Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK
Favorite Migraine Book: No favourite, I read them all and use bits from each.
Weirdest Migraine Symptom: My visual field shakes beforehand for an hour or so.
Best Migraine Friend: Electric heat pad for associated shoulder pain.
Most Predictable Trigger: Weather
Most Amusing Pain Distraction: Funny podcasts and playing with my dog
Most Useless Treatment Tried: Acupuncture
How and when did you first get diagnosed with Migraine? Any specific type?
I was diagnosed with episodic Migraine when I was about 14. It became chronic when I was 33 on the day I had my first child in fairly stressful circumstances. I was told the daily headaches were due to depression, and although I insisted otherwise, it took me 16 years to gain access to a neurologist and get a proper diagnosis. I also have cervicogenic headaches which can complicate things.
What lifestyle changes have you made to help prevent Migraine attacks?
A major achievement was identifying triggers and then adapting my lifestyle. Initially, I stopped drinking alcohol. Now, I also eat regular meals and make healthy choices as often as possible. I keep snacks in my handbag and car as hunger can trigger my migraines, along with packs of abortive medications.
I pace myself and limit daily activity, as becoming physically tired is a trigger. Regular sleep patterns help, too, as sleeping in can trigger migraines. When possible, I go for a 30-minute walk each day, since I enjoy being outdoors. Practicing yoga and meditation helps, too.
Taking care of myself and doing something enjoyable each day is important. Every night I think of five things that happened that day that I am grateful for. Fortunately, I was in a position to be able to give up work in 2014, so I am able to listen to and respond to the needs of my body.
What was the turning point in your Migraine Journey?
Accepting I had a lifelong condition that would limit what I could do, then appreciating every tiny positive thing, such as seeing a pretty bird in the garden.
Who has been the biggest help to you on your Migraine Journey, and how?
My husband has been an angel in disguise. He accepts without question my bad days and takes over the main chores in the house without asking. He makes sure I eat well and encourages me to do the small enjoyable things I can when life feels overwhelming.
What is the most surprising thing you have learned about Migraine during your Journey?
With forty years of Migraine behind me and continuing, I feel happier now than ever before. Most days I do not leave the house because of pain, but it is easier to enjoy the smallest thing. I don’t take anything for granted.
What’s your advice to someone else living with Migraine?
If you can accept that you have a chronic condition and not fight it, life will become easier and you can work to manage your migraines. It doesn’t mean you can’t research new developments in treatment. Listen to your body and try to meet its needs and reduce triggers.
What’s the next step on your Migraine Journey?
To continue researching developments in Migraine treatment and pushing to get access to them. I will also build on including helpful activities in my life, such as meditation and include vitamins and supplements which might help.
Helpful Resources from this Journey
- Research Pipeline: New Migraine Therapies in Development (Migraine World Summit talk)
- When You Find Your Joy You Find Your Strength (Article)
- Yoga for Migraines: Quieting Your Nervous System Really Works (Article)
The post “It’s Important to Do Something Enjoyable Every Day” appeared first on Migraine Again.
Original Content Source