Heather-May's story

I used to hear a lot of “do you have a bad headache again?”

Heather-May Britton

I remember the first migraine I suffered. I was six at primary school and just wanting my mummy. I was a very quiet little girl and feeling so terrified I had something seriously wrong.

Within a few weeks these brain splitting migraines were becoming a regular occurrance – every Monday to be exact. It became a routine of having those ‘warning signs’- strange tastes in your mouth, really bright lights, strong smells.. then the pain started.

A tight, stabbing, agonising and consistent pain would grow and wrap around my skull – I’d often have to rest my head on the table or actually hold my head with both hands to try and manage the pain. By lunchtime – I would then vomit.

The vomiting associated with my migraines lasted weekly for about 10 years and would continue usually for 3-4 hours but I would often feel better after being sick. The vomiting comes on very quick without warning.

I used to hear a lot of “do you have a bad headache again?”

This was a horrific time and unfortunately I can’t separate a lot of my schooling experiences and migraines – they are always interlocked. Thankfully my migraines didn’t effect my studies – I am currently studying my masters as an analytical art psychotherapist and in my final year of studies and have worked very very hard to achieve this while battling a very debilitating condition when it’s in its raw form.

Suffering migraines allowed me to see a snapshot into what it must be like for people suffering crippling pain day in and day out and have the empathy for people who are incredibly courageous.

Ongoing migraine

I still suffer migraines, usually around times of stress/ change in weather / or a lack of sugar.

The last time I was sick with a migraine I was on a tube in London and unfortunately was unprepared and ignored by others around which for me kind of personifies a lot of peoples perception of migraines – not understanding and not willing to be supportive or want to find out more.

Is it another bad headache?

I hope one day there is not just more awareness but help in finding a pain reduction which can be almost universal for all migraine sufferers.

And also – it is not just a bad headache!

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.