Jill S.  Washington, Indiana

Weirdest Migraine Symptom: Having a nightmare and waking up with a migraine.

Best Migraine Friend: My husband.

Most Predictable Trigger: Dark Chocolate, long traveling trips.

Most Amusing Pain Distraction: Laughing with my family and especially my grandchildren.


How and when did you first get diagnosed with Migraine? Any specific type?

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I was diagnosed about 27 years, officially, by a neurologist. I have migraine pain above one eye, with a drooping eyelid, nausea and vomiting. At first, I only had them about 2 or 3 a month. They slowly increased in frequency and intensity until now I have been diagnosed with occipital neuralgia and Chronic Migraine with attacks 3 to 4 times a week. I am on daily pain meds, ultrum, and take Imitrex and Phenergan for acute attacks. I also take a beta blocker, Nadalol.

What lifestyle changes have you made to help prevent Migraine attacks?

I retired in 2005 from a Medical Vocational Education R.N. Instructor position, and in 2004, my headaches really ramped up. Let’s just say it dictates my life such as planning my day minute to minute, because I never commit to something unless I know my headache excuse will be understood or believed. I am lucky that I have a very understanding family and lots of great church family friends who do understand.

I try to plan shorter travel trips because I know I will pay for it the next day if I don’t. My husband and I do summer in Michigan on Lake Huron which helps my mental status about my headaches. I do tend to get very depressed at times and have evening anxiety every night worried I will wake with my headaches, which is when most of mine happen. I never dreamed at 72, this would be my life.

What was the turning point in your Migraine Journey?

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The turning point of improvement? There has not been one, yet. It seems like I am stuck in a never-ending life of chronic pain that no one seems to be able to help me with. I have been to several neurologists, tried Botox, Physical Therapy, Acupuncture, Yoga, relaxation techniques, and now am with a pain doctor who is doing occipital steroid injections which give me about 30 days of lesser intense headaches, but I am never pain-free.

I have had facet joint injections, and tried many, many preventative meds which too often cause side effects. I have been to Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, and MHNI clinic.

Who has been the biggest help to you on your Migraine Journey, and how?

My faith with my mighty God and my husband.

What is the most surprising thing you have learned about Migraine during your Journey?

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That there are many kinds of migraines and everyone reacts differently to the many kinds of treatments. I do a lot of research and follow up on the latest information for treatments. I have also learned that most neurologists tend to put us all in one box and really don’t truly listen to how we feel. For example, I have anxiety in the evenings that I feel is related to my situation, but it seems this is always just ignored.

What’s your advice to someone else living with Migraine?

We are all in this world of hurt together, and just enjoy the good days you have. Have a strong faith which doesn’t take away the pain and bad depressed feelings, but it does get me through it.

What’s the next step on your Migraine Journey?

This is a never-ending story for me. My last visit was with an ortho surgeon with a current MRI of my neck. He could not help me which was another major disappointment. I really don’t know what else to do. I am continuing with my pain doctor, but I feel I am in a situation where I will be taking pain medication for the rest of my life.

I will continue to pursue new treatments as they come down the pike, continue to write my congressmen about pain medication for people with chronic pain, and continue to rely on God to someday take my pain away.


Helpful Resources from this Journey


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