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Migraine "Hangover?"
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Migraine "Hangover?"

I've only been getting migraines for about 10 years now........the neurologist I see said they are called "occular migraines" because I get the aura, and I do get a headache, but I feel very lucky that it isn't what most of you probably have to suffer with. I get these weird pains like someone is sticking an ice pick into my brain, which also seems to be too large for my head. It's a difficult feeling to explain. And I still get rather scared when they happen, not sure why that is, they just come at me out of the blue. I've been keeping a migraine journal to see if I can pinpoint any triggers, but so far, no luck. The only constant in my life is stress. Funny thing, I can be so stressed out I think I'm going to have a stroke but I don't get a migraine. I seem to get them when the stress is over! It's really quite unfair. Like yesterday was Christmas Eve and I was running around like a chicken with no head, I mean, I was totally stressed, but no headache. Today, Christmas. All the work is done, all the gifts wrapped, the food prepared, it's snowing ever so gently, the fire is warm and the kids are home and all is right with the world except I NOW have a freaking migraine! What's up with that? Is it possible I NEED stress to keep the migraines away?  I've been given Maxalt MLT and it really does work well for me, pretty much stops the migraine in it's tracks, but I'm then left with this very uncomfortable feeling of what I can only describe as "dissassociation." (And excuse me if I spelled that wrong!) I also feel very tired......really "wrung out." I bet your wondering if there is a question in here somewhere. I know there is, but that's yet another of the weird after-symptoms I get......my thinking is muddled and I find that scary too. I've had two MRI's over the years, the last one less than a year ago, so I'm fairly certain there is no tumor and I just had a really complete eye exame, which aside from my arms not being long enough anymore, my eyes are fine. I just remembered one of my questions. I saw that someone else had asked the same one but didn't see a response. When I cough or sneeze while I've got the migraine, I'm positive my head is about to explode, but what has me worried is that even the next day if I cough, one side of my head will hurt like hell. Does anyone know what that's about? Does anyone know what I'm talking about when I say I feel like I've got a hang-over when the migraine finally goes away? Why do I still feel awful? Why do migraines scare me? I know some of you have been having migraines since you were very young, which I'm not, (I'm 56) so you've got years of experience over me. I would appreciate any and all of your wisdom and advice. Thanking you in advance and wishing you all a very Merry Christmas or whatever you may be celebrating this time of year..................
Greenlydia  
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi.

I am very sorry to learn of you condition and how you have been suffering through it. I hope your symptoms would resolve soon.

How long have you been taking rizatriptan (Maxalt)? Do the symptoms of your migraine "hangover" occur during episodes treated with this drug? Rizatriptan has been known to cause side effects including fatigue, dizziness, headache, etc. You should consult your physician to determine any association with your symptoms and this drug and to consider an alternative drug that can be taken without these side-effects.

Hope this helps.

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Avatar_n_tn
Lydia,

Yes, I am one of those lifelong sufferers who has other non-diagnosed headaches too.  I'm not a doctor but stress does not keep you from getting the headache.  The stress activates certain properties of your sympathetic nervous system - "fight or flight" your call to action.  Which I applaud that you jump in and get it all done.  Then when you are done and give that sigh of relief, your symp. nervous system switches to resting state.  That is your migraine trigger. I don't think you have simple stress, I can kind of read between the lines - I think you have at least a slight anxiety disorder which is VERY common for those with Migraine.  The goal is therefore to keep that sympathetic nervous system from ever switching on to "fight or flight".  Now, it is so easy for people to say just relax - yeah right, if you could you would.  

Question:  Do you worry about strokes, or cancer etc.alot.  Christmas is always stressful but are you feeling it all the time therefore having a lot of headaches or just once in a while.  For example, if its just things like Christmas, you can ask the doctor for a small prescription of Xanax.  Take it for a couple days while you would normally be going crazy.  If you can keep the stress at bay, then you won't go through the cycle.  Actually, Benedryl may be enough to keep the stress away but I am not a doctor and please get approval from the doctor for any med management.

Don't worry about dying of a stroke, you started getting the headaches at perimenopause or menopause age (depending on you).  Hormone times are when Migraines can start, the fact that Maxalt works means plain old Migraine -and like the doctor said if Maxalt works then their are a lot of other choices in that area that may work without the side effects.  Also, ask the doc about big doses of B-Complex and Magnesium.  The B-Complex will help with the stress fairly quickly.  Please respond if you have more questions, this is totally managable and I doubt if a stroke is anywhere in your future.

Question:  To determine
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow......thanks for such a well thought out response to my ramblings and questions! The doctor asked if I had these weird "hang-over" feeling after taking the Maxalt. Yes, but I also had them BEFORE he put me on that med. And I have talked to him about that particular side effect, which he said was pretty normal..........guess I just wanted reassurance that that was, indeed, true.

I have done so much reading and research on migraines, but nowhere have I ever read what you suggested could be my "trigger!" It makes so much sense to me!  And actually I've wondered if that particular cycle just might be what brings on the headache. That you suggested it as a very viable response to my stress has given me a great deal of relief AND insight. (In much of my readings, stress is always downplayed as a trigger for migraines...........it's always listed, but it's usually way down at the bottom, or there will be the suggestion............"SEE STRESS HEADACHES."  

It's incredibly astute of you to have read between the lines and determined that I have some form of anxiety disorder. You so hit the nail on the head. I have, and have had since I was 13 years old, MAJOR panic disorder and I take Xanax DAILY to keep those particular demons at bay. (Which is another long story for another forum....one involving sexual child abuse) Perhaps the Xanax keeps my hang-overs from being much worse than they could be? Kind of a spooky thought.

You made me laugh when you said so many people say "just relax!" If I've heard that once, I've heard it a million times and I've long since given up trying to explain to these people that if I had it in me to "just relax," do they really think I wouldn't? Sometimes I want to say to them that "no, I have no desire to relax. I much prefer to be a stress monster and suffer from these horrid headaches!"

I am "normally" a very stressed person. I'm a "bridge builder" and always think about what could go wrong.......like playing a game of chess, I try to see at least three moves ahead. I'm not what you'd call a Type A person, but I fear I have some hidden tendency towards that. I'm basically somehting of a procrastinating slob who invisions perfection at all times. I work in a hospital in a very stressful job, but very seldom get a migraine there, which is not to say that it hasn't happened, but I just have to work through it, which can be stressful in and of itself since when the aura hits, I basically can't see what I'm doing and the bright lights and noise just about send me around the bend! Before I was FINALLY diagnosed with Panic Disorder, I had spent years going from one doc to the next and being told that I worry too much or that I was an "anxious annie" or a "nervous nellie." Even as a child, I remember being worried about so many things.

To answer your question if I worry about strokes or cancer a lot, the answer is yes, I do. For good reason. I am a heavy smoker, which, by the way, I will be quitting very soon as the cardiologist said one of the arteries in my heart is 50% blocked and there is no longer time to say "next year" I'll quit. He pretty much let me know that there may NOT be a next year if I don't give them up NOW. So, add that to my list of stress, both the diagnois AND the quitting. But I guess that's what it took for me to finally do it.........being scared enough. And every time I get a migraine, my first thought is that I'm having a stroke and not just another headache. "Worrywart........" THAT'S what my mother use to call me!

I guess I've answered my own question about why I get scared when I get these headaches. That they did start very soon after my mother passed away from a heart attack, which was less than a year after we had just made a giant move from the city to the country, that I was greiving her loss,  feeling really alone (and lonely) in my new surroundings, raising two very young boys AND had indeed fallen headfirst into the menopause pool...........

Your reassurance that I'm not on the verge of a stroke was welcome news. But even tho I understand much about these headaches, why do they still continue to scare me? Since you've sadly suffered with them since you were young, how did you come to not fear them? And out of curiosity, what do you do when you get one and what is your (are) trigger(s)?

I think I would like to talk to you some more...........do you mind?
Thank you so much for your insights.
Greenlydia  

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Avatar_m_tn
Have you ever heard of an NTI appliance? I also take Maxalt 10 mg tabs when I have a migraine, and it gets rid of the migraine, but I also suffer from migraine hangovers. I have had a LOT fewer of them since I started wearing an NTI appliance   http://nti-tss.com/
Might be worth a try :)
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi! I do thank you for responding to my questions, but did you, by any chance, notice just how old my post was? It was written back in December of 2007! That's almost 6 YEARS ago.
The chances of my still being involved with MH is virtually slim to none. But because I am a CL in a different forum, I AM still around and get alerted when there is a response to one of my posts, no matter how ancient it is.
A great deal has happened in the past 6 years regarding my migraines. Specifically that I no longer have them.
Your advice was very good, very supportive and informative, but it was only chance that I even saw it.
Next time you find a post that you feel you could contribute to, please, for your own sake, check the date the post was written............and also the date the last response was given. If it's been more than a few months, give it a pass. You'd do better to simply post your advice in a new message and see if you get responses. MH is working on a way to archive those oldy but moldy posts and keep the board as current as possible.
Again, I really appreciate your response to all  my concerns, but I'd rather see your insights actually getting read.
Greenlydia
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