Still Suffering after 45 years
Last updated: June 2022
I am Female and 51 years old and am still having frequent Migraines… about monthly but then I can get 3 in a week!!!
The earliest age I remember having migraines was when I was 6 years old, having just moved house. After that, they happened around the time of exams or if I was really excited (going on a trip or on vacation)- usually once or twice yearly. The symptoms were always the aura (described as a child as flashing lights…making parts of items disappear), followed by severe headach and nausea.
When I was 17 years old, they changed….I got my first Aphasia attack at work , which frightened me, as I couldn’t explain which department I was from. The doctor was called and recognized this was a migraine.
When I was getting married, I suffered virtually daily for 2 weeks prior to my wedding, thankfully I didn’t have one the actual day!!!
Some Migraines bring ‘strange experiences’ like once on my way home from work I had a Migraine coming on, and the numbness (that often comes with a migraine) was so severe that walking for the bus I was stumbling over my right leg for a few minutes. Another time I was working in a different town so was staying at a hotel… after working in my room all evening I had a Migraine, so went to bed after taking my medication and woke with pains in my legs. The next day I had the worst symptoms I think I had ever had, so called the doctor (I was worried I had had a Stroke)… my leg was bruised…but the doctor said there was nothing to worry about. The bruised area followed a vein (in a V shape)in my calf and later, when I was 8 weeks pregnant, became a Varicose Vein.
At about the time this happened, about 20 years ago , I went to a Migraine Clinic in Sheffield UK and they diagnosed me as having Hemiplegic Migraines and prescribed me eventually with Naramig, a Naratriptan (as initially, I was prescribed with a Sumatriptan but this caused me to have another migraine very soon after the first).
I have found If I can take the Naramig as soon as possible after the first ‘flashing light’ or 'strange visual' and drink it down with lots of water, after 1-2 hour I can usually ward off the nausea and sometimes even the headache, numbness and aphasia.
Another thing I have discovered (sometimes not always!!!)is if when I have taken all my medication and gone to bed, I keep my brain active by playing a game on my phone (Words with Friends or Backgammon), I can prevent the oncoming Aphasia. Not sure why this works. CAN SOMEONE TRY THIS, TO SEE IF IT WORKS FOR THEM?????
Often I have a Migraine when I have not emptied my bowel...is this a cause or the Migraine or the symptom ?????
I have also suffered from Rhinitis for a number of years. It is interesting that the year I was prescribed with Beconese (a Nasal Spray containing Steroids), I didn't get a Migraine for 7 months...the norm at that time was every 3 months.
I still take Feverfew a herb that can be purchased from a Vitamin shop…not sure if this works but have noticed if I do stop taking it, I seems to get more attacks(?) I have also tried Acupunture which also seems to relieve the symptoms but not take it away completely. I have also taken preventatives…the best of which have been Anti Depressants but in very small dosages.
I thought after the menopause I would be migraine free, unfortunately although the symptoms don’t seem as bad I am experiencing more, however I also feel I am under more stress than ever in my life.
WHAT I REALLY WOULD LIKE IS A CURE BUT THEN WE ALL DO!!!!
Are the family and friends you will be seeing this holiday season understanding about migraine?