by nikki meredith
As I write this, an intense pain is beginning to throb behind my right eye. I gave myself a shot of Imitrex, a non-narcotic vasoconstrictor two hours ago but the injections only provide me with two hours of relief and the pain is returning. One can only have two injections in a 24-hour period so if the pain returns, and it does three out of four times, I need relief for the 20 remaining hours. I’ve had migraines for 34 years and during that time I have been to countless clinicians — conventional, alternative and combinations of both. I have been prescribed every category of drug that has a record of treating migraines, either in double blind studies or anecdotally, both on-label and off-label and too many herbs, elimination diets, “therapeutic” diets, supplements and non medical therapeutics to recount here. Out of all of the above, only one thing ever worked preventively: the blood pressure pill Inderal. For three months I was migraine-free. And then they came back, if not with a vengeance, with disappointing regularity. The doctor tried upping the dose and kept upping it until I was so lethargic I could barely get out of bed in the morning. High doses made no difference. That was 25 years ago. Since then, years of trial and error, mostly error, have resulted in pain more days than not.