Just a Way of Life
I am a 49yr old female who has been plagued with debilitating migraines my entire life. I was very ill throughout my infancy and toddler years. At the age of five my family doctor diagnosed me with Migraine.
The migraine pain has always been the same for me. They are always located on the left side of my head, neck and shoulder. It is a constant stabbing pain and feels like a dagger is burrowed right through the middle of my left eye. At the same time, it feels like a constant bolt of lightening is striking through the top of my head on the left side. Finally, there is pain radiating from my left shoulder and neck up into the back of my head. As well as the sharp pain, there are also the following symptoms that accompany a migraine attack: severe nausea and vomiting, light and sound sensitivity, extreme fatigue, clinical depression and anxiety. When I have a migraine attack (which occurs several days each month and lasts for days at a time), the only way to cope is to take my medications and hide away in my bed with black-out curtains and a completely silent house. Sometimes the attack will wake me from a sound sleep in the middle of the night at 3 or 4am. I wake up screaming to my husband to get me some medicine. It may seem weird, but sometimes I feel like beating my head against the wall to relieve the pain. At other times the attack will come on slowly, over the course of a few hours. I constantly live with the fear of when the next one will strike. It sincerely feels like a life sentence in the depths of Hell.
Migraine has stolen an untold number of days and weeks from my life. I am so looking forward to the new CGRP medications in hopes that they will give me my life back. I am unable to work outside the home. Very seldom am I able to go to family or social events. When I am able, it drains me completely and I have to come home and sleep for several hours. It is a successful day when I’m able to attend an event without it causing a migraine attack. I am unable to do everyday chores like grocery shopping and laundry. My husband does all of that for me. I also have a cleaning lady who comes in to help with cleaning my home.
My goal is to be able to work full-time, and enjoy my family, friends, church services, Bible studies, etc. I also want to be able to go bike riding, swimming and hiking. I would love to host holidays in my home and have a backyard B-B-Q.
Throughout my life I have been seen by multiple doctors and therapists. We have spent thousands of dollars on countless non-traditional treatments including acupuncture, manual manipulation, vitamins, herbs, etc. without success. Also without success are all of the different oral medications, injectable medications, nerve block treatments, and IV treatments. Currently I’m trying to manage with Candasartin as a preventative, along with Botox treatments. My rescue meds include Haldol and Zyprexa, along with Benadryl, Advil, and Tylenol. When my home medications do not cut through the pain, I then go to my neurologist’s infusion center for IV treatments that take place over four days, five hours each day. I am given numerous pain medications through the IV. Currently, my last resort if the infusions don’t cut the pain, is to be admitted to the hospital for seven or more days for infusions of Lidocaine and a handful of other pain medications. I am unable to drive myself to my appointments and treatments, so I always have to find a driver.
There are also some residual effects from having Migraine Disease: While trying the nerve block treatments, I ended up with Diabetes. Now I am bound to taking insulin several times every day. I am also very overweight. If I could just get up, get out, and get going……I could exercise, move around more, and hopefully lose weight. All of which would help the Diabetes and the migraines. As it is now, I spend most of my time simply eating and sleeping. One goal with Migraine treatments is to help me sleep. That allows my body to relax and the medicines to do their work.