Today was an extremely rough day for me. I have chronic daily migraines and some of that is attributed to a condition called pseudotumor cerebri and the rest is attributed to who knows what. Pseudotumor cerebri basically means that the fluid that circulates around most people's skulls, kinda just collects at the base of my brainstem and that then creates pressure and pain. The way for this pressure to be relieved is by having a spinal tap, where they take a long needle and insert it into my back to relieve the pressure that has built up by removing the excess fluid (extremely painful). After the procedure I am then required to lay on my back as still as possible for about 4 hours or so to attempt avoiding a headache. If a headache should occur then another procedure may be necessary called a blood patch. This is basically the same thing from the viewpoint of the patient, but the pressure that is created has a tendency to be much more intense. The doctors take your blood and attempt to basically fill in some of the fluid that was removed.
The condition that I have is managed by water pills that I take every single day morning, afternoon, and night. The water pills are used to regulate my fluid so that a lumbar puncture is less likely to be needed. The pressure from my condition can also cause vision problems as the pressure can build up behind one's eyes, so that has to be checked from time to time. The worst part about having chronic migraines is that it is truly chronic and daily. I have a migraine about 4-5 days out of each week, each ranging in severity. Thankfully I am working at a job where I have great insurance and I pretty much live at the doctor so I have been able to try as many different solutions as possible and I have tried EVERYTHING. Everything including locking myself in a dark room, taking excessive amounts of OTC medicine which is not healthy, bouncing from doctor to neurologist to doctor to specialist.. Life is hard with daily migraines, having head pain is serious and not fun, especially with a daily job, fiancee, children, and other responsibilities. Sympathy is never the intended goal when telling someone about my migraines, because I know I'll live and get over it.
I'm sharing this with you because headaches do not affect a small percentage of people, they affect many, many people and are serious. I want others to know that you are not alone. While it's possible to keep on truckin and do the day to day with a migraine, sometimes it is so bad that that's not an option. Sometimes migraines are so debilitating that it's hard to function. I have been dealing with my migraines for 10 plus years now and have talked to many different doctors and neurologists, tried many different treatment options and sometimes it's rough to go down this road alone. People who have never actually had a migraine can sympathize and empathize, but they will never truly know the pain migraine sufferers go through. I created a Facebook page for fellow migraine sufferers, Go Here , to hopefully open the door for other people who suffer what I suffer from and to offer a platform for other people to sound off and give treatment suggestions. The most important thing to me with my migraines is to always smile through the pain, I will never allow the pain I'm going through to cause people to think I'm weak or incapable. The pain I'm in may bring me to tears, but those tears can be wiped away and I'll still be there just as strong as ever ready for whatever life has for me and vice versa, just because I'm smiling doesn't mean I'm not in pain.