Sunday 25 February 2018

What happened when I gave up caffeine?

Some claim that caffeine is their ultimate migraine trigger whilst others argue that an espresso and coke is what helps them the most during a migraine.

I never thought caffeine seemed to bring on a migraine for me or be particularly useful during an attack but after reading the 
Walton centre information sheet on chronic migraines I decided it would be worth a try cutting it out.

This info sheets talks about the importance of eliminating caffeine in patients with chronic migraine as it enables preventative medications to work more effectively.

I thought it had got to be worth a shot!

I gave up all caffeine for 5 months. This included; tea, coffee, fizzy drinks and of course chocolate.

I’m a big tea drinker so initially found the first few weeks very hard, missing my morning cuppa! I soon got into drinking peppermint tea instead which was a great caffeine free alternative for me.

For those who say they could never give up their morning coffee… trust me you can! If you’re in chronic pain day in day out, you will try anything!

Secretly hoping that giving up my favourite tea and chocolate would somehow help my headaches I persevered through several months caffeine free. It definitely gets easier just like most things although sweets are not the same as an Easter egg come Easter Sunday!

I didn’t see any real change in my head after 5 months so decided I had probably given it long enough and would reintroduce caffeine back into my diet.

I did this in the best way I can imagine possible, with a real chocolat chaud (pretty much liquid gold) in the French alps! It was delicious.

Subsequently I have occasionally tried a strong coffee during an attack to see if it can kick it, but with no real success.

Have you tried eliminating caffeine for your migraines? Do you think it’s a trigger, help, or doesn’t make a difference to your migraines?

Saturday 24 February 2018

Success Story: Abi

I often think there are not enough success stories being shared in the Migraine community. People do find treatments that work for them. People do get relief from their daily pain. People do get their life back!
I want to share with you beautiful Abi’s story.
“ My headaches started in 2015 a few days after I returned from my 3rd trip to Mexico. My GP diagnosed me with sinusitis and left it as that. The headaches were twice a week at this point. As months went by my headaches began to increase to daily and they began to last the whole day with a migraine twice a month. I went back to my GP and was prescribed amitriptyline (these just helped me sleep at night and didn't help my headaches), I was also prescribed propanolol which didn't help either.

After months of perseverance at the GP I finally got a referral to neurology at my local hospital. I saw Mr Panicker from The Walton Centre (Liverpool) who diagnosed me with chronic daily headaches / chronic daily migraines.
He asked me to try a trial of nortriptiline (which is similar to amitriptyline but without the sleepiness side effect). I tried that for 3 months before going back to my GP to try the alternative of pizotifen. These gave me crazy nightmare dreams and I couldn't continue. I went back to see my consultant in Feb 2017 who suggested we tried nerve block injections. 

In April I had my 1st set. He injected 2 injections into my head on each side at the very back above my neck. They stung and I slowly felt my head going numb. The noise wasn't that nice as you could hear the liquid going in but It was all worth it I knew. The solution he injected helped me for 6-7 months with no headaches at all!⠀⠀
In October I felt the headaches returning daily and I called up the Walton Centre who booked me in again. I had them yesterday and now today my head just feels like it's bruised but I know it's worth it. For me this has been the best help I have received and for me to suffer 0 headaches for several months is amazing as you can imagine!”


Friday 23 February 2018

Hello & Welcome

The Migraine Life started on Instagram in 2016 (check us out there for more fun and games).

It was a space which enabled me to share my journey with chronic migraine, whilst connecting with others who were going through a similar experience.

I couldn’t believe how many other people there were all over the world, battling chronic migraine just like me. You’re all absolute superstars!

I hope that by sharing my experience of living with chronic migraine, it will help other migraineurs feel less alone and help educate others, to understand what it is really like to live with this condition.

I aim to continue to raise awareness and be a voice for migraineurs, advocating positive change.

If you like real talk, no nonsense and plenty of wit, then you will get along just fine here. I truly believe that the ability to be able to find humour in what is a rather bleak situation is so important and is something I have clung onto from the very start.

I believe that I will recover from chronic migraine. I’m not expecting to become pain free overnight but I do hope to gain control of my migraines and be able to work again.

I’m excited to share some longer posts with you on here and continue to grow our community over on Instagram.

Wishing you all low pain days...dreaming of a zero.  
Amy x