Migraines: how much do they suck?


Jesus Christ.

I’ve been having some luck during a tension/sinus headache with a tension neck pillow. It takes the weight off the neck by holding up your head by non-pressure points and lets you relax your neck, shoulders, and jaw.

Edit: I win because I get all kinds of headaches.


I’ve gotten migraines for about seven years but multiple injections into the base of the skull… Man those must have been some horrible migraines.


There’s a study by Lyn Griffiths that shows Vit B & folate may help with migraine:



I am a doctor, but you should still see a doctor.

I agree in that it sounds like an ocular migraine. But, there is a list of other more concerning things that it could be as well. If you want me to list some possibilities I will, but I generally find it’s better not to freak people out.


I’m no doctor, but isn’t folate a B vitamin?


Well, it’s probably better to just say it rather than making vague pronouncements of possible doom. :-)

And anyway, I’ve probably run through all the nightmare scenarios already (stroke, brain tumor, etc). Like I said, it freaked me out. I did call my doctor this morning. He didn’t seem all that concerned, but I have an appt already for Wednesday, so he’s gonna check me out then.

Here’s what the visual disturbance looked like, almost exactly:

except I had to close my eyes to see it that clearly. They’re calling it a scintillating scotoma. From everything I’ve been able to find out, that would be really atypical for a stroke or a TIA.


I’ve started getting auras with mine recently, and they look a lot like this.

Do a Google image search for “migraine aura.”


Actually useful: http://theatlasoflife.com/2011/01/24/migraine-headaches-an-aura-of-throbbing-pain-misery/ and http://theatlasoflife.com/2011/02/01/migraine-headaches-9-forms-of-pain-misery/


This may be a language thing, but isn’t Migraine and headache two very distinctly different things? Where Migraine is a clearly defined medical condition?

I suffer from severe headaches, where the only remedy is to lie down and rest my neck. Nothing else helps, pills - nothing. Left side of the temple as well, severe pain, throbbing and general unpleasantness. The aftereffects can be felt for days, where the residue of the headache can still be felt and at times come back, causing me to having to lie down again.

Anyways, I don’t think that that is a migraine though, but I could be wrong.

That Ocular Migraine? That sounds damn scary though!


You get used to them (ocular migraines). The worst was when I was a kid (a long time ago) and there was little to no common understanding of what a migraine is. I had these unnamed issues, and it freaked my parents out which in turn freaked me out. I finally decided to draw a picture of the visual disturbance while it was occurring so I could show it to the doctor. Upon looking at my “art,” the doctor was taken aback and said that was a migraine, and also asked to keep the picture so that his colleagues could use it as a reference. Many years later in a biopsych class, I opened up to the appropriate page and found it there - what an odd sense of pride that gave me, lol.

Anyway, Razgon, that sounds like a classic migraine that you’re getting, but it could always be something else … like lupus. As said above and in every medical related thread, ttydr.


Hah, thats pretty cool! But yeah, I can understand why it was scary. Its not long ago we knew a lot less than we do today.

And wow - Lupus? That means I’m turning into a werewolf, right?!! ;-)

And yeah, one of these days I gotta talk to a doc about it…male stubbornness is a wonderful thing ;-)


I get ocular migraines. Just had one now actually. Normally I get two or three a year and they’re not debilitating, just annoying.

What really sucks is that in the aftermath of a migraine I break out in hives on my shoulders, neck, and head. Every time. It’s fucking annoying in the extreme!


Ocular migraines are pretty fun. For me, usually accompanied by a euphoric feeling. The hives is weird.

I’ve been getting weekly headaches that I thought were sinus-based but now I’m reading that sinus headaches are usually accompanied by a fever. They are one side of the head, usually around the sinuses, annoying, but not debilitatingly painful, and lasting around 20-26 hours. I take stuff for them (acetaminophen and pseudoephedrine) but it’s fifty-fifty if it actually does anything. Usually heat and rest do more. The side-effects – being insatiably thirsty and falling-asleep-at-the-wheel tired – are the debilitating bits, not the pain.

Anyway, my point is that these headaches are nothing compared to the 2-3 annual migraines I get, but I might going to just go ahead and start calling them migraines.


That sucks. Like I said, my migraines are quite rare. As soon as the auras show up I just pop a few painkillers and lie down. Today I managed to fall asleep before the pain set in, even.

I have no idea about the hives though. Based on my (admittedly limited) googling, I’m the only person on earth who gets them after a migraine.


Do you maybe have a reaction to the meds you take for the migraine?

Added: an article about sinus headaches being misdiagnosed migraines.


I had one ocular migraine exactly like what you described, charmtrap. Turned out it was from eye strain, and I just needed glasses. Do you wear glasses? Maybe you need glasses?


I almost never take meds for them. Today I happened to pop a few Advil, but they’re often mild enough that I don’t bother. But I always get hives, and they always only occur once the headache itself has mostly subsided.

Oh, other fun symptom: for the next few days, any really sudden movement of my head (like, say, a sneeze) will cause a quick bit of pain.


That sounds like a migraine.


I suffered from headaches from my late teens until recently (40). Migraines came into the picture in my early 20s, was getting them at least twice a month. I had surgery a little over a year ago to repair an aortic aneurysm and have not had a migraine since. Related? Possible.

Though, since my surgery I’ve made it a point to go to bed early (more like I got in the habit after the physical exhaustion that was open heart surgery and the long recovery period). My migraines would be more severe on the days after getting only 5 or 6 hours of sleep. I’ve also had trouble sleeping all my adult life so after my surgery I followed a few common sense tips for better sleep: eliminating most light sources in my room, minimizing caffeine (cardiologist suggested I switch to decaf coffee and tea anyway, and that’s what I got in the hospital the 2 weeks I was there), not drinking anything a few hours before bedtime so as not to have to get up to urinate, relax/wind down IN bed for 30 minutes before bedtime. I also got a sleep mask which really helps since I can’t get my room pitch black.

I’ve also made it a point to stay well hydrated - there we’re two times when my migraines we’re caused by dehydration. The pain was so bad I was throwing up and thought I was dying and I went to the emergency room. Turned out I was dehydrated.



If you haven’t yet, try a Neti pot to help with the sinus headaches. It’s an awkward and frankly uncomfortable thing at first (I used half a packet of the salt to start with; and for goodness’ sake let it air out long enough to outgas the chlorine in the water. Also make sure the temperature is right at body temperature), but after a while I’ve gotten to where I can come home with a teeth-grinding type of sinus related headache, neti pot, and have relief in about 10 minutes. If I then follow it up with chugging water to make sure I stay hydrated and maybe a second neti-potting before bed, I can generally get rid of the headaches that used to hang on for days.

Sometimes over the counter drugs help for these things, sometimes they don’t; at this point I can generally track the headaches to one of three causes though: Either I haven’t had enough to drink in the last day or two and am dehydrated, the humidifier hasn’t been working correctly and I’m dehydrated, or we’re having an inversion in the valley and all the crap stuck in the air is really irritating the hell out of my sinuses. All three are helped directly by the neti pot and flushing my sinuses with isotonic water. Also tends to help when I first start to develop a cold.