Migraine Journey Wednesday (Vol. 32 – Ruth Fitzpatrick)

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I’m 54 years old, I live in Palmer, Alaska, and I work as a  drafter for a small architectural firm. My partner, Bryan and I live with my mother (both to save money for our own property someday and to take care of her) as well as three cats: Viktor & Naldo – the kittens, and Bailer – the grumpy fat old guy. 

My Migraine History

My migraines started when I was around 10. I got them every day for years, but over time the pattern has changed and then changed again. Now they are almost constant but oddly enough not painful exactly. I just get all the side effects rather than the excruciating pain. I have tried just about every drug there is, as well as all the alternative medications/therapies. Nothing seems to work – or if it does work, my body eventually gets used to it so that it no longer works. 

The People Around Me 

I am the only one in my family who has migraines but they have all been great; very supportive and understanding when I have to cancel plans. My partner Bryan is “new” to the whole Migraine world, and is learning how to take care of me without stressing himself out too much.

The Effects of Migraine on My Life 

I have had to learn the hard way to just power through the pain. If I took off work every time I have a headache, I’d never go to the office! It’s difficult at best, but more people don’t even know I get them – and sadly don’t really believe me when I tell them. 

I’ve tried almost everything. The only one that actually worked (at first) was Sumatriptan, back when it first came out. I had the injection kind – and suffered from horrible side effects each time I took it (which was about 3 times a month) but it gave me relief so I endured. That drug no longer works for me – but sometimes I still get the side effects! Now I typically deal with the pain through breathing techniques and meditation. 

Days Things Get Unbearable 

I just get through them. I really don’t have any other option or at least not any acceptable options. There are times, however that I honestly do think about killing myself just to stop the pain. One time I found myself on the street corner wishing I had an axe so that I could cut my feet off (I thought that would make the headache go away). On another occasion, I was in the bathroom on the floor trying not to move so I wouldn’t trigger another bout of vomiting – but I was mentally counting every pill I had in the house, to see if it would be enough. I really think that if I could have moved I would have taken them all. 

Migraine Buddy has been a great help to my partner. It has given him so much information on what migraines are and how it has affected people. He’s learnt what he can do to help and what he shouldn’t do, etc. 

Advice for My Fellow Migraineurs 

Don’t waste your energy fighting against it.. Accept the fact that you have migraine and learn to live with it. I realised a long time ago that I will probably die with migraine – but I will not die because of migraine!

Thank you, Ruth, for stepping forward to share your migraine journey with the community.  

When you share your stories, it not only helps others but you heal in the process too. If you would like to share your story and let your voice be heard like Ruth, you may do so here: http://bit.ly/2rJcpMR 

With love, the Migraine Buddy Team

Jenny from Migraine Buddy

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