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Migraine

September 8, 2016 44 comments

When I reblogged my post You Go To School And You Learn to Read And Write last week I noticed that it mentioned my having a migraine, and it seems appropriate to follow that up with this. Those of you who weren’t reading or following my blog in the early days will probably be unaware that I used to do a series of posts that I called Dates To Note – if you’re interested they can be found in the menu above. These ran through 2013 into 2014 but I decided that they had run their course and, apart from one or maybe two reblogs – and a spoof –  there haven’t been any more since then. I have, however, decided to do a new one-off to recognise that this week (4th to the 10th September) is Migraine Awareness Week. I first posted about this in 2013 and recycled that post a year later, but felt it was about time to do something new.

Unfortunately, I know how she feels

Unfortunately, I know how she feels

I’m sure many of you have experience of migraine, either yourself or in someone close to you. I was first diagnosed when I was 15 – to save you the maths, that was around 48 years ago. Since then I’ve had several migraines a year apart from one blissful period in my 20s when I went three years without one, and foolishly hoped I was somehow ‘cured.’ Not so. And the older I got, the more migraines I had and the longer they seemed to last! Five or six a year wasn’t uncommon, and they lingered for up to three days instead of just the one when they first started.

I hope you follow the link above, which takes you to the Migraine Trust’s website. The Migraine Trust organises this week as a means of educating people about migraine, and their website has a lot of helpful information and links. One of the things they encourage you to do is to keep a diary of your migraines and share it with your doctor. I did this when I was first diagnosed with depression, as I seemed to be getting headaches and migraines all the time, and it was very helpful to see what pattern – if any – there was. In particular, the site might help those who say they have a migraine when it is actually a bad headache: believe me, there is a difference and you’ll know it if you’re a fellow sufferer! When I was running the Dates To Note series I always gave a link to the NHS website as this is a very good source of information, and their coverage of migraine is as good as ever.

My diary showed that there was absolutely no pattern to my migraines, which often seemed to occur with no prior warning. Most of mine started the moment I woke up: there was no build up to them throughout the day, as some people experience. That made it difficult to assess, but we managed to find a tenuous link to late night tea and coffee, or eating, before some of my migraines. I cut these out on doctor’s advice, but was never convinced that this made any difference. Like most migraine sufferers I just shut myself away in a darkened room until it felt safe to open the curtains again. Medical science has yet to agree on a set of defined causes for the illness: whilst one of the causes is believed to be emotional factors, such as stress, mine have always been noticeably different from regular headaches, which tend to fall into the category of ‘tension headaches.’ Migraines are believed to be a result of chemical changes in the body affecting the genes, and the genetic effect can mean that they are passed through the generations within a family. My Mum used to suffer badly with migraine and it has always been believed that I inherited this from her.

So how can you explain the fact that I have had far fewer migraines since I retired? I now live a life which, as far as I can possibly make it, is free from stress and tension. And the frequency of migraines has dropped noticeably – go figure! Does this mean that what I have believed for nearly 50 years was wrong? Even if that is the case, I can’t really see how I could have changed my working life to remove stress factors, which were part and parcel of any job I had. But I do find it interesting that a reduction in the number and length of migraines since I retired may somehow be related to that major lifestyle change. Next week, it will be three years since I retired, and I can only recall three or four migraines in that time – when I would probably have endured something like 20 in a similar period whilst working. I’m intending to mark my anniversary with a post or two, but wanted to kick off the celebration of my third post-work birthday a little early to tie in with Migraine Awareness Week. It just seemed a good fit, somehow.

See you soon.

 

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Migraine Awareness Week

September 2, 2014 Leave a comment

As a long term migraine sufferer I want to draw your attention again to Migraine Awareness Week. This year’s event runs next week, from 7th to 13th September. Rather than write another piece about it I’m cheating by recycling what I wrote this time last year. It is still perfectly valid and the link to the Migraine Trust’s website takes you to details of this year’s programme. I hope you can find the time to take a look at both my words and theirs, especially if you suffer yourself or are close to someone who does.

A quick update if you do reread my 2013 post: retirement and the lack of work pressure has reduced my frequency of attacks, so I recommend retirement to you, for that among many reasons! And the bloody dog upstairs is still barking!

Take It Easy

This is the first time I have ever posted one of my Dates of Note after the week in question has actually started. The reason for that is simple: I have had migraine on and off for the past fortnight and didn’t remember to check my sources in time. Ironic, huh? This week (1st to the 7th) is Migraine Education – Migraine Awareness Week. I like to think I’m reasonably organised, or at least that I give you the impression I am, and this really does prove the point about how debilitating migraine can be – on a sample of one, admittedly.

Unfortunately, I know how she feels Unfortunately, I know how she feels

I’m not going to make this a long piece, as I’m sure many of you have experience of migraine, either yourself or in someone close to you. I was first diagnosed when I was 15 – to save you the maths, that…

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Migraine Awareness Week

September 3, 2013 4 comments

This is the first time I have ever posted one of my Dates of Note after the week in question has actually started. The reason for that is simple: I have had migraine on and off for the past fortnight and didn’t remember to check my sources in time. Ironic, huh? This week (1st to the 7th) is Migraine Education – Migraine Awareness Week. I like to think I’m reasonably organised, or at least that I give you the impression I am, and this really does prove the point about how debilitating migraine can be – on a sample of one, admittedly.

Unfortunately, I know how she feels

Unfortunately, I know how she feels

I’m not going to make this a long piece, as I’m sure many of you have experience of migraine, either yourself or in someone close to you. I was first diagnosed when I was 15 – to save you the maths, that was around 45 years ago. Since then I’ve had several migraines a year apart from one blissful period in my 20s when I went three years without one, and foolishly hoped I was somehow ‘cured.’ Not so. And the older I get, the more migraines I have and the longer they seem to last! Five or six a year isn’t uncommon, and they now linger for up to three days instead of just the one when they first started.

I hope you follow the link above, which takes you to the Migraine Trust’s website. The Trust organises this week as a means of educating people about migraine, and their website has a lot of helpful information and links. In particular, it might help those who say they have a migraine when it is actually a bad headache: believe me, there is a difference and you’ll know it if you suffer migraine!

And I always give you a link to the NHS website which is also a very good source of information.

Please support the week if you can, or at least take a little time to understand more about migraine and its effects on people.

In the flat above

A neighbour

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and explain to the people in the flat above why I don’t appreciate them ignoring their dog when it is barking incessantly.

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