Living With Chronic Migraines

Medication

This post was very hard for me to write and share as I normally don’t get too personal here on Beauty Baking Bella. I have wanted to share this post for a long time and now, for some reason or another, I feel it is now right for me to share my experience with living with chronic migraines.

WHERE MY STORY STARTS

I have been a migraine sufferer since I was a little girl, I remember having migraine headaches when I was in Primary School. Doctors would always send me for blood tests and scans and the results would come back normal. I have always been a healthy weight, been active and eat relatively well but I still suffered terrible with the pain. As I got older, I developed self-care techniques I would use to avoid migraines and when they did suddenly hit, I have a routine of how to cope.

COPING WITH MIGRAINES

Coping with migraines is a very difficult task. They can come on very suddenly and no one knows exactly what triggers them. Previously when I got a migraine, I would always turn to paracetamol to help ease the pain. I was taking them like I was eating smarties and over the years they became ineffective to the pain. I would take myself off to my bedroom, which I would make sure was pitch black, dive under the covers of my bed, stick my eye mask on and try to sleep it off! These migraines would usually last anywhere from a few hours to a few days and it started to affect my way of life.

Talking to someone about suffering with migraines can be very difficult, it is a disease you can not physically see and for that reason, I have felt people have been very dismissive about it. All the times I couldn’t make it to my lectures at University or had to have sick days from work, ringing into my employer was difficult as I was always made to feel bad, with their attitude always being, ‘well it’s just a headache drink some water, pop some paracetamol and man up!’ If only this was the cure but unfortunately it is not as simple as that! I would have 3-4 migraines a week so situations like this became very stressful!

Chronic Migraine Medication

SYMPTOMS OF MIGRAINES

The symptoms I get before or during a migraine include –

  • sensitivity to the light
  • neck and head pain
  • pain and congestion in my nose and between my eyes
  • heaviness in my neck and shoulders
  • tingling in my hands and feet (I drop things all the time!)
  • nausea and vomiting
  • lack of energy and lethargic
  • whole body aches
SEEKING MEDICAL HELP

After my second pregnancy, I started to suffer with a chronic pain in between my eyes and my nose was always congested, I would feel exhausted even after a good nights sleep and my whole body would ache. My then doctor originally started treating me for allergies but the medication and nasal sprays we ineffective. I was then prescribed antibiotics, every 4-6 weeks for nearly a year and initially after taking the course of antibiotics I would feel a lot better, but as the months went on, again, this type of medication didn’t help.

KEEPING TRACK OF MY HEALTH

During this time I would keep a food diary to monitor what foods may be triggering these migraines, I am still not 100% sure but cutting out milk, potatoes and gluten products has helped the regularity of these migraines.

I always exercise, every week I go to the gym, I go to pilates class twice a week as well as practice yoga and meditation at home. These physical activities have helped a lot in terms of elevating my stress levels and keeping me calm and positive.

I then went to see a different doctor and he knew right away after listing my symptoms that I was suffering from chronic Migraines and a illness called Fibromyalgia. My body was constantly aching, I was always feeling sick, I kept losing my appetite and it was affecting my thoughts and my moods. He told me to stop taking paracetamol as it had made the migraines become chronic so I have since stopped buying and using them when it comes to pain relief.

Chronic Migraines

WHICH MEDICATION AND TREATMENTS HELP ME

This is when he prescribed me Amitriptyline, I take a couple of these at night before I go to bed This medication helps to relax my mind and gives my body a positive sense of well-being, relieving anxiety and tension which I believe is one of the true causes of my migraines – stress! This medications helps me to sleep better, which in turn increases my energy levels and allows my body to not ache as much the next day. Amitriptyline is a form of anti-depressant but I don’t use it for that reason. Initially, I was very worried to start taking these as I remember when I was in my teenage years on anti-depressant for server depression the side effects I had, but after discussing these concerns with my doctor he was very support and insistent that this medication alone was what my body needed to function normally again and he was right! They started to kick in after just one week and my migraines have dramatically decreased to a few times a month, which is a massive improvement from the usual 3 a week.

As there is no cure for migraines, I do still get them, usually if I am very stressed and tense or if I have eaten something that hasn’t agreed with me. That is where Sumatriptan comes in, I take one of these tablets on the onset of a developing migraine and take another one 2 hours later, these bad boys save me! Before, I used to take paracetamol, which would only take the edge off, but this medication actually gets rid of the pain within a couple of hours so I am able to continue on with my day or have a great nights sleep. If the migraine develops too quickly for the medications to kick in, I also take a couple of Co-codamol tablets for pain relief. Migraine sufferers will all have different symptoms that accompany their migraines, whether it’s nausea, vomiting or aura like flashing lights and zig zag lines in your vision. I always have nausea and in some cases vomiting so after taking my medication I also have an anti-sickness tablet that I pop in the inside of my mouth between my upper gum and my lip. This helps so much and prevents vomiting if the migraine has brought on nausea.

My go-to medications/ treatment to help me cope with migraines –

  • Amitriptyline
  • Sumatriptan
  • Co-codmol
  • Cooling Headache & Migraine Pads
  • Sleep Eye-Mask
  • A dark bedroom, my bed and lots of water and rest
WHY ARE MIGRAINES NOT RECOGNISED AS A DISABILTY

Migraines are a topic that is still not widely spoken about or appreciated as a disability. Personally, living with chronic migraines affects my daily life, which can cause me to cancel plans last minute, it makes looking after my children difficult and unfortunately I have no support so the stress that is brought on by the migraine worries me a lot if I am on my own with the children.

I have friends and family that just don’t understand how unwell I can get and sometimes they don’t always show the support I need. The fact I have to cancel plans or don’t respond to their phone calls and texts straight away or even in the same day annoys them and can lead me to become more stressed when they not understand my struggle.

I hope by sharing this post and the ways I try and cope with this chronic disease will help someone else who suffers also or just to help raise awareness that migraines can stop a person from living a normal life. I believe as a migraine suffer, it should be recognised as a form of disability as we have no control when they occur. One of the reasons I believe this, is it can help people like myself to provide better support in the work place and for all doctors to be more undertstanding an appreciative of how this pain can affect the whole body. Like I said before, I was misdiagnosed many times and this made it worse.

Chronic Migraines

TAKING EACH DAY AS IT COMES

I live my life being mindful of what I eat, regular exercise and daily meditation to keep my body happy, healthy and pain free. During those bad days, which I unfortunately still have, I remain positive as I know that combined with the prescription medication and my healthy and happy lifestyle I can take each day as it comes and try to continue on with my day to day living. My husband is my rock and is so supportive, when I have my bad days I know I can count on him to make sure I take all my meds and sends me off to rest when he gets in from a long day at work and gets the kids all sorted for bed, tidies the house and takes the weight off my shoulders. We get by and for that I am grateful for his strength and support!

If you are interested in changing or improving your lifestyle for a happy and healthier you check out my tips here.

CONNECTING WITH OTHER SUFFERERS

If you are a chronic migraine sufferer or have fibromyalgia and want to talk then please feel free to message me any time on my socials or email me. I would love to talk to someone else who suffers like me. Any other tips to help get me through my day to day life would be very much appreciated. I don’t currently use any support groups or charities but if anyone recommends any for my condition please let me know in the comments below.

*I am not a doctor and have been recommended these medications from my GP, if you need medical advice see your GP 

twitter | instagram | facebook | pinterest bloglovin’

 

8 Comments

    • Pinar
      Author
      April 1, 2018 / 10:22 am

      I hope it doesn’t affect them too badly. It’s great that you are understanding and supportive they would appreciate that a lot 🙂 xo

  1. April 28, 2018 / 3:38 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear you suffer with such bad migraines. I get, thankfully infrequent, visual migraines which are absolutely terrifying and include temporary blindness – I can actually feel my field of vision contracting in one eye until nothing remains – but thankfully no headaches and they do ease in about 20-30 minutes which makes me feel incredibly fortunate.

    I hope the medication helps but if you ever want to talk, to unload and release some of the stresses let me know. I was recently diagnosed with endometriosis so I know how tough and frustrating it can be to both look and feel perfectly healthy one minute and then feel completely unable to function but still look fine the next! x

    • Pinar
      Author
      April 29, 2018 / 3:49 pm

      Oh my goodness those migraines sound very scary, I’m currently getting over a bad one from yesterday and even with healthy eating and a gym session today unfortunately it doesn’t always help so medication helps a lot. I’m so sorry to hear of your recent diagnoses, I can only imagine how that must effect your day to day life. Thank you so much sweetie, same for me, if you need to have a rant to destress feel free to message me 🙂 xxx

  2. May 6, 2018 / 10:09 pm

    I’m so glad I found your blog! I have suffered with migraines for the last 2 or 3 years and I’ve tracked diet, my cycle, stress, sleep pattern – everything and I just can’t seem to find a trigger. I’ve been given Sumatripan to take when an attack comes on but I was going through them so quickly it was costing me a fortune. It felt a bit like that was only masking the problem, I asked for something ore permanent and I was given Propranalol but I really didn’t get on with that.
    Only yesterday I was out trying to ‘power through’ a migraine so I didn’t ruin a day out for my 5 year old but I ended up in the toilet of the village fair vomiting and needing to go back home to sleep it off. Not the best way to spend a bank holiday!
    I’ve not tried pilates or yoga so I might give them a go but it’s always good to know there’s someone out there going through the same thing. Like you say, a lot of people just don’t get it.

    Jenn
    PhotoJennic
    X

    • Pinar
      Author
      May 7, 2018 / 3:39 pm

      I’m so sorry to here you are a sufferer too Jenn. It affects your way of life so much and it really is hard to have complete control over prevention. Now I am on daily medication I can go a couple of weeks without one but when I do get a migraine they last for 3-4 days and are even more intense as before and I take Sumitriptan like they are smarties, the only way I can get them to work and to get rid of the pain is to take 2 cocodamol with it which makes me think whats the point in the sumatriptan.
      Definitely give pilates or yoga a go, I recommend Yoga with Adriene if you want to do it at home and daily meditation on the Calm app is brilliant to help destress. If you ever need someone to talk to feel free to message me or email, it can be very lonely sometimes when others don’t understand. I hope this post can help you in some way moving forward..xo

  3. Emma B
    November 15, 2018 / 8:31 pm

    I was just on another page of your blog when this came up as a recommendation, it’s like the universe knew to bring migraine-sufferers together! It is actually a terrible thing to bond over, but I’ve recently found through blogging and online forums that knowing you aren’t alone in the journey helps just the slightest. I’m so glad you shared this post.
    Have you tried a low-histamine diet? I see you found a few food triggers already which is great! I’ve just been introduced to this diet by my doctor – it’s just been a few days so I can’t say whether it works yet or not, but from what I’m reading online, there have been a few positive results – here goes nothing!

    Would love to keep in touch 🙂

    Emma B
    the25lifecrisis.com

    • Pinar
      Author
      November 16, 2018 / 9:48 am

      I’m glad you found it too, like any illness its important to raise awareness and support others that understand because we are not alone. I’m currently being referred (again) to a specialist as they have got even worse (didn’t know it was possible) I hope this new diet works for you. Keep positive 🙂 xo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.