Last updated: May 2023
When I was a child and teenager, my mother suffered from extremely debilitating migraines. For her, it was not just the pain that was the problem, but the extreme vomiting that went with it, sometimes lasting three days. In those days, 1970's and 80' there seemed to be little understanding of the condition and she was either ignored by doctors or told that depression was the cause of her illness. I am ashamed to say that I didn't give her much support either, but selfishly thought more about the impact on me and my sister than on her. Fortunately, she had an early menopause and her migraines eventually stopped. She is now 66 and very grateful that she no longer suffers.
But I have taken her place!! I started getting migraines when I was 20, but only once a month when I had my period so I cold manage that. But over the years (and particularly after the birth of my second daughter) they have become uncontrollable and chronic. I am now 42. I have tried all of the usual medications and last year had an occipital nerve block and botox but nothing has given me any relief. I have given up alcohol and tried to pay close attention to what I eat but nothing seems to make any difference. Nowadays, I am nearly in constant pain.
I have given up a job I loved and barely socialize: the embarrassment of letting people down at the last minute has become too much stress for me. I used to love swimming, but I've also had to cross this off my list as any form of exercise brings on an acute attack.
Sometimes when I'm led in bed I think that somehow this is my fault, this, coupled with the guilt of not doing enough for my family is really hard. Does anyone else feel like this? I have 2 lovely daughters who are 14 and 10, I am praying that I don't pass this on to them.
Are the family and friends you will be seeing this holiday season understanding about migraine?