Thursday, 6 September 2012

What Does A Migraine Look like?

In the previous post I asked a group of migraine sufferers to describe what a migraine feels like. I then asked this same group if they'd be willing to take a photo of themselves during a migraine in order to demonstrate what a migraine 'looks' like. They bravely agreed. As I discovered, not only is this a rather humiliating prospect but technically very tricky! I've noted before that migraine is generally considered to be an invisible illness, and those living with chronic pain become adept at masking it. But I'm pretty sure if you saw anyone in the throws of an acute migraine you'd know it, there would be visible signs aplenty. Indeed The World Health Organisation (WHO) ranks a severe migraine attack as equally disabling as quadriplegia.

Note the slightly swollen/droopy left eye and puffy face

Annie, aged 43, Chronic with Basilar & Vestibular Migraine.
Migraines commenced at 12 years old.

"Some days I find walking more than a few meters impossible, 
I am so exhausted by the pain. "

Maggie Austin, aged 24, Chronic Migraine Variant Without Aura. First migraine 7 years ago.

Maggie was rushed to hospital this weekend due to a severe migraine, she took this picture there! 

Fran (aka Skulls and Ponies), aged 28, Migraine sufferer for 8 years. 
Her boyfriend, Tom, kindly took this picture on Tuesday! 

"It feels like my brain is expanding, there is so much pressure on my skull."                       

Fiona Russell, aged 31, 8 years as a migraine sufferer.

Victoria Saxton (me) 31, Chronic & Episodic Migraine without Aura (& depending which Dr I'm talking to Cervicogenic headaches.) 13 years since first Migraine (also suffered from Post Traumatic Headaches & Vestibular Migraines in the past.)

I tried to take series of photos of myself taking a Zomig Nasal spray (the little blue thing I'm putting up my nose!) when I had a right sided migraine - mine are usually left sided. I think you can just see my right eye looks slightly bruised/dark shadows underneath....

Well - that was embarrassing but hopefully enlightening for all. Now if we don't get nominated for a ELLE Magazine or GMTV Live Make-Over prize or something I'll be stunned, as none of us are wearing make-up and I could certainly do with a hair cut, plus it's my Birthday next week.... 

But, to prove that migraineurs are super hard survivours, not the anti-social, agoraphobic spinsters that most people associate with the word 'migraine', check out the below. Would you recognise us? 

Migraine Awareness Week - How are you raising awareness? Find out what I have planned.
(2-7th September 2012) 

Coming up:  30 Things you didn't know about my Invisible illness
Migraine Rituals and Top Tips
The Truth about Elvis Presley's Death! 

Useful Sources Of Information:

The Migraine Trust                                                                   The National Migraine Centre



  1. Brilliant :-)
    great for awareness week

  2. Aw, this just made me cry a little! Great post, great blog! :)

  3. Ms. Russell looks like she could well use a session of massage therapy in niagara falls ontario; just look at how contorted her face is from the pain!

  4. Migraine is still a brain-baffler these days. It's pretty hard to quantify it as a full-on disease, yet it's too serious to be considered a minor disorder. Add that to the fact that there is yet to be a cure for it, yet.

  5. Looking at these pictures has me feeling slightly thankful that my only head problems would be the occasional headache. Still, it kind of helps when you get a good view of how serious migraine attacks can really be.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...