Location: Phoenix, AZ
Years with Migraines: 30
Occupation: Retired (IT manager)
How long have you had migraines?
I’ve had migraines for about 30 years. I thought they were sinus headaches at first. In the old days of migraines a lot of people thought that because you’d take pseudoephedrine or whatever and it would help a bit so you thought that must be what you had. Ironically, my brother had really bad migraines to the point that he had to be hospitalized; fortunately he grew out of them, whereas my migraines have gotten worse and worse and worse.
When do you usually get migraines?
I really can’t put my finger on something that triggers them. I know of certain things like msg, any kind of artificial sweetener, those kinds of things. If I eat those by mistake I’ll get a full blown headache but sometimes I get migraines and I haven’t eaten any of those things and I haven’t overexerted myself.
What have you tried pre-Cefaly?
At my worst I was taking 300-400 milligrams of sumatriptan a day and obviously it wasn’t working that well because I was doing it over and over again. It’s just been many years of addressing different issues and trying various things. I’ve tried prescription medication (and I have a lot of other complicating factors), massage, chiropractic care, even neurotoxin injections. I’m now on a vegan diet, no gluten, no dairy. The thing that got me over the hump was reducing my medication. I noticed when I would take a prescription drug, two days later I would get another headache and take more medication and the cycle would repeat itself. I am still on preventives but I stopped using abortive medication.
What does your migraine feel like?
It’s usually on one side of my head. I often will get auras so that’s an indicator that a migraine is coming. It can hurt in my forehead, my temple, my neck, and from the back of my head, all the way down the side. It can sometimes hurt down into my shoulder area too. It’s kind of a throbbing but constantly throbbing pain.
How did you hear about the Cefaly device?
My husband was really the one who told me about it. I asked my neurologist about it and he said I should try it and wrote me a prescription.
What’s your Cefaly experience like?
The thing that convinced me that it was really working was when I stopped using it and the migraines became much more frequent. Two years ago I had a hip replacement and because I wasn’t using the Cefaly at first I decided I’d go without it for a while. I always track my headaches on a calendar. At the end of 6 months I looked back and saw I had a lot more headaches than when I was on the Cefaly so I went back on. I’d say I had about one headache a week and during the time I wasn’t using the Cefaly I was getting two to three headaches a week, so double or triple even.
What made you want to share your story?
I think it’s important for people to talk about what they do to treat their migraines. If I go to a party it seems I’m always talking with somebody who has a migraine or knows someone with a migraine and it’s not one thing. It’s not the same thing in everybody that causes them. Some people do the neurotoxin injections or ginger tea and their migraines completely stop. I tried those things and I felt better but mine didn’t go away. I think the hardest thing for migraine people is when you get a doctor who’s like ‘this is the way it is’ and like ‘we don’t have more treatments to offer you.’ It gets depressing and it starts to feel like this is going to be your life. When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and I had migraines I took early retirement. I just couldn’t work full time anymore. I think it’s imporant for people to share what’s working for them.
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.