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Life With Migraine

Today is one of those days when I find it hard to believe that this is my life. After a 20-minute pep talk to get off the couch and make lunch, I made it the five steps into the kitchen doorway and collapsed in a heap on the floor. Though protein probably would have helped me feel better, the 15 steps to the refrigerator posed an insurmountable obstacle. As I slumped on the floor, I kept thinking, “Is this really my life?”

It was one of those times that I could observe myself from outside my body. I did not feel sorry for myself or obsess over the unfairness. I just watched, in awe that this relatively young body could be incapable of performing such simple functions. That my neurological system could flame out so dramatically.

Most people think my life is dominated by constant head pain. Yes, the throbbing, stabbing pain often reaches indescribable heights. I also have a mind that works at half-capacity, unable to connect concepts, complete thoughts or find words; a body with so little energy it feels as if all my muscles have been wrung out; nausea that causes my stomach to cramp. Sometimes I black out and wake up drenched in sweat. I so wish migraine were “just a headache.”

After all these years, I can still be surprised by the severity of this illness, astonished by my frequent reality. This really is my life.

19 Responses to Life With Migraine

  1. marisa says:

    Oh, hon. That is so completely crappy. If you’re still up and want to talk, gimme a call.

  2. Tim says:

    I feel sorry for you! I have not experienced a migraine headache my self, but I know how excruciating the pain can be because my girlfriend suffers from it.She told me that gentle massage helps her feel better, it has something to do with the stiffness in the neck muscles.Everyone is different and there is no fix, one can only try to relieve the pain.

  3. Oh how can I relate. I’ve been feeling awful today and I was thinking the same thoughts: this is how my life has turned out?? I can’t believe that this is my reality, too. 🙁

    It’s unbelievable to me that I’m too ill to do the dishes. ugh. It’s surprising that my 30 year old body continues to fail at its job!

  4. VB says:

    Your day has an unfortunate resemblance to my day! Today I’ve finally had my first day without migraine for days, but still the day has been dreadful. Headache, nausea, fatigue, problems with concentration and keeping an effortless conversation. Why is my head so fuzzy??
    There is so much I want to do, but I don’t have the energy! I fear the next migraine attack with aura, and let the fear control my life.
    I wish to be an energetic supermum, but always end up longing for my kids bedtime, so I can get some rest.
    Not all days are this bad, but a lot of the days are much worse. Bed lying with excruciating pain.
    There’s a strange comfort in knowing I’m not the only one in this situation, although I wouldn’t want this for my worst enemy!
    Be strong. It will and must get better!!!

    V

  5. Sue says:

    I had a similar thought the other day. I was lying on the floor recovering from a doozy of a whack on the head by the freezer door. Concussion – sooooo not fun.

    Anyway, I was lying there for some time when I said to hubby “whether it’s this kind of stoopid accident or my usual migraine pain, the floor is becoming way too familiar to me”.

    Seriously. How did this become my life?

    Beyond that, I’ve been asking myself lately how much longer I can struggle through working. When is the right time to wave the white flag and just stop?

  6. “After all these years, I can still be surprised by the severity of this illness, astonished by my frequent reality. This really is my life.”

    I overstand this statement. With every migraine, I realize this is my life. (( HUG ))

  7. Julie says:

    I don’t often read blogs and I definitely don’t ever respond, but I guess I am officially at the end of my rope. My first thought is that I should stop being a baby, toughen up and quit bitching about these headaches, especially after reading everyone else’s posts and realizing maybe I don’t have it so bad. But then the other half of me is so angry, defeated and today, sad and teary. I am already sitting here feeling guilty because I know response is going to be way to long and boring and why would anyone else want to waste their time reading my complaining. But I have already started so what the hell.

    I have an appointment in 2 weeks with a new headache specialist. I really don’t know what my problem is. I have had this current headache right now for almost a month. I get up with it and go to bed with it. I don’t have auras, am not nauseous and it’s on both sides of my head, so maybe not a migriane.

  8. Julie says:

    Oops, hit submit by mistake. And I do know how to spell migraine : ) Told you I suck at this.

    Anyway, I have tried everything and then some. It’s all I can do to get through the day. I don’t have kids, but my poor puppy is neglected and I have no idea how my husband can drag himself home every night to me. I teach and go to several schools a day. I continue to work, headache or not, but sometimes I hit a wall and can’t drag myself in. Last week got a shot of toradol (IDON’T know how to spell that), and no help. I have currently been taking percocet and it seems to be the only thing that gives me relief. I am worried and stressed about the percocet, but it is the only thing that gives me any relief. I worry about being addicted but I also worry about running out. I am a train wreck. Hopefully the new doctor will be of help. Just one more of many. I am sorry this is so long and boring, when most of you have it way tougher than I do. I will say a prayer for all of us. This headache person is not who I am or who I want to be. I really am a fun, likeable person, dammit!! : )

  9. natalie says:

    Have you ever tried juice fasting (ie fat sick and nearly dead movie) or Gerson therapy to try to heal the body so it can repair what ever causes the headache? I am trying it now.

  10. Kate says:

    Julie-Look up New Daily Persistent Headache (NDPH) and see if its a fit. Official diagnosis isn’t made until 6 months, but it could put you down a different track than migraine. I’ve unfortunately had this condition for almost 6 years now, My best advice is to be persistent with the doctors, and ask what they can try to break it, such as antibiotics, steroids, or DHE.

    Sue-I feel ya! This is also a daily struggle for me. I am not letting myself give up yet. I’m only a few years out of college. I also struggled with my pain through most of that. I know if I give up its unlikely I’d make it back, so I would want to make sure that is really what I would need to do when it came to it. Next step is probably to cut down on hours. That can be tough to manage though. Sure has made me a stronger person.

    There are some MD Junction forums for both NDPH and working with a chronic health condition that I’ve found quite helpful. Love the blog, Kerrie! Hope to see you posting more, although I remember reading how much it aggravates your symptoms. Have you ever tried a speech to text program, or do you touch type so that wouldn’t help keep your eyes off the screen? Best wishes.

  11. Kim says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about everyone’s pain. I have never responded to a blog before, but this one touched me. I honestly said the other day that I just needed to get used to the headaches that it has become my life. I’m so frustrated. I have been to so many doctors who have no answers. Sometimes I wonder if I’m just crazy. I went to see my “headache specialist” yesterday and he gave me samples of a medicine that I told him didn’t work. He said that since it had been so long ago that I tried it that maybe it will work now. It didn’t. It’s like I’ve tried everything that they can think of so now they’re trying everything all over again because they can’t think of anything new. Really? I’m exhausted…Physically, mentally, emotionally. I’m sorry to be dumping on you guys, but I’ve tried to be strong for so many years, but I just don’t know what to do anymore. I’ve done everything that I know to do. I’ve been to every doctor that I can think of to go to and nothing has helped. Thanks for listening.

  12. Kerrie, thanks for a place where we can share are experiences. It means a lot to hear what other people are going though. Best of luck to you all.

  13. Robyn Painter says:

    Hey Kerrie! Just wanted to say hi! I had a migraine today and had a question about some of my symptoms (incredible thirst simultaneous w/ incredible need to pee), and your blog was the best resource I found. . .I am sorry to read your last post–it sounds like you’ve been feeling fairly horrible. Anyway, I wanted you to know that you are making a big difference to all of the migraine sufferers out here, that you blog is fantastic, and also that Peter and I are thinking of you and Hart. . .miss you.

    xoxox, robyn:)

  14. Robin says:

    I am both sorry and glad that others are dealing with this too. I have had my daily headache for over a year. For over a week now, my headache has been just below a migraine. I have found that people are not understanding to people with this medical issue, even some neurologists. I feel people think I am making this all up sometimes.

  15. Kelly says:

    Hi all,
    I found this blog while researching headaches as I lay in bed with a cold pack on my head. It feels good on but when I remove it my head throbs more. I just turned 20 the other day, with a headache. It hurts in the center of my forehead and on the back center. Its a throb pain some sensitivity to light and nausea after so long. I refuse to pop a pill today. All my life I respond to stress in my stomach and head. I’m excellent at holding back vomit because I know it is bad for the esophagus. I have horrible nutrition and I live in a bad home and in poverty. I no longer exercise cause there is bugs even in this month then I get annoyed and my head hurts worse. I am going to a family doctor and asking her to refer me to a specialist. My life next year however will be great as I am preparing to get an apartment at university’s with my boyfriend next fall and I’m making us nutritious food. I’m not sure if these more frequent than usual migraines are stress or is it an amneourysm or something equally scary?
    Also if I keep going without pills will my body make it go away? Tonight I’m bearing with it..
    someone please respond,
    I hope we all heal..if there is a god he needs to heal us
    Kelly.

  16. Kelly says:

    Update: I wrote this two nights ago and broke down and took my liquid hydrocodein, a sip to get me to sleep. I woke up fine. You know that feelings you get a day after headache, where you know if you stay relaxed it stays away? Yeah well I was fine yesterday and today I stepped back into my normal reality and I felt tightness tonight and a few mild throbs. But I am taking deep breathes and am pleasantly sulfides of is staying at a 3 rather than an 8. Maybe I am learning biofeedback or something..
    You guys check out this medicine I am going to get:
    http://www.relieve-migraine-headache.com/migrelief.html

    Sounds promising enough as a preventative. I just don’t want to be on prescription medicines at the age of 20, herbs are as far as ill go. Oh also, I am taking evening primrose oil and Cal Kim and magnesium as well as a multivitamin all for fibrocysti. Breasts. So far no hard breasts. Also maybe the evening primrose is increasing my migraines..
    Hope everyone gets some sleep.

  17. Bibi says:

    Hi Kerrie,
    I’m so sorry to read that the migraines are hitting you that hard.(I just had one yesterday and hate the blues that comes with the M).
    Last year I was in very bad shape with constant vertigo and often migraines. So I started researching and tried this antihistamine pill. Migraine sufferers often don’t have enough of a special enzyme to break down histamine. This pill and a low histamine diet sometimes give me up to 3 migraine free weeks. You might want to try this pill, – it is called Histame in the US. If it helps you somewhat, you might want to read more about what this is all about.
    A BIG HUG, and I hope you soon find out what trigger the M in your body.

  18. Justine says:

    These migraines are more difficult then I could ever have imagined. I’ve had them occasionally for years, but the past few years I’ve had them every month and the past year I’ve had them severe at least 10 days out of every month and I’m struggling. I make it through work and come home and sit down and just cry. I don’t want to upset my husband or my parents so I suffer alone, I worry alone, I cry alone. I can’t do the things I enjoy anymore, I can hardly accomplish anything. I wish I could come to terms with this reality, but honestly I’m just miserable and I pray for it to end every day. I don’t even care how it ends anymore I just want the pain to stop. I’m 25 years old and I have no future ambition at this point. I don’t want children because I don’t think I could be the kind of mother I want to be, I don’t want a better job, or to go back to school. I just survive every day..live day to day because what other choice do I have? I used to want a future before this constant pain, now I just want out.

  19. Patsy says:

    I just found this blog. It was astonishing to me that someone else knows how I’m feeling. I knew others had the same migraines I did, but to find others who experience the same symptoms and emotions I do was so refreshing. I can already tell this blog will be a comfort to me and encourage me not to lose heart in the face of the overwhelming obstacle I face every day. Thank you.

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