16 Year Migraine Sufferer

Hi! I'm Courtney and I'm new to this page. I have been suffering from chronic occipital neuralgia migraines for 16 years now. I do not remember my life before I started having these horrible migraines. They all started at the age of 8 years old. I used to ice skate and I fell on the back of my head. No doctors would believe me that I would get these "headaches." They thought I was making them up or they were in my head. They also thought it was sinuses so I had 2 sinus surgeries at the age of 12&13. It wasn't till I was about 14 that I met this Neurolgist when I was being admitted. She diagnosised me with chronic occipital neuralgia migraines. We tried every medicine you could think of, therapies, accupucture, admissions, diet change, everything under the moon basically. So there was this new experimental surgery I had at the age of 16. It didn't help one bit. It made me so much worse that I had to be admitted and sedated for a while month afterwards. I slept through Christmas and New Years Eve. I suffered missing out on a lot of fun things during my teen years. I went off the college but had to come back closer to home. Due to the fact that these migraines we becoming even more debilitating. My bed and a dark room was my best friend. I decided to go through another surgery while attending college. This is where they found out I had a damage occipital nerve, so damage that he had to clip it. It take till about a year afterwards that it began to show improvement. I went from daily chronic migraines, to a migraine once or twice a week. They were finally manageable with imitrex and Botox. The Botox helped settle the pain after the surgery tremendously. I haven't been on any preventatives for about 4.5 years now. Yes, I still get migraines maybe 1-2 times every 2 weeks. However, I'd take that over daily migraines, any day. I maybe have 2 ER trips a year, where before I would have to go several times a month. I am now at that stage in my life where I can share my testimony.

I am 24 years old, and I just received my bachelors. I'm more positive then I have been. I'm not afraid to travel or do things I never dreamed of doing. I want to become a advocate for individuals with migraines. I feel it's very important to get the word out that migraines are not just headaches. They are a very debilitating and misunderstood condition. I hope my story encourages people to never give up. You are not alone and there is hope out there.
God bless you all.

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