I’ve suffered with the condition since 1985, I was 5 years old when I had my first attack.
Being a child I didn’t really understand why we had to be quiet when my dad had a migraine I didn’t understand what a migraine was. I remember having my first attack and not quite understanding why my body felt funny, why when I went to touch something my hands didn’t work. The pain was horrendous and I didn’t fully understand for a couple of years what was wrong apart from having this thing that my dad had called a migraine. Once I got used to the fact I had them it was ok because I only had up to 5 a year so I could cope with it.
My dad was always so caring when we had an attack because he understood what we we’re going through, he would cuddle us to make us feel better, sit with us while we we’re sick and put us back to bed. I don’t really remember how I felt when my twin Paula got an HM apart from feeling upset that she couldn’t play. Paula always suffered them worse than me for some reason.
This carried on until July last year when I started to get them every other day, this was scary. I didn’t understand how I had gone from having 5 a year to getting them every other day. When my HM got worse the doctor’s didn’t want to listen and just kept saying it’s just a migraine. Even now with the pain getting worse and the weakness in my left arm they just fob me off and don’t take it seriously.
I kept going to the GP and eventually they referred me to a neurologist who did an MRI scan which was clear. My physician is Dr. Imam.
I have had to adjust quite a lot to having this many migraines as I was just a normal 30 year old woman. Now I can’t go out on my own, I suffer panic attacks and my family have had to adjust to having a mum and partner who is always in pain and in bed a lot. I used to be such an outgoing person/ mum/ partner but all that has changed. We hardly go out as a family because I always get an attack. My 8 year old son Reece is such a credit to me, he has grown up a lot since my HM got bad, he takes care of my other 4 year old son if my partner isn’t here, getting my medication, caring for his 4 year old brother Chayden getting him up dressed and ready for school. It’s such a lot for a boy of his age to do but I’m very proud of the way he has coped with it.
I also have great support from my twin sister Paula who is also a HM sufferer and we look after each other. We live next door to each other so if our partners are at work we help each other and our children out and I wouldn’t be without her. We haven’t officially been diagnosed but the doctors and neurologist have all said we suffer with HM, we have asked to be officially diagnosed and we’re waiting for a blood test. I have lost some vision in my eyesight, can’t see the TV screen properly anymore and can’t read that well either. My left arm is a lot weaker and I cannot hold a cup in my left hand.
I am only taking pain medication which is 2x Solpadol tablets every 4 hours and 5mls of Oramorph as required.
Some of my triggers include cooking or having a bath. I also note that if I come into the house by myself I have an attack and also doing washing on certain days. A food trigger I have noticed is pork. (These are possible coincidences, but I have experimented and have had HM attacks whilst doing these things)
I don’t usually go to the Emergency room anymore as they leave me in a room to sleep it off and then deal with me when I have control of my vision and speech again, and by then it’s too late.
When I have an attack at home, I try to take it easy and not overload myself and I go and lie down in bed when I have an attack.
My main supporter is my twin sister Paula; I also have my partner Neil. Son Reece who is 8 years old, my mother and father in law are always around to help to pick mine or Paula’s children up from school if we are both bad and also my brother in law Dougie (Paula’s husband) is always around if I need a cuddle.