Hello there People of the Internet 🙂
If you are reading this, you probably are familiar with the doom and gloom of migraine pain. I have good news for you my friend, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
I too experience migraines, and this is my blog that I will fill with migraine information, my random musings, and things to make you laugh despite the hurricane of brain pain that never seems to leave you well enough alone.
For this first post, I guess I should introduce myself and tell you how I entered this world of migraines and chronic illness. It’s probably not going to be very funny. Depressing actually. But this blog has got to start somewhere.
My name is Kayla, and this is me:
(I’m in a prison… tried and convicted of being too fabulous to handle.)
In October of 2012, I was 22, in my 2nd semester of nursing school and having a blast! …well, okay no. Lies. Nursing school is a lot of work, in the classroom and the hospital. More often than not, to get passing grades you have to sacrifice your sanity.
On Saturday the 14th of October, I got what I thought was just one of my occasional “bad headaches”, so I did what I usually do to cope. I lay down and had a 6 hour nap. When I woke up, I was in the most amount of pain that I had ever been in in my entire life. 10/10 pain. Nausea. Vomiting. The soft lights and noises of my house were sending cascades of pain through my cranium. I couldn’t even sit up without it feeling like someone was taking an axe to my face. Through the crying and screaming I could barely communicate with my parents. My mum wrapped me up in a blanket and drove me to the local emergency room where I got some fluids, IV meds, a diagnosis of a migraine and a “you should really see your family physician about this”.
My grades took a dive, but I somehow managed to finish and pass the semester while having a migraine every weekend, and only treating it with acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), and dimenhydrinate (Gravol). I really should have gone to my family physician when the ER doctor told me to, but I was too immersed in school, and the nursing program is so demanding that you can’t even afford to take a day off to go see your doctor.
During the short winter break, I went to a walk-in clinic to see if I could do something to prevent my migraines, and I received my first preventative medication, and my first migraine abortive medication. I then began my 3rd semester of nursing school with the hope that these medications would perform miracles and I could live a normal life. Looking back, I am absolutely floored by my naïveté.
Two weeks into that 3rd semester, I was back in the hospital again with another 10/10 migraine that my medications could not quell. On February 5th, 2013, another 2 weeks after that hospital visit, I began what would become 44 days of migraine. During those 44 days I was in the hospital another 4 times, I dropped out of school, lost my job, and pretty much shut myself off completely from the outside world. This, ladies and gentleman, was my rock bottom, or as I like to call it, my “dark phase”.
(I’m sorry this story is so sad. It gets better from here on out, I promise.)
The person who deserves all the credit for getting me out of this dark phase is a fresh out of residency doctor that was taking the place of my family physician for a couple weeks while he was on vacation. I only saw him twice, and I can’t even remember his name, but he took one look at my migraine diary and medications, and said “well these obviously aren’t working”. He switched me to a more effective migraine preventative and abortive, and I finally had a day relatively free of pain for the first time in months.
Now these medications were not the miracle meds like we all wish we could have, but they worked well enough to give me 1-3 pain-free days at a time. This gave me the drive to reconnect with the world. I began hanging out with my friends again. I even got to go to a concert on my 23rd birthday! But most importantly, I started to discover blogs on Tumblr and other platforms, written by people with migraines, just like me.
On May 1st, 2013, after several brain scans, blood tests, and neurological exams, I received my official diagnosis of Chronic Migraine with Aura.
After a couple months of observing, in September of 2013 I decide to start some blogging of my own, through a Tumblr blog I named “whatshouldwecallmigraine” where I tried to convey to common frustrations of living a life with chronic migraines through gifs. Through this blog, I met the most wonderful people; fellow migraineurs like me and other ill people who call each other “spoonies” as a term to connect all those who suffer from chronic illnesses.
Connecting with these people and realizing that I am not alone has really driven me to improve my health, and to try and get back into nursing school, so I can graduate and become and RN and help other people like me.
I have to admit, I am not a patient person. I am starting this blog because I can’t wait 3 more years to help people like me, I want to start now.
So thanks for taking the time to read all this crap. It really means a lot to me. Now you’ll know where I’m coming from in every post I write. By reading this you also become one of my most favourite people in the world. Congratulations! You win 2 high fives and a rainbow.
If you want to see something appear on this blog, just leave a comment below and I will try and put as much good and helpful information out there as I can!
Wishing you a pain-free day,