Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 613

Migrainous maximous cactus pooptus.

I am grateful I don't get migraines of the same magnitude as I used to get them.  I have had a headache on and off for a week or so now but it is nothing like it used to be.  So while it sucks, it doesn't suck anywhere near as much as it used to. Something I need to remind myself.  I have also been following E from Whining At The World as she battles her own (newly acquired) headache journey and I feel for her.  I feel her pain and I feel her worry.  And I am grateful that my own pain and worry are no longer of major concern.

I started getting migraines at a very young age.  It's hereditary - my dad, his mum and much of their family.  The migraines I had as a child and a teenager were acute. The classic migraine with thumping pain, impaired vision, loss of coordination down one side of the body, vomiting.  I even had one where I lost my speech.  The thing about them was that while they were shockingly bad, they were over and done with after a few painkillers and a retreat to a dark room.  24 hours later and I was ready to take on the world again.

In my 20s my migraines shifted to a more chronic type pain.  The pain wasn't all beating and blood pumping, but rather a duller ache that took over my entire body.  Those headaches could last for weeks and be centred behind one eye or another with pain radiating outwardly to the rest of me.  There were times where after three weeks of continually popping Panadeine Forte (so that I could continue working and studying etc), I would end up at Emergency asking for morphine to break the cycle.  They did that back then ... sometimes.  It worked. But it also sucked.

I remember one day arriving at my (then) doctors office in my pyjamas, hair not done, as miserable as can be announcing that if something wasn't done then life was not worth living.  Of course he put me straight onto anti-depressants (because of the half-hearted suicide rant) which didn't solve a bloody thing.

Anyway, in my 30s I ended up adding irritable bowel syndrome and daily vomiting to the mix which saw me having colonoscopies, gastroscopies, CT scans, ultrasounds, blood tests, poo tests, allergy tests and whatever else they could fit in there.  In the end I saw a dietician who diagnosed a classic case of chemical intolerance to amines, salicylates and MSG.   I went on a massive cleansing diet and worked out what limited foods I could actually eat and those chronic headaches that lasted for weeks and weeks disappeared along with the IBS.  Phew!!

But I still get headaches.  I am a migraine suffer and that means I will still get headaches. Some are food related (if I've been naughty) or hormone related due to that time of month or can be referred headaches from neck and shoulder pain which happens a lot.  I have a habit of saying "I've got a really bad headache" but the reality is I rarely have a REALLY BAD headache anymore, I just have headaches that are sometimes bad and mostly not.  And while I sit here recovering from the medium level headache I've had for the last week I am grateful that they aren't the same as they used to be.  

And I am grateful that I know what causes them. Because mostly, it is within my control ...

Now if only E could find out what is causing hers ....

There is lots to be grateful for! I know because I saw a whole great big list of gratefuls over at Maxabella Loves.  Head on over and take a look for yourself ....


  1. Oh, YAY that they're not as bad as they were !!!!

    I get migraine equivalents -- which means no headache, but I get the classic flashing diamond back python and a blind spot, and a general feeling of being 'not right'. I'm SO thankful that I don't get the migraine as well.

    My headaches are caused by the muscles in my neck and shoulders being too stiff, and they are killers. Blinding pain, feeling sick, sensitive to light -- and they last for days sometimes, until I can get a neck massage. A freezy pack helps heaps.
    The funny thing is, I know a lot of women who have the exact same headaches and have never realised it's their neck. They've just been putting up with it for years.

  2. Yep! I hear you. Most of mine these days are from my neck. Which is why I get a fortnightly massage. we really must take the weight of the world on our shoulders ... or something ...


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