Location: Vancouver, WA
Years with Migraines: 48 years
Occupation: office manager
How long have you had migraines?
I’ve had migraines since I was about 13; when I started my period.
When do you usually get migraines?
I’ll get a migraine when it’s too windy, when it’s too cold, when it’s too sunny or hot, when the temperature changes abruptly, when I talk a lengthy time like in a meeting, or if I laugh too much. If I watch a movie, if I’m with friends all day and have to pay attention to conversations; and just randomly they will come on… so basically all the time.
What have you tried pre-Cefaly?
It seems like everything over the last 48 years. I have tried the beta blockers, anti-depressants, medication for tension headaches, and so forth. In addition to medication I’ve tried acupuncture, biofeedback (I still do the biofeedback I was taught when I get a migraine and it helps to relax me because I want to crawl out of my skin when I get a migraine). I did try massage but not on any regular basis. I do neurotoxin injections now and I have found that to be helpful.
What does your migraine feel like?
The bad ones that lead to a 3-day migraine usually start behind one eye and are like a needle stabbing through my eye and they’re intense and painful. Sometimes I actually take a fist and pound my head because the pounding of my fist is trying to knock that piercing pain out of my head. Those are the ones where it’s three days and I’m vomiting and the sumatriptan or the other pain medications don’t touch it. Then there are the daily migraines where I just have to listen to my head. Those can be a sinus-y type of feeling and be felt behind my eye or in my forehead, or beneath my eyes. If there’s a situation that excites me, like if I laugh too much let’s say, it’ll turn into a migraine. I don’t experience an aura and I don’t get any warning.
How did you hear about Cefaly?
I heard about Cefaly from my neurologist and she told me to do some research on it and I did. I researched it quite a bit and I figured it couldn’t hurt. I take sumatriptan as well as a drug that’s acombination of aspirin, acetaminophen, and caffeine almost every day and after so many years of so much vomiting I couldn’t handle it anymore. I decided that Cefaly was a small investment to pay to try to stop it. Miraculously, it worked. I have used Cefaly for 16 months now and I have not had one 3-day migraine with vomiting in those 16 months, which is truly a miracle. I have daily migraines, with much less intensity, but I have not had the 3-day in bed migraine with the piercing behind the eye.
What’s your Cefaly experience like?
It’s wonderful now, though it was a little disconcerting at the beginning. When I first started using it, I felt like I was going to get a migraine because of the intense tingling sensation. It was hard to press through at the beginning but I did. I am still diligent about it every night. My husband and I just watch a movie and I put on my little Wonder Woman triangle and off we go. The daily migraines persist, but they’re not as intense. It used to be if I got a migraine at work I’d have to take a couple sumatriptan and go into a dark room and do my biofeedback, and sometimes it would stop the migraine, and sometimes I’d have to go home. Now I don’t have to do that. I can just take one sumatriptan and am good to go.
What made you want to share your story?
I think the biggest reason is because I work at a naturopathic clinic and there’s a patient who also has resistant migraines, like myself. He’s a pilot and he can’t fly if he has a migraine or if he takes certain medications for his migraines, so I told him about Cefaly and he half heartedly used it. I told him about my experience and I told him he had to do it faithfully and if it works for him he can fly without drugs. So I want other people to know this, who might be feeling the same limitation and same loss of hope. Not all of us can pop pills at work, or go lie down in a dark room, and Cefaly has given us a better life. I’m praying it gives the pilot the ability to fly and gives him hope that his migraines will diminish in intensity. For me, Forty eight years is a very long time to be vomiting every 3-months for 3-days and feel like you have a dagger in your eye. I want other migraine sufferers to try it. It’s a small price to pay. It may seem like a lot of money, but compared to the amount of money I used to pay in emergency room visits prior to sumatriptan and the amount I’ve paid for sumatriptan it’s a small investment overall!
Want to share your story too? We’d love to hear from you! Please send an email to m DOT coder AT cefaly DOT us. Please include your name, contact information, and let us know where you’re located so we can set up a good time to talk.
If you’re wondering if Cefaly is right for you, click here for more information and, of course, check with your doctor.