Up the Face of 50 – Migraines be Gone

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?

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