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Happiness and Misery are close friends........


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Just one of these things that happened to me so often already in the past 58 years. One day I am totally infinitely happy, hours later I am a total wreck literally wanting to die.



For months I've been looking forward to the meeting with some old friends and ex-colleagues from our former German offices, and taking the motorbike for the 500 km ride down to Frankfurt. We've had the longest dry spell in 35 years this Spring, some hot weather already early April, and now it is forecast to RAIN on that exact day. But THAT doesn't bother me. And true enough, the day starts out as planned, I get up in time, leave only half an hour late and am soon on my way buzzing on my vibrating twin along the Dutch highways.


Little bit of rain at the border, fill the bike up with 'cheap' gas from Germany, call Nina that all is fine, and am on my way again. Even the rain in the Sauerland and the fast dropping temperatures are just making me HAPPY. I am riding the bike, GOING somewhere, have 4 layers of clothing and am NOT WET ! Grinning inside my helmet!


Not even almost running out of gas prematurely and losing half an hour correcting the Zumo helping me to find a gas station in Wetzlar can get me down. I start getting a headache because I am going to be late. But a quick phone call to Dieter, my host, resolves that. So on I go and arrive at the destination only 20 minutes late.


Later that afternoon we meet the old colleagues, have a good chat, quite a few laughs, a good German schnitzel and good drinks (I drink apple juice, afraid of inducing a headache through beer). The evening is very pleasant too, as usual, chatting with my friends and hosts Liz and Dieter. She asks about my migraines and I tell her it is fine currently. (I often get them when something 'good' is afoot, like this visit).


Shortly before midnight we turn in. I am planning to ride to Bitburg the next day to visit an Aviation Expo there, before heading home. And I am really looking forward to that too. The weather promises to be good, and Bitburg in the German Eifel region is a great place where I have many memories.


But shit happens, as they say.


I wake up at 4 am with a pounding headache, out of the blue. No reason, no mercy.

It gets worse and worse, and by the time I have showered and sat down for breakfast, cold sweat is running down my stirn and neck. I am very much ill and very much ashamed for my friends. You see, the worst thing about these headaches is the burden it puts on OTHER people. Now they are worrying for me, I am destroying the happy breakfast and not able to smile much at all........



The rest of the day is a nightmare. It is bad enough driving a car for 500 or 600 km with a migraine, but at least you can hold your head with one hand. Not so on the bike. At some point I get so drowsy (probably form the paracetamol I keep taking) that I have to stop. I manage to fall asleep on top of the handlebars with the bike on the side stand. Weird!

I wake up because of gush of wind blowing tables and umbrellas from a nearby roadhouse all over the parking lot. Weather is deteriorating and suddenly getting cold.

I manage to call Nina and tell her I'll be home sooner than anticipated, and why. I tell her not to worry, I'll stop a lot.


I do indeed and it takes me almost 7 hours to reach the safe home and my bed...... the headaches get worse and continue through the night, almost until now.




The moral of this story is indeed, happiness and misery can be only hours apart. So we really need to enjoy the happy times the best and most often we can, because there will always bad times too, no matter what we do.


If you do not have headaches, then I am so happy for you ! I really am !



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Danny caddyshack Noonan


Sorry to hear about your extremes in emotions.


I hope this finds you better.

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Thanks, such is life. There'll be another day :-)


Right now we're heading for Romania once again...... other issues ! Texas will have to wait ;-)

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Hope it is a great trip.


A lot of folks ended up in Tejas because they had

roam mania.


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Francois, I'm so sorry about the headaches. I am so fortuate not to have experienced them but my mom and my sister both suffered from them. It tore me up that there's really nothing you can do to help them. Let's hope that someday they'll figure out a cure or at least a treatment that works.

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I'm sorry you have to experience those headaches. They can rule your life. You have my sincerest sympathy. Been there done that. I hope you and your doctor have some therapy in use. I'm suprised you didn't stay in place and wait until it passed. I hope they occur few and far in between. :)

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Thanks folks. It's just part of my life. Part I could do without, obviously *gg*.

@Richard; I was hoping it would get less. I also did not want to impede on my friends, and had I gone back to bed I'd probably have been there for two days.

Bad luck that it got worse on the road. Good luck I managed to make it home.

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Francois, that sucks. I have the same issue but for me it's immediate onset including aura. Typically the headache is light induced such as a blinding flash off an approaching windshield. I can take tylenol and get into darkness for about an hour and then the headache dissipates enough to carry on. I'm not sure if I could ride with the headache but it's accompanied with a vision blind spot that definitely rules out riding (and the reason I had to discontinue flying lessons).


My Dr. gave me a prescription for Mylan-Sumatriptan. When I had the last episode I was riding but I had forgotten to pack the meds :dopeslap: so I have yet to try M-S and can't (yet) comment on it's effectiveness.


I look forward to your ride reports and the overlap with our shared interest in planes.

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What I find remarkable that you don't allow these horrible and unmanageable headaches to hold you back from life and adventure. You help me appreciate my life more, when I try to imagine it through your circumstances. Ron and others like you inspire me.


Thanks for the tale and photos, Francois :wave:

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There are more of 'us' than I had hoped, unfortunately. I guess we all somehow learned to cope with it. I too have blind spots sometimes, but so far it happens only a few times a year. Had an MRI scan of my brain two years ago. Nothing ! Which is good.... but doctors having no clue is still frustrating.


Anyway.... I opened a special page on Facebook for 'us' sufferers (and others interested) to share experiences, medication, or just blow off steam sometimes ;-)


Click here for the page .



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Sorry to hear your time with friends ended prematurely. I can relate. A few years ago we rode out of town 2 hours to attend a police funeral and I got a migraine while at the funeral. It was bad enough having to ride home, but to ride home in formation, where you need a high level of attention and peripheral vision... ugh!


Since I'm not on Facebook I'll share the two things that help me most here. First, I eat on time. And I always have a spare peanut bar nearby for those times (which happen often in my profession) when I can't eat on time.


Second, I keep Excedrine Migraine with me. Not sure if they sell it in Europe. Here is an over the counter medicine. Right when I feel the migraine starting I take two, with amazing results. They key is to take them ASAP because the farther along the headache is the less effective they are.

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Thanks Scott. Yes, I always have some energy bar of one kind or other with me, and water. I have taken Excedrine (which is known as APC in Europe) at times (got it from friends on this formu!). But it only works sometimes. As do all meds I use interchangeably.


The past years I use paracetamol most, because it is the least detrimental for the stomsch. But there has been a time I used them too often and they induced headaches.


So far in 50 years I haven't found the silver bullet..... errrrmmmm... pill.

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I can sympathize with you entirely, as, for years, I suffered from migraines also.

Quite severly and debilitatingly.

I never found a silver bullet.

But I did find something, and I have not had one in ten years.

I tried various medicines and so forth, and other cures. I looked for the cause and never really found one.

I never had them with good events, only bad events or stressful situations.

About 10 years ago I did learn something. The cause was within.

I don't want to sound like G Bush (the elder) but I learned not to worry.

I learned to appreciate life on it's own terms, to take less responsibility, to accept things, and to be less concerned about it all.

Every day I see people physically and mentally agonizing over economic situations, and creating ill health. It just became unnecessary for me to do that.

That seemed to ease the headaches, and the migraines, the stress in the back of the neck, shoulders, the spine. And the resulting major shut down, of the stomach, the eyes. The laying in bed in agony all day.

It isn't that I don't care anymore. But it is that I don't care too much, for my own good.


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Hi David,


yes, I recognize that too. And it helped me too, at some points in my life. And I am certainly less stressful 'work related' since I became self-employed....... and rather poor. It worries me less than being a successful and rather well-paid executive..... with lots of political worries ;-)


But sometimes the inner stress is returning. In my case it is as often positive stress as negative. Like when I look forward to doing something I really like doing...... visiting friends, a great mc trip, a flight in a plane....


We're all different but have similar resulting headaches.


Maybe I should have started a BMWST Migraine Forum instead a Facebook one :-)


Whatever the cause or the case, I wish you all headache-free rides !!!!

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Interesting trip.

I was born in West Germany (Aachen)and left in my adult age.

By the way, my stepfather was Dutch.

Made interesting evenings during the World Soccer.


Jep, know all about them.

I now get just a few far and between, but when I do get them, medication, dark room and prey for sleep (which does eventually come) is the only way to go.

Stress is a major factor as you already know.


Don't drive/ride when you get them, no matter where you are.

Pull over as soon as possible..get a room in a motel if possible and go to bed.


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As a fellow sufferer, I feel for you. I am one that was getting as many as 4 severe migraines per week at one point in my life. The meds (tried too many to list and settled on Zomig (sp) would cut them down, but the side effects of feeling like I had been on a 20 hour bender, gotten my entire body beat, and loss of coordination and ability articulate were what the next day felt like. Some so bad that my heart beating caused enough pain to think very bad thoughts to end the pain. Had meds in every vehicle glove box, on the bike, in my backpack, and at work. Never more than a short walk to them.

After a lot of research, working with doctors, and most importantly, keeping a detailed log of my migraines (along with activities, foods eaten, and anything else I could track), I am doing better...much better.

Here are some causes that I found - YMMV. 1) Fake sugar. Cut it out completely and reduced incidents. It is tough to do and lose weight, as the stuff ends up in all sorts of areas you would not expect. Something as simple as a stick of gum on the way to work and by lunch, I was looking for the meds and a dark corner. 2) Sleep apnea. Quite bad, and the mask did not help. Had the surgery. While they were in, they cleared up some other breathing and drainage issues. Miserable recovery but worth it. 3) Allergies. 4) Weather related headaches that were close to migraines (prior to the surgeries), overcome by tracking with a barometer to determine if the oncoming pain could be treated with other than migraine meds. The rebound from the Zomig is known to cause additional migraines if taken too often. Sudden drops in pressure would start a good pressure headache which in turn would lead to a migraine. By treating early, for the pressure with a tension headache med, I was able to stave off the migraine and the rebounding.

Had these things since age 5, and I turn 50 this summer. The pain, and the fear of pain kept me from doing things. I am still careful about stuff, but I have only had two migraines since last June. Got my fingers crossed. Good luck.

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Hi Rob, that pretty much sums up MY life too, minus the surgery (I'm a whimp). I've heard many migraine sufferers have a small hole in between their hear5t chambers. It can be plugged.

I stick with the migraines, I think....... ;)


Same for me.... I remember since I was 5... head my head scanned (X-ray) in a catholic hospital, run by nuns. Can't imagine what those early X-rays have done to my brains ! :rofl:


Am 58 now and still have them. Frequency and level changes. Some years they are almost gone, other times I get them weekly again.


Many of the meds I took have an adverse effect when taken regularly or over longer periods. Even something as innocent as Paracetamol (Tylenol).


Bottom line, keep trying alternating 'solutions' and certainly still keep trying to live a normal life and NOT postpone too many things out of fear of getting 'an attack'.


Sometimes it works...... sometimes it doesn't.


In a way it is good to know we're not alone with it.... on the other hand, I really wish I were !

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