Quality of Life

Migraine sufferer for 16 years

Symptoms: As a child, I believe that i experienced abdominal migraines where my stomach would cramp and i'd vomit after eating certain foods (drinking orange juice for example). At the age of 20, I started experiencing headache migraines (I am now 36).

My migraines tend to come on gradually. I usually (but not always) will initially see shimmery stars and then gradually the head pain comes on with all the other symptoms. I find that the head pain peaks at a certain point. During the headache phase , i usually am nauseated, i can smell anything and everything times 100 in my environment and will see yellow spots occasionally say on a white wall. Speech gets fumbled and difficult not to mention the intense aversion to bright light and noise.

Triggers: I have pin-pointed dark chocolate, all citrus (including citric acid), pineapple, cranberries, avocado, wine and packaged juices as triggers. Basically anything acidic in taste and nature will trigger a migraine. Low blood sugar will trigger a migraine and Cloudy, rainy weather. I currently average about 3-4 migraines per month or approx 1 a week.

Prevention & Treatment: My scans only showed an arachnoid cyst which my neuro at the time had advised is un-related to the migraines. The neurologist who had diagnosed me prescribed Inderal (a beta blocker). I took it for a month and found no real change in migraine occurrence. I then did not pursue any further drugs and decided to self manage them. I find caffeine and a pain killer helpful. I take any painkiller i have on me along with a strong coffee. I take 1000mg magnesium daily in divided doses.

Effect on my life: I don't get depressed about my condition but I do feel guilty when i have to cancel a social arrangement or my husband has to attend a function without me. I have missed out on a lot thanks to migraines but I just tell myself that i cannot help it. I have stopped caring what people think and just take life as it comes. Migraneurs shouldn't be hard on themselves and need to understand that it is after all beyond their control when it strikes.

I am booked after 16 years to see a neuro next week as my migraines have lately increased and i am now seeking preventative treatment. I am sick of missing out on life and I worry about how migraines are affecting my relationship (although he is very understanding).

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