Here is my personal hate story with migraines, how I get diagnosed, how I treated it and what is my relationship status with migraines today.
I was 18 when I get diagnosed with migraines. Until then, I never really made a distinction between headaches and migraines, to me it was the same.
After three following Fridays with strong headaches & vomiting at the approximative same time, I decided to see my doctor. I was seldom sick before.
After two/three questions, my doctor told me:
“You’re suffering from migraines. We can’t really know where it comes from, and it’s not treatable.”
Aha… How interesting… She then told me some patients have migraines for a short period time, some for their whole life, some will “only” have headaches, some will have much more. I was now about to discover what the “much more” meant.
Before I go on, be aware that this is not going to be a glamorous post. I want people to understand how it feels like to have migraines, and what to do/not to do when you live with someone who suffers from this shitty shit.
My type of migraines
There are two types of migraines: “common migraine” (also called migraine without Aura) and “complicated migraine” (also called migraine with Aura).
Common migraines are strong headache + high sensitivity to light, noise & smells.
Complicated migraines (as I have) are basic headache + visual disturbances and/or other neurological symptoms such as partial numbness or weakness on one side of the body, trouble speaking, confusion, strong feeling of freezing and burning at the same time…
Here is what happens to me 90% of the time in case of migraine crisis :
- Vomiting (every 30 minutes from 9 PM to 3 AM)
- A sensation of freezing outside & burning inside
- A strong pain behind my right eye
- and, of course, the will to die because of the pain it causes
I also once experienced paralysis on my right side, from my arm to my foot. Some people have tongue paralysis or jaw paralysis, it really depends on each migraine crisis.
What do I feel when I have a migraine
Very honestly, if I had the choice between dying or having a migraine, at some point I would have chosen death with NO HESITATION. The pain is unimaginable for people who -lucky they are- have never experienced migraine.
It’s not “just” about the headache, it’s about the whole situation : the physical pain in the head, the pain of vomiting (food at first, it’s not nice but it’s okay, but when you vomit every thirty minutes for several hours, you quickly reach the point where you can only vomit air, and this is freaking painful), the pain of being torn up between freezing and burning sensation, the pain of knowing that it is gonna last for hours and that it is not the last crisis, the pain of knowing that the next day you’ll be exhausted, nauseous, and mentally absent… I am not a weakling, but I have never experienced something physically more painful than a headache.
It’s been 8 years now since I’ve been diagnosed with migraines. I tried to know where they were coming from. I met a neurologist, I did blood tests, I did an MRI…
I have anemia & a pituitary cyst but it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with my migraines.
So I decided to meet with a Parisian psychologist specialized in migraines. He asked me literally 5 questions and gave me an answer :
I suffer from Arnold’s neuralgia – or Occipital neuralgia.
To make it short, it is a condition in which the nerves that run from the top of the spinal cord up through the scalp, called the occipital nerves, are inflamed or injured, most probably caused by a fall on the buttocks.
No medication can treat migraines. So, having this answer was a good start, but only a start. At this time I have been told about a “magnetizer”, a person who plays with the human body’s magnetism to analyze and our mind and body. I know, many people don’t believe in this, but I do, and it worked for me.
After 30 seconds with his pendulum balancing above my hand, he told me some facts that completely shocked me because no one knew about it but I and he just read in me with a simple necklace!
He also told me “you’re very annoying and you don’t like anyone” which is a secret for no one and which is very true 🤷🏼♀️
Everything he said was true, at this moment I felt like I was completely naked.
He completed a total analysis of my mental and physical health, and he finally confirm the psychologist’s diagnostic: I do have Arnold’s neuralgia.
After a few seances with him, during which he was working on my back without ever actually touching me, my migraines started to be less frequent, and more bearable. He also gave me homeopathy but I stopped after one month because I thought there was no effect and, guess what, he felt it and gave me a lesson, I was a 20-year old adult and being yelled at by my doctor 😂
I saw him every month for over a year and went from one very strong migraine a week to two/three bearable migraines a year. I haven’t seen him for more than three years now and my migraines are coming back regularly but still not as often or as strong as it used to.
That was my personal relationship with migraines, I can imagine it is not very interesting for most people but it might help some to better understand why when I say “I can’t come, I have a migraine”, I really can’t come.
Now, if you have regular strong headaches, here is how to differenciate migraines from common headaches :
Before I experienced migraines myself, I used to think that headaches and migraines were the same things. I was WRONG! Of course, only a doctor can tell you for sure if you have headaches or migraines, but here are some key points to help you know :
The main specificity of migraines is the regularity of it. It usually occurs the same day of the week (for me it was always on a Friday) or the same period of the month around the same time (for me the headache always lasts from 4/5 PM to 5 AM).
According to the American Migraine Foundation, if you’re experiencing two or more of the symptoms below, you may have a migraine and should think about reaching out to your doctor:
- Severe head pain that’s hard to endure or even unbearable
- Throbbing sensations, often on one side of your head
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sensitivity to light, noise, and smells
- Head pain that gets worse with movement
- Head pain that makes you miss work or other activities
- Head pain that last from 4 hours to several days
I really hope for you that you will never experience migraines because God knows how painful it is. If you are lucky enough to have no idea how it feels, you can also check my video about 5 phrases that people who have migraines don’t wanna hear anymore :
I hope you learned something through this post, and as usual, stay strong ! 🙂