Skip to content


Joined: 09/26/2011
My Story:
My name is Sandra and I am 21yrs old. I have been struggling with headaches since the age of 11. I have been through so much pain in my life, that I have found a strength in me I didn't know existed. I have been to over 20 doctors within these 10 years, and have battled different diagnoses. My Mom suffers from migraine headaches, so I was first told it was genetic. As soon as my headaches started getting worse, they told me I suffered from a mixture of cluster and tension headaches with a tad of migraine. I have tried so many medications, I have to keep a list close by. I have also tried other alternatives such as, physical therapy, pain management, acupuncture, chiropractics, psychologists, botox, massage therapy, and others I can't remember.

I have had countless MRI's, CT's, X-rays, sleep studies, full blood work, and two LP. The first LP when I was about 13. The technician hit a nerve of mine where I lost the feeling in my legs for about a week. The hospital took no responsibility, so Thank God the feeling came back into my legs. One of the worst pains I have ever felt! The second was about 2 months ago where I was diagnosed with...making too much spinal fluid. Evidentially, the fluid is pushing up against the back of my head, causing massive headaches. Who would have thunk it? I am currently on about 8 different medications. Most of which are counter agents for the side effect of the alpha of all medications I'm taking...Diamox. Let me tell you, this is a nasty little drug and I hate it. It has sooo many side effects, and I have most of them. According to my neurologist, my headaches will get worse to get better. I'm still in the "worse" stages. But before I could start taking this drug orally, I had to undergo an IV infusion for one week where Diamox was pumped into my veins. I had a bad reaction on one of those days, and was told I turned into The Hulk. I have no recollection of that day, and ever since I started this medication, my memory has been incompetent. One of the lovely side effects.

My parents have been through all this mess with me. There is absolutely no way I could have done all of this alone. They have been my angels. They are my heroes.

About a month ago, I got really really sick. Like ER sick. I couldn't stop throwing up, my head felt like it was going to explode, I had absolutely no strength to walk or get up. It was horrible. I was at the end of my rope. I just couldn't take the pain anymore. The doctors can't say why I got as bad as I did, but I have my suspicions. I haven't been able to work for about a month, but I know that my health comes first. A lesson that was tough for me to learn. I had decided a while ago to settle with the pain and to just live with it. Everything I had been through had made me bitter and cynical. I then realized it has consumed most of my life and I realized that I haven't lived yet. So...we are now looking into UCLA. Hopefully there will be a doctor there that can help me. Meanwhile, I am on Diamox and hating every minute of it. I am always hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.

Latest Activity

Filter by:

For more information, visit the Duke Health Pain Disorders Center