Age 26, Netherlands
Best Migraine Friend: Cats, watermelon, lemon, something with salt
Weirdest Migraine Symptom: Very strong hallucinations instead of simple aura
Most Predictable Trigger: Yawning, getting the aura, starting to see double
Most Useless Treatment Tried: Propanolol, metoprolol suck — both made me feel bad
Most Amusing Pain Distraction: Loud death meta
How and when did you first get diagnosed with Migraine? Any specific type?
I got first diagnosed with chronic migraines at age 15 and ever since that age I’ve had an attack every single month which included aura, dizziness, double sight, of course, the bonking head and since 3 years time also throwing up and fainting at times.
What lifestyle changes have you made to help prevent Migraine attacks?
My diet changed drastically. I’ve tried every single diet and had a lot of things I didn’t like and didn’t notice a difference in like going completely gluten-free in hopes it might help. Nowadays I have taken certain things from all sorts of diets that I noticed helped me so far. I didn’t enjoy the gluten-free food, but I did notice that certain food items made from quinoa or other grains instead of wheat helped prevent it. In comparison to a normal pasta where right afterwards I would feel an attack coming on, it would be fine with this.
Next to that I take magnesium + taurine + B vitamin pills and these really mostly do wonders for my lack of energy which you’ll most definitely get if you have such frequent migraines.. After every migraine I need some recovery time resting and this makes sure I’m not constantly in a zombie mood. Before I used this, this would be the case.
I also quit energy drinks and this actually caused my migraines to increase, but the moment I started taking taurine that stopped. Now instead I take Aloe Vera drinks or hot water with sliced lemon.
What was the turning point in your Migraine Journey?
Working on a cruise ship. Having such frequent migraines I could never hold a job and obviously migraines can get worse from stress, so it became a very vicious circle because I had no income and was in pain all the time. I decided to overcome my boundaries and join a cruise ship, which meant working 7 days a week for often 12 hours a day, being away for 9 months just stuck in the job. But for me it was a chance to see if I was capable of anything beyond what I knew of myself.
And what I learned is that humidity made a huge huge difference for me, during the first part of my contract I didn’t even get a single migraine, just from the air being cleaner and having to be outside all the time. I’d definitely still have headaches, but they were manageable most of the time (I’ve had to call in sick 5 times due to the migraines, which in my case is extremely low). I found out that I could do 80 hours a week and handle the stress better than I imagined I would.
Now that I’m back in my own country I do notice the migraines being way more frequent again and I think this is probably due to the dirty air, but I am more likely going outside and do things now.
Who has been the biggest help to you on your Migraine Journey, and how?
A bit mushy, but my cats, I’ve got 3 of them, but one doesn’t really have a connection with me, but the moment I start to get a headache he comes and lies down next to me which he normally never does otherwise. it’s adorable ?
What is the most surprising thing you have learned about Migraine on your Journey?
It really isn’t a positive one, but I do think a very important one, the lack of understanding of what migraine entails to employers. They seem to believe it’s really a simple hangover-like headache (although those can be really bad as well). I’ve gone into jobs, told in the interview about my migraines and it was fine for them, then had x amount of migraine attacks and got fired or a discontinued contract purely based on the migraines.
What’s your advice to someone else living with Migraine?
Be prepared for a huge misunderstanding for what migraines entail. Inform your friends, family, employers about what you’re experiencing, what your symptoms are, so they get that it’s not simply a complaintive headache which most people seem to think is the case.
If you’re still new to migraines, I also give you the advice to make sure you truly have a good connection with your doctor and he/she actually takes you and your complaints seriously. Stress can induce migraines by so much and if you have a physician who doesn’t understand that every migraine is slightly different and can change overtime, and won’t bend her brains towards it, change! Migraines and stress correlate so much and you need to put yourself in the first place at all times health wise.
What’s the next step on your Migraine Journey?
At the moment it’s still way too frequent and I haven’t found a med that works well for me, I want to keep on looking to at least make sure I maybe only get them a few times a year instead.
Helpful Resources from this Journey
- How a Pet Dog or Cat Can Improve Your Physical and Mental Health (Article)
- Surprising Things You Must Know About Childhood Migraine (Article)
- Yoga Total Body Balance Ball Kit (Migraine Again Store)
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