Migraine: A misunderstood disability
How many of you disregard migraines as "just a headache.." and how many of you are suffers?
There are many forms of migraines which vary from moderate to severe headaches on one side of the brain. Below are 3 types of migraines:
migraine with aura – where there are specific warning signs just before the migraine begins, such as seeing flashing lights
migraine without aura – the most common type, where the migraine occurs without the specific warning signs
migraine aura without headache, also known as silent migraine – where an aura or other migraine symptoms are experienced, but a headache doesn't develop.
A migraine can present itself in four or five stages:
1. The Warning Stage - Mood swings, stiff neck, dehydration and tiredness. Lasts between 1 - 24 hours.
2. Aura - causes changes in sight, such as dark spots, coloured spots, sparkles and zigzag lines. Numbness or tingling, weakness, and dizziness or vertigo (the feeling of everything spinning) can also happen. Speech and hearing can also be disturbed, and sufferers have reported memory changes, feelings of fear and confusion, and more rarely, partial paralysis or fainting.
3. The main attack - severe, even unbearable pain. The headache is throbbing, and made worse by movement. Some sufferers describe a pressing or tightening pain. The headache is usually on one side of the head, especially at the start of an attack. Some sufferers get pain on both sides of the head, or over the forehead, but not usually at the back of the head. Nausea (sickness) and vomiting (being sick) can happen at this stage, and the sufferer may feel sensitive to light or sound, or both.
4. Resolution - Most attacks slowly fade away, but some stop suddenly after the sufferer is sick, or cries a lot. Sleep seems to help many sufferers, who find that even an hour or two can be enough to end an attack.
5. Recovery - This is the final stage of an attack, and it can take hours or days for a ‘hangover’ type feeling to disappear. Symptoms can be similar to those of the first stage, and often they are mirrored symptoms.
Taken from https://www.migrainetrust.org/about-migraine/migraine-what-is-it/symptoms-and-stages/
I am a migraine suffer, but my type of migraine should not be confused with a headache type migraine. I suffer Retinal Migraines.
"Retinal migraine (also known as ophthalmic migraine, and ocular migraine) is a retinal disease often accompanied by migraine headache and typically affects only one eye. It is caused by an infarct or vascular spasm in or behind the affected eye." Wikipedia.
I have suffered migraines ever since I fell ill with a blood infection 3 years ago, it has taken 3 years for them to pin point and treat my migraines. I now take suitable medication that allows me to live a normal life, of course I still get the odd relapse as my triggers are stress and bright lights.
As most migraine suffers I have suffered the snears and negativity from those in my day to day life, when i first started treatment I had to take 6-8 weeks off work. I was subjected to gossip and negative comments as nobody understood, "she can't be that sick, she went out for dinner!" or "She's just an attention seeker". Due to this on top of the migraines I had crippling depression and no longer wanted to live, for this I had to start taking anti-depressants and see a counsellor for a number of weeks.
Negativity aside, the tablets worked, I recieved the help and support I needed and now I no longer take the anti-depressants and have many things to look forward to! I have set myself challenges and goals in my life to keep me moving forward.
From one mirgraine suffer to others, get help, harrass your doctors, get the treatment you need, just because it is classed as a disability doesn't mean you have to live a limited life in the dark!!
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