Chloe's story

You have to do as much as you can on your good days as you never know what the next day will bring

Chloe Marchese

Migraines have made me realise that the grass will always be greener, but you have to make your patch as green as it can be.

I have had migraines since I was 8 years old having first being diagnosed with abdominal migraines, then later at 10 years old the head-related migraine started mildly, having gotten stronger every year since. Four years ago, at the age of 18, I was diagnosed with chronic migraine and recently have had hemiplegic migraines. Sometimes it feels like I have them all. Sometimes I just feel like a walking migraine and have to remember that it cannot define me.

Having chronic migraine gripped me for number of years, eventually becoming my life. It affects my education, employment, family and social life. I basically was a zombie who stared into the abyss struggling to function due to the discomfort and pain, whereby doing anything even sleeping seemed impossible. The neurologists and doctors placed me on medication whereby my reality was 10 plus tablets a day to combat the migraine.

An improvement

At first this seemed to make the symptoms slightly more bearable and reduced the migraines to 6 days a week. Though the spark of living had still been overtaken by the fear of having a migraine.

However, after several recent neurologist appointments and numerous medication changes, to which I have honesty lost count, I have come to learn that you have to do as much as you can on your good days as you never know what the next day will bring. I now, rather than thinking of my experience as a cage for the life that I could be living, I just make the most of the life I have.

Of course, I still make excuses not to do things and in the mist of a migraine pray to any God I can think the name of. Just as when I haven’t slept properly I have crazy thoughts of just wanting the pain to stop, thoughts which everyone who has ever had multiple migraine goes through. But you realise that if you avoid everything, even triggers, there is no life, as who can actually control the weather.

From chronic to episodic

Now my migraine are down to three every two weeks at the moment. A miracle I know, and all thanks to the Botox treatment I now receive. Now rather than being the neurological disorder I just live with one. Fighting every day as it comes, even if I get scared every time I have a hemiplegic migraine or feel like I cannot go to work I fight through it.

I enjoy life no matter how small the moments despite feeling like I have a nail being hammered into my brain a thousand times. I have come to realise that sharing my story relieves the pressure of bottling up it all up and that other people are there with you in this fight against migraine. For the best moments in life are shared even if it is complaining about migraines, a crippling condition that still has no cure.

The views and opinions expressed in this ‘Migraine story’ are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Migraine Trust.