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Migraine Extraordinaire

I’m 25, nearly 26, and I’ve had migraines as long as I can remember. Certainly since I was 13. It runs in the family and I have a few friends who suffer occasionally, and a few who have ‘migraines’. We all know one or two of those people. The ones with a headache who take paracetamol and are fine but they’re convinced it was a migraine and don’t understand why that doesn’t work for every one and really ‘they aren’t that bad!’. They are that bad! I joined this site after following on Facebook and for once I felt normal. I didn’t feel like a moaning outsider who no one understands for once I felt like those weird cold toes and odd ‘not real’ feelings are actually normal in their own special way.

I try not to let it impact my life and I’m proud to say I haven’t had a day off work due to migraine for 3 years now. I have chronic migraine but I seem to be able to push through the 9 hours each day and then crash out once at home. I remember reading an article (after a particularly bad migraine in which I had convinced myself I was actually dying and if I wasn’t dying I was going to be severely disabled) and it said that people with migraine don’t tend to hold high positions in companies and they don’t earn high salaries. I thought to myself ‘not me!’ so far it’s ruined countless occasions and I’ve cried off on more than one special occasion.

Recently I tried new medication which kept me migraine free for 3 whole weeks. Not a flicker of a pain, a throb, cold toes, sore scalp, slurred speech, confusion, anger, random excitement or runny nose in sight. And for those 3 wonderful weeks I had the most amazing time. Not doing anything particular, just working without the threat of being bed bound from 6pm or dreading the weekend because I had plans and I just knew it would happen before or after the fun. Then it started again. It feels worse, I don’t know if that’s because they really are or because I’ve experienced life on the other side.

For now I’m using this site as my sanity checker. So when things happen to me I can check and see that actually I’m not defective I’m part of a group of people who have more empathy to others than any other group I know. Pain is subjective and despite my earlier comments about people with ‘migraine’, if you feel that badly then you have my sincere sympathies. Too often have I been fobbed off with the ‘it’s just a head ache’ or ‘have some tablets and go to sleep’ advice. The best thing you can do for any person who is suffering is to say ‘ok I understand I hope you feel better here is an ice pack for your head and let me know when you’re out of it and you’re ravenously hungry for no apparent reason and we’ll go and get a footlong subway!’. Now that is love!

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

Comments

  • Katie M. Golden moderator
    5 years ago

    Emma,
    I’m jealous of your 3-week Migraine vacation! But am very sad that the monster came back with a vengeance. It must have been nice while it lasted. Do you have any guesses on why they came back? Are you continuing on the new medication?
    I hope it gets better for you soon!
    -Katie

  • MigrainePuzzlePieces
    5 years ago

    Wow it’s fabulous that you’re able to work! I did for about six years, but then I started coming home in excruciating pain with nausea, vomiting the whole nine almost everyday, so my husband and I decided it would be best for me to resign.

    Mind you, I had no more sick days and my Senior Director had migraines so she let me sleep at work, work from home etc. It was a rigorous job in PR for a hotel with 9,000 employees. It was tons of fun, but much too active.

    Looking back I have NO IDEA how I did it.

    Three weeks no pain wow!!! What was it like? I can’t imagine life without a headache. I can’t believe others are walking around without them. It’s hard to fathom. I’m sorry they came back though.

    I once had someone who has “migraines” tell me, “You know what, I had a migraine the other day and instead of staying in bed I got up and went out, maybe you should try it.” As you can imagine it took tons of self control not to say what I wanted. My husband and I travelled with that individual sometime after that and I had a severe attack that resulted in my vomiting about 4 to 6 times in an hour. Since them I’ve been shown more sympathy.

    Anyhoo, I hope your meds work again. Maybe you could write a blog about your 3 weeks of bliss.

    – Skylar

  • EmKats author
    5 years ago

    I know! It’s so strange knowing people are walking around blissfully unaware of this! I couldn’t remember what it was like to not have a pain in my head or some form of symptom of an impending migraine. I had a lovely 3 weeks and if anything it’s made me more determined to not let it dictate my life as much as possible. I have a very understanding boss but mostly I just don’t tell anybody. People usually say things like ‘you look different today’ and I just say ‘Oh I’m tired’ or ‘Yeah I tried new make up’ and that explains how pale I am! Usually people move on pretty quick and I can sit at my desk in peace and try the best I can to get through.
    I hope you find some way to control yours. It’s the most frustrating thing in the world! The lack of understanding baffles me. Google tends to come back with ‘not enough is known about migraine’ and the list of symptoms, signs, triggers etc is just never ending! Maybe one day someone will figure out what is going on. Until then, at least we all have each other to sound off on and get our frustrations out to others who genuinely understand 🙂 – Emma

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