Liz’s story

I started having common migraine when I was in my late teens

Liz Prince-Harding

I experience both the main kinds of migraine – classic (with aura) and common (without aura). I have been told by a doctor that they are the same, but I know for certain that they are not, and I think that this misconception within the medical profession should be cleared up.

The symptoms are different, and I know for certain which one I am experiencing at any one time. The treatment for one type does not work for the other type – for classic migraines I need anti-nauseant medication taken soon after onset, and a strong conventional painkiller such as Solpadeine. For common migraine, I take triptans, and they are very effective.

I first started having classic migraines (with aura) when I was a child, and it was very hard because I didn’t get taken to the doctor so got no treatment until I was an adult and took myself to the doctor. I didn’t cope very well with it, especially as they made me very sick – but it’s much easier these days as I can take medication, but I don’t often get them these days thank goodness.

I started having common migraine when I was in my late teens, and it took some years to get effective treatment in the form of triptan medication. Common migraines aren’t quite as devastating as a classic one, but they last much longer. I tend to get them when I eat or drink something I shouldn’t, particularly alcohol unfortunately! I get these migraines much more frequently, but because I can take medication I can usually carry on with life.

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.