New to migraine

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New to migraine

Post  Greg on Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:24 am

Got my first one last August. I was 58 yo; now 59. I have had 5 episodes since. Aura first for 30 minutes, then the pressure headache on the top of my head. No throbbing. It always happens when I am in front of my computer. I day trade the futures market. Recently some other traders said to increase my refresh rate on my monitor so I have done that. I lowered the brightness and contrast as well on my four screens. Changed the light bulb in my office from 100 to 50. Keep the shades drawn when it is really bright outside. The headaches have gotten worse and last longer since the last two migraines. One last month and another last week. I feel much better the next day but there is a lingering headache hangover that last 4-5 days. I have never even had a headache in my life before this started. Obviously spending 6-7 hours in front of my four monitors during the stock market hours is the most likely culprit. I saw a neurologist and he gave me Sumatriptan for the next possible episode. I had a brain MRI in 2008 for dizziness that was clear so he did not think that I needed another one and he felt I had classic migraine symptoms. I was wondering if these lingering light headaches after the initial one day event is "normal"? I stopped drinking coffee and other caffeine drinks. My last migraine was right after Easter at which we had a spiral ham for a couple of nights and I had also eaten a few pieces of chocolate. Maybe that triggered that one. I also got new computer glasses since my prescription was slightly off considering the length of time I spend in front of the computer. I have backed off that as well as best as I can. Thanks for any comments.

Greg

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Re: New to migraine

Post  Mini on Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:46 am

Hi Grem,
I am very busy right now, but I just wanted to wellcome you to our forum.

I am so sorry that you also suffer from this complex condition.

Lingering h/a is not unsual after episode of migraine. But we all find that we have very inidividual patterns of pain, which can also change over the years.

Yes, I find that spending much time in front of computer screen can often bring on aa h/a episodes, or makes them worse.

Just one thing - I want to mention that dehydriation is often a very bad migraine trigger, and when in front of screen, we often forget to drink adequate intake of water.
So, make sure that that you alsways have a bottled water handy, all through the day, and get into a habit of drinking at least 2 litres of water a day (on top of any other drinks) even more when it is hot, or in dry conditions.

Also make sure that you avoind low sugar drinks as they contain aspartame which is one of the worst migraine triggers.
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Re: New to migraine

Post  Greg on Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:19 am

Thanks for the trigger comments. I have always been a low water drinker. Have to change.

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Re: New to migraine

Post  Greg on Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:13 pm

Has "anyone" gotten results from Sumatriptan? I get the impression from what I have read here that these "abort migraine" drugs don't do what they claim to do.

Greg

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Re: New to migraine

Post  Mini on Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:32 pm

Glad to be of help, Greg.
Sumatriptan has benn my rescue medicine for over 10 years, and when it first came out is has completely changed my life, since before that nothing ever had any effect on my migraine pain.

It has been a real Godsend. However, I know that it does not work for every person, but it is definitely worth trying. Also take 100mg, rather than 50mg dose, as I never found 50mg sufficient.


In case it does nto work for you, there are other triptans to try as well. Sumatriptan is just one of several triptans, which can be tried.
Sumatriptan can have some side effects - it makes me very drowsy at times, but not always.
I do not find it a problem. But to be on the safe side, it might be better not to plan to drive, after you take it first few times.

Just one more thing - Sumatriptan is most effective when you take it as soon as your migraine starts, so do not delay. One request, Greg - can you please divide your text into smaller paragraphs since many of us cannot read large blocs of text. Thanks.
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Re: New to migraine

Post  Paradox on Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:54 pm

Hi Greg,

For some folks, like Mini, triptans are a godsend. But for many of us here they don't work at all, and frankly, that's why we're here. We can't get relief and we band together for the support that only fellow sufferers really understand.

And, there are many different triptans, so if the sumatriptan doesn't work, don't give up hope. Just briefly there is Imitrex, Maxalt, Frova and several others to try. It can be hit or miss.

And take it at the first inkling of the headache. We are all so tempted to wait and see if we really need it. I call it the "maybe it's just my sinuses "syndrome Smile But if you wait til it's full blown the triptans don't work nearly as well.

I drink alot of G2 at work. Also, anything change in your building? Perhaps a water leak that may have created mold in the venting?

Plus, I'm a little curious...you have a new onset headache, you're male so you don't have a lot of hormonal changes going on, why is your neuro comfortable relying on a three year old scan? I've had these monsters for almost 35 years and whenever I've had to go to the ER the first thing they ask is "is the headache different in any way from your normal migraine". Once it was, the aura was completely different and off I was for a new battery of tests.

Oh, and the post migraine headache? Yup, unfortunately for many of us we have them.

Good luck.
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Re: New to migraine

Post  Greg on Sat Apr 30, 2011 4:24 pm

Thanks Charlotte for the reply. My last migraine in mid March was similar to the one I got on Tuesday. The difference was that I also stopped drinking caffeine so I assumed that the latent headache from the March event was due to the lack of coffee in the morning.

Now it appears that it was just an extension of the original migraine after the aura effect. The March episode lasted a good week before I was back to normal.

The day I was at the Neurologist, on Wednesday, he was interested in doing an MRI but I rejected that since I had had one three years ago. I then called him the next day and said I wanted the MRI but he said after thinking about it as well, he said I was displaying the classic symptoms of Migraine with aura. He thought we should wait and see if another one arrives and also see how the Sumatriptan works. Then go from there.

I really appreciate the comment on this lasting mild headache I have as being normal. It's like a mild hangover. What do you take for this part of the sequence? I just took a couple of Excedrin for Migraine.

If this headache does not go away in a few days I am going to get an MRI.

Greg

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Re: New to migraine

Post  Brenda on Sat Apr 30, 2011 4:51 pm

Hi Greg. Welcome to our little family. I'm glad you found us.

Sumatriptain is a godsend for some of us. I've taken it since it first was released over 20 years ago. I've had migraines at least twice a week for the last 35 years. Nowadays, it seems like 3-7 times a week. Over time, I seem to have developed a resistance to the sumatriptan tablets. I've gone back to the injectable form over the last year or so, and it works way better. Some of us find that our digestion stops during a migraine which makes tablets ineffective for us. My doctor doesn't want me using the suma more than 2 a day, 2 days a week. He gives me nalbuphine injections to take at home for the rest of my migraines.

If you find that your headaches are getting very frequent, you may want to talk to your physician about trying preventive medications. These help many people. Of course, the percentage of people who are helped tremendously by preventives on this board is a little lower. We tend to have a lot of difficult to treat migrainers here. We come here for support and to share ideas about anything anyone has tried to make us better.

The wackiest idea I ever heard was taping a banana peel to your forehead. Thought I'd throw that in for a laugh. It's either laugh or cry some days. Crying makes my head worse, so I'll try to laugh. Smile

Again, welcome to our group. I hope you find some relief soon.
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Re: New to migraine

Post  Greg on Sat Apr 30, 2011 5:40 pm

Hi Brenda,
What happens on almost all message boards is that the cured or the ones that get the best of results stop coming to the particular site. On stock trading boards it is usually the ones that lost their money that stop coming back or they sold that particular stock and are no longer interested.

What is left are the chronic patients or ones with occasional issues seeking answers from the chronic well versed forum members. Where I fit in at this point only time will tell. It does seem unusual that I have never had a headache in my life and now they start up at 58 yo. The only thing different now from before is the amount of time I spend on the internet since my business is 50% off from the recession.

This could be overuse issues and cutting down on screen time may be the answer. That will be difficult since I day trade and read blogs routinely.

Thanks for responding to my petty headache problems. I certainly don't have debilitating issues at this point. My doctor just says at this point to change the environment and go from there. In the meantime I have Sumatriptan to deal with the next one if there is one.

Greg

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Re: New to migraine

Post  gaugreg1x on Sat Apr 30, 2011 5:58 pm

Hi, fellow male migraineur also named Greg (age 51). I am not new to migraines though. As you will notice you will not find many males on this, or other migraine boards. Nice to interact with some other guys with migraines (no offense ladies).

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Re: New to migraine

Post  Greg on Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:12 pm

Hi Greg,
There is no guarantee of perfect health forever. It is how we deal with adversity that determines how we remain optimistic about our futures. As humans we tend to learn to deal with "almost" anything that befalls us. We don't have a choice.

Greg

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Re: New to migraine

Post  Greg on Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:06 pm

Link to brain tumor vs headache/migraine: Very basic but informative.

http://www.severe-headache-expert.com/brain-tumor-symptoms.html

Greg

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Re: New to migraine

Post  mxgo on Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:13 pm

Greg, at my last appointment with my urologist who took out a kidney because of a renal cell carcinoma, I did ask about the possibility of a brain tumor since I have chronic daily headaches. She said that if that was the case, I would be acting weird. I think she figured that a tumor would be pressing on something in the brain, thus causing some sort of reaction in my behavior. My neurologist said the same thing.

Martin

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Re: New to migraine

Post  Greg on Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:22 pm

Thanks for the comment. I assume that is why my Neuro is not interested in an MRI at this point in time. No usual suspects relating to a tumor.

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hi greg

Post  Guest on Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:12 pm

Welcome. Here is what jumped out at me in your initial post. MRI for dizziness. Did you know that dizziness can be connected to migraine? briefly: i had dizziness/ vertigo since childhood. Never looked into why. Just carried on. When the dizziness stopped, later in life, the classic migraine began. When the sporadic classic migraine stopped, years later, chronic daily headache began. So, perhaps, your dizziness was a sign of migraine? just a thought. hope it helps.

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Re: New to migraine

Post  Greg on Sun May 01, 2011 7:18 am

Thanks Gail.

Greg

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Re: New to migraine

Post  mxgo on Sun May 01, 2011 8:46 am

Greg, like you, I can tell you to the hour and the day that the chronic daily headache started. I also sat the at the computer too many hours, not for work, but for my hobby; black and white film photography. Before that, I also did not have headaches. I've had to give up it up.

You have not mentioned any physical therapy in your pursuit for headache relief. Some of us have had partial relief with physical therapy, trigger point massage therapy, acupuncture, and somatic exercises.

Martin
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Re: New to migraine

Post  Greg on Sun May 01, 2011 9:54 am

Martin,
Up until recently I determined that what I was experiencing was an event that would not be long lasting. Now with the last 2 of 5 experiences since last August I have become more aware that I may have a problem that I have to address. The last two migraines lasting longer than a 24 hour period. Just today I feel like the headache is gone. That was 5 full days of medium to mild headache.

Did your episodes stop after you got off the computer screens? Did you check your refresh rates on your monitors? My recent purchase of a 25" LCD Monitor that I assumed was an upgrade from my older 19" LCD'd only has a maximum refresh rate of 60 hertz. According to others that day trade and spend a lot of time in front of screens that is to low. 75 hertz is the minimum. I can change the three 19" to 75 hertz and the manufacturer is currently determining if they will upgrade me to a new monitor that options for proper hertz values for my application for medical reasons. They are going to tell me on Tuesday.

I was also not getting quality sleep for the kind of focus that I was applying. Going to bed at 9 and getting up at 4-5am with restless sleeping patterns. My business is installing and finishing hardwood floors. I have never had a headache of any kind when I have been involved full time with that avocation. All of my migraines have happened when I have been in front of my monitors.

Day trading may not be for me. I may have to be an option or a swing trader that does not have to sit with the market minute by minute. More like day by day. That is OK. I am adjustable.

So no I have not got to the point of any therapy. The hardwood floor business is a form of therapy due to all the physical movements we apply to that trade. I walk 3 miles a day with my dog usually. Cutting way back on caffeine, nitrates and sugar free soft drinks. Lowered the brightness/contrast on my computer monitors as possible triggers. Less computer time when possible. Softer lower wattage light bulbs in the computer room. Any other ideas or comments are appreciated from the group.

Greg

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Re: New to migraine

Post  Migrainegirl on Sun May 01, 2011 9:46 pm

Some migrainuers are very susceptible to flourescent lights. So might want to turn those off if they are in your office space.
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Re: New to migraine

Post  Greg on Wed May 04, 2011 8:53 pm

I went to see my GP on Monday and he ordered up an MRI and a complete blood workup. The MRI results were in the office at noon but no one called me back with the results. It actually was faxed to the office yesterday but they claim they did not receive it. I assume the results were a clear scan or someone would have contacted me. Assuming that result my doctor may be waiting for the blood results so that he only has to make one call to me. Whatever!

On a different note I still have a mild headache after last Tuesday's initial migraine with aura attack. Do they hang on this long? What should I be doing at this point? I have cut out the caffeine and the Nitriles as possible triggers. Does exercise help?

Greg

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Re: New to migraine

Post  mxgo on Wed May 04, 2011 9:37 pm

Greg, the somatic exercises that I mentioned in my previous posting are actually stretches that are meant to retrain the muscles and brain. Here are three, I previously posted, that may help with the tight muscles in your neck, shoulders, and back:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qo99aLekHCc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMIxfCSoLX4&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xelBkrXwi6E

Martin


Last edited by mxgo on Wed May 04, 2011 10:44 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : grammer)
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Re: New to migraine

Post  Greg on Fri May 06, 2011 10:27 pm

I had an MRI without contrast on Monday and the scan came back clean except for " multiple punctuate nonspecific foci of high T2 signal intensity predominately in the frontal lobes which can be seen in patients with migraines". Of course it was my ENT's indication for the test due to "New onset of migraine headaches".

I had a brain MRI back in 2001 for a "Vertigo with headache on the top of my head" indication that found two tiny foci in the white matter of the left centrum semiovale". Radiologist commented that they had no apparent clinical consequence.

I had a brain MRI in 2008 that was normal with no comments made as to "any" foci in any part of the brain. Test indicated for "progressive Vertigo" from my ENT.

I am wondering if the reason I had so many foci in the current scan was because I was still in the final phases of the migraine completing itself. My headache went away Thursday, nine days after the aura and migraine attack. I am going to get both of my previous scans and take them to the current radiologist to review them against the old ones and make a new review report. I have the 2001 x-rays. I just need to pickup the 2008 x-rays.

Greg

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