Years of Fighting the Migraine Tiger
Last updated: February 2023
As a little girl, many a long year ago, I remember knowing 'Daddy was lying down, he has a bad head' but no one told me then, or later, it was migraine. Nothing else would reduce my father to lying down in the daytime! I was migraine free, just the usual headaches, then we 'emigrated' to Spain. I was on the contraceptive pill at that time, so asked if I could buy 12 months' supply to take with me. The pill I was given was not the same as I had been taking. But, a pill is a pill, right?
So there we are, in Spain (in the North, among the Basques, BTW, stunning countryside) when I asked if anyone else could see the ring of bright flickering lights. They couldn't. The 'headache' crashed in immediately after. The pill was the only really new thing in my life, we ate English style, so I checked the side effects on the leaflet. It said 'if you see flashing lights, discontinue taking this medication.' Two reasons why that wasn't practical, I couldn't get the pill in Spain at that time and I wasn't due back in England for at least a year. The problem was, the migraines had been triggered and have been with me ever since. We're talking 43 years now.
Mine vary tremendously, but all sit on the right hand side. They go from feeling like someone's drilling a hole through my skull to intense painful pressure of all the teeth on that side. My face changes no matter which one I'm having, people see this and know I'm suffering - again. The worst one of all was a 5 hour epic sickness and partial blindness one on the day my in-laws arrived for a visit. This was long after the Spanish sojourn.
After that one they seemed to ease a little but slowly over time they have increased to virtually daily, some mild, some horrendous, all require painkillers.
The stomach pains which often accompany the migraine have baffled me for ages. Why should a pain suddenly cripple me half way through a bland meal? Why should the only relief I get from that be my making myself vomit. Only when my stomach is completely empty does the pain go away. Last night, in half sleep, I remembered my nephew being diagnosed with 'migraine stomach' so today I went searching the Internet and there are my symptoms, listed as if someone had taken them from me direct. It seems not many adults have the condition, I have to be different... it does explain a lot. It means that pesky Migraine Tiger has found another way to get its claws into me and they are mean claws, I can assure you!
The good thing is, in my research I re-found you, having forgotten I'd enrolled in the past. Obviously some time ago now, as I have no memory of it. I am right glad you are still here for migraine sufferers and right glad to find so much help for us poor individuals. It is all very well the medical profession telling us there are at least seven million sufferers in the UK, I want to know what they're doing about it. All the medication I've tried has made me I'll (I do seem to be ultra sensitive to the chemicals and experience all the side effects) or they have no effect at all. There must be a lot of people like me who can't take what's out there for whatever reason and unless the drug companies are going to make a LOT of money out of us, they won't go down that research path.
Does screen related work make them worse? I spent all my previous working life as a secretary/PA/editor and writer, and had regular migraines. Now I run a curio/antique shop where I am busy with displays, stock and customers more than the computer and still have regular migraines.
I was told six years ago by a neurologist that they will go away when I get old. I am now 75. How old do I have to be to lose the tiger to the jungle?
Thanks for reading this. Hope you're not bored. Looking forward to sharing this migraine life with you all. Thanks to Migraine.com again for being there.
Do you have a migraine toolbox for when an attack hits?
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