Sally's story

A good day is when the tablets work and I have enough energy to achieve something

I started having migraines at 16. They were not too bad in my teens and twenties and I worked full time for a while. Into my thirties the pain was dreadful but fairly predictable as mainly hormonal, affecting me about 10 days a month.

I was doped up on prescription painkillers half of the time and working part time.

I had a respite during pregnancy and breastfeeding before the migraine returned along with two years of sleepless nights and a baby. It was a tough time.

In my forties, the migraine changed and became chronic. I had a few good days a month which also disappeared until it was 24/7 migraine/headache.

Treatment

A good day is when the tablets work and I have enough energy to achieve something. I take Topiramate, Sumatriptan and Naproxen. I have ten days a month when I really struggle, the rest are reasonable but I’m tired because of the headaches and I think probably the drugs.

Like many people with migraine,  I struggle to work, have no energy, put on a brave face, and try to hope it’ll get better. I’m almost fifty now and the menopause has passed with no respite as yet.

I can’t deal with a relationship, I have nothing left to give at the end of a day. I worry for the future, money is ok for now but work is so hard and benefits don’t seem to fit my condition or situation and are so little to live on.

Recognition of migraine

It seems sufferers, migraine charities, and the World Health Organisation, view this as a disability, yet the Department for Work (DWP) and Pensions has yet to agree.

I don’t think I can add anything that hasn’t been said by so many about migraines before, we need recognition from the DWP of this disorder. We need to feel we can stand up and admit to employers we have a disability and not be discriminated against, and maybe we need to stop putting on such a brave face every single day and accept a little more help.

I got a job application form to be a hotel cleaner. It asked for details of all health conditions and to list all medications. I don’t think they are allowed to ask that. However, if you lie and they find out you could be sacked, if you leave it blank, they assume you are hiding something, be honest and you’ll be tossed in the trash anyway, can’t win, and that’s just to be a cleaner!

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.