About three months ago I started getting debilitating headaches daily. They would almost always hit in the afternoon, and they'd last a few hours at a time. Some days they made working (or any other activity) pretty unbearable. A few times they would last longer than a few hours and I'd just go straight to bed after work because I couldn't handle them. In the beginning I would take two Excedrin migraine, and that would help. As one month of this turned into two, however, the Excedrin stopped being effective. Some days I had to resort to Hydrocodone to bear the pain. It was a miserable feeling knowing that every single afternoon I was probably going to get a headache. A couple times I actually had to miss an important event or activity because of my horrible headaches.
I first thought it might have to do with staring at a computer screen for hours every day at work, but I was getting the headaches on the weekends too. I had heard before that some people would get headaches if they went a couple hours without caffeine because they had built up an "addiction" to it. I didn't think this applied to me, because I was drinking sodas constantly and doubted it was withdrawal. But, this did raise another possibilty - maybe my constant caffeine intake was causing the headaches. I had increased my Sonic visits over the past few months, either stopping for a drink before work or during lunch most every day. I decided it was worth a shot to give up caffeinated drinks to see what would happen. The first few days were typical - still headaches in the afternoon. I was taking Excedrin to alleviate them, before realizing that Excedrin has a pretty high level of caffeine also. I stopped doing that and switched to a pain reliever without caffeine. A couple more days went by and the headaches were still pretty bad. I think those days might've been me experiencing withdrawal. After about 9 days of this, I had a day without a headache. It was amazing! I had forgotten what those days felt like. And then, another day and another day. After 5 days in a row of no headaches, I almost cried from joy. I can't believe I suffered through months of unnecessary pain, but I'm so thankful it was an "easy" fix. Now I strictly drink decaffeinated sodas, or water if none are available. It's kinda crazy to think about the harmful effects I was experiencing from something as "tame" as a diet soda. I'm just glad I figured this out and cured myself!