Guest Post: Migraine Roller Coaster
We are pleased to share this second guest post with you from our community member, Tom Picerno. Tom is a 50-year-old migraine sufferer of 10 years. He currently resides in Florida and has worked as a retail manager for the last 35 years. He works to educate others about migraine and help remove stigmas associated with the disease.
Life long roller coaster of migraine
The day started as it normally does for me. I had a doctor appointment for epidural steroid shots in my neck. I was hoping to get relief from pain and tightness in my neck. I was also hoping by some chance that it would help my chronic migraine issues. Ironically headache was one of the main side effects, but I was desperate for some relief. The following day was okay with just mild migraine symptoms. The next couple of days got progressively worse. That’s when I got on the roller coaster. It wasn’t just me getting on the coaster though. Migraine drags along everything in your life. Family, friends, work, social life and family time.
The small ups and major downs of intractable migraine
I had found myself in a really bad place. My migraine had gone rogue and become intractable. I was going up and down on the migraine roller coaster. I would have fierce days of attacks that did not respond to any of my escape medications. Then some reprieve with a day of milder symptoms. I would be dealing with the migraine hangover during the time I was climbing the next hill. The next days were the drop straight down. I was hospitalized for nearly a week and put on IV Thorazine which slowly ratcheted down the pain. This did not come without its own side effects, but they were less than my migraine issues so I moved onward. I was released from the hospital and within three days it was back on the roller coaster.
Migraine attacking work and family time
This episode of migraine attacks has been cycling for weeks. I was starting to see the fallout from the attacks. I’d lost countless hours of family time. I had to go out on disability at work because I could no longer be dependable not to mention my brain has felt like a well beaten egg most days. I have not had more than three decent days in a row. By decent I mean the light sensitivity has been manageable, my stomach will tolerate food, and I’m not totally burned out in two hours after getting on my feet.
Riding out the migraine pain
I received Botox after my insurance finally gave the approval for both the drug and the administering of said drug. The shots were nearly painless until they hit the side of my head that was under attack. Initially, it was not terrible but as the day went on the pain was excruciating. I packed my head in ice and headed to bed to wait for it to subside. The next day was better but not great. Migraine for me has been like a really bad roller coaster ride these past three months. I have no idea when this cycle will end. But I do have hope that it will be soon. I’m trying to think of this disease as a marathon run though. I pray for the stamina and endurance to run the race until I can find the keys to lock it away for good.
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