Chronic Migraines – Migraineurs

In May, I was diagnosed with Chronic Migraine and was told that I had a slight increase in pressure around my brain, which is called Intercranial Hypertension.

The Neurologist I saw explained that I have a genetic predisposition that makes me super sensitive to light, sound and smell. I am one of the thousands of Migraineurs who suffer on a daily basis, (although the term Migraineur applies to anyone who suffers from Migraines). This immediately made sense, because since I was a child, I have been able to smell when rain or snow is coming. I struggle being in a car at night (because the headlights and streetlights hurt my head). I can smell things most people can’t. I also hear those stupid ultra sonic repellent things that are installed by shops to keep teenagers away, or home owners to keep spiders, rodents and foxes from their homes. Those things cause physical pain. They make me feel sick too.

By the time I saw the Neurologist, I had been on codeine based medications for the intense pressure in my head. He advised to go cold turkey and stop all pain meds “to increase your natural pain receptors as codeine numbs them.” It was horrible. Truly it was. He told me that if I didn’t lose weight, that the increased pressure will end up to me becoming blind. (Like losing weight is easy! Just add more pressure for me to cope with!)

So for the past couple of weeks, I have been waking up and going about my business with a horrific pain in my head. I have had to go to work, because we can’t afford for me to take time off. The pain makes me feel sick and I just want to sleep all the time.

I am not new to a Migraine diagnosis though. Several years ago, I woke up with no feeling on my left side, pins and needles and I lost my ability to speak. (I couldn’t find the words I wanted to say, I could visualise them, but I couldn’t say them. Very very frustrating!) I ended up having a CT scan and a Lumbar Puncture. All the tests came back normal and I was told that it was a Migraine Aura. I had had something similar when I was 16. My speech slurred and I couldn’t see properly (I missed my mock G.C.S.E. because of it!). So I have had terrible headaches since I was little. The diagnosis of Migraines, that present with Aura’s.

I don’t know what type of migraines I suffer from, I am completely new to the treatments available to me and I haven’t a clue about it. I am learning slowly and I am trying to figure out who I am now, after being diagnosed with a Chronic condition. I am trying to work out my triggers and such, but with the pressure headache, I haven’t been able to separate the pressure headache from a migraine. I have had constant head pain since Kiddo’s birthday in April.

Although depression is a common factor in people with chronic conditions, I seem (touches wood) to be alright at the moment.

I have had a CT scan (one normal one and then a second with a special dye that highlights the vessels and such in the brain) and I am on amitriptyline for the migraines. I have to stay on the amitriptyline for 6 months before it can be deemed not working. So I am on that, without any pain killers and trying to carry on.

So this is the update on my health.



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