Sarah's story

Photo of SarahI am an active, healthy 54 year old mother of two teenagers and a rescue dog; I work part-time as a business coach, I love to exercise, paint and to socialise – ergo my life is busy.

Migraines only became a problem for me in my 50s when I started the menopause. Now I have migraines which are cyclical in nature but unpredictable in form. Some months they’re just an annoyance, others they are debilitating and necessitate bed rest in a darkened room. Unsurprisingly my mood is affected as well as my ability to live my life to its full potential. I resorted to HRT a couple of years ago to help reduce the severity of the attacks as well as the hot flushes (Oh deep joy!) but am now considering coming off this with my GP’s input after the recent report of the associated increase in breast cancer risk.

My attacks start with a pain behind my right eye that gradually builds and if not medicated will become almost unbearable. This will then last three days; on day four when it lifts I can feel almost euphoric with the relief of being able to resume my life once more!

I’ve tried amitriptyline prophylactically (gave up when I felt permanently tired and put on weight through over-eating to relieve the additional sugar cravings) but now I manage attacks as they happen with rizatriptan – usually successfully but I may need more than one dose and the migraine may then return after a day or two. Additionally I rely on co-dydramol for pain relief.

What would I like to tell people about migraine? Well in the same way that a cold isn’t the flu, a headache isn’t a migraine. I know headaches are a nuisance (have had those in the past too!) but they’re just different (at least for me). When I’m in the middle of an attack I won’t be able to carry on as usual but give me a day (or three!) with a little tolerance thrown in and I’ll soon be back on form.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story – I really do appreciate it.

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.