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    Migraine? Or *just* a FM headache?
    meg_k posted:
    Hi, all.

    SMH that I just posted on *last* Monday's greeting instead of today's! LOL -- talk about brain fog!

    MiMi points out it's a holiday today --yes, but we are still working here and don't have it off. Boo! Hiss! Thank Heavens I can still work. Some days I wonder how long that will last....

    Ok, FMily, my question is about headaches. Before being diagnosed with FM, for years I used to tell my DH that I was getting my "thing" and then I would have to disappear for a few hours.

    He understood my "thing" meant a very distinct set of symptoms that was very unpleasant and would knock me out: headache with severe base of skull and sometimes eye pain, sinuses & even gums hurt, painful shoulders & neck. I would be hurting so bad I would be sick to my stomach --- bad nausea but never threw up. The only way I could cope was take Benadryl and sleep until I felt better. I still get a variation of these symptoms but less often.

    Now I look back and see lots of tender & trigger points possibly being activated and this potentially leading to the more widespread pain I felt. In other words, I see the possibility this was FM flaring and expressing itself through these symptoms What I'm trying to understand is whether this was "just" early FM rearing its head or whether it was a migraine. I would say the pain level was maybe 8. (With childbirth being a 9 and 10 being insanity.)

    I have only had an aura once -- without headache -- and not when I was experiencing my "thing". The aura was neither cool nor fun. Being blind for a half hour isn't, by definition, fun! I did not have particular light or sound sensitivity when I get this thing, which I know can be a migraine hallmark. So, it makes me think this group of symptoms is *just* a flare, but it's such a distinct and repeated list of symptoms, I do wonder.

    My question for you FMers is does this sound like a migraine (for those who get them), or is it FM flaring? I am just trying to understand what's happening. My mom who does not have FM has similar symptoms and calls it migraine.

    I will talk to the neuro also. But wanting to hear your opinion. My sense is migrane w/ or w/o FM can be different. And, honestly, I value your opinion more than Drs. because as well all know we are the real experts!

    Thanks, FMily.

    dollbug responded:
    Hello Meg...MiMi in NC. I use to get headaches also. Mine would be so bad that I would have to leave work and go home. Several times I was unable to drive myself home. I think mine was a migraine. I also had vision and very sensitive to light issues with mine. Funny thing about this is that I tracked them for a while and they seemed to happen around the same time of month. I decided that mine were *hormone related*. Odd thing was that when I finally had a hysterectomy, the headaches increased for a couple of months and then just *disappeared*...knock on wood, I no longer am bothered by such.

    A few years ago I began to get headaches again. They were different though and I had no idea what was causing them either. I had other health issues as well. I had cervical (neck) surgery and after I recovered I was no longer bothered with the headaches again. I am assuming that these were from the discs problems. I never had any neck pain with the discs problems which I never understood. Instead I had major right shoulder pain all the way down to my fingers. The surgeon told me that our nerves cross over at the base of your neck/shoulder area.

    It is quite interesting that when you keep a journal of sorts for a while or just notate things on a calendar, you can begin to see a pattern of sorts, if you track it enough. Most of the time you can figure out what is going on and why.

    I hardly ever get headaches now. I did have a bad one yesterday though. It was in one spot at the bottom of my left lower side. I ended up putting a moist heating pad on it and it finally went away. Don't have any idea what caused this one. I hope this is NOT the beginning of something else that I will have to deal with.

    I have read that a lot of people are low on magnesium and that this can cause people to have headaches as well.
    I do take magnesium malate and Fibro Response for my FM pain.

    I hope you figure out what is going on and find a solution to the pain as well.

    Good luck.


    Anon_10089 responded:

    That sounds like a migraine. You can have migraine with or without the aura. I have had these for years and just this year connected the dots that they were actual migraines. I was actually kinda relieved because there are solid treatments for migraines!
    bette_kaffitz responded:

    This sounds like migranes to me, too. It may be that some of them were a migrane on top of a sinus problem. That would account for the tooth and jaw pain.

    Get to that neuro as soon as you can. There are meds that can prevent migranes now. There are also some to take when a migrane starts that can make your headache shorter and less painful too. Your doctor can help you.

    One thing you should be aware of is that a doctor who is seeing a new patient may wait for a second visit (or even a third) to prescribe meds. It's a cautious approach that can seem as if the doctor is not a caring person. In fact, it means that the doctor wants to be sure that any medications you receive are the best ones for your particular condition. Try to be patient.

    Patience is a virtue that all of us in the FMily have to learn. So do not feel this is just you. We all--at some time--have to "wait and see" with some symptoms. The sad truth is that so many of our symptoms come and go with no rhyme or reason. This makes them very hard to diagnose and treat. The "wait and see" time lets your doctor understand whether things are getting worse, better, or staying the same. This is a big help with diagnosis.

    rudyandirmouse responded:
    Meg, Linda R here and what your are describing here is what I am dealing with now. Migraines! For me a least this what is happening..

    The Migraine I have are starting at the base of the skull in a U pattern that goes to the ears and then the pain rolls over the top of the skull and the front of my forehead. Also the eyes and sinuses hurt so bad. And I too must lay down and sleep for a few hours. With most of them anyway.. some have had me so sick I had to go the ER for meds. If their slight their a headache in all these other things are involved it's a Migraine triggered at a fibro trigger point at the base of my skull.

    I have been so ill with them lately ( 4 months now ) that I have had tests ( MRI ) and blood work done and I'm being told, after all is said and done, that mine are caused by nerves over fibro trigger points. How true this is I dunno. But their working on the assumption that this is the root cause of my migraines. So yesterday I had a deep massage, electro and heat on my neck and shoulders and today I feel pain free. How many more times I can get this I also dunno. I also don't know if this will help end the problem if I get it done regularly. If I can I will..

    I have also had nerve blocking shots into the area at the base of my skull to block pain singles to the head from my neck. That seems to be working.. no migraines so far.. 6 weeks, but have had symptoms of a migraine a couple of times, but not bad enough that I couldn't work around um.

    I hope that your can get your doctor to help you with your migraines ( root cause ) and get relief from them. I dread thinking one can come up on me while out driving like the last two did. OMG that was awful.

    Gentle hugs, Linda R
    meg_k replied to rudyandirmouse's response:
    Wow. Thank you, everybody. The info you provided was very helpful.

    Linda, I am so sorry to hear you are struggling with migraines so much. I hope you will be able to find some relief soon. It can be debilitating.

    All, this conversation reminds me that we are all a group of tough cookies!!! I am thinking about the level of pain I have when I get what we are now describing as a migraine. And then I realize that I have days in which I have that level of pain over my whole body. I have driven, taken care of my children, done laundry, cooked dinner, shopped, made dinner, gone to work through that pain. Oh, and fatigue. Did I mention the fatigue on top of that?

    Shoot, not to diminish the pain of people who *just* have migraines, but think how much more migraine pain is accepted by society. And then remember that you've lived through all-over, roving, constant pain, severe fatigue, fog and sometimes migraines on top of it. Plus, few or no pain-free days and treatments that only partially help when combined.

    Rather than being diminished by FM, we are survivors!
    stephyb1 responded:
    Before I was officially diagnosed with fibro I would get terrible eye pain like it was going to pop out. The same side of my head would hurt and I would have to push on it to make it subside. As I also developed insomnia I was put on nightly amitriptyline. This basically took care of the migraines and sleep issues. Eventually I started showing more obvious fibro symptoms. So to me it sounds like it could be caused by fibro flares.
    meg_k replied to stephyb1's response:
    Folks, just read some interesting info about a study that found 90 % of people who think they are having sinus headaches are actually having migraines. This is bc the trigeminal nerve that is inflamed in migraines passes behind your sinuses and ?terminates? branches? -- I forget -- in your forehead which is the location of the sinuses. Apparently people pinpoint pain as starting in the sinuses due to the location of this nerve being near the sinuses. The article specifically cited nasal congestion & tooth pain as going along with this set of symptoms.

    So, after all these years I've satisfied myself this was indeed migraines. If I start to get them again, back to the neuro.



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