Migraines, more migraines and then Nothing..

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I have had migraines on and off since my late 20s, my mother and sister both have migraines too. I wanted to blog a little about my migraine treatments over the last 30 years, the successes and the frustrations and what seems to be coming next. I am worried that once this is on the internet, a prospective employer would never hire me after reading this. So far, I have managed to do my job because have been blessed with understanding Employers and some really exceptional line managers.

Lets go back to the late 1980s. Working hard, two young children, taking turns with my partner to go clubbing in London. I noticed that my hangovers seemed to be getting worse, so that even a taste of alcohol would start off a day of debilitating headaches with sickness. It took me a while to realise these were migraines

Giving up alcohol seemed to help, but there is a huge list of possible migraine triggers.

  • Chocolate – gave up for 4 months, no effect
  • Caffeine in general – gave up for 3 months, no effect
  • dairy – vegan for a month, same migraines
  • citrus fruit – I’m pretty sure that orange juice invokes migraines

Migraine vs Headache

I get headaches as well as migraines. Sometimes a headache will morph into a migraine over time.

So what’s the difference ? For me, I classify a headache as pain without any other migraine effects, see below. The pain of a headache can be more than a migraine but somehow easier to cope with.

I used to worry that my migraines were not really bad. For instance with a low level migraine, I could still work, socialise like a real human being and laugh. I could find distraction in a low level migraine, usually involving concentration and appear ok, albeit a bit tired and grumpy. The downside was that concentration often leads to worse migraine outcomes.

I then found this paintable, and it made so much sense

Image result for pain scale

So, with a headache you get

  • pain

Whereas with a migraine I get

  • pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • tinnitus
  • Intense sensitivity to smells
  • Awful taste in my mouth ( this is my biggest migraine indicator )
  • fatigue
  • light sensitivity
  • lack of concentration
  • physically clumsy
  • emotionally clumsy and sensitive

Its usually better for me to be away from people. I can still work, but am horrible to be with.

Next blog post will be about the medications I have tried to help with migraines, but for now I’ll quickly give my experience of Candesarten

I was very sceptical about yet another daily drug to try in order to help my migraine symptoms, but as I had to stop sumatriptan injections I really had no choice. I started 8 mg around Christmas 2017 with little improvement in my migraines, then went up to 12mg in January. My migraines just stopped. No migraines for over a year but then they came back. It was a very nice year..

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