The Thing About // Migraines

The Thing About // Migraines

I know this isn’t the most glam of posts to write about, however it is something that can completely stop me in my tracks. I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about migraines recently, so, if it’s on my mind, it’s on my blog!

Most times when I have a migraine, I look fine. I mean, I don’t look Instagram ready or anything like that, but to anyone else I look normal. With a cold, you have sniffly nose, cough, and a voice like a goose farting in a fog (credits to Billy Connolly for that last bit. Legend) But my point it, you don’t look “ill” with a migraine. So people start to look at you questioning whether you’re actually ill. The symptoms are ill inwards. Except for the delightful vomiting, which I shall get to later.

A Little History

I’ve suffered with just bad headaches since I started work at the tender age of 16. At first I put them down to eyesight. I refused to wear my glasses and was using a computer all day. A great combo if you ask me.
I quickly remedied the situation and started to wear my glasses more often. Then quickly and abruptly decided I didn’t like it and upgraded to contact lenses. Problem solved? Nopes.

The headaches persisted on and off, but nothing that wasn’t manageable with tablets. Then more tablets. Before I knew it, I was popping tablets at the mere sniff of a headache.


Then the fun started.

I would get headaches that NO TABLETS WOULD TOUCH. Fml right?! In fact, tablets would make it worse. I would feel drowsy anyway because, you know, drugs, but then would feel sick and dizzy and in pain. I’m not going to lie here, I would be in agony. Then I would be sick, which you’ll probably know, makes the blood temporarily pump faster, meaning my headache would reach elephant-jumping-on head level. You try not to be dramatic about it, but often I would find myself screaming out in pain. The only thing that would work is sitting completely still in a v dark room. Eventually the sickness would go and I would reach a level of being slightly comfortable, so I could sleep. Bliss. Only to wake up with the headache still there.

The cycle would last about a week, with me taking tablets and vomiting them up as soon as I took them.

Lightbulb Moment

Then, like some sort of genius, I decided to cut out the tablets. Cold turkey. (Side note, I am not a drug addict! When I refer to tablets, I mean your basic paracetamol/ibuprofen) So if I had a migraine start, I would only use cold pads on my head and those cold creams you can buy that make you smell like a polo.

I didn’t feel sick, but the pain persisted. I would reach the top level of pain when any movement to my head made me feel like my brain was rolling around in my head. Picking something off the floor was a no-go. If I dropped something, it stayed there until further notice. So the trick, again, was to stay completely still with multiple minty creams splodged on my head.


Without tablets, the headaches lasted a uniform (much reduced) time of 2 days. Everytime. So I decided it was time to see an expert.

Referral

I got referred to a Private Doctor and saw a neurologist. At last, I would see an expert and he would cure me. I was actually excited about my appointment, whereas most would be dreading it, expecting bad news. But I was at my wits end and wanted answers. I wanted a cure, or advice on what to do.

So I skipped along to my appointment. We discussed diet, stress levels and other things. He did a quick eyesight-to-movement check and then came out with the revelation that “you are just prone to migraines”. Brilliant, well done Sherlock.

He sent me away with a prescription to help prevent migraines that are basically anti-depressants, but they help to relax the receptor in the brain that starts migraines. Yup, Science.

I was on the tablets for some time before going back with no improvement to my symptoms. He then increased my dosage and considered the matter resolved. Errrrrmmmm, no mate.

I am now at the stage of getting a bad migraine pretty much every month. Same symptoms in the same order. 1) Slight pain 2) Dizziness 3) Elephant-on-head 4) Sickness 5) Is my brain moving?

What’s Next?

I have an appointment booked with my GP this month where we are going to review my tablets and I am going to ask that they refer me again to the neurologist. When I get to see him again, I’m going to insist that something is done. I want more tests done. Take my blood, please! Put me in the scan thingy. Look inside my head please, as I just want answers. Is it my diet? Is it stress?

Migraines have a strange way of completely stopping you in your tracks. The simplest of tasks like going from room to room, take careful planning of keeping my head as still as possible. I can’t eat, and I certainly can’t go to work. I am a complete write off for about 2 days. And I am now sick of the constant cycle. I try techniques that might help, only to be blessed with a migraine regardless of my efforts.

So, if someone you know suffers with migraines, the best thing you can do is stroke their hair and offer to feed them. Actually, just do everything for them. Offer them water when they’re hugging the loo and just get them to relax. I would be totally lost without Ralph everytime.

Hopefully I will have an update this month after seeing my GP. Fingers crossed.

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