My earliest memory of migraine was when I was 9 years old. I was living in Hong Kong and both my parents worked full time, so I travelled to and from school alone via school bus. It wasn’t unusual for the parents, who picked up their kids on the same bus I travelled on, to see me stumbling off the bus – green in the face, crashing by the curb with projectile vomiting and then, having their gracious help in getting me back to my home.
Since then, I have lost years of my life to fighting “headaches”, “foggy brain”, “face numbness”, “neck pain”, “severe vomiting”, which was only put down to “tension headaches” or “stress”. I was only diagnosed as suffering from Migraine by a neurologist in Sydney in my adult life, as a mother who struggled to hold her life together, let alone her household. This was in 2015.
Finally, I had the answer I was looking for. I wasn’t just “stressed”. I actually suffered from a recognised illness that doctors could help me manage. Since then, my condition has gone through its ups and downs, including progressing to fibromyalgia symptoms and chronic migraine. It has also seen it improve to episodic migraine. I’ve gone through various medications, treatments and natural remedies. Migraine seems to find its way through whatever my body starts getting used to.
Today, I write this with a heavy heart that my migraines have, once again, flared back to chronic levels. I hope that by sharing my story and raising awareness of this disorder, people can be more compassionate and educated about this. It’s not just a headache. And no, I don’t need another person telling me whether I’ve tried …… (insert remedy).
I’m a yoga teacher who has found breathing techniques and stretching to have significant benefits for pain and anxiety management, as part of migraine symptoms.
My family of 2 boys and my husband are very compassionate towards my disorder, but this didn’t happen overnight. It took years of learning to be the career and supporter they are today. I’m very blessed to have their support for me.
If you identify with this story or would like to discuss your migraine journey, please join the Migraine Australia Chat Group on Facebook. Need help now? Contact Lifeline 13 11 14.