I wouldn’t be me without my migraines.
Maybe I would be a happier, more relaxed person, but definitely not me.
I can’t remember a time where I didnt headaches. back then no one thought they were migraines; lots of theories abounded, but migraines were never discussed.
There was the pediatrician who thought I was faking to get out of school. The eye doctor who thought my (20/20) vision was somehow skewed, the school social worker who thought it was repressed rage. Lots of ideas, but not real solution.
I was the kind of kid who went to school sleepovers with a bad filled with Advil and Tylenol, when most kids brought a teddy bear or blanket. I had a special bottle in the school office, filled with OTC painkillers.
Looking back now, i simply can;’t understand how my pediatric migraines were missed, and when I think about the years of pain, it pisses me off.
- Clue numero uno:
I have LOTS of relatives with migraines. Migraines have a major genetic component.
- Clue numero dos:
The pain was usually limited to one side of my head. Migraines typically stay on one side of the head, though each migraine can switch sides, almost like they take turns.
- Clue numero tress:
I lost sensation on 1/2 my body with the migraine. People do not turn numb from a regular headache.
- Clue numero cuatro:
I had photophobia and phonophobia, hyper sensitivity to light and sound. to the point where either of those were excruciatingly painful.
- Clue numero cinco:
I would throw up non stop for hours, unable to keep anything down.
- Clue numero seis:
I get an aura with my migraines. An aura is without a doubt the WORST thing about a migraine. One can be anywhere and suddenly lose nearly all vision. An aura also means that the migraine will appear within 30 minutes and will be so bad you’ll wish you were dead. Literally.
My list could go on and on, and on. My parents took me to lots of doctors, but there was never even a murmur of the “M” word. How could a pediatrician not know about pediatric migraines?
Sometime around the age of 15, I diagnosed myself (correctly as it turns out) with migraines. However, it still took me 2 years to find a doctor willing to see/treat me.
This brings me to the next migraine issue: how the public views migraines.
To be continued…