Migraine Journey Wednesdays (Vol.9 - Nancy Atchinson)

My name is Nancy, I live in Northern Ontario in Canada. I am 40 years old, have an awesome husband and 2 daughters, 22 and 14. 

My Family’s History with Migraines

I have been getting migraines since I was in grade 5 or 6, I remember coming home from school in so much pain. As the years have gone by I would get a migraine every 3 to 6 months, except for the last few years where they have been progressively getting worse.

I now have a headache every day (pain level 1-6) and I have been getting 4-10 migraines (pain level 7-10) a month. I don't get any auras or any warning before the migraine hits.  My headaches just seem to morph into them and it is usually too late at that point. I get pain in my head on either side above and behind my eyes but also my whole head sometimes, pain in my neck, light and sound sensitivity. I also get nauseous and when I was younger I would vomit. I know that old cheese is a trigger so I don't eat that ever, otherwise, I think that weather/pressure is a possible one, I also have arthritis in my TMJ so the pain from that I think is another. Otherwise, nothing seems to stand out. I know that my mom and my aunt both got migraines but occasionally.

The People Around Me 

My husband and daughters are supportive and understanding, even when it interferes in their plans. My mom always has been there for me but hates to see me in such pain. My work is also, thankfully, understanding when I have to leave early or call in sick due to a migraine.

The Effects of Migraines on My Life

I try really hard to push through whenever possible so that I can get work done or attend family activities but there are times when I just can't and I end up in bed with a pillow over my head in a dark room.

What I've Tried

I have tried three natural treatments, massage therapy which is fantastic but does not seem to reduce my migraines, feverfew seemed to help but made my stomach very upset, and essential oils which didn't help either.

As for medications, I have tried Triptans, Naproxen, and Beta Blockers but none helped. I refused to try anti-depressants, anti-seizure meds as I don't want to mess with my brain chemistry plus the side effects are not what I want to risk. Better with the beast I know instead of the beast I don't. Currently, the only thing that I use is either naproxen or 800.mg Ibuprofen and when it is unbearable I take 1 or 2 Tylenol 3 with Codeine which helps dull the pain. Helps dull the pain.

Days Things Gets Unbearable 

When things get too much to handle, a dark room, pillow over my head, and ice packs on my neck and forehead help me cope. I also take 1 or 2 Tylenol 3 with Codeine and then about 800mg of Ibuprofen. Other things I do include trying to stay calm and sleeping.

Some Advice for My Fellow Migraineurs

Just know that you are not alone. When in the thick of the pain try to stay calm. I really am enjoying Migraine Buddy and the fantastic community of fellow migraine sufferers. I love how everyone is so supportive of each other!

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

With love, 

the Migraine Buddy team 💜 

Healint Singapore