Louise's story

LouiseSo here this goes, my first time sharing my experience of being a migraine sufferer…

Around three or four years ago I began getting awful headaches when I was around 14 years old. At this point, I did not have any understanding of what a migraine was and believed that I was not eating enough, not sleeping enough, not drinking enough water bla bla bla. Essentially believing everything that I was told from family and the older generations. Anyway, these headaches began to get more frequent and more painful regardless of the changes which I was making to my lifestyle. I was approaching exam time at school and my mum’s health wasn’t great so it was easy enough to put it all down to stress. Not only was I having a headache I was seeing funny lights and feeling sick and weak all of the time.

Fast forward to 12 months down the line and I am now at college and have been having these same headaches for a year now. I decided to seek the help of my GP to try and figure out what was going on. Bearing in mind I was still completely naïve as to the possibility of having migraines, to me migraines were a tad dramatic. When I saw my GP I was told that I could be stressed and it could be lifestyle related, the same thing I’ve heard from people for the last year. I took this advice on board and tried to change things again, but nothing worked. I then saw a different GP who started to think I was suffering from chronic migraine. As you can imagine this was a long process.

It is now four years later and I have not stopped suffering with these awful curses of headaches. I have now seen umpteen doctors/nurses/neurologists, taken almost every preventative medicine, painkiller etc that you could imagine. My life is being made a misery by blooming migraines. Progressively things are getting worse and my migraines have been getting in the way of work and university, as much as I try not to let them. I have even started shaking and fainting with them (which scares the life out of me).

For anyone who suffers from a migraine reading this, will totally understand the frustration of being told that it’s only a headache and that you’re drinking too much coffee etc. It’s time for people to become more aware of the debilitating, frustrating, scary and awful effects that living with migraine has. Living with migraine has changed so much for me. For being 18 years old I rarely touch alcohol as I can’t justify inflicting a headache upon myself, when I spend three or four days out of the week crying in pain with headaches. I have had to learn to loath technology as staring at a LCD screen for a long time is a bad trigger, which was not ideal for university.

I struggled greatly with university thanks to migraine and their inconvenient timing, but I am proud that I got there in the end and now have my degree in community development, which hopefully one day will lead me in the path of helping spread awareness that a migraine is not just a 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.