine, I remembered some commercial I'd recently seen for Excedrin, marketed specifically for migraine sufferers. I looked up the active ingredients of Excedrin Migraine, & it's just a combined dose of acetaminophen[tylenol/paracetamol], aspirin, & a little caffeine. One 500mg tablet of Tylenol & 1 400mg tablet of Anacin or Bayer AM aspirin is essentially equal to the ingredients in Excedrin Migraine. I happened to have those ingredients handy, so I took that, every 4hrs. It seems to have kept much of the onset severity at bay.

    My mother gets severe migraines far more often than I do, & is prescribed a daily dose of Nortriptyline to take before bed, Fioricet [which is a combo of butalbital, tylenol, & caffeine] for onset of a migraine, & Imitrex for acute migraine pain, if the Fioricet doesn't work. On rare occasion, when Imitrex doesn't even help, she's had to go to the hospital for IV Demerol for pain, & Phenergan for the nausea. [I know there's evidence for migraines to run in familiea; hopefully I never experience this.]
    The hospital visit does help, but it renders her pretty immobile for the day, obviously.

    She gave me one of her Imitrex tablets, but since the past migraine wasn;t too severe, I've yet to take it. I'm due for a physical with my primary doctor this month, so I'll likely address my recurring migraine issues with him then.

    - what else do you to to try to prevent or alleviate migraine symptoms?
    only other thing I do is lie in the dark, turn off everything noisy; maybe run a fan for white noise to blur out any external abrupt sounds, & attempt sleep.

    -by all means, add whatever else you can think of regarding your migraine experiences & how you manage them.

    Hopefully this thread helps out in some way. Like I said, I'm sure all this data & a handful of experiences could be found online, but who thinks to surf the web about this until they're already in the throes of migraine hell?

    I'll end with this little picture, just to also help mark some clearer, basic distinctions between a variety of headaches:
    03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:06:59 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:21:34 Nancynobullets: LEXXX *sacrifices a first born*
    03/23 06:21:53 Nancynobullets: We summon yooouuu
    03/23 06:29:07 Lexicon: I was sleeping!



    04/25 04:20:35 Patches: Don't listen to lex. She wants to birth a litter of kittens. She doesnt get to decide whats creepy

    02/16 23:49:38 ygolo: Lex is afk
    02/16 23:49:45 Cimarron: she's doing drugs with Jack

    03/05 19:27:41 Time: You can't make chat morbid. Lex does it naturally.

  2. #2
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexicon View Post

    If you get migraines,

    - how long do they last?
    The actual head pain is anywhere from 3-12 hours. I get aura about 1 hour to 30 minutes before the migraine. Nausea persists throughout head pain. After the head pain goes away, I will feel "empty headed" and sort of spacey for the next 24-48 hours. You feel like you're underwater or something. And sneezing, coughing, sudden movements, bending over, all hurt my head like hell.

    - do you have any specific triggers you've noticed?
    Physical exertion/dehydration and mental stress.

    - what kinds of 'auras' do you experience when they're coming on?
    I lose vision near the center of my field of view in both eyes. It's hard to tell sometimes early, because it isn't obvious. You'd think it would be, but it's more like vision in an area is "pinched" together so it looks continuous, but it isn't. The pinched area grows with time until I really can't see in front of me at all. Typically, my test is to hold my hand out in front of me and see if any of is missing.

    - what Rx or OTC medications do you take for it, & when?
    I just take advil and benadryl to go to sleep. Any medicine I've found, never works as well as being unconscious! I was on anti-histamine and anti-seizure for prevention at one point, but the anti-histamine didn't work and the anti-seizure made my head slow so I stopped taking it. Thankfully, I don't get them as often as I did anymore so I don't find the preventative drugs to be terribly necessary.

    - what else do you to to try to prevent or alleviate migraine symptoms?
    Basically, just go to sleep. Morgan Le Fay/BlueMonday/Salami recommended magnesium supplements, and since I got those I haven't gotten one. I don't take them daily because I forget, but whenever I remember I just toss them down the hatch.



  3. #3
    Symbolic Herald Vasilisa's Avatar
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    The week before last, I had one that spanned nearly 8 days; it was debilitating & miserable. Typically they don't last more than a day or two. I just got another the night before last, & am getting over it, presently, I believe. [I have that lingering feeling in my eye/cheek like someone punched me in the face]
    How ghastly. My sympathies.

    - length
    One or two days not including the resolution after the headache, where I just feel bulldozed. I don't get migraines too frequently, my heart goes out to those that do.

    - triggers
    None that I know. I don't get them frequently thankfully. If I were to come up with any general trend, I could say that they tend to occur when I'm not "taking care of myself" as well as I could be. Its so general, but I mean periods when I'm extremely busy, stressed. Stress doesn't bring them on, but there is some tenuous evidence of correlation, just for me. When I was quite young, I had multiple occasions where the evil flickering of some cheap fluorescent lighting seemed to explode into my brain, followed by a migraine headache and it made me believe that the lights were causing it. But after so many strobe lights, etc., I know this isn't like epilepsy or something, and its likely that I was actually in the early stages of a migraine without knowing it and the lights were just a symptom of that, not a cause.

    - auras
    Evidently its different for everyone. For me its like soft gray shapes. Something like ashes fallen and conglomerated and obscuring most of my vision. The light beyond them is saturated and piercing. My friend's mother has the saturation thing with smells when she is having a migraine. A guy in my class told me his were something akin to a crack in glass spiderwebbing outward.

    - meds
    I used to be prescribed fiorecet and midrin, back when that was still around. I think they eased the symptoms slightly. I keep excedrine migraine on hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vasilisa View Post
    I had a roommate who suffered from very frequent migraines, and she did all kinds of medications, treatments, and saw specialists and she told me frankly that they were of no avail. Possibly as a result she was very very insistent on a quiet atmosphere, which I understand completely. Another friend of mine with migraines was on some of the drugs you listed, specifically imitrex when it was new and she told me about how crazy expensive it was. She also told me those drugs did nothing at all. She still maintains a coke-a-cola (not diet, zero, etc.), Excedrin migraine pills, and a silent dark room is the best treatment she has found.
    - alleviate migraine symptoms
    I need the room made as dark as possible. Lights and noises are so amplified, its tormenting. I feel queasy. I just have to lie there. There is no thinking. Just enduring, and then mercifully, sleep. During the last one I had, I took occasion to try putting on actual white noise, its reported to help others, but I ended up turning it off.
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  4. #4
    Sniffles
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    I often find that excedrine plus a dark room helps the most. The nausea before and throughout the whole episode really gets to me.

  5. #5
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    I no longer get migraines often (see below), but thought I'd answer for completeness.

    - how long do they last?

    When they happen, they are not particularly long lasting. Perhaps 1-3 hours at most.

    - do you have any specific triggers you've noticed?

    My triggers include: fluorescent lighting, having had alcohol the previous evening, a particularly hard workout (legs, for example) at the gym, and caffeine.

    I had fairly regular migraines for a few months when we moved to the new office building at work, where there is tons of fluorescent lighting (lots of really bright fluorescent lighting and nothing else). Once I disable the fluorescent lighting in my area, my migraines stopped (although I still sometimes have pre-migraine symptoms).

    - what kinds of 'auras' do you experience when they're coming on?

    I still get auras once or twice a month, but normally they don't lead to migraines (as long as I avoid bright lights and loud noises during and after my aura). The auras I get are amorphous areas of black and white strobing/pulsing patterns that obscure parts of my vision. While I'm having an aura, I'm often unable to read, and sometimes will be reduced to only having parts of my peripheral vision left functioning normally.

    - what Rx or OTC medications do you take for it, & when?

    I usually take ibuprofen for it. (Since mine aren't that bad/frequent, haven't bothered with anything else.)

    - what else do you to to try to prevent or alleviate migraine symptoms?

    Avoid fluorescent lighting (the long tubes with magnetic ballasts seem to be problematic)... I mostly use LED lighting at home, which is both more energy efficient and has a better color balance.

    When I get auras, I avoid brightness and loud noise. If need be, I rest somewhere cool, quiet and dark.

  6. #6
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    - how long do they last?
    4-6 hours on average.

    - do you have any specific triggers you've noticed?
    stress, caffeine, sleep deprivation

    - what kinds of 'auras' do you experience when they're coming on?
    None that I'm aware of. They just seem to come out of the blue.

    - what Rx or OTC medications do you take for it, & when?

    Just Tylenol which hardly helps. When I get a migraine, I head straight for the bed. I'm basically dysfunctional until the migraine wears off.

    - what else do you to to try to prevent or alleviate migraine symptoms?
    Turn off bright lights and turn off background noises, lie still and sleep it off

    -by all means, add whatever else you can think of regarding your migraine experiences & how you manage them.

    Nothing. They're as annoying as hell. Luckily, I only have about one episode every 6 weeks or so.
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  7. #7
    meinmeinmein! mmhmm's Avatar
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    2-3 hours. happens much less now. once or twice a year.
    when i was younger i'd be on the floor with my head between
    my knees squeezing my temples.

    induced by stress, when too many people want something from me.
    when i feel overwhelmed. it gets too bright for me. i have to close
    my eyes. i never go anywhere without my sunglasses.

    i take xanax and just need to sleep it off. i prefer klonopin.
    it knocks the shit out of me.
    every normal man must be tempted, at times,
    to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag,
    and begin slitting throats.
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