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New York Times Migraine (and Chronic Daily Headache) Blog

Launched last week, the New York Times’ new migraine blog provides patient and expert perspectives on migraine and chronic daily headache. From the first two posts, it looks to be an excellent addition to the growing community of headache and migraine blogs.

“Philosophical resignation” is how author and migraineur Siri Hustvedt describes her acceptance of migraine as part of her life:

Our media fetishizes the heart-warming stories of those who, against all odds, never lose hope and fight their way to triumph over poverty, addiction, disease. The person who lies back and says, “This is my lot. So be it,” is a quitter, a passive, pessimistic, spineless loser who deserves only our contempt. And yet, the very moment I stopped thinking of my condition as “the enemy,” I made a turn and began to get better. I wasn’t cured, wasn’t forever well, but I was better.

7 Responses to New York Times Migraine (and Chronic Daily Headache) Blog

  1. Birgit says:

    Thanks for posting this good article by Siri Hustvedt!!!

  2. Katherine says:

    I just heard part of the NPR program about migraines and this blog. I was so pleased to hear this reported on, but I wish there had been more depth and more useful information.

    I don’t have migraines anymore! I wish you all the same. Mine were relatively minor for many years, beginning in my early 20s and not officially diagnosed until they worsened in my early 40s. But then my whole life changed.

    They would start at 4 am as vomiting woke me. Then the pain came, snaking up out of my brain stem. It felt like the back of my head would split open. It spread all over my head.

    The vomiting continued every half hour until something – usually a heavy tranquilizer delivered by suppository – stopped it and put me to sleep and ended the headache.

    I tried every pharmaceutical available but there were only side effects. I meditated and practiced relaxation techniques, which helped very little. I was told I had basilar migraine, which was untreatable. I nearly lost my job because I was sick for a week after each of these. They came twice a month. Each one was worse than the one before.

    My husband and I had heard that cannabis worked for migraines but we didn’t know where to get it. Under threat of being fired and being so sick so often, it seemed like a good idea to find some – a challenge because we didn’t know how to get it. Fortunately, my husband prevailed.

    The first time I tried it, the nausea came under control very quickly and then the most amazing thing happened. It felt like an eraser moving along the pain pathway. Within a few minutes, it killed the headache. I fell asleep for a few hours and then went to work. I felt funny for a day or so, but that was it. I went from being sick two weeks a month to having two 4 hour migraines a month.

    After being told by several male neurologists that there was “no such thing as menstrual migraines”, two years after menopause the headaches and the vomiting stopped completely. I have not a migraine since. Now, of course, the association with estrogen is well known.

    I know that cannabis is illegal in many places, but I certainly recommend it to anyone with intractable migraine. I also hope that the medical community will find a solution soon.

    Thanks again for your blog. And good luck to you all from a fellow, former sufferer.

  3. Amanda Mood says:

    I have suffered with chronic DAILY migraines for 7 years. Doctor after doctor have tried all of the bp meds, anticonvulsants, beta-blockers, you name it I’ve tried it. They basicly gave up on me and classified my headaches as “rebound”. I did start having headaches before I ever took anything for them.
    I have found myself in a desperate search for relief of my pain as doctors don’t give pain medicine to migraine sufferers. I believe this is because of the abuse of medication in this society is so bad Doctors are afraid of being sued. There must be something done about this. Maybe give the patient a lie detector test or some kind of scan to PROVE this intense pain that they can’t see!!
    I too have resorted to the use of canibus as it is my ONLY relief unless I can find me a couple of lortabs. If anyone wants to start a movement to protest this craziness write something on here and maybe we can get something going!

  4. Joyful says:

    I had chronic daily headache for over 10 years. I had visited all kinds of doctors general physician, dentists, optometrist, neurologist, ENT specialist, headache specialist, homeopathy, acupressure/acupuncture, psycologist…….but nothing helped. The headache was controlling my life to an extent that I started thinking…this is not a life worth living. In fact I lost all enthusiasm to live.
    Then a friend of mine suggested taking the ART OF LIVING course. And believe me you…”It has changed my life” My headache has gone down tremendously..and more importantly I feel so enthusiastic and energetic now. I want to live now and enjoy this life. I feel so light. To me it has almost given me a second life.
    The techniques they teach in this course are so simple yet soooooo effective. And the beauty is that once you learn it..you can practice it every day at home.
    I am so thankful for the friend who suggested me to do this course. I would really recommend this course to everybody..not just people with medical problems.
    And the wonderful thing is that multiple courses are being planned across the country (in 120 cities) in June. So lookup and see where it is being conducted in your city. Here is a link
    http://secure.artofliving.org/

  5. Mara says:

    Timely blog…my migraines have become almost daily due to severe economic stress. My new doctor has decided I have “chronic daily headache”, instead of migraine, & thinks he can make it go away with an antidepressant. But I have already tried many of them, & they did not help my migraines, only caused severe & intolerable side effects–tardive dyskinesia, extrapyramidal syndrome, & bruxism (caused more migraines!). I’ve tried propanolol, gabapentin, take topomax. Non-steroidals & aspirin are useless. Vicodin on its own does little. Estrogen therapy has helped reduce the severity of many headaches. Doctors don’t like to hear that, as estrogen is frowned on. Imitrex is the drug that works for me–if I catch it early while the pain is mild to moderate. I am very worried he wants to restrict my imitrex, & before I found it, I was incapacitated with severe pain for days at a time. I am going to see a neurologist, by his referral. I know that imitrex is not a drug of abuse, so why, if it the only thing that helps me, do they need to mess with it? I do not have a daily headache when life is good.

  6. Cember says:

    I am so excited to find this blog. Very few people know what it is like to live with Chronic Daily Migraines. I’ve had them since I was 19 so almost 7 years now. I’ve been to pretty much every doctor you can think of. Neurologists (even MHNI one of the best institutes in the country), acupuncturists, chiropractors, eye doctors, dentists, pain specialists…etc. The migraine I have now has been since April 5th…so a whole month now. I’ve gotten two nerve blocks and ended up at the hospital last night. They had to give me morphine to touch the pain. I was actually pain free for the first time in soooo long……But it’s back this morning!!!! I’m taking a cocktail of Percoset, Reglan, and Benadryl at home..so hopefully it’ll help. I wish I could get to a place where migraines don’t control my life. I love myself migraine free, but can’t stand who I am these days. I’m having a really tough time understanding the the migraines are not me. I just feel worthless, a strain on my family, and I consistently am not able to live up to my personal standards. I’m am very lucky tho to have a understanding husband and some really great friends. Well….thanks for listening.

  7. Allison B says:

    I have had a severe migraine every day for the past 6 weeks with the exception of 6 days. I have been treated by my GP as well as a neurologist (they started at age 14 ).
    I am currently on Topamax, Imitrex and Fiorinal daily which is causing rebound headaches. My neuro prescribed Morphine after I told him I needed a med that I could go to work on and would not case vomiting.I made me vomit/sleep for 12 hours straight and I needed to get IV fluids and anti-naudea medication. I have tried Propanolol, Lexapro, Elavil, Cymbalta, Vicodin, Botox, Maxalt–nothing is helping.
    The GP and neuro do not understand the concept of how much this hurts and that I need to go to work and function on a daily basis throught this excruciating pain. I am at a loss on what to do or who to turn to.

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