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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.

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


  • mike1875
    2 years ago

    Hi Courtney, as both a dailty Migraine sufferer and the father of a chronic Migraine Daughter I found your story very moving. Your parents must have been very diligent to get you into all the therapies and operations that you had. The cutting of your occipital nerve is a hugely aggressive step but I well understand how you would have agreed to go for it. I also had an accident exacerbate my Migraines. My earliest memory is a Migraine at age three. The accident was a car crash at age 18. I am now 60 and have chased the holy grail of pain relief my whole life. I have had 12 operations to burn out the nerves on the left side of my neck from C2 to C6 which is where the discs are herniated. I take opioids daily for pain control as well as Frova for the Migraines themselves. I do have a life. I’m married with 3 children, 30, 28 and 26, boy, boy, girl. I have owned my own printing company for the last 33 years and employ 18 staff members who know way more about Migraines than they ever thought they would.I applaud your desire to help others through the maze of getting help. It is so hard to think when your pain is in the way. I have often said that the worst part of Migraine is that it makes me stupid, which I am not. Having anothers experience to guide you and avoid some of the obstacles is a very worthwhile goal. Best of luck and very best wishes. Michael O’Connell

  • cdaniw213 author
    2 years ago

    Thank you! I’m very blessed to have the help of my parents through it all.
    It’s great you were able to own a company in the mist of it all. I completely feel your pain. I pray y’all find something soon that will help lessen it.

  • DonnaFA moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi cdaniw213! Congratulations on your degree! That’s a real accomplishment in a life with migraine. Thanks so much for sharing your story and your kind words of encouragement. We’re glad you’re here. -Warmly, Donna ( team)

  • cdaniw213 author
    2 years ago

    Thank you so much. I’m so happy I found a place like this.

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