Migraines: how much do they suck?


Tromik, a couple of years ago I went to a dentist who filed an upper premolar a bit and my headaches disappeared. It appeared I unconsciously grinded my mismatched teeth which trigged them.

Awesome guy, too bad he’s like 70 now. He also had amalgam in stock, not that woozy natural color junk that falls off after a couple of years.


Oh boy, migraines. Fun fun.

So much.

SO, so much.

I don’t get them often - once a month if I’m unlucky - but when I do, they’re crippling. I get pretty reliable early warning signs, though, so I can usually get home from whatever I’m doing if I’m out, before they kick in properly.

It’ll start with a tiny dot right in the centre of my field of vision, right where I focus, of a kind of ‘disturbance’, like rapidly flickering colours in a vaguely geometric pattern. Over the course of about half an hour, this dot will expand in size and turn into a kind of crescent-moon shape like an inverted C that eventually covers nearly half of my entire field of vision. The edges of this crescent moon shape will be flickering very rapidly in every imaginable and unimaginable colour, too fast to identify, in shapes made up of straight lines and shapes, while the inside is completely blank. It’s not black, it’s not white - it’s simply an area where I cannot see a thing; a truly blind spot.
Some time at the end of the half hour or so this will go on, the visual disturbance will exit stage right, abruptly sliding out from my field of vision, and I’ll be overwhelmed with a sense of vertigo; nausea and dizziness sets in, and will be worsened with the tiniest movement of my head. This is usually about the point where I’m lying in bed, in total silence, with heavy blankets draped over my windows to keep the darkness as complete as I can get it – any kind of sound or light will cause the nausea to rear up to such a degree that I throw up violently(which, of course, makes me move, which makes the nausea even worse).
Then the pain sets in. It’s a constant, ‘squeezing’ kind of pain that goes in a band around the right side of my head, around the height of the temple, which coincidentally makes it feel like my right eye is about to pop out of my skull from the pressure. All I can do is lie very still, try not to move a muscle, and hope I pass out quickly. I won’t say I fall asleep, exactly - I lose consciousness abruptly, can’t remember any dreams, and it feels like I’ve simply drifted off for a moment, but the amount of time I’m out can be anything from a couple of hours to a whole day.

Thankfully, the whole thing will be gone by the time I come to. I’ll be feeling very drained, though, and it’s not uncommon for me to have to more or less sleep around the clock for a couple of days before I’m back to my usual self.

I’ve told doctors a couple of times. They’ve usually prescribed painkillers, which is pretty funny given that painkillers simply don’t work on me unless they’re at a dosage that’s hazardous to my health.


The best part about the migraine is when it suddenly passes. It doesn’t just fade out, but just quits. The head feels kind of sore, like a pulled muscle, and hurts whenever there’s an elevation shift (getting up, sitting down, driving over windy mountain roads) but the migraine part is over.

If I’m awake at the time it goes away, I get so happy. Flood gates in my brain open, and those happy chemicals get released in a wild rush, and I’m so happy, and life is so nice, and everything is wonderful, and I love everyone.

My grandmother used to get migraines 2 days out of 5 for many years. She still has the towel that she would wrap around her head as a compress. It is totally worn out, with holes all through it. It’s tissue-paper-thin now. Her daughter (my mom) and I don’t get them quite so bad; I’ve been getting them way more often in the past few years. Lack of sleep is the biggest trigger; in fact, it’s pretty much a predictor. If I didn’t sleep enough two nights in a row (less than 7 hours each), I’ll get a migraine on day 3. Even if I sleep 12 hours to make up for it.


Had a wonderful migraingover for most of the day today; I consider it penance for drunk-posting the scotch thread last night (which, near as I can tell, triggered the following cascade of beverage threads that took over EE).


I got them real bad as a kid. Allergy shots fixed them, mostly.


I occassionally get them so bad that any sight or sound is SOOO painful. Usually, I just go into a quiet room and keep my eyes shut very tightly until they pass (usually about 20 minutes). It happened once when I was driving, so I had to cut some guy off to get to the side of the road.


I am lucky: I never, ever, ever get headaches. They are extraordinarily rare for me.

I did get a concussion once which hurt like a motherfucker (also, I could no longer type properly, I had trouble completing sentences, and other fun effects). If that’s the way a migraine feels, my condolences.


I get maybe 1 migraine a year. My wife, however, seems to get them about once or twice a month.

She gets them often enough that she can see the warning signs before it hits. We keep lots of Imitrex on hand for them. That medication takes care of them for her very quickly.


No, but it may cause them.


Please read, because you may not be having a migraine as much as caffeine withdrawal.

For several years, I had these crippling migraines…the kind where you don’t want to open your eyes and I had to lay flat on my back in a darkened room, with a pillow right at the crook of my neck giving pressure. I’d basically go to sleep for the entire day, waking up at 5-6pm.

The weird thing it was always on a Sunday. I couldn’t figure it out. I thought maybe it was the late night gaming, the looking at a computer screen, maybe the salt intake of all the munchies, so I tried a few weekends w/out gaming and it seemed not to make a difference.

So I started looking at my diet, writing everything down what I was eating / drinking and it really didn’t dawn on me until I read some article somewhere that caffeine withdrawal can cause massive migraines.


(I did confirm this with my family doctor BTW and link here)

The thing is I drink coffee during the week to get me going. I absolutely hate waking up in the morning. On weekends however, I would sometimes go without drinking coffee, because I’d sleep in to 11am-noon and didn’t really need it (besides, it was stale & old by the time I got up).

So now, I drink coffee whether i need it or not. Sometimes I forget and feel the headache coming on, and I quickly drink 2 cups of coffee and it subsides in an hour or so, instead of lasting all day.

Anyway, I feel for the people who have real migraines and are not caffeine withdrawal. I know exactly how you feel. I’m just glad I figured mine out and for some of you here, maybe this will help.


What causes them for me is usually screwing with my sleeping and eating schedule. For instance, staying up till 3 AM, eating something substantial aroung 2 AM, then skipping breakfast when I wake up. Pretty good chance that afternoon will be bad.

Last time I had one - maybe six months ago - I spent several hours at least with the dry heaves, lying in a pool of my own vomit, and unable to care - the only thing that mattered was the brief relief before the pain started building up again. Sort of like a railroad spike being hammered into your skull, short-circuiting various other involuntary muscles.


Very old thread - arise!

Wondering if any migraine sufferers out there can tell me if this sounds like a migraine: I had a visual disturbance, out of the blue, a shining line of color that started as a dot and spread across my field of vision until it disappeared. After it was gone, I got a mild headache, along with feeling really shaky, washed out and kind of nauseous. The nausea seem to be passing, but I’m still a little shaky and headachy.

I doubt it’s a stroke since I’m not having any of the classic stroke symptoms, other than the headache. I’ve never been diagnosed with migraine, but I have had that visual disturbance thing in the past and never thought too much of it but today’s was really strong and kind of freaked me out.


Sounds like an ocular migraine. I occasionally get “normal” migraines, but a few months ago I experienced an ocular migraine, symptoms pretty much the same as yours. I was somewhat nervous while I was experiencing the impaired vision, which lasted about a half hour, and did get a headache afterward. I haven’t experienced one again since.

EDIT: I am not a doctor, nor did I actually see my doctor when this happened to me. [insert obligatory “see your doctor to be sure” advice here]


Stress and a nutritional deficiency. GRANT, PLEASE


Stress and a nutritional deficiency. GRANT, PLEAS


Zorry, I doez notz knowz how to end TEH DOUBLY


I’m gonna call my doctor in the morning and see what he says. The jagged, colorful visual line + headache pretty much points to “migraine” according to my reading, but my doctor may say different.

Also from my reading, caffeine and alcohol can be triggers. I had 4 beers last night, which is very atypical for me. The last time I drank was over a month ago. Then I got up this morning and had a cup and a half of coffee and I quit coffee 6 months ago…haven’t had so much as a Coke since. These may have had something to do with it.

You may be having a migraine right now.


I have neither my grains, nor your grains.
Wait, what’s that under your mattress? I KNOW SOMEONE WHO CAN CHECK THAT OUT FOR YEW.

caffeine and alcohol can be triggers.

Quick, someone get ConEdison to patent that theory!


That is pretty much all I get. Things go bright and I get “auras” of round light that float about. I don’t get an intense headache or anything but in severe conditions (and they are occurring more often) I have to stop what I am doing and just close my eyes and try to relax.


I hate them, the only thing that ever helped was multiple injections to the base of my skull of muscle relaxers and pain killer cocktail, and I only did that once.