My Facebook status from 9 October 2014 “2 nerve block injections into my neck/scalp. Almost puked twice, almost fainted twice, and can’t feel my scalp at the moment. I have over emotional tears of relief and have spent the best £250 of my life”. That was my first visit to the National Migraine Centre when I had to be accompanied by my Mum and young son as I couldn’t have made the journey from Hampshire on my own. I had a permanent headache and five migraines a week. I couldn’t cut up my own food and struggled to wash my own hair as I couldn’t use my right-hand side properly. I had been on several different medications over the years but nothing seemed to help, I was at a real low point in dreadful pain when an internet search threw out the lifeline that for me has been the National Migraine Centre. I got a cancellation and two days later I was on my way.
I remember being so nervous going to that first appointment, my last advice from one GP had been to “just live with it”, I wasn’t yet 40 then, had a child and a job in the emergency services. Migraine was taking over my life, affecting how I parented as I never knew if I would be able to go for that day out, affecting my work as I needed reasonable adjustments and had time off sick. Its also hard for people around you. I can honestly say having a doctor who truly understands what having a migraine is like was an incredible feeling, someone that understood the emotional as well as the physical impact of migraine. I have had occipital nerve blocks and now have Botox with Dr Munro. In addition to the medical treatment of my migraine I have through their knowledge grown to learn so much more about migraine, about me, and about how to manage them. I have also learned how to help my child as he has them too.
I look back on this now four years later and cannot believe the difference in my quality of life. I take far less medications, I have trained in hypnotherapy using self-hypnosis to help with the pain and have less migraine incidents. I have gone from the five a week to maybe one a month or less and they do not last as long, usually less than a day. I no longer feel sick or faint as I am not nervous, anxious or in pain. When I am in the waiting room I always try to put others at ease remembering so well how I felt that day in 2014. Why would I recommend this to a fellow migraine sufferer when places are offering Botox locally now? Because of the specialist, advice and information I have received about managing migraine that backs up any medical treatment.
That first visit seems a lifetime ago, the difference for me has been truly life changing!