I hear the word migraine and it makes me want to scream, vomit, and run away as fast as I can. It is the most horrifically, painful struggle ever. A migraine can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head. It’s often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine attacks can last for hours to days, and the pain can be so severe that it interferes with your daily activities.
For some people, a warning symptom known as an aura occurs before or with the headache. An aura can include visual disturbances, such as flashes of light or blind spots, or other disturbances, such as tingling on one side of the face or in an arm or leg and difficulty speaking.(From MayoClinic.org)
For some people, aura might occur before or during migraines. Auras are reversible symptoms of the nervous system. They’re usually visual, but can also include other disturbances. Each symptom usually begins gradually, builds up over several minutes and lasts for 20 to 60 minutes.
Examples of migraine aura include:
- Visual phenomena, such as seeing various shapes, bright spots or flashes of light
- Vision loss
- Weakness or numbness in the face or one side of the body
- Difficulty speaking
A migraine usually lasts from four to 72 hours if untreated. Migraines varies from person to person. They might occur rarely or strike several times a month.
During a migraine, you might have:
- Pain usually on one side of your head, but often on both sides
- Pain that throbs or pulses
- Sensitivity to light, sound, and sometimes smell and touch
- Nausea and vomiting
When I get migraines, they hit me like a freight train! I’ve been suffering from migraines since my second spinal surgery when I was 16. They have only worsened since then. I do get them with auras, I see spots and my face always goes numb. It is super uncomfortable and awful. Personally, there is nothing worse than the throbbing sensation. My head doesn’t stop throbbing! It is the worst feeling in the world! It is constant and doesn’t go away most of the time. I do take preventative medication daily and have some once I feel the migraine symptoms begin but my migraines are something serious. I also take Emgality self injector shots once a month. Even though I get lots of migraines, I would get more if I wasn’t getting these shots.
It is difficult to function with a migraine. I sometimes can’t even stand up or even lay down. I’ve had to sleep in a sitting position because putting my head down causes the throbbing sensation to intensify. I have been spending a lot of time in the hospital lately due to them. I haven’t been able to get control of them and the seizures. But the pain is terrible. I can’t do anything I would usually do, like cook and clean. Migraines destroy your life. But you can choose to rise above them and find ways to fight them as best you can.
I have a very powerful weapon, her name is Lyssa. She is a rescued Doberman who is my medical alert dog. She was trained to alert me to seizures and migraines. Long story short(because I get this question often) We noticed that Lyssa was acting strange every time I got sick. We have a friend who trains service dogs and we had her evaluated and tested. She passed with flying colors. During her evaluation she was at rest and she suddenly got up. My husband and the trainer followed Lyssa to a random lady sitting on a bench nearby. Lyssa went straight to her and sat in front of her and started licking her. The trainer politely asked her if she suffered from migraines and the lady said she was sitting down because she was taking her medication because she was getting a real bad migraine. Lyssa was alerting her during her evaluation! So at that point the trainer said Lyssa has the gift and was an excellent candidate to help me. Since then we have worked together to get Lyssa to help me. Since she is a Doberman and they are known to be one of the smartest breeds, I kid you not, I give her a new task 3 or 4 times max, and she gets it. I don’t have to train her long because she picks it up quick. I don’t take her out much because I don’t really go out. I do take her to Disney with me but I mainly need her help at home and if you follow my instagram then you’ve seen her in action. So yes, there is such thing as a medical alert dog for migraines. She alerts me days, hours and minutes before. I do get them before they attack, but sometimes they are too intense.
Migraines are a serious disease that tons of people have and not enough doctors out there to help us. Not much research, not enough knowledge or awareness for the billions of us suffering from this disabling disease. It isn’t just a headache and no we can’t just take 2 Advil and drink some water. We want a dark, quiet room and with no strong perfume. We want to be pain free to do what we love and enjoy the time with those we love. But for now I, myself am doing the best I can with what I have. I don’t know the last time I was pain free but I am working through it as strong and courageous as I can. That is all I have left and I am fighting this disease along with all my others ones every day. It isn’t easy but I believe I was given this life because I am strong enough to handle it.
You can beat this agonizing, incurable disease. You just have to keep fighting and keep trying to find what words best for you. Not all migraines are the same. Never give up. I know it’s painful and debilitating, but you are NOT alone.
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