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Conversation of the Week: Living with migraine disease and multiple chronic health issues

Living with migraine disease is challenging and frustrating. Many of us also live with multiple other chronic health issues which complicates migraine management. Let's discuss how we manage with living with migraine disease along with other health conditions.

  1. i've had crohn's disease since August 1st, 2007--had surgery in 2010 because of it.. got diagnosed with chronic migraines which is barometric pressure related in 2019 and battled uterine cancer and beat it, but with crohn's, i'm in remission.. NEVER take ANYTHING or ANYONE for granted

    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. I understand how complex it is to live with multiple health issues. I am happy to hear you beat cancer and are in remission with Crohn’s - that has to be a relief!
      I love what you said - "NEVER take ANYTHING or ANYONE for granted" that's so important. We know our bodies, if only we were believed every time!
      I hope today is a low pain day and I look forward to hearing more from you, Nancy Harris Bonk, Patient Leader/Moderator Team

    2. I am so sorry to hear that you have had to live with so much. It is great to hear that you beat cancer and your Crohn's is in remission. I am sure there is so much you could teach us after surviving what you have lived through. Your lesson above is such an important one. It really is easy to get complacent in our lives and begin to take people and things for granted. Some health conditions have a way of reminding us what is truly important. Best wishes - Amanda W (team member)

  2. I just posted about this, although my question is more specific. I have migraines, asthma, and was just diagnosed with a-fib. There does seem to be a connection between the headaches and the heart episodes, and my cardiologist said a-fib can cause headache; but the reverse is also true. Yay.

    Also, I just asked about how people navigate with all their doctors when they have more than one chronic condition. Seems like doctors should communicate more when they share joint patients, but also this seems like it's rarely done. They rely on the patient as the go-between.

    1. I think you're being honest about your experience, it's not necessarily a "bad attitude." You're not getting the care that you've been getting for the past 20 years and that's disappointing. To me, it sounds like you're doing what you need to be a good advocate for the care that you want. Wishing you the best of luck! Keep us posted, if you feel comfortable doing so.
      Alene, Team Member

    2. - If you feel that your current practice doesn't align with your needs and preferences, it may be time to explore other options where you can establish a more direct relationship with a physician. Your health and well-being are important, and finding a healthcare provider who can meet your expectations and provide the support you need is vital. As Alene states, ... you're doing what you need to be a good advocate for the care you want." Trust your instincts and prioritize what feels best for you moving forward. Wishing you the best. Rebecca (Team member)

  3. I started migraines as a young teenager, we have a family history of migraines. I've collected many chronic illnesses in my 60 years, inflammatory arthritis, psoriasis, both of which are autoimmune conditions, PCOS, hyperlipdaemia, type 2 diabetes, and lastly cirrhosis of the liver from NAFLD and liver toxic drugs to treat my arthritis.
    My diabetic nurse thinks my blood sugars exacerbate my migraines as they are worse when we readjust doses of drugs. I also crave sugar and cards during migraines.

    I had to ill health retire in 2019 (A.P. in a Renal Unit) as I just couldn't keep going after a physical and mental collapse. That has been hard, to loose my career in the NHS which I loved. But although financially difficult, its given me a chance to look out for my wellbeing. When a migraine starts I no longer have to exist on coffee, caffeine drinks and co-codamol to drag myself in to work. I can take time to give myself TLC and rest as much as I can. I get to smell the roses, do tai chi in the garden, I've learned to meditate and look out for my wellbeing.
    I have cultivated a very rich inner life which brings me joy. I joined a national choir, Rock Choir, and have learnt that practicing the songs we are learning sometimes helps the pre or post drome of a migraine, I think it the vibrating of the vocal cords that helps.......who knew?!

    1. Hi there, sorry to here of your career loss but you are not alone. I "was" an RN in both UK and Winnipeg for just 20 yrs before I had to retire early at the age of 41. I had been having issues with memory loss, unable to find words, forgot procedures and started slurring my words. People assumed I was taking drugs (which I wasn't) but 3yrs later when I came back to UK my GP diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia. Now6yrs on it is definitely Fibro and I am wheelchair bound and despite not working I still have hideous migraines. I am so happy for you in the life post work that you have found, we have a choir next door and it is beautiful to listen to. Enjoy the time we have I can hear you in my head and you must sound amazing! Lots of love in your retirement, may life bring you all the joy and happiness in the world.❤️

    2. what a beautiful response. Thank you for taking the time to share in this way. I resonated with your story in that I was able to have a career for 20 years before being sidelined due to chronic migraine. Like you, despite not working, I still have hideous migraine attacks more days than not. I somehow thought removing the stress of my work would quiet the condition and quickly realized migraine is a neurological condition that resides inside of me- rather than something that is merely triggered by my surroundings. I understand from being on this site for years now that the combination of fibro and migraine is complex, difficult, and deeply demanding (as if one of those conditions on its own isn't hard enough). How wonderful that you are here giving a healthy perspective and spreading appreciation and joy to others. Lovely to see. Thank you. So glad you are with us. Warmly - Holly - team

  4. It is very difficult to live with other chronic pain conditions in addition to chronic migraine. Some of my other health conditions include fibromyalgia and chronic back pain. Due to these conditions, I have an opiate prescription for a medication called Nucynta. While this medication helps with my fibromyalgia and chronic back pain, it can have the reverse effect on my migraine. Due to this, it is always hard to decide when to use the pain prescription. Just like with a migraine, if I wait until the pain is completely unbearable, the pain medication will not work as well or with one dose. However, taking the pain medication can cause a migraine or increase the migraine pain that is already there. It is definitely a double edge sword. - Amanda W (team member)

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