Migraine from Hell

by Gena

I have a long history of migraines. I remember getting my very first migraine at age ten. I just cried and cried. The strange thing is I never got one again until I was in my mid twenty’s.

I get the aura and that's how I know I’m getting a migraine. As soon as the aura goes away the migraine usually hits like a ton of bricks with no mercy. The pain is usually so intense I usually start crying and put myself in a dark quite room.

My senses get heightened to smell, light, sound, and I get nauseated. Usually, as soon as I throw up the pain decreases. I was seeing a neurologist that prescribed me muscle relaxants and anti-nausea medications with Imitrex. So, I have tried Imitrex but sometimes - well most times, it doesn't work. Maybe my timing is off. In the past I have even tried drinking a can of coke and eating a full chocolate candy bar and taking an Imitrex. But I usually end up throwing up everything.

My pain is usually one-sided to the right side of my temple or left or sometimes on both sides. It feels like someone has my head in a vice and is crushing my head until it blows. At this point I usually am crying so hard – I think it helps just a little with pain. I tried breathing techniques but they didn’t help.

When I get my migraines I don't function well, my coordination is off and my speech is usually confused. I will say things that don’t make sense or I won't recall what I just heard.

I also get the post migraine munchies where I eat like crazy and crave cold fluids and comfort foods. I usually feel brain foggy for one or two more days after an attack.

Today was the worst of all. I work at a hospital so I didn't have to drive to get medical attention. I went to the ER as soon as my aura started and my coordination was off. As soon as I was triaged I was put in a dark quite room. I was given a shot of Imitrex subcutaneous. About thirty minutes later my pain increased and I became nauseated. I was then given a shot of Phenergan to help with the nausea.

About another thirty minutes went by, my pain had increased and I was now crying and needed immediate relief. My head was throbbing. I felt like I was going to pop the veins in my temple. I also started throwing up and kept vomiting but my stomach was empty. I then started noticing my neck muscles on my right side started cramping up. At this point I asked for a muscle relaxant, but because they figured it was a typical migraine they declined and said they would continue treating the migraine.

So then they started an IV and gave me some Dilaudid for pain control but I got nauseated from that too. So I got some Zofran via IV and I also received 2 IV blouses. At this point my head was still in a lot of pain and I was just sleepy. My sister came and picked me up and drove me home and I slept it off for about three hours.

Now I have the post migraine soreness. My neck was still tight so I took 5mg of muscle relaxant. Finally my head doesn't hurt anymore but I still have to be careful because if I get up too fast or turn in a certain direction the pain starts up again.

Today was a migraine from hell and I think I know the trigger!

I changed to a gluten free diet and have tried very hard to stick to this lifestyle. Since being on a GF diet my migraines have stopped 100% unless I accidentally eat gluten. I have also been on a dairy free diet because I am lactose intolerant as well.

Sometimes I accidentally eat gluten. Yesterday, I ate a tamale from a food vendor and I didn't check the ingredients. This is the third time I have had a migraine after eating a tamale. I think I am done with eating tamales after today!

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