This is a reader-submitted story.
1. My diagnosis is: Acute Migraines
2. My migraine attack frequency is: Varied depending in triggers, and medication. I also suffer from cluster headaches, tension headaches. A migraine can last for up to 9 days which had been my longest. Four days the shortest. I generally have some sort of headache daily.
3. I was diagnosed in: 2014. I had a major head trauma when I was 9 whereby an object dropped on my head from an eight floor window. The object was large piece of solid wood. No puncture wound so it was all pooling and putting pressure in my brain (causing slight damage) put into an induced coma whilst they drained. And drained. Eventually I was allowed to go home and took the next 6 months to recuperate. I have barely any memories of accident or afterwards up to about a year. My memory has been damaged. I was basically told that if my skull had been a bit harder it would have caved in. So I am extremely lucky to be alive. This is where the migraines started.
4. My comorbid conditions include: Visual aura, vertigo attack, panic attack and occasional fit like episode. Eyesight problems in the eye I suffer clusters over, double sighted, short sight and eye pulling towards my ear. I now have to wear prisms in one eye glasses which I have only just been diagnosed, I’m also having sinus problems that is not an allergy.
5. I take __5__ medications each day for prevention and __1__ medications/supplements to treat an acute attack I have also had occipital blocks (didn’t work) and am now in the middle of a lidocaine IV infusion procedure. 2/3 so far the latter being 2 days ago. Had two fits during the last procedure so my pain consultant may not proceed but look at another method. I will find out start of July.
6. My first migraine attack was: Around 10 years old. Two years ago I had a migraine whereby I also had a fit. I’d never had a for until then. Very scary and since then have been unable to go back to work due to the fits and vertigo.
7. My most disabling migraine symptoms are: Vertigo, blind spots and confusion. Just being downright yucky…I hate feeling nauseous and physical sickness makes me cry because I don’t like doing it. So when sick the crying doesn’t help the migraine! I’m now medicated for the sickness/vertigo.
8. My strangest migraine symptoms are: Smell! I smell strange things and also hearing things.
9. My biggest migraine triggers are: Sunlight, stress, flashing lights (mainly emergency vehicles) vertigo.
10. I know a migraine attack is coming on when: I start seeing zig zags…or having a vertigo attack.
11. The most frustrating part about having a migraine attack is: Losing out on family life. Not being able to string a coherent sentence together. Forgetting things, having to cancel appointments or forgetting about them.
12. During a migraine attack, I worry most about: Having a fit.
13. When I think about migraine between attacks, I think: I get angry and frustrated with missing out in things, not being able to do things like dancing and seeing live music. I also get jealous of people who can go about their normal life, job etc.
14. When I tell someone I have migraine, the response is usually: That they usually go to lie down in a darkened room with a cool cloth on their forehead (those that don’t know me) Those that do usually ask if I’ve taken my tablets and can they do anything.
15. When someone tells me they have migraine, I think: I’ll usually try and give them some advice, for instance sumatriptan is available over the counter.
16. When I see commercials about migraine treatments, I think: If only it was that easy
17. My best coping tools are: My family. I also have a morbid sense of humour so that helps. I am an eternal optimist.
18. I find comfort in: My attitude to my migraines and other physical problems I have.
19. I get angry when people say: Calm down its just a headache you’ll get over it!
20. I like it when people say: I’m not sure to be honest. I have neurological problems with my back, hip and shoulder due to 3 prolapsed discs. I’m very stubborn and very often refuse help to my own detriment. So I guess when someone insists, because then I am relieved that someone has been gutsy enough to take my stubborn irritability on!
21. Something kind someone can do for me during a migraine attack is: Telling me to take my tablets as I often forget. Not ask me if I’m ok.
22. The best thing(s) a doctor has ever said to me about migraine is: it was actually a allergy nurse. First she commented in the amount of meds I had to take as I also have to take other meds for back. We had a bit of a giggle about being a pin cushion (IV’s allergy clinic) and then she went on to say how she admired my optimism and determination to get it all sorted so I could get on with my life. That have me a nice lift mentally. The funniest thing my pain doc said was ‘wake up’ in my ear really quietly as I had fallen asleep in his waiting room! He’s a fantastic doc, and I realise how lucky I am to have him taking care of my pain management.
23. The hardest thing to accept about having migraine is: How bad tempered it makes me. I was a happy go lucky laid back person. I am that person, no more. I’m snappy, argumentative, impatient and miserable. Being in constant pain, head, arm, hands, fingers, Back, hip, leg, ankle, foot. All right sided. Having to constantly rely on others.
24. Migraine has taught me: That invisible disabilities exist! My family are great!
25. The quotation, motto, mantra, or scripture that gets me through an attack is: Sleep will do the job.
26. If I could go back to the early days of my diagnosis, I would tell myself: Not to expect miracles. There is no magic cure.
27. The people who support me most are: Family and partner. My partner has put up with a lot. He’ll work a full day ad come home and do the chores, cook dinner etc if I’m feeling unwell. He’ll make a cup of tea if he gets home and I’m in bed with out moaning about it. He lets me sleep whenever I need to. He strokes my head to make me sleep when I’m having trouble. That actually works, we think it may have been a baby/mum thing. My kids are brilliant. One of my daughters sticks to me like glue and does all the things I’m sometimes unable. She comes to all my appointments, takes notes etc. Stops me from falling over or walking into things (vertigo)
28. The thing I most wish people understood about migraine is: It’s not just the pain, it’s the other symptoms too. My preventative tablets when working will take the pain away but not the symptoms. So I’ll still have the aura, vertigo, tiredness etc. However, it’s the aftermath of a migraine whereby it can take a couple of days before the exhaustion of having a migraine has passed.
29. Migraine and Headache Awareness Month is important to me because: I think more people need to understand how migraines can pretty much render you useless.
30. One more thing I’d like to say about life with migraine is: It’s hard. It’s painful. Frustrating, disabling, and difficult for the whole household to deal with.
Reader-submitted stories solely represent the personal point of view, experience, and opinion of the author, not of The Daily Headache or Kerrie Smyres. Follow this link to learn how to share YOUR 30 Things about living with a headache disorder.