I’ve been experiencing migraine for over thirty years. I started, as many of us do, as an episodic migraine sufferer who then progressed over time into a chronic migraineur. I have been chronic for the past ten years. I’ve seen dozens of doctors and taken more pills than I’d care to mention in the journey to getting my migraines under control.
My worst migraine symptoms
My main symptom that has always been focused on is the pain from an attack. It was a huge symptom and many times it was the most debilitating. I will say by far the worst secondary symptom for me has been the migraine hangover.
What does my migraine hangover look like?
The hangover for me consists regularly of two to three days of intense exhaustion combined with both mental and physical fatigue. It just leaves me feeling like a wrung-out dishrag! I also experience terrible brain fog and a real deficit in my cognitive abilities. I am unable to multitask as I would normally do without a problem, and I can only focus on one task at a time.
Cycling through migraine attacks and postdrome
I cycle through my attacks now every few days going from the actual attack then into the hangover phase repeatedly. No medication I have taken helps with the effects of the hangover. I am currently taking Namenda to help with this, but the benefits are very minimal.
Depression and the postdrome phase of migraine
Depression is also I co-morbid partner in my migraine journey, and the migraine hangover only feeds this issue. I feel so drained from the hangover that it just leaves the door open for my depression to creep in. It really has a way of sucking the life out of you.
The isolation of migraine doesn't help
The combination of staying in a dimly lit room trying to escape the ill effects of an attack and the isolation you feel is horrible. For me even if I have the support from my family during an attack it really doesn’t help. My family are my biggest supporters, and they do try to keep me involved in the events that come and go. Having the migraine hangover just makes me feel like isolating myself which feeds the depression, but it’s how migraine has me wired now I guess.
Living a full life with chronic migraine
It is possible to live a full life with migraine, but I will say it’s a very different life than you live prior to having the disease. I can remember what it was like to not have migraine and I truly miss those days, but I can’t let that stop me from living a new life with chronic migraine. I am fortunate that I have a good neurologist that understands migraine and is interested in helping me find ways to manage migraine and its symptoms.
Hoping for something to help with my migraine postdrome
I have a very mild headache during an attack now thanks to Emgality, but I still suffer from the migraine hangover. I hope one day there will be a therapy regimen that will eliminate the hangover for me and those who also suffer from it.
Can you tell when a migraine attack is coming?