French Lick, Georgia
Best Migraine Friend: My husband
Weirdest Migraine Symptom: Weakness
Most Predictable Trigger: Direct sunlight
Most Amusing Pain Distraction: Head rubs
How and when did you first get diagnosed with Migraine? Any specific type?
I was 11 years old and just started 5th grade. Many evenings I would get an awful pain in several areas of my head, and could not stand any kind of noise or light – not even off the clock on the microwave – without vomiting. The worst would start at the base of my skull and move outwards in both directions and up.
I received a diagnosis very quickly, but no specific type was diagnosed until this year, 2017. I get migraine with aura, vestibular, Basilar, hormonal, and hemiplegic. I am a daily sufferer, though the hemiplegic migraines are very few and far between.
What lifestyle changes have you made to help prevent Migraine attacks?
I can no longer hold down a job or do vigorous work, so no longer working is a major lifestyle change. I used to be an exercise fanatic, and can no longer do the exercises I once enjoyed, which has been an almost mentally devastating lifestyle change. I cannot travel, and it has been years since I have even been able to go out to eat at a restaurant with my friends, and I have lost many friends. This is a lifestyle change that really hurts my heart.
I have to remain at home when my husband’s band plays because the noise and the lights are too much – any day any time. I can almost never go outside except in the very early morning, or in the evening at dusk, so I must stay inside most of the time where there is very little lighting. I have had to give up eating anything with soy or dairy in it. I must practice a lot of self-care, whereas there was a time when I did not have to worry about that as much.
What was the turning point in your Migraine Journey?
When I collapsed on the stairs, and my (now ex) husband just left me there. I realized they had gotten to the point where we had tried everything and there was very little that could be done to improve them anymore.
Who has been the biggest help to you on your Migraine Journey, and how?
My current husband. He has been my strongest advocate, defender, and goes out of his way to help ease my migraines by lightly rubbing areas that are acting up (provided they haven’t passed the point of no return). He changes out my ice packs, picks up the slack around the house if I haven’t been able to do anything, and he has never once complained or put pressure on me for anything.
What is the most surprising thing you have learned about Migraine during your Journey?
That there are different types of migraines!
What’s your advice to someone else living with Migraine?
Be kind to yourself. Make time for relaxation and self-care, and don’t feel bad about it! Be okay with saying, “no,” when you’re overwhelmed.
Make friends who are compassionate about your situation who won’t be offended when you can’t come to an event, and who will come to see you when you are unable to leave the house. Make friends with people who struggle with migraines in a similar way as you do. Try not to do too much or stress that you’re not getting enough done – it will usually just make it worse.
What’s the next step on your Migraine Journey?
Practicing more self-care, and encouraging others going through this. I want to help educate families about what we are really going through, because migraines can be very difficult for everyone in the household.
Helpful Resources from this Journey
- Managing Light Sensitivity and Migraine (Migraine World Summit talk by Dr. Kathleen Digre)
- 12 Ways to Win Your Battle with Chronic Migraine (Article)
- How to Make Room for Migraine in Your Relationships (Article)
The post “It Can Be Very Difficult for Everyone in the Household” appeared first on Migraine Again.
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