ABOUT

Welcome friends. 

Hopefully this blog (or monologue) will provide entertainment and enlightenment to those suffering from migraines and to those who don't but should learn some more and are bored at work. 

Apparently it's GLOBAL YEAR AGAINST HEADACHE. Yes, I do realise it's now February (well it was when I began in Feb '12) but I was busy having 13 migraines in January so we're starting now. And actually this Global Year started last October, also I only thought of this just now. So. My plan is to monologue a year of my migraines. Doesn't that sound like fun?! It will be I promise. 

  • My Migraines
I've had a complex bugger of a migraine (that's a technical medical term) for over 13 years so I have lots of fun stories to tell. My migraines started when I was 18 years old and involved in what seemed like a minor car accident. It wasn't. As a result I have some minor spine issues. I have a genetic predisposition to migraines (as most migraineurs do) as my Mum, Sister and Granny get them too. Joy. 

To see the many various fabulous treatment methods I've tried and tested over the years, as well as my current treatment programme, go to the Tried & Tested page above. This page also contains LIFE SAVING links to other information and recommended reading (fun!).

  • My Aim 
My aim is to raise awareness that people with migraine are just like you. Maybe even better. Maybe they will soon discover that people with migraine have bigger/better brains and that’s why they hurt, they can’t handle all the genius they contain. In short, my aim is to dispel many of the myths and misconceptions that surround migraine (and generally be wise and educate blah blah blah). In my head Tina Fey (if you don't know who she is google her now and buy the box set of 30 Rock before you go any further) is narrating most of this blog; see Post 1 for dream scenarios of these monologues being delivered on stages across the world, and for an introduction to the world of migraines. For moving emotional sections where I will be talking about sad things, like when mean migraines get you down, imagine instead Dame Judie Dench’s voice. If, however, some clever film execs see the potential to turn this blog into a block buster film may I suggest Jessica Rabbit play myself. 

To further my aims I'm also a Media Volunteer and member of the User Group for the fabulous Migraine Trust. I'm also a Media Volunteer and advocate for the National Migraine Centre. I give fabulous talks about life with migraine, which may even involve singing, so do get in touch if you need a speaker at any event! 

  • Your Migraines & Monologues
To other migraineurs (people who get migraine) out there, I'd love to hear your monologues too. Just imagine, Julia Roberts could play you when this blog is made into a block buster film. If you click on the Migraineur Of The Month page (see above) you can see how others are sharing their stories, and living with this thing called migraine. Although I may have tried & tested (see above) most migraine treatments many others haven't, so share and care. I also encourage you to check out the MM Book Club. Anyone can join, but if you fancy joining the Review Panel just give me a shout. And just remember you're not alone. Every day in the UK alone an estimated 190,000 people get a migraine. 

So welcome to Migraine Monologues. Enjoy!

Legal Note:
For legal reasons I'm pretty sure I should say I'm not endorsed or sponsored by any society or giant medical corporation such as GSK (though I'd be open to that!) and the views expressed are my own expert amateur medical opinion, based entirely on having had migraines for 13 years and seeing more Neurologists, watching nearly every episode of House and ER, trying more migraine remedies from Beta-Blockers to hypnotherapy, reading more medical journals and internet articles on migraines and having had more physiotherapy than Joan Rivers has had Botox. These monologues should not replace the opinion of a qualified medical practitioner. If you have headaches go to the Doctor. Please. 

Thank you and Good Day. 



29 comments:

  1. Hi! A mutual friend signposted me to your blog. My name is Rachel, I have had migraine for years and I'm a retired doctor. There is probably not much you don't already know about migraine but I'm happy to share things that have been helpful to me over the years.

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    1. A doctor who suffers from migraine....wow...you must be one of the few doctors who 'understands' what migraineurs go through!

      After 30 years of suffering I am at last learning to cope with the dreaded M's. I try not to think of the amount of time I've wasted during my life due to migraine attacks which might last for up to 4 - 5 days.

      Since the introduction of Sumatriptan in 1992 and then Naramig I am less depressed about it all. To me this is my wonder drug.

      Fran thank you so much for starting this blog. Jill

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    2. Hi Jill, wow migraines that last 4-5 days - how horrific! I'm interested that you prefer Naramig to say, Zomig. I just found it worked too slowly being in the pill formula and slower release but my Mum (also called Jill) prefers it too. I remember very clearly the first time I ever had a Sumatriptan Injection, although the side effects were quite scary at first it was, as you say, a wonder drug! It's interesting how different Triptans work so differently for everyone. For example, I use Zomig nasal sprays, which I swear by, but the melt in the mouth version, don't seem to work quite as well....so I still have my handy Sumatriptan injections for when all else fails....and when that fails I try not to cry! x

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  2. Dear Dr Rachel! I'd love to hear about your experiences and which medications work for you. Part of the reason I've started this blog is to raise awareness that there is a lot you can do if you have migraines. I'm constantly astounded when I meet someone who gets migraines and they've just been told by their GP just to take painkillers! Also, please don't hate me but I'm going to post some blogs about horrific experiences I've had with Doctors - so it would be really interesting to hear your opinion on that! I about to put up another permanent page on all the medication and various other treatments I've tried over the years.... Looking forward to hearing your story! xx

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  3. Hi Victoria,

    I've just discovered your blog by stumbling across your interview on the radio. I too am a migraine sufferer - for about 8 years and am having a particularly bad run (19 migraines in Feb). I'm so glad you've started this blog and will be following and contributing as much as I can. I wrote a blog post about my experiences here: http://www.skullsandponies.com/2011/10/migraines.html It's also got some useful tips from a migraine conference (god us migraine sufferers are rock and roll aren't we?) ran by migraine action I attended.

    Fran

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  4. Hi Fran, thank you so much for the link to your post on migraine, it's just fabulous, I hope lots of people read it as really useful information. Thank you. I've been meaning to put up a permanent link to Migraine Action, was even going to attend that conference myself but couldn't make it in the end. Yes, we're so very cool. I'm sorry you're migraines have returned with vengeance again! Obviously mine have too, and like you I'm trying a daily preventative again and am giving Topamax a go...going to write about the side effects soon. Sadly the anorexia hasn't kicked in yet!! (kidding) I was interested to hear about your beta blocker experiences - I tried several types for a while but just couldn't take the side effects and they really didn't make a difference to the migraines anyway - but each to their own. Have you joined The Migraine Trust - I donate a tiny amount each month so I can get their magazine which often has some really interesting (if you're interested in migraine) articles - often by the guys at the Queen's Square Neurology Hospital...

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  5. Hi Victoria, My names also Victoria, I also suffer from Complex Migraine with Aura, for many years now they come in quick succession then level out, then re-start the cycle, I like you have all my research and monitoring ready for when i need to see a GP, Specialist or even for people who employee me who question my sickness levels!! i go in and tell them what I want!! i also like you have been tried on many prescription meds, and will soon be looking into the vitamin herbal side of things hoping i may find something that works, or helps!! at present I am taking a beta blocker and Imagran on onset!! i am pleased I have stumbled across your monologue and will enjoy reading it.... take care.

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    1. Hello Victoria, well, Victoria, you are clearly a very intelligent young woman! I must admit that I'm always slightly jealous of sufferers who get better by taking Magnesium, for example. It does seem to work so well for some people! Do let me know how you get on with that option! Victoria

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  6. Hi I just got directed to your blog by The Migraine Trust - I have had Migraine since the age of 10 and am mid 40's now and usually have between 10 and 15 a month most months, thatnk god for Sumatriptan is all I can say, it has its downsides but its a life saver...spend my life trying to live like a monk, no excess or lack of sleep, food, drink, happiness, sadness, water etc etc but life's too short for that so I suffer the migraines and try to ahve a good time. I am looking forwards to reading the back issues of your blog and reading future posts Best Wishes xx

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    1. Hello Helen, Sumatriptan changed my life too! It was such a relief to know that was something to stop the 3 days migraines, though when the Triptans fail it's rather heartbreaking isn't it! Like you I believe life's too short and we should try to have fun when we can! I can't believe, though, that you've had migraines for so many years! Does it run in your family? Hope the blog makes you laugh. Victoria xx

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  7. Ooo how exciting! All these migraine stories on one page! I've had them since I was 8 years old and I'm now 47. My Mum had them, my sister has them, they run in the family... As a child I used to consume copious quantities of paracetamol and codeine, and pink Migraleve which probably explains why my liver now struggles with more than the odd glass of alcohol. In adult life (mid 30s onwards) doctors appear to have thought it may be worth treating my migraine so I've tried a range of prescription medicines as preventatives including beta blockers (a mistake), and various of the 'zap em cos it's started' type. I've now settled on Zolmitriptan & love them except when they don't work (like today!) I have lost many days out of my life to migraine, had many frustrating conversations with employers, think migraine should definitely be covered by the Disability Discrimination Act (now covered by the Equality Act), and managed to think I was having an exceptionally-painful extended-migraine-pain (4 days solid of wanting to bang my head against a brick wall) once when in fact I had shingles on my head!!!
    Very best of luck with your blog - looking forward to reading it.

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    1. Shingles and migraines, you're one lucky lady!! My mum, sister and Granny all had/have them too.
      I assume you've seen the good work the Migraine Trust are doing with their new Advocacy service re employment. Migraines should totally be counted as a Disability - especially as it would be amazing to get a blue Disabled Parking Badge! We all completely deserve convenient parking spots.

      In all seriousness, half the battle is the stigma and misconceptions attached to migraines isn't it - that's its 'emotional'! Makes it very hard to talk to employers.

      I'm a Zomig fan too, the nasal sprays. I then take Sumatriptan injections if that doesn't work...but only if they're bad. Then I cry. What do you do? x

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  8. I'm now 60 and have suffered since the age of 15. I used to loose 15 days a month and have been on Sumatripan since it was in trial form as a self inject treatment, many of the treatments ended up running down my leg instead of entering my blood stream! Sumatripan changed my life and I use on average 12 to 18 tqblets a month. I understand the banging your head against the wall, I understand the issue with employers who think it's "just a head ache". My life is not however defined by this debilitating condittion, I won't let it. I have also survived breast cancer, 3 reconstruction procedures and have had a kidney removed so....migraine is part of my life and it try hard to keep it in perspective, it is however 45 years of misery. Never give in, never give up and live life to the best you can make it. Bev

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    1. Bev, you are my new life hero. Or rather heroine. I might actually have to print out your comment and stick it on my wall above my computer as a inspiration. Thank you.

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  9. Hi Victoria.
    I'm so glad to have discovered your blog.
    You are a wonderful writer with a terrific sense of humour.
    I've had migraines for about 35 years and have run the gamut of meds - topamax has helped the most as a preventative, and I use advil + xanax to abort these days.
    The most important change for me , though, was attitudinal: I realized eventually that I was stuck with this rotten thing. Luckily it's episodic rather than chronic. With acceptance, I do the best with what I have.
    Please check out my website and blog at http://migraineindependence.weebly.com/index.html
    Gerry

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    1. Hi Gerry, thank you so much for your lovely comment! Can't believe you've had to live with migraines for 35 years but sounds like you've found an amazing way to do just that as well as help others. Out of interest, what dose of Topamax are you on? Just about to up my dose again! I'll have a look at your website again. Hope you're having a migraine free week. Cheers! Victoria

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  10. Hello Victoria, I came across your blog via the National Migraine Centre's Fbook and have been wanting to comment all week. My first thought was thank goodness there are others out there, I am normal and not alone. I was quite elated actually! Then I felt mean as it meant there are others in as much pain and suffering as me so sorry about that!!
    I have had migraines for as long as I can remember, but they helpfully changed in November 2010 from being a few a year to having a headache every single day. Reading your posts this week has made me feel so much more normal and reassured about certain things, such as my eye has started to go really black during a migraine. I was worried about that - I'm not now. So thank you! I'm Catherine by the way.

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    1. Hello Catherine, so sorry not to have got back to you sooner and so sorry you felt alone. You're not! As I always say to migraineurs, in the UK alone there are around 190,000 migraine attacks every day! Just imagine what that must be in the USA! Handing out Migraine Trust posters last week I fully realised the 1 in 5 statistic about migraine - as almost every other shop I went to someone had a migraine story - must write a post about that! Are you on Twitter? That's also a really great way to connect with other migraineurs, I never realised before!
      Are you based in the UK? I'm hoping that because you found the National Migraine Centre's Facebook page it means you're a patient there like me! Anyway, lovely to meet you and looking forward to hearing more from you x p.s Do you have any idea what happened in 2010 to switch you to daily headaches?

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  11. Hello Victoria, I hope you are well. I am on Twitter but I am a bit of a novice! Yes lots of people have migraine stories, but not many of them are as well filled in with as many pictures as ours! I am in the UK and am not a patient at the National Migraine Centre although I am considering it. I have finally been referred to my local headache specialist neurology department thank goodness. My neurologist thinks I am potty, and has so far referred me to ENT and the eye clinic, and upped me to 200mg of Topomax I am convinced next time I see him he will send me to a chiropodist or something equally useless(I can't spell or do grammar either and I did someEnglish at uni)
    I have no idea why my migraines changed although when I think about it I got more than I thought I did, really bad hangovers although I was never drunk, stomach problems with a headache, lots of stomach bugs with a headache - of course these were all migraines! And my daily headaches are different to my cluster attacks of migraines which confuses the heck out of me. Although the pain is the same just a different intesity and I don't get all of the other symptoms all of the time so it's taken me a while to get to grips with the whole thing and understand that it is all migraine. Sorry to ramble - I have just come out of an 8 week chronic cluster of what I call 'human earth quakes' and am now going back into my daily ones! Are you excited about the user group? X

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  12. Did anybody here try to chew (and swallow) the leaves and (non-woody) stems of feverfew? It has helped me, my husband and a friend. Best of luck, Heidi

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  13. Hi! I love your blog and through my procrastination of uni I have probably read most of it throughout the last few weeks... it's not creepy it's a compliment! Anyway, I couldn't help but notice that your cat is adorable. Please find a way to put more picture of your cat in your posts. You can never have too many cute pictures :D

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    1. I must remember to do this - I swear cats help everything! Hope you're well

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  14. Hi. I had migraine since I was in my first year high school. During migraine attacks, the first thing I would do is to eat as hunger is one of my triggers. If the pain still goes on then I will take a shower. Someone even advise me to soak one of feet in a basin with cold water and the other in a basin with a lukewarm water but I haven't tried this, instead, I start off taking a shower with a lukewarm water and finish with a slightly cold water. If this still doesn't make the pain go away then I try to sleep it off. I know it's hard to do this because the unbearable pain will not make you sleep but I put an oil liniment on my head, massage it my self, or perhaps you can request someone to massage it for you to help you sleep. After all these, usually, the pain goes away. But about 30% of the time, it's not successful and the pain remains so that's when I take a pain reliever. This is my life story for almost 25 years now but recently, my father introduced me to Laminine. He also suffers from joint pains and he knows my migraine dilemma so he asked me to try Laminine. After a month of using it, my migraine attacks have decreased and there were even times when I'll have my period and won't even notice it coming because I don't have migraine attacks anymore (which usually occurs before and after my period).
    I know migraine has no cure but Laminine is the closest thing I can consider as being a cure to this dreadful condition and it has been 6 months already since I'm taking the supplement and my migraine attacks has decreased significantly.
    You may check this blog www.stemcellssupplement.com on info about Laminine.

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    1. Hi - thanks so much for sharing your experience!

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  15. Hello Victoria,

    While researching health blogs I found your blog and I must say that I really like it and find it very informative. Your latest post about 'How Many Days Have You Lost To Migraine?' was very moving. I think not a lot of people completely understand that migraines can not be compared with 'normal' headache attacks you may frequently have. Your post clearly shows, how many days migraines 'steal' from you. Again, great post - thank you for sharing.

    I would like to contribute and maybe write a guest post for your blog with a leading nutrition specialist. We are trying to increase Migraine and Alzheimer awareness on the occasion of the Migraine Awareness Week (1st September to 7th September 2013) and the World Alzheimer's Day (21st September 2013).

    How do you feel about working with publishing partners in this area of expertise?

    I look forward to hearing from you soon. My email address is ihunkeler@blueglass.co.uk.

    Warm regards,
    Irma Hunkeler

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  16. Hello Victoria,

    Your site is amazing - offering a platform to share experiences and what sort of treatment works best for you and your readers. That is an great resource for all sufferers out there.

    I have a great article idea I would love to discuss with you. It's on the impact of physical exercise on migraines. I would greatly appreciate if you would contact me via my email (ihunkeler@blueglass.co.uk).

    Warm regards,
    Irma

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  17. I've written a poem about the condition I'd like to share. It's called "Sliver the Spider".
    Sliver the Spider

    A poem about migraines
    Oct 1, 2013


    Sliver the Spider spun a web in my head
    Sliver the Spider fancies me dead
    Sometimes, not always, for where would she rest
    If Sliver succeeded in killing her nest?

    She often reposes in anticipation
    Per chance I give caution a needed vacation
    Then she straddles my brain and sinks in her fangs
    My head splits asunder from temple to bangs

    Her spider legs dance as she howls and she sings
    Playing my neurons like so many strings
    She cocoons my mind like she would a fly
    I clutch my poor skull and let out a cry

    Her web is a big one, it demands too much space
    Though the upper left corner is her favorite place
    On occasion she’ll rest there for months at a time
    Those times, my friend, those times are sublime

    A truce, sometimes broken, permits us shared lives
    Unless and until, one of us dies


    Best of luck to all, from Brian Backus

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful poem, Brian! So sorry it's taken me ages to reply. Keep writing! And do you know that Teri Roberts runs a migraine poem comp once a year? Look her up on facebook/twitter

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  18. Sliver the Spider

    A poem about migraines
    Oct 1, 2013


    Sliver the Spider spun a web in my head
    Sliver the Spider fancies me dead
    Sometimes, not always, for where would she rest
    If Sliver succeeded in killing her nest?

    She often reposes in anticipation
    Per chance I give caution a needed vacation
    Then she straddles my brain and sinks in her fangs
    My head splits asunder from temple to bangs

    Her spider legs dance as she howls and she sings
    Playing my neurons like so many strings
    She cocoons my mind like she would a fly
    I clutch my poor skull and let out a cry

    Her web is a big one, it demands too much space
    Though the upper left corner is her favorite place
    On occasion she’ll rest there for months at a time
    Those times, my friend, those times are sublime

    A truce, sometimes broken, permits us shared lives
    Unless and until, one of us dies


    Best of luck to all, Brian Backus

    ReplyDelete

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