Monica Shares the Worst of Migraine
The Editorial Team at Migraine.com is highlighting people in the migraine and headache disorder community in a series of interviews. We talked to Monica, who shares the worst aspects of life with migraine disease.
Monica's migraine story
I never had a migraine in my life until my son was born 33 years ago and it was the worst pain (besides childbirth) I ever felt. I endured the stabbing and throbbing pain of migraines several times a week in those early days. I began nursing school when my son was a toddler and experienced migraines several times a month. Then when I worked in long-term care facilities my days off would often be spent nursing a migraine.
Years of treatments
Over the years I tried many types of prescriptions (including injectables) and saw specialists (who chalked it up to the stress of being a single mother) with little or no relief. I later sought more natural treatments such as magnesium supplements, essential oils, and over time massage and chiropractic care helped me the most.
Finally, in my 40s I experienced some relief after a hysterectomy. This led me to believe there was a hormonal connection tying back to my first migraine being after childbirth. Thankfully, now the migraines are fewer and farther between.
My worst symptoms
The sensitivity to light, sound, and visual disturbances. When migraines strike I know that means lying in a quiet dark room with ice packs on my neck and head. There is no distraction with TV shows or music because any sound only amplifies the pain. sometimes I see bright flashing lights when I close my eyes. There’s nothing worse than being stuck inside on a sunny day with a migraine.
The worst part about living with migraine
The unpredictability is the worst part of migraine. As much as I have learned what triggers my migraines and how best to ward them off (relaxation, hydration, massage, chiropractic, etc.) I am still blindsided when they come. I have missed out on a lot of fun over the years having to cancel plans at the last minute due to a migraine. Luckily my family and friends are understanding.
My worst attack
My worst migraine lasted for a week straight. It was during a particularly stressful period and I would go to bed in pain and wake up again to the same excruciating pain. It was particularly frustrating because I was employing all the remedies I learned over time and nothing was helping. Ultimately it just had to run its course and gradually resolved after seven days.
When it comes to planning vacations or other events where travel is required, how much does migraine factor into your decision-making?