My empathy meter went so high it shattered

If you suffer from migraines, read this from a fellow sufferer.  You may well see yourself in the opinion piece, although I’m grateful that I never suffered migraines as severe as those that affected Ms. Hustvedt.  Certainly, though, I suffered from the enough to make parts of my life really hellish, and had headaches with greater frequency than the author did, but I avoided the seizures!  Migraines are a curse and sometimes the only relief is to know that you’re not alone.

9 Responses

  1. Wow, that one brought back some memories for me. My wife suffered with migraines her whole adult life. The part she hated the most was the near exile she had to go through when a bad one hit. She couldn’t even stand having me in the room but for short periods of time. That was the part that tore at her.

  2. For what it is worth,

    I left a comment over there and here is what I said,

    … … …

    I realize we are all different but for what it is worth,

    I am a life long migraine/ headache sufferer and in most cases it is what I ingest that is the trigger,

    I rarely have migraines now but I have – on average – two headaches a week, it has been like that for a couple decades now ( I am 48 years old )…

    There are obvious culprits such as MSG ( monosodium glutamate ) found in most salted food preparations
    ( flavored potato chips, soups – dry or canned, sauces, dry pasta mixes et cetera)

    but along the years I discovered many others,

    Vanillin which is artificial vanilla and is found in Nutella spread, in MOST chocolate, in some cakes, pies and poudings et cetera…There are some brands of Root beer soft drinks that contain vanillin! it is everywhere !

    Most fruit juices such as orange, pinneaple trigger a headache/ migraine with me, only apple juice is safe for me.

    Decaffeinated coffee or soft drinks triggers them too for me

    Some instant oatmeal contains some artificial flavors that give me headaches.

    Artificial sweeteners are bad.

    Most beers give me a headache within about 45 minutes!

    In fact most prepared food that you can buy today contain something that trigger a headache or migraine for me ( and for many headache sufferers who do not know that what they eat is the main source of headache triggers ).

    I have just had a 3 days headache this week and have just finally discovered this morning what could be the only unknown in my diet; I bought a new brand of margarine without reading the ingredient list, I read it this morning, there is artificial flavours in that margarine!

    … … …

  3. For me, the triggers seem to be motion (I’ve always been a car sickness sufferer) and stress. I know chocolate is supposed to be a trigger, but I actually find it a comfort food when I’m suffering from a migraine. It’s a terrible curse and, sadly, one I bequeathed to my daughter.

  4. I believe that had I not been a headache sufferer I would have lived a different life.
    By that I mean a better life, not that my life is so bad now, but it would have been more and better.

    Theses headaches have put a strain on my relationships with everyone from girlfriend, family to co-worker.

    I know I would have had more success everywhere if I had not been in pain about a third of the time…

    It is has been curse.

  5. No one will probably read this because it’s so far down the line, but I take prescription Zomig-ZMT plus an anti-nausea suppository. The pill dissolves on the tongue in seconds and rarely fails to wipe out the migraine in 30-45 minutes and same w/the anti nausea med.

  6. My anti-nausea medicine of choice is Zofran, which was actually developed for chemo patients. Rather than sedating a person, it actually locks down receptors in the brain that trigger nausea. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for everyone; fortunately, it works for me. I also take Maxalt and Motrin. If I take that triple hit right when the migraine starts, I’m often lucky enough to shove it to the background, where I’m aware of it, but not suffering from it.

  7. Incidentally, the best anti-migraine med I ever had was . . . well, let me tell the story.

    I’d had some outpatient surgery, and was in the outpatient recovery room — but I wasn’t recovering. My heart beat was racing, my oxygen was off, and things just weren’t right. They gave me various meds, but to no effect, and I was too grocked out to be of help. Only as I really came out of the anesthetic did I suddenly realize what was wrong: I had a migraine. The nurse smiled what he heard that.

    “I have just the thing,” he said, vanishing into the back room.

    He came back in a couple of minutes with a needle, and I gladly suffered a shot in the hopes that it would help. Wow! Did it help. Without a couple of minutes I felt fabulous. It turned out he’d given me fentanyl, which is about 80 times stronger than morphine. That was my first and last experience with a high powered opiod. I’m very scared of drugs, and would never do it again but, boy, did it help that headache.

  8. I also take anti-nausea medicine along with a couple of acetaminophen with codeine tablets.

    It helps but my results vary,
    Sometimes the pain goes almost completely away, sometimes it only makes the pain about half as bad…

    I used to take Fiorinal but eventually they stopped working for me.

  9. I also tried Zytram which is supposed to be about 20 times stronger than codeine but it does nothing to me – nothing!

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