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My life with Migraines

I will never forget my first migraine. I was 7 years old and in second grade. My mother picked me up from my grandmother’s house in the late afternoon. I would go there after school until she or my dad finished work. My head was throbbing and I didn’t know why. I figured it was the same type of pain my dad would suffer from when he was curled in a ball on the bed moaning in pain. He got migraines too, a lot. I went home and curled into a ball on our recliner and did just what I had learned to do from my dad. I moaned with pain. The headache was gone the next morning but I will never forget that first experience.

I would get a few more during my childhood. My mom would give me over the counter pain pills to ease the pain. For the most part they worked and I was able to live a normal life. By the time I started college that all changed. My migraines came back in full force with the added stress of finals, meeting new people and having to declare a major by the first year or having to leave the school. I wasn’t sleeping at night. This is when I first went to a neurologist. I was given anti-depressants to help prevent the migraines and to help sleep. I also was given pills to try. This became my norm. I would try pills, experience side effects, they wouldn’t work and I’d be given a new pill to try. Eventually I learned to manage my stress and my migraines and I was able to go back to my “normal” life.

A few years later I got married. During this time with my husband I would be in the ER at least once or twice a year for a severe migraine. They wouldn’t come often but when they did it was much more severe then I was used to. I didn’t know how to manage the pain. I couldn’t keep anything down, which meant when I took medicine it always just came right back up. This would cause me to dehydrate and make my migraine worse. Once I would throw up I knew it was time for another hospital visit. I was even admitted once because the pain was so severe the doctors worried about me.

I got pregnant and that was the longest time in my life that I went without a migraine. I only got one bad one in the first trimester. After that it was 8 months of bliss. After I had the baby was a different story. 3-4 migraines a week. I needed something new. I was given Topamax to prevent the migraines. I was told it was an anit-seziure medication. The side effects were awful but I knew I had to do it. Eventually I had to be given the Imitrex injections. These hurt and I have to have my husband give them to me. But they work, and so far are the only medication I have to take away the pain.

I’ve since switched neurologists. I’ve stopped taking the Topomax because I don’t like having such a strong drug in my system. I still get migraine 2-4 times a month. They effect my life in ways many can’t imagine. My husband as to watch me suffer and cry in pain and have the hopeless feeling of not being able to help. My daughter has lost time with me because I have to come home from work with a migraine so severe I can just curl up in my ball on the bed. I’ve missed events, parties, dates and time with my family because of the intense pain I have. I hate them. I can’t live a “normal” life with them. And what is worse, is I fear I have given them to my daughter (and future children). Both my parents suffer from migraine. I believe this….disease….was passed onto me, and I fear more then anything that I have passed it onto her as well.

I want those who are still suffering to know you aren’t alone. There are people out there who suffer with you. Maybe, one day, we will find a cure. Then no one will have to experience the pain of a migraine. They won’t have to know what it feels like to have your head pound. To have your vision change suddenly while you are driving and know what is soon coming. I hope and pray for this day. For myself, and for my family.

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

  • Aaron Day
    7 years ago

    7 years old just blows my mind…at that age the worst you should feel is a scraped knee. You do bring up another interesting point, the sudden change of vision. Do you find yourself not going to far from home anymore? I try to keep within a half hour (with traffic) from my home if I am traveling alone. Just looking for some feed back on that.

  • Courtney Thomas
    7 years ago

    I feel for you – I have had them since I was about 4 years old. I remember the worst one I had as a kid was at Disney. I just laid in that room and cried – My parents both have them as well. They knew that I was not faking it cause what kid would pass on seeing Mickey mouse! But the Dr’s told them that I was just a bratty kid looking for attention. I was not diagnosed till I was 20 years old and had a seizure. My Dr had no choice but to send me to a neurologist (who also suffers from migraines.) He was the first medical care person to take mercy on me and start me on daily meds. Since then I have been trying to find what works best for me. I take a seizure medication as well everyday and it has helped. I also take high blood pressure meds everyday, and I take a rescue medication when I have a migraine. I have had 9 this month and its only the 15th. Weather is a big factor to my migraines. And I have also not been able to have coco for almost 7 years cause it is a trigger. Due to recent events where I had coco without knowing it and had hives one two different occasions – it has gone from just a trigger to a full on allergy. Taco Bell uses it in their taco meat. So two of the migraines I know were caused by coco for sure. I wonder how much of the suffering I have done has been due to people using coco in cooking nd never saying a word about it. How much of it have I eaten and not known. I love my family of fellow sufferers, I hope that we can find something that makes us able to live a more “normal” life. I have missed out on family events, work, probably cost me a promotion or two due to all this missed time from work. For those who don’t suffer, please don’t judge us till you get to know the hell we live with everyday. Its not like we want to miss these things in life – but this pain is indescribable and it has taken over my life. I hate it – I would not wish this on any living soul. I would hope for understanding of something that I have no control over. I have had them so bad that I thought if I fell asleep I might not wake up. I am worried that that might kill me. I know my husband for many years resented me and my migraines. He has a new understanding of them. He has even had a few migraine like attacks and has a very good understanding of how I suffer. He says he has no idea how I live everyday with pain. not only have I had 7-9 migraines a month since I was a child, but I have had a 24hr a day headache of varying degrees of pain levels for the past 7 years now. its just become my life, its my “normal”.

  • Nikki Wills
    7 years ago

    I can’t imagine starting migraines at 7! I have two daughters age 8 and 2. I hope to God they don’t inherit this disease from me. I pray on it daily.

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