Tag Archives: migraine diagnosis

About Laura

Introduction

Laura is a former primary school teacher, blogger, poet and jeweller living in Sussex UK. She is a positive thinking, mum of 2 teenage boys and is happily married to Joel. Laura is an IIHer, chronic migraineur, patient advocate and mental health campaigner.

After developing a debilitating brain condition, IIH, in 2014; she sadly had to give up her 14½ year teaching career. Soon after being diagnosed, she turned her life long love of writing into this blog to document her journey with chronic illnesses. This evolved into raising awareness of disabilities, chronic illnesses and mental health.

Laura runs the Mission Migraine Twitter account, which raises awareness that migraine is much more than just a headache. Laura started her own business Paprika Jewellery & Accessories after starting to make jewellery as a distraction from the pain.

She writes poetry to explore her own mental health and well-being. Laura writes about positive thinking and living her best life, despite her conditions. She hopes to inspire others to find their own sense of purpose, whatever challenges they face. Continue reading About Laura

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#Migraine and #Headache treatment often requires more than one approach. http://poht.info/2qNtzdg #MHAM #MHAMSMC

Welcome to Day 6 of Migraine and Headache Awareness Month.

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Since I was officially diagnosed by a neurologist in 2009, even beforehand, when I was lost with misdiagnosised and undiagnosed symptoms; I have opted for treatment other than that suggested by my past and present neurology teams. I would like to discuss the most effective treatments that I’ve personally experienced,

I have used the treatments below, alongside prescribed medication; since being diagnosed with migraine in 2009 and Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH) in 2014. Please seek medical advice before trying/using any alternative therapies. They should be treated as complementary therapies and not replace prescribed medications. 

Diet, Vitamins & Minerals: 

I’ve tried vitamin and mineral supplements to help my symptoms, since diagnosis. We all know that we need these to stay healthy and it is usually the first thing we explore when we have chronic or recurring illnesses.  I have been prescribed supplements by my GP (family doctor), nutritionists and kinesiologists (I will discuss kinesiology later), since my migraines started; 20 years before diagnosis. Read this to find out more about whether we need them in our diet and who might need them.

Personally, I’ve had the best results from supplements with a high dosage; prescribed by trained therapists. I’ve tried more than I can remember, but my go tos are Zinc, EDA (fish oils) and Ascorbic acid (pure vitamin C). I also use a probiotic called Lactobacillus Sporogenes; after a course of antibiotics.

I have had varied success with diets and supplements; some causing a dramatic impact on my headache frequency and pain levels. I was even able to continue working, without increasing my prescribed medication. However, since my IIH diagnosis and the debilitating symptoms; making it impossible to work, I have less money, so use a good quality multi-vitamin and prescribed vitamin D tablets,

Kinesiology and Cranio Sacral therapy:

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I have had great success with kinesiology as a complementary therapy. There are different methods of kinesiology used around the world; deriving from acu points in Chinese medicine. I have experienced applied kinesiology, which is complex, so its best left to the experts, in this demonstration: Please watch this YouTube video.

My first practitioner used muscle testing to determine possible migraine triggers. I have been tested for toxins, deficiencies and allergies and have then taken supplements or followed different diets from the findings. I had the most success with a dairy free diet. However, my therapist felt that there was a physical problem and referred me on to a cranial osteopath, who also practiced kinesiology.

Seeing this therapist was a pivotal point in moving forward in managing get my migraines. She asked my body questions (yes, really!!), to find out how to treat my symptoms, at that moment, on that day. My body is very sensitive and could be incredibly tricky and secretive! The cranial sacral therapy was amazing; I loved  having my skull gently realigned. Although, we soon discovered that too much pressure could be detrimental, but with the mixture of treatments worked so well. There was even a visible difference in my skin tone after treatment. She even felt that the cause of my pain and new symptoms, in 2014; were linked to the dura. This  is part of the meninges, which, amongst other things, carries blood to the brain,  it turns out that she was almost right. Please refer to earlier nformation about  IIH.

Aromatherapy:

I use essential oils to help with pain relief and to aid relaxation. There are many oils to aid symptoms of migraine and headaches. You can read more about this here. I tend to use clary sage, lavender and jasmine for pain; ginger or peppermint for nausea and frankincense and ylang ylang for relaxation and meditation aids. However, this is a matter of personal taste and suitability for use on you. I tend to use a diffuser or pop a few drops on a piece of material. I used to use them in a bath, when I had better mobility and I would recommend this or massage, as the best way to benefit from essential oils. It is helpful to switch oils every few days, so that the body doesn’t build up resistance. Please seek advice when  using these oils.

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There are other treatments I use for migraine. I love to use ice and there are a few hats/masks on the market, with ice packs sewn into them. I would highly recommend the migracap, which I used constantly before surgery for IIH. I am able to use these in between brain and skull surgeries for my IIH; when I have migraines. They work very well with feet in warm, peppermint oil water. I also use sea bands to prevent nausea on journeys and I cannot go anywhere without my ‘gig’ ear plugs and sunglasses. All of these help me to manage my pain levels and work well alongside my prescribed medication. I would highly recommend complementary therapies to anybody. As first and foremost, you need to be proactive in your own care. Always do your own research and check that the treatment is safe for you! 

Chronic Illness Bloggers

Day 2 #MHAM16 #MHAM #migraine awareness month #fact


The majority of people w/ #Headache and #Migraine are not diagnosed. #MHAM

Have you been diagnosed? Do you self-medicate? Why do you choose to do this? 

I have suffered from migraines since puberty…since I was about 12. However, I was misdiagnosed with sinusitus and then post viral syndrome. Then I realised that I had a severe reaction to Monosodium Glutamate and would be violently sick, shake and shiver for hours and have a horrible headache for at least 24 hours. Then I unearthed that my ‘mood swings’ were linked to too much sugar or certain alcoholic drinks-mainly a certain brand of beer that was high in sugar! I was able to make some changes and with the help of my, now husband; I gained some stability to my moods and ‘allergic reactions’. 


After our children were born and we had survived many more turbulent and devastating storms and were still holding hands under the same umbrella; I began to suffer with what seemed like migraines. Joel (my husband) went to our village chemist and discussed it with our pharmacist. He suggested an over the counter rescue medicine. It didn’t do very much to be honest, but it helped more than paracetamol. I took it for each attack, but couldn’t manage to work during these attacks. These attacks were quite spread out and had no pattern. I didn’t even consider seeing a GP. 

But one day our lives changed forever… My story. This very in depth explanation of my life so far will give you a good idea and even expand on what I’ve already written. (It needs an update to my current situation but that doesn’t impact today’s fact).

If you want a brief version…. I was eventually diagnosed, at 32, with migraines after a lot of misdiagnosis. My symptoms don’t include visual auras and my pain is mostly associated around and in my right eye. It was misleading for us, as well as the many doctors we saw, with enlightening specialisms. We certainly didn’t put the symptoms I’ve described from when I was a teenager, together with the newer symptoms; until I saw a headache specialist in June 2014. My story has since become even more complicated with another headache disorder that is actually a rare brain disease and my world has come to a stand still. I am now bed bound. I am now a Chronic Pain Warrior!

I often wonder if I’d been diagnosed as a child, whether life would be different now. I can’t change that, however, my own 12 year old son has been recently diagnosed with migraines. I don’t think they would have been if we hadn’t been through what we went through in the early days of our relationship. He shivers, just like I did/do and he reacts to too much sugar and Monosodium Glutamate/E621. I hate that I’ve  passed that gene on to my child, but he responded quite well to the sumatriptan nasal spray on our first trial, during the last attack. We are now waiting to see what happens next for him. What we do know, is that we’ve weathered the storm before and we can weather it again. We know that he will have the correct support from doctors and we know the migraine drill….diaries and triggers etc.

What a difference being diagnosed makes. I’d love to hear your stories about being diagnosed. Are you diagnosed? If not, why not? If you are, what age were you diagnosed? Tell me anything you want to about up our diagnosis! 

All I know, is that if the majority of people with headache disorders aren’t diagnosed, then those of us that are shouting as loud as we can on social media; must persevere, so that people don’t have to suffer in a similar way to my experience. Everyone deserves the right to be treated effectively, but that means that doctors need to be trained effectively and for that we need more money to be spent on this! We need to be heard in the UK as much as you do in the US! We need to stand united as migraine warriors. I’m one; are you?