My Earliest Memories of Migraines

My Earliest Memories of Migraines

My earliest memory of migraines begins at a young age. I’m in grade school and it’s not memories of me having them, but my mother. I remember feeling so helpless seeing a person in bed who never took time to rest or have a break during the day and how much it broke my heart.

Distinctly remembering the darkness

My mother, in a darkened, silenced room. Someone I looked up to so much, could barely tolerate the pain that she was experiencing. I remember leaving for school and kissing her goodbye. I distinctly remember the darkness and the smell of pain and frustration. At a young age, I would not only learn the beginnings of my own empathy but also the feelings of helplessness.

Hormones and more frequent migraine attacks

Despite having a hysterectomy at a young age and being promised that being put on hormones would lessen the frequency and strength of her migraines, they became more frequent. Much like me, her migraines presented along the time of her menstrual cycle and when she was supposed to have it.

Learning about empathy

Fortunately, this story has a good ending. After she was able to come off the hormones, along with adding vitamin B to her regimen, her migraines subsided. My mother hasn’t had a migraine in about four years. Ironically enough, our family has seen just enough illness to know that we may not medically or physically understand one disease from another, but we’ve learned empathy and that is something that will never fade.

Thankful for family support

I’m extremely thankful my mother no longer constantly struggles with the pain and suffering of migraines and realize that not everyone’s story is similar. But, it can be hope for women whose migraines were initially onset by pregnancy.

She may not get them often, but I know that when I experience my own onset of migraines, that she will be a listening and understanding ear when I need to vent or cry. I hate that we can relate to something that makes you feel so sick and helpless, but I’ve also learned it can bring a family tighter together. For that, I am very thankful.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (6)
  • abbey1997
    6 months ago

    I remember when my migraines started at 10 years old. Going to many doctors to try to get a diagnosis, vomiting in class, the school nurse wouldn’t send me home because I didn’t have a fever. I was finally diagnosed with childhood barometric migraines. I wasn’t old enough yet for them to be hormonal. That was 38 years ago and I’m still getting them. Guess that rules out the childhood part. I remember so much suffering (with my mom crying next to me). There were really no medications back then. I remember I was home on a summer break before college when Imitrex injections first came out. I remember where I was, how I felt and how the first slef injection felt. Since I’ve been on just about every medication, tried just about every treatment; nothing lasts. They’ve gotten more frequent with age, but less severe (or I’m just used to them). I’m currently on Botox which has brought me from 27/month avg to 16/month average. Next step is Aimovig. The ER believes I’m a drug seeker. I think my bosses think I’m weak and lazy. Some days I feel so sorry for myself and have to remind myself there are others going through worse. Thank you for letting me share my story

  • #purpleproject moderator author
    2 months ago

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Abbey. It hurts to hear stories like yours, because unfortunately, it’s far too common. The ER is such a touchy topic for all people with Migraine. It’s terrifying to go somewhere for help half-heartedly knowing how you may be treated. Feeling like others look down on you is an all too common feeling as well. We really appreciate you sharing your story. Best, Kelly, Team Member

  • musical-whovian
    6 months ago

    Like you, I can remember my mother’s migraines from my childhood. I remember her locking herself away in her closet because it was the farthest place away from the rest of us in the house & the darkest place she could find. I can still hear the sound of her banging her head against the wall because (as she would tell me) it hurt less than the pain coming from within her head.
    Oddly enough, I don’t remember when her migraines suddenly stopped. If I think hard about it, it might have been around the time she got pregnant with my little sister, so when I was about 10. I just know that they suddenly stopped happening, and it’s like she never got them that badly at all because she treats mine like they couldn’t possibly be as bad as I’m making them out to be; that I’m faking to get out of work. That I’ve been faking the chronic pain for about 2 1/2 years now. That somehow I want to be on all this medication & want this sort of life.
    I’m so glad your mother understands what you’re going through and is there for you. I truly wish we all had someone in our corner who believed in us and was fighting for us like that. Please thank your mother for me and ask her if she’s looking to adopt haha

  • #purpleproject moderator author
    2 months ago

    This tugged at my heart. I’m so sorry your mother doesn’t understand, despite going through them herself. I can relate on a certain level to that as well.

    I hope you’ve found supportive friends & am so grateful you found our site to share some of your story. Thank you for doing that!
    Best
    Kelly, Team Member

  • DinaMay
    6 months ago

    Words can’t express how bad I feel that my migraines blighted the early lives of my children. And I feel still worse that my daughter inherited migraines from me. But as the article says, we learn empathy in ways such as this. So maybe my children are better people because of my health problems.

  • #purpleproject moderator author
    2 months ago

    We can’t help genetics, DinaMay, BUT you have a unique perspective to that type of empathy for your daughter and may have an idea what to do or how to help her in the future when she is struggling. <3
    Best
    Kelly, Team Member

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