19 Years and Counting

My first migraine came on when I hit puberity.  I didn’t know what it was, had no clue it was due to hormones that had invaded my body like the invasion of the body snatchers or that I would be dealing with a lifetime of them for the rest of my life and the things they would do to me.  I would take Tylenol initially to treat them, then Ibuprofen, then combined the two, just praying for relief and hoping I would not throw up.

I never recognized the symptoms that should have clued me into what would be one (auras).  I was in high school and middle school, and NEVER told my mom or dad what was wrong with me. They were just headaches, right?? Boy was I wrong. I learned when I was pregnant with my son how wrong I was, the hormones that I had with him made them so much worse. There were days that I could not get out of bed.  I had always thought the and heard the worse part of being pregnant was the hormones causing mood swings and being irrational, something I never really experienced. I did not cry for no reason, just had these blinding headaches. So, I talked to my doctor who told me what they were and that I could not take anything because I was pregnant.  So I stuck with Tylenol and would do my best to sleep them off in a dark room.  I remember the first time I went the ER to get relief, it was the first time that medication, which I had advanced to Aleve at this point and my son was three years old, did not help in some way.  They gave me Demerol and I have no memories of two days of my life.  I begged them not to give it to me again the next time I gave up and went in.  They actually gave me something that is for a migraine, oh what sweet relief.  That was when my son was five.

I now live in Georgia and after five years here and really knowing what my triggers are, hormones (so no birth control at all), stress (try to avoid it, but yeah, not really realistic), allergies, and lack of sleep. Do not have problems with food but artifical sweeteners are a no go, and I HATE my asthma inhaler with a passion. I am also seeing a neurologist, finally after fighting to get the right help. I am taking a preventative and can happily say that it is working, I rarely have to take the new medication that has less narly side effects (which is what I so grudingly called them on my last ones). I take something to help me sleep when I cannot sleep, and I am getting ready to do allergy shots, because it turns out that I am severe here in the south.

After years of struggling for people to take me seriously about the problem, it is so wonderful to have someone take me very serious. I love the reaction when I do have to go into the ER when the migraine is bad enough that I cannot manage it and ask for something other than a narcotic (I guess they are used to drug addicts), I just want relief from the jack knives in my head. They also look at me like I am from another planet if I tell them I would just love to throw up and get it over with, migraines are easier to handle if I do not have the nausia to deal with on top of it. Plus, once it is over, I get over the migraine faster. I am learning to take my medication as soon as I get the auras if possible. If not, I take it as soon as I can.

Migraines are nothing to joke about, and I am learning that more people suffer from them than I thought.

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