Emma’s story

Three months of daily constant headaches

Emma Parks

My migraine story has been three years so far. I’m 20 years old and back in 2017 was when my migraine started.

One day I woke up and I was drying my hair. I suddenly started to develop a headache. This didn’t worry me as I would rarely get them and thought it was just a weird day and it would pass. That day turned to a week, turned to a month, turned to three months of daily constant headaches.

During that time I developed other symptoms like dizziness, lightheaded, confusion spells and a few other worrying symptoms. After three months of several doctor appointments and different painkillers that didn’t work, I was finally referred to a neurologist.

After another 20 week wait for my appointment I was finally diagnosed with chronic migraine. Those eight months of my life I spent scared not knowing what was wrong with me. Fearing something serious. In too much pain to fully function my life normally. Missing college, staying in my room, my anxiety went through the roof.

My diagnosis and treatment

As a 17 year old it was hard to get diagnosed because doctors are more hesitant to do anything, as the chances of it being anything serious are slim. Which meant having a lot of painkillers prescribed instead of an actual diagnosis. I eventually got my diagnosis and a lot of helpful information on triggers and how to handle my attacks.

It’s three years on now and my migraine are thankfully 10 times better as I only get them occasionally instead of chronically. I know a few of my triggers but will never fully know all of them or understand my migraine. Especially not what started them in the first place. At the minute I’ve currently started a preventative medication treatment and have yet to see if it will help.

My life with migraine

The hardest part is maintaining motivation and normality in my life with them. Having to work my life around them makes me feel held back. I feel like I have to work 10 times harder and put myself through more mentally and physically than anyone without them would have to usually. For example that shift I want might come at the risk of a three day or week long migraine episode from slightly overworking myself. An opportunity comes up and I’m at risk from a migraine attack if it means travelling for longer than 30 minutes. And if I don’t someone else might get it. I lose out.

I know that me and my migraine are going to have a lot more time to get to know each other though out my life and hopefully I’ll learn more about my triggers. Who knows maybe one day something in me will change and I might become migraine free but for now I’ve accepted this is part of my life.

Getting rid of the stigma

I just hope we can all help in getting rid of the stigma around migraines. They’re not just headaches, they are not just stress, they’re not just a bit of pain and they won’t just go away. They are a neurological disease that can incapacitate someone and impact their quality of life.

Thank you for reading my story. If you’re someone who is suffering from migraines, remember everyone’s migraine are different but there are plenty of different sources to look at for advice and tips. Ask at your GP for any leaflets or booklets that may help. There are a lot of websites and groups online that can give some great advice on triggers and what may help you. Please remember you’re not alone.

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.