How do people work a Full Time Job with Migraines?
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I have a fairly good job in London 9-5.30 5 days a week in an office environment. 7 months ago I moved closer to London to reduce my commute (and hopefully the stress of the commute) to give me a better balanced life and improve my migraines. However they seemed to increase, I am currently now allowed to work from home 1 day a week as being out of the office (less noise and no bright lights, as well as no stressful commute which 1 hour each way) seem to improve my migraines. However I am still suffering with 2-8 attacks a month.

My attacks often but not always start in my shoulders and neck and travel up my head where I feel a lot of pressure (I try pressing pressure points on my head to prevent an attack it can sometimes put it off for an hour or so) they stay mainly at the back of my head and left side then travel round the front to the right side. The pain often also includes ‘Ice pick/lightning strike pains’ through my head. I have bad light sensitivity at the attacks worst and terrible nausea – although I have never actually been sick.

I take Sumitriptan on the onset of a migraine if I am at home however the side affects mean I cannot take these at work, so stick to Ibuprofen or a high dose of Asprin which sometimes can put off the pain til I get home and get in a dark room (by then its too late to take Sumitriptan as I have to take within the first 2 hours).

I have tried Propanolol which caused me to have breathing issues and swollen arms/legs – I ended up in hospital for 2 days.

I practice yoga 1-2 times a week, and try to go to the gym or run 1-2 times a week as I am maybe a bit overweight (5ft 4 and size 16) and feel if I am healthier it may improve my migraine attacks.

I have seen a Migraine Specialist (nearly 2 years ago when they initially got really bad) he basically agreed I had migraines and said there’s nothing I can do but Trial and Error with medication/keep a food and migraine diary etc. – no help?


This is really affecting my day to day life, I avoid social situations due to noise and the busy atmosphere, the stress of getting to and from somewhere. Plus if I do make plans they are usually cancelled due to having a migraine and needing to stay in a dark room. My weekends I pretty much spend at home ‘Resting’ and doing light exercise to give me a good start for the week ahead at work as I want to try and work a full 5 day week with no sickness.

My work situation at the moment – I have had 11 bouts of time off (1-2 days each time) within 5 months. My Manager is pretty understanding and despite asking me to work a full 5 days in the office because I moved closer to London (I previously did 4 days in the office 1 day a week at home for over a year which dramatically improved my migraines). Since late December I am now doing 1 day a week at home temporarily, however 4 days in the office now seems unbeareable and I come home from work in pain and stressed and often end up off sick. I have come to the conclusion if the pain is above 7/10 or I cannot open my eyes then I need to stay at home in the dark. But this seems to be a good 30-40% of my week.

How do people cope with working a full time job with migraines?

Have you had to cut back hours or change jobs?

I am now at a point where I will try anything to stop or cut back my migraines (I am getting my Daith pierced this weekend and now looking into Optic Nerve Injections) – if anyone has any advise on these.

I feel like I need to drastically change my lifestyle/job/situation just to try and lead a somewhat normal life – yet I love my job and don’t want to leave (if they will still keep me with all of my sickness days!) I’m still young at 27 I feel like this cant be my situation for the rest of my life?

Any advise is welcome – please help!

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