I have had headaches some so severe they put me in the emergency room. I have a headache every day. Most of the time it just hurts enought to let me know it is there. Then there are the days that totally put me out. This has been going on for about 25 years.
I have seen many neurologists, tried many medications and for the past few years have been going to the pain clinic. All they do is ask me how my headache is, write me out some pain medications. and I am on my way for three more months. I do have an MRI about once a year.

There is a new neurologist, specializing in headaches. I went to see him the other day. He said if he could write a prescription for the perfect headache it would be me.

Told me that it is very important to have the same sleep/wake pattern every day. (ok..I work midnight to noon 3/4 days a week)
He told me on my days off I need to set the alarm for 2 or 3 am and get up...What am I suppose to do at that time? We have a very small house, if I make noise I am sure I would wake the others. And, I don't WANT to get up.
He told me that I need to have a nutritous breakfast. That is important to stop the headaches. (when exactly is breakfast??)
He told me no more nicotine and no more caffeine. (my medication for my headaches have caffeine in it)
Oh yeah...cut the stressors out of my life.

So, here is my plan..
Get up at 3:30 am. Gym opens at 4:30. workout, swim and be home to cook difficult child a nutritous breakfast by 7:45. What do you think??? I am doubting myself already.
I was also told that on the days where the headache is not bad, I need to not take advil, asprin or excedrin. To just tough it out. The more I take, the more headaches I will get.
This was kind of my plan last year, but because of all the school issues and phone calls, I could never go anywhere. I spent all my time at school!

OK...I tried to run this by difficult child since he suffers from so many headaches.
About the consistent sleep pattern.."skrew that" - he doesn't do anything or go anywhere, but he thinks he should just stay up until when ever, and sleep all day. (he would LIKE to sleep all day, but he wakes up early)
About the nutritous breakfast...."skrew that" - he is not hungry when he gets up. Usually about an hour or so after he gets up, so this will be tough.
About the caffeine..."skrew that" - He would like to drink "bawls" all day if he could. It is a highly caffinated water.
So any idea's on how to get difficult child to do this too?
With school he will have a bedtime.
Baseball fall league has started so he is practicing or playing almost every night. But I struggle with the eating issue.

difficult child has had only one headache that was bad since school got out. if he had others, he did not complain. the last time I checked the medication log at school he had come in every day atleast once for advil.

I am not looking forward to school starting. I dread it.


New Member
Aww, the headaches have to be awful :frown: Sorry to hear ~

Your schedule sounds hard LOL! I couldn't do it. I have a couple of CD's here by Leslie Sansone, picked em up at Wal Mart. They're in home walking. The 1 mile is only 20 minutes. You might think about checking those out. I do those with Dylan and he loves it.

The food, I'd tell him, eat breakfast or no ball. I've learned with difficult child 2 to hit him where it hurts the most, or I get nothing out of him, because small consequences (like loss of Playstation time) means nothing to him at this point.

So, for example, he loves working and making money. That's great. Get anything lower than a C in school, you quit your job. He likes playing basketball. Loves the team. That's great. Get suspended, you're off. End of story.

Those Quaker Instant Oatmeal packs, I have one of those every morning. It's barely enough food to keep an animal alive ~ see if you can get him to eat something like that. I'm never hungry til later in the day, but I force myself in the A.M.


Well-Known Member
in my humble opinion, work on it for you for a bit and see if it works before you stress yourself out over getting difficult child to do it. It may never work for you if you include that stressor! LOL!

Try it. If difficult child sees you feeling relief maybe he will jump on board. Maybe not. Maybe he will when he is 20.

But, try it for you!


Active Member
To a certain extent, breakfast has to be a matter of negotiation. My mother would insist I eat breakfast every morning, but I had to be out the door by 7 am and my stomach was never awake before 8 am. She would serve me various breakfasts which i would eat, and then feel sick. I realise now that this was also aggravated by anxiety similar to difficult child 3's, but it built up a conditioned response in me so I still have difficulty eating early breakfast.

A liquid breakfast may be a compromise - will he drink flavoured milk? If so, make something like a choc-banana egg flip smoothie. One egg, a cup of milk, one small banana or half a large one, and whatever you use to put in the choc flavour. Blend it THOROUGHLY (so the egg is completely disguised). It's a sports player's breakfast. If you want it healthier and he will tolerate it, you can add LSA, wheatgerm and/or lecithin. It HAS to be drunk within an hour or so or it settles out. If desperate you can put it in the fridge until he gets home but it will need to be stirred again.

If he won't drink milk there is a fruit alternative, tastes fabulous. You can hide all sorts of things in there, including soluble fibre and vitamins. Simply puree a half cup of juice/water (50:50) with a cup (or more) of freshly chopped fruit. No added sugar. If you want it sweeter, add banana or mango. More tart, add strawberries or orange. Redder - add one frozen raspberry. Or more - the Halloween Special looks great with a handful of raspberries and a few blueberries. Banana adds a really interesting texture, but do not try to drink it with a straw. Wearing fangs is optional.

Back in my day, a liquid breakfast was perceived as being an alcoholic's breakfast, or someone from skid row. So I would eat some lunch early, instead, then have a big afternoon tea when I got home from school. Best I could do - not good. Besides, we didn't have a blender. Sometimes I would pack a couple of cold boiled eggs to eat for a late breakfast.

Headaches - my sympathies, I've been in the same boat. What has worked for me (might not for you, but worth considering) - keep exposure to light to a minimum. Sunglasses plus hat on glary day. As soon as the slightest hint of headache, get out of the light and up the painkillers before the headache can take hold.
I also switched to 24 hour pain medications and take them in the mornings - headaches are worse when pain medications are wearing off at the end of the day. Now, with pain cover at the end of the day, the really bad headaches are greatly reduced.

Kids - in their teens they tend to sleep later and later, then stay up later and later. This also aggravates headaches but it's a teen thing, hard to change. Something I saw on TV on Monday night - special glasses (still experimental) which the kid wears to bed. The glasses are on a timer, they shine a blue light into the eyes (closed or not, doesn't matter) which stimulates the pineal as effectively as if they had got up at that time. The body clack stays set at a reasonable time. The research is happening at a university in Adelaide, South Australia. Normally I would be recommending avoiding light, but in the morning, and to re-set a body clock, it should be OK.

Also, turning up for a daily pain pill could have become a habit, rather than a matter of need. Challenge him on it, next time he says he has no headaches. Tell him that's great news, the school nurse will be pleased to hear it, she can discontinue his daily tablet.

Good luck! Maybe heal yourself first, then help him. You'll need more energy to work on him.



New Member
I work for a dentist that treats neuromuscular issues such as tmj and one of the big symptoms is Headaches. We see patients that come in who have run the gammit and are in essence told they are making it up for medications or crazy. They can treat it. I have seen it many times. Using a computer and scans, they find where your bite should be. Because, unless you have a tumor, or high blood pressure, they only other thing it could be is muscle pain. Do some research and look into it. if you have any questions, ask. The advice the Doctor gave is helpful though. It will help with the stress.

Good luck and stay strong


New Member
I'm with your son. I have to be awake at least an hour before I even consider anything resembling food. If I eat earlier than that, I am truly ill. I've been this way my entire life. My mom's compromise was to have me get ready for school, eat a piece of fruit while I walked to school and then have the rest of my breakfast at snack or break time. I still pretty much follow that regimen today -- get up, putz around, eat a banana, work (at home), break at 10 am and eat breakfast.

I've also suffered migraines most of my life. There is no question that cutting out the caffeine and nicotine helped tremendously. Of course, the first week of no caffeine and I had headaches from caffeine withdrawal.

I don't think I could have agreed to follow your doctor's rules as a teen, no matter how bad my headaches were then. To give up my pops and my smokes was not something I was willing to do then. I didn't have the discipline and I certainly wouldn't have put up the withdrawal headaches. Truth is, I don't think I was ready to even listen to a doctor tell me what I needed to do for my own health until my 30s and it was my 40s before I followed his advice.

I do still get the occasional migraine but not like I used to. Now, they occur more like once or twice a month and I can attribute them to something I ate or lack of sleep. There are no more daily headaches, either. I do still get a headache at least once a week but not the type that would have me going to the emergency room for a shot of demerol.

So, try it for you. He may try it if he sees it helps you but even if it doesn't, at least you might get some relief. There are just some things we can't force our kids to do no matter what.


Well-Known Member
So sorry, Kjs.
I agree that TMJ or cervical neck problems could be part of it. So a visit to the dentist and chiropractor will help. Also, the list this new headache doctor made is a very good one. Your life is chaotic, yes, but the headaches are not normal and being dependent upon medications forever isn't good.
I also take headache medications, one of which has caffeine. It is such a small level of caffeine, I don't worry about it. I think he meant, don't drink caffeinated tea, coffee, or soft drinks all day.
Also, you may want to check for allergies if you haven't done so already.
Since you said you've had these all your life, I'm guessing that your current medications are not making them worse? And that your difficult child is not the cause, but doesn't help, either.
Good luck!


New Member
Oops, forgot to mention that three big triggers for me are chocolate, milk and nuts. It hurt to cut down or eliminate them entirely, but it did help tremendously. And I'll guaranty you that if I cheat and have a glass of milk, it's migraine time. Nuts I can now eat in moderation. Chocolate is not quite as consistent of a trigger now but there is no question that when I go overboard, I pay the price.


doctor gave me a prescription for massage and whirlpool and ultrasound to loosen up the upper back/muscles. Only problem is that financially I just cannot afford another co-payment and my 20% of the bill. I would love a massage though.
Chocolate...my absolute favorite. I crave chocolate/coke/nicotine. This will be hard.

Sara PA

New Member
My experience with caffeine and headaches is that I get the headache when the caffeine wears off or if I go a long time without it. When I get a sinus migraine or when I use to get menstrual migraines, I always took my pain pills with Pepsi.

I think breakfast within an hour or so of getting up should be fine. I don't think you have to eat within minutes of your feet hitting the floor. And remember, breakfast doesn't have to be traditional breakfast food; it can be anything you like though preferably it is nutritious food, not fried sugar. Soup and spaghetti can be breakfast.


New Member
Rebound headaches criple DHs friends wife. She has become addicted to migraine medications and will go to her GP, along with two to three doctor in the boxes every week or two. I've heard of rebound headaches with exedrin, which is my over the counter drug of choice when a migraine hits me. I would definately go to the dentist though. I went years ago and was told that women tend to grind their teeth at night or clench their teeth when stressed and this causes more headaches. I was given muscle relaxers and a plastic mouth piece to wear. If you want to try this theory before visiting the dentist, take pamprin or midol for a few nights prior to going to bed. These help relax muscles. Drink tea before bed too, or warm milk. Whichever is more calming to you. There is a tea called Sleepytime tea that has something natural in it that helps you relax.

As for the schedule, I don't know how you do it. I hate getting up that early. My stomach is not awake until about 10 am. I was told that if you could drink milk, coffee with cream or juice in the AM that it will help get you started if you aren't a food person in the AM.

Hope the headaches subside. My middle difficult child gets them a bunch during the school year too.


Already did the dentist thing. I had to make a real conscious effort to not tense up and bite down. Now I rarely even put my teeth together.

I have tried Imitrex, Maltex, and others on this line. All are designed to take at the onset of a headache. Well, when you have a headache everyday...when exactly IS the onset? By the time I realize this is going to be a bad one, it is too late and these drugs do not help.

I have tried preventative medications also, beta blockers, topomax..no luck.

I now take Fiorinal with-codeine as well as Atiq. This will take the pain away when it is bad. I rarely use Atiq..upsets my stomach.

Chocolate, yummy. My all time very favorite thing to eat. Don't think I can just quit chocolate.

Coke..the only kind of soda I drink. I am working on cutting back on that.

Coffee..I only have one cup a day. On my way to work, so that is not really an issue.

Diet / excersize..That is a goal. On my day's off I do plan on eating a good breakfast. On my workdays, I get home at 1pm. Is that breakfast? Or would breakfast be when I get up for work about 9pm? Hate to eat a lot when i get home because I go to bed.

Smokes??? Well, I really don't smoke much. Not allowed anywhere on my work campus, which is quite large. don't smoke at home. Never in front of kids or husband. slowly will try to cut out the things where I do.

I was not aware so many people suffer from headaches. Thought I was just strange.
I had a boss once that said "anyone can work with a headache". I had a reply for him. Obviously he has never been hit with a migraine or a bad headache.

Thanks for all your imput. Will update you on my plan/goals and let you know if it works.

Sara PA

New Member
I had a friend who grew up with a mother who had migraine headaches. The mother got NO sympathy from the family when she got one because, after all, it's just a headache and no big deal.

One day my friend called me and described how her head hurt. She was fearful she was dying. Seriously. I told her she was describing a rather mild migraine. And then she asked "Is that what you feel like when you get a headache?" "Yeah. Or worse." She thought a few seconds and remembered her mother's headache. "Now that I know what my mother was talking about I feel awful for how we treated her."


That sounds like a good plan, definitely worth a try. The only thing that I'm thinking though is that it's hard to change sleep hours from day to day. I know that those circadium (sp?) rythms get out of whack when sleep patterns are off. Have you ever tried melatonin?

Your schedule and pace are so hard, K. I think you're doing an amazing job. My prayer is that you are able to find the resources to take better care of YOU.