Migraine Journey Wednesdays (Vol. 11 - Katie Zvonek)

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My Family’s History with Migraines

I’m Katie, 18 this year, and I’m from the United States. I would vomit everything I has eaten at random times and then be fine. After being medicated for those, they went away but I finally started to notice around age 12 that I was getting severe headaches. 

My sister and grandfather both had migraines so I went to a neurologist and I was diagnosed with migraines. I can have debilitating migraines that impair my vision on the side of that migraine. I have sound/light sensitivity and a big trigger is MSG. I get nausea, and many times what feels like tunnel vision accompanies my migraines both before and after them.

The People Around Me

Yes, my family and friends care very deeply about this. They understand that a migraine can sometimes feel like your brain is being peeled out of your head. If I come to school with one, my teachers are very accommodating. My dog is also very caring, he gives the best kisses.

The Effect of Migraines on My Life 

Many times I missed activities because a migraine has gotten so bad that I can't do anything. I'll have to stop what I am doing so I don't pass out.

What I’ve Tried

I started with Amitriptyline but I got used to it and it wasn't doing much for me other than helping me sleep. I am now on Topamax 50 mlg twice a day, and it definitely has taken my severity down from about 2 migraines a week to barely 1 or 2 a month. I use peppermint oil on my temples in the early stages of headaches, which has helped even with nausea. Cold cloths and other things like that help as well.

Days Things get Unbearable

A nice, dark quiet room with water and some crackers. Often I can’t even get out of bed so I’ll just wait it out until I can get up and get meds.

Some Advice for My Fellow Migraineurs

It does get better. Anyone just starting on their recover journey, stay strong. I’ve had migraines my whole life and the last thing your want to do is lose hope. Trying anything is better than doing nothing!!

If your medication isn’t working, tell your doctor. I used to be worries about saying it wasn’t working because I thought I was doing something wrong, but you just need to be straightforward with them. Also things you think might not be related, can sometimes be, in a weird way. I hadn’t slept through the night since I was born (really ask my mom) and I was a bed wetter until I was 12, which was when I finally started getting medications for my migraines. I slept through the night and immediately stopped wetting my bed. It was the weirdest thing ever. 

Thank you, Katie, for stepping forward to share you migraine journey with everyone. If you would like to share your story and let your voice be heard like Katie, you may do so here: bit.ly/2rJcpMR  

With love, 

the Migraine Buddy team  

Healint Singapore