Migraines

As the title of my post would suggest….I now have the lovely bonus of migraines. Ive had three in 11 days and they are just wiping me out. Ive suffered with migraines since I was 11 years old. I can quite clearly remember my first migraine. I was helping at the school fete, the last one before I moved to comprehensive school. We were on a break after setting up our stall (pin the tail on the donkey competition) and I was playing football with a group of the kids and their parents. As I was playing these strange multi-coloured lights started in my peripheral vision. I continued to play football – see my last post for why I am so good at ignoring the odd things my body does!

My friend and I walked home for lunch on the way home I remember the lights going which I thought was really cool but by the time I had made it home the headache had started and I ended up with my head down the toilet praying for the pain to stop and the sickness to ease. At the time I had no clue that it was a migraine. I don’t really remember much being said. I think we saw our gp who said she needed to see me during an attack to be able to see what was going on. I think I managed to go a year or so without another one and then after my maternal grandmother was diagnosed with terminal cancer migraines became a way off life with attacks at least 3 or 4 times a month.

They always start the same way I get a little pin prick of my vision obscured, it disappears and I move my head around to see if I can see around the gap. The best way I can describe it is to say its like you have looked into a bright light and then turned away, you are left with the glare. This stage can be a little confusing for me as my eyes are very sensitive to light and I can get this normally. So I have to wait 5 or so minutes before I know for sure. All that time I am panicking. I really don’t know why I panic so much when I have a migraine. I have lots of horrible things happen to me dislocations, faints and I take them in my stride but when my vision is impaired I lose it! I used to have the same thing happen to me when I smelt an oxygen mask which used to make first aid calls at work difficult if the ambulance crew administered oxygen. I eventually figured out it must have been something to do with an operation I had as a small child and when they put me under. Slowly I got over that fear. But I have no clue how to get over the panic I get when I lose my vision as I am the same when I have bilateral ptosis and migraines. It makes me feel really vulnerable.

So after the five minutes have passed if its going to be a migraine I get small triangles of really bright lights in red and blue and occasionally some green thrown in. Its like no colour Ive ever seen, they are really bold. This is the signal that this is going to be a full blown migraine and I need to lie down, take my medications and just batten down the hatches! You see in the space of a few minutes I could have no vision left – the triangles will completely obscure it and I lose my balance. I also get weakness in the right side of my body so its difficult to move. During my last attack I barely made it upstairs before I lost my vision and my balance. This aura will be with me for anything between 15 – 60 minutes and I have to say even though migraines are painful this is the worst bit for me.

Luckily hubs knows the routine and hes been here when the attacks have happened. Its bed, meds and a hot water bottle. Curtains are also closed as I cant bare the light. We’ve noticed as well that once the aura starts I get ptosis on the usual side and my mouth drops. This never happened when I was a child but it seems since I developed all these weird and wacky illnesses and symptoms I get ptosis at the drop of a hat.

Thankfully I do have slow release morphine in the house and can use this to ease the pain of the migraine. The acute phase lasts around 5 hours this is where the pain is so intense I cant lift my head from the pillow and I just feel weak as a kitten. Weirdly and I dont know why I no longer urinate in this phase no matter how much I drink. After 5 hours I am left with a bad headache and an unbelievable hunger. It doesn’t matter how much I eat I am still starving. I have to be careful in this phase as I can and do vomit!

The problem with migraines is the migraine hangover – a migraine is a gift that just keeps giving! For two to three days after I am left with a residual headache, weakness and dizziness. A different type of dizziness than normal. So It wipes me out for days which is irritating when I have so few good days as it is.

Ive now been put back on pizotifen to see if that works and stops the cycle. So fingers crossed!

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