I despair for those suffering in silence or who are unaware of what support is out there
As a teenager I suffered attacks almost on a weekly basis. I remember not wanting to go out, wanting to stay in bed, throwing up, taking painkillers and generally feeling awful.
I saw a number of specialists – looking at my eyesight, to see if I was grinding my teeth, I had a CT scan, I saw someone about my hormones, before it was diagnosed as ‘migraine’.
I used a mix of prescription and over-the-counter medications as I struggled for years with debilitating attacks. I was popping pain killers, relying on my GP totally for information and advice, as I sensed that most people thought it was “just a headache”.
Understanding my migraine
And then, almost 20 years ago, I actually joined The Migraine Trust and life as I knew it changed!!
Through the charity I was suddenly exposed to information, support, advice and experts that up until then were completely off my radar. I remember speaking to the woman who ran our helpline who talked to me about rebound headache and I decided to stop taking all the pills I had been taking pre-emptively. That was a rough couple of weeks!
I spent time really trying to understand my migraine – my early warning symptoms, my triggers and what worked best in regards to interventions. I wanted to try alternatives to prescription medication – acupuncture, acupressure, reiki, reflexology etc. Some helped (acupuncture), some didn’t, but I really wanted to not have to rely on the significant number of medications I was taking until then.
Over the years I have learnt what to avoid and what I need to do to help prevent a migraine (grazing, avoiding bright sunshine, certain fragrances, preventive neck and shoulder massages etc).
Managing my migraine
I’m now at a place where I have an attack every month or so. I know the symptoms of when one is coming and so I am better at managing the onslaught, the impact, and the disruption.
The Migraine Trust, quite literally changed my life and I despair for those suffering in silence or who are unaware of what support is out there or perhaps reliant on GPs who don’t prioritise it as a health condition or understand the impact it can have.
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.