The Migraine Sufferer
February 28, 2015

I get migraines. I had a few migraines during my college years but they became more prevalent as I aged. The usual culprits like stress, lack of sleep, and head colds, are all sources of my migraines, but most often my migraines are caused by foods. Additives and artificial flavors found in foods are sure to send me holding my head in pain. Unfortunately I often don’t know the source until it is too late!

I have read some historical recounts of migraines and find it fascinating. From thoughts of being possessed to being an oracle, the migraine sufferer suffered various roles.

Also interesting are some of the remedies for migraines found in historical records.

Skulls were found with holes drilled through thought to relieve pressure, pain or evil spirits.

Eyes were removed for some of the same reasons.

Institutionalization, and shock treatments were also popular ways to treat migraine sufferers.

Recently I had a full morning of meetings planned. I woke up with a headache. I took my drug. I followed with 3 Advil, breakfast and a shot of espresso. I showered, dressed, and got ready for my day. The headache was a migraine and it was not responding right away. From experience this indicates time to nap in a dark room.

Last year I had a migraine that I ignored and pushed through to a planned meeting. I cut the meeting short. The meeting was at a hospital and I knew of an interfaith meditation room opposite the surgery waiting room that was hardly used. I knew I could not drive home so I stretched out on the floor of the room and turned off the lights. Sure enough some surgeons in full scrubs entered and discovered me. I assured them I was fine, just a migraine and waiting for the drugs to take hold. Of course being doctors and at a hospital and discovering a middle-aged woman on the floor, they felt obligated to help!

I did learn my lesson from that incident and stayed home this time. I napped for 2 hours and woke up feeling cold feet, not aching head and knew I was OK. My cat who feels she must babysit was relieved too.

 Maddie Blue Eyes

Are you a migraine sufferer? What works for you? Have you ever found yourself on the floor someplace waiting for your drugs to kick in?


Would you be a Clinical Trial Participant?
July 30, 2012

For the last 8 years I have been in over a dozen clinical trials as a participant of the ‘Control’ group. I have had my eyes tested, bone density tested, some taste sensation, pain thresholds, blood tests, and exercise evaluations. Some of the trials have paid, up to $75.00, but others did not pay a fee but validated my parking or I received a cup of coffee. I obviously don’t participate for the money!


The trials are looking at matching a healthy adult in the same age or sex or height or weight, socioeconomic or race to the subject group. I have learned about some diseases and have gathered a new understanding to the ramifications of many diseases and drug effects.


After the eye study the data was sent to my eye doctor. He was amazed at the depth of the examinations. A normally quite individual he became animated in showing me the results and what it meant and how expensive the equipment was and how some of the tests done he had only read about in his journals but never saw the data from an actual patient of his. Another welcomed side effect of being a participant.


Last week I was a control subject for a hearing test. The study is evaluating the control group to subjects who have had long use of high amounts of antibiotics intravenously and the relationship to hearing loss. Who knew right? It was a 3-hour study with the last hour in a passive state where I could read. The first part of the study I had to respond when I heard a sound. Some sounds I was told would be high and only dogs could hear. The test went well and my hearing is with-in range, all good things since the last time I had my hearing tested I was in grade school!


The next day I woke with a migraine. I do get occasional migraines.  This one was a doozy and I was trying to think of what contributed to it. Usually an additive in food triggers my migraines and I don’t know until it is too late. I usually just don’t eat anything flavored or seasoned with a flavoring that is artificial and that helps me a great deal. I didn’t eat anything unusual in this case. So as my head is aching I am thinking and then remember the high dog sounds that although I couldn’t hear, my brain heard them and did not like them! I called the researcher and reported an adverse effect.


This is the first time I have ever had an adverse effect to a study. It won’t stop me from participating in future studies, but I may have to think more carefully if dog sounds are involved.  Would you ever participate in a clinical trial? Have you been a subject and what has been your experience?