Migraine Journey Wednesday (Vol.28 - Anna)

My Migraine History

Hi, I’m Anna from the UK and I started getting migraines at the age of only 2! My mum also suffered as a child so she recognised the symptoms straight away (sobbing pain, paracetamol no help, vomiting, the need to be in the dark away from noise...... the list goes on. 

My mum’s migraines stopped during puberty, however my nana (on the other side of the family) developed them when she hit puberty, so I had unfortunately been cursed with getting both!! I think I will start with my migraine triggers: lack of sleep, chocolate, anything citrus, stress, excitement, bright lights/ screens, poor eye-sight, loud noises, alcohol, eating not enough/not the wrong types of food, hormones... or sometimes they just happen- MIGRAINE MONDAY. 

Some of my symptoms include: the worst pain over my right eye (like a clamp) can last for ages as drugs often don’t work, vomiting/nausea, extreme dizziness, shivering, inability to be in any light or any noise whatsoever, stomach pain! 

My migraines can vary dramatically in pain strength. I get mild migraines almost every day and horrendous migraines about once a week - you know the ones where you just want someone to knock you out, and you don’t even care if you don’t wake up again. I get so angry and distressed when I have a full blown migraine attack when no medication seems to be working and all I can do is clutch my head and scream into a pillow not able to move because every movement makes me throw up.

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The People Around Me

If you ask me if the people around me were supportive, it’s a simple answer. YES. Bless my family and friends, they’ve put up with me and my migraines for years now. My teachers are super understanding and caring too. 

My parents just feel awful for me but they tend to me like I’m a poorly incapable child- which is what I need. My best friends and family have nursed me through so many migraines that we’ve now named Mondays “Migraine Mondays” as this is the day I get them without fail! I don’t think I could have done anything without the help of my friends and family.

The Effect of Migraines on My Life

In my worst attacks, I can often feel depressed and angry. I’ve had to miss lessons- which is such a pain as I am in my A-level year now and every lesson is vital. I also often get them in the evenings which means that I loose so much revision time which adds even more stress which leads to more migraines. 

Migraines also make me feel so groggy for the next day which also makes school the next day a challenge to focus (as I still feel sick and tired). I’ve had to leave parties early, and I have never been to a concert where I haven’t had an awful migraine afterwards. I now want to avoid parties and concert environments to escape the inevitable consequences. I’d just like to have fun and party like all my friends!

Treatments I’ve Tried 

I’ve tried lots of triptans, ibuprofen and paracetamol too. Nothing works at the moment so I’m going back to my GP who is in the midst of discussing other tablets and treatments with me. 

Days Things Get Unbearable

When my attacks get really bad, I cope with a dark room, no noise, water and sometimes I cry myself to sleep. I can’t take food. I need to lock myself away for hours. 

Words of Advice For My Fellow Migraineurs

We’ve got this, everyone! It’s going to be okay. Even though it may feel like your life is controlled by migraines and the unknown fear of when they’ll strike next…migraines DO NOT determine how you live your life. You can get help, and one day we can hope for a super miracle drug that can help us defeat migraines. Stay strong, drink lots of water and live life, stuff those migraines! 

Thank you, Anna, for stepping forward to share your migraine journey with everyone. When you share your stories it not only helps other but you heal in the process too. If you would like to share your story and let your voice be heard like Anna you may do so here: bit.ly/2rJcpMR 

With love, the Migraine Buddy Team 💕

Emily Neo