Last week, I suffered a migraine headache. Why am I telling you this? Why am I writing about this?
I had plans with a friend Thursday evening. I had to bail out. My son’s birthday was Saturday – I didn’t even buy him a card or the ingredients to make his cake until Saturday morning. Another friend invited me to go hiking Saturday – I could not commit. Wednesday, I missed a meeting at work – I just could not imagine sitting under the fluorescent lights for two hours.
I have suffered from frequent migraines since I was six years old. I missed many days from school. I was afraid to go into the Armed Forces – what would I do if I got a migraine during basic training? I passed up job opportunities because I was afraid I would not be able to fulfill my responsibilities when I had a headache.
In the late 1990’s, I was prescribed Imitrex to treat my migraines. It works but there are significant side effects. I do not go anywhere without my medication. I never know when I will encounter one of my triggers – certain smells, including incense, cigarette/cigar smoke, some perfumes, and air fresheners can cause an instant episode. Changes in the weather or outside activities when it is particularly cold can also trigger a headache. Even unusual stress can give me pain.
One thing I know for sure, most of my migraines are hormonal – meaning I WILL have a headache either right before or during my menstruation. Herein is the good news. My doctor assures me the headaches will significantly decrease once I pass through menopause! Yeah!
So, as I stare Up the Face of 50, I have at least one thing to look forward to – no more migraines!
If you have never had a migraine and do not know anyone who has, I encourage you to learn more about the debilitating effects of this neurological disorder.
Parents/grandparents of young girls who complain of frequent headaches – please have them evaluated by a doctor especially if they are plagued by any of these childhood periodic syndromes that are commonly precursors of migraine: cyclical vomiting (occasional intense periods of vomiting), abdominal migraine (abdominal pain, usually accompanied by nausea) and benign paroxysmal vertigo of childhood (occasional attacks of vertigo). I suffered all these symptoms as a child. The doctors said my ailments were all in my head – ironic, isn’t it?
Women of childbearing age who experience migraines – stop or do not start taking birth control pills – there is an increased risk of stroke.
Are you a migraine sufferer? How do you avoid your triggers?