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taking on all manner of daft challenges for Macmillan Cancer Support while living with Chronic Daily Migraine

Running for migraines – my London Marathon charity place!

Ermagerd. OMG, I completely forgot about my London Marathon charity place, I wasn't successful in the ballot, and some people I met cycling in Africa this time last year for Macmillan received their Golden Bond places weeks ago.

Then today I got an email from a charity I really want to support: The Migraine Trust. I have migraines A LOT as you can read from my sponsorship page, but am determined to overcome them, this is a challenge that I wholeheartedly ACCEPT.

BRING IT ON.
JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Soldiering on

So I was signed off work for 2 weeks, 3 weeks ago. I've had one week back at work and my manager kindly agreed to a shift in my working hours: I work an hour later, giving me longer in bed. I've had my medical insurer approve a course of acupuncture. If you've not read all my moaning, I suffer from chronic daily migraine. Even the occupational therapist at work doesn't *quite* understand it and got the diagnosis wrong on my referral form.

Many people fail to realise that migraine is a neurological disease, like epilepsy. Approximately 1% of the population suffers from chronic migraine, which is when migraines occur on 15 or more days per month - I am in this 1%.

The Migraine Research Foundation states that "those who suffer from chronic migraine use a combination of acute, preventive, and complementary treatments to try to control or lessen the disabling pain. Depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances are common for those with chronic migraine. These sufferers are often significantly disabled, and their overall quality of life is greatly diminished".

And boy did that resonate yesterday.

At my Occupational Health appointment I spent the best part of an hour crying about how my career is ruined. How I'm never going to get promoted again and am resigned to a life in a job I don't like just so I can pay the bills. I thankfully however sleep very soundly. It's a royal pain in the bum. I got myself into such a flip yesterday that I made my migraine worse (I called in sick but felt guilty for being 'weak' and went to work to shut up my pride). So yes, acupuncture, the 'complementary therapy' I'm giving a whirl...

My new physiotherapist Lisa is great, the acupuncture was painful in parts but mostly relaxing. When I got up from the bed I was dizzy and light-headed, such an odd feeling, but was back at my desk in 10 minutes - the acupuncture/physio is based in my office - awesome huh!

The points she used were on my hands between thumb and index finger, near my crown, and a few points on my neck and shoulders.

I really hope it helps. I am in the meantime trying to secure funding for a business idea of mine so that I can - when I get on top of these migraines - become self-employed. Fingers crossed!!!!!!

PS my Mum blogged here FINALLY about our trip to Belarus in May to meet our family for the first time - check it out:
http://www.wakefieldfhs.org.uk/blog/2013/10/russian-family-history-programme-pt-2/

Dear Migraine Diary

I've been signed off work sick for 2 weeks. My consultant has changed my medication and suggested I take a break from my job while I adjust to my diagnosis and all the life-changing things it *could* entail, as well as my new medication - which seems to have made a huge difference! I'm sharp, I'm 'with it' - I don't feel like I've been drugged like I did with topriramate. My head hurts a lot less - is this the meds? Is this the time off work? Is it the ridiculous amount of sleep I am getting? Am I just having a good week meaning another 20 days of migraine is due at 4.40pm on Sunday?

This is the thing with migraine. Even when you're not suffering you live under its grasp, always watching and waiting for a sign that another is coming like the worst storm you ever saw, its rains washing away all your hopes and dreams in some tsunami only leaving you weak and bare to everything the world throws at you.

Last week I was really down, rock bottom. I was writing my notice to my boss in my head, wondering what would happen if I jumped on the next train to the middle of nowhere in Scotland to be all alone just to escape from the ache in my head. The consultant saw this on my face even before I mentioned that I could do with a break from my own life and ordered to me to take sick leave for a fortnight.

I've been distracting myself with art and writing about music but in the back of my head I am worried sick about what is going to happen to me.

But less of a hurty head, this is good news.

Now I'm stuck at home scared to travel too far alone in case I get struck down and I feel really stuck in the middle of nowhere :( I can't seem to get anyone to visit me during the week and it's adding to the whole depressing migraine melting pot which already contains a lot of Ryan Adams and a huge slice of my sanity. I'm visiting friends Thursday though and going away to Wales this weekend for some country air and, um, kitesurfing.

Still, The Migraine Trust have been sending a diary around to sufferers and here's my bit: I started it a week after diagnosis but then I took weeks to write the next bit.

Kim's Migraine Diary, 06.09.2013

Bigger version here

Last week was Migraine Awareness Week and it seemed like a success... I designed this infographic for The Migraine Trust, which they put on their Facebook page and it received 195 shares from their page alone, some profile picture changes and lots of likes. It was a really nice feeling to help out. Something positive from spurtling volcano of crap that is my brain nerves.

migraineinfographic

I think I'm one of those lacking in employer understanding...they're very nice about it BUT how can my office change their lighting and entire set-up just for me? Not possible. I'm dreading going back to work and being made to feel guilty about the time off. About how every had to dig in and make up for me not being in the office (I'm a secondee so I can think of many retorts to that). I don't want to patronise and shove an employment advocacy pamphlet in my boss' in-tray.

Time off work, is it more stressful than being there and TRYING TO LOOK OKAY WEARING SUNGLASSES AT YOUR DESK?

This is a royal pain in the arse.

To everyone who found the lady who woke up with the Chinese accent funny

You arseholes.

(this was on the BBC last night)

Sure, she sounds funny. Do you laugh at bald cancer patients too?

My speech sometimes goes when I have a migraine but always comes back. That lady must have been distraught, suicidal. And imagine all the mockery she endures on a daily basis?

I've been in bed all day feeling like my head is stuck in a vice, getting tighter and tighter while at the same time scared to eat in case I'm sick, scared to stand in case I fall over. I'm sat in the dark, writing this on my phone with the brightness turned right down and my eyes burning. I'm bored off my tits, I want to be at work. I want to be achieving like I was months ago before this illness came along. I want to see my friends!

I looked down at my knee earlier to see a huge bruise and gravel scab from where I lost my balance the other day.

I deal with chronic daily migraine everyday and I am by no means the only one. Some only get it a few times a month but they still suffer. Migraines ruin lives. Today I decided to listen to my body and stay off work. Last night I was at some music awards but waded through and left before the end.

Migraines are not to be laughed at, this week I almost quit my job.

Name My Pet Migraine

A migraine is for life, not just for Christmas in my case.

I need to give my migraine a name. Not Dave, he's every moth I see. Baxter is my hamster, Wheatley and Macheté are my guinea pigs. Any ideas? I'm sick of the word 'migraine', it's such a stigma tag. Suggestions on a virtual postcard in the comment box below..

Be sure to share this image via http://ow.ly/i/32Pp5 for Migraine Awareness Week.

Owly Images

I read this from Migraine Monologues earlier about migraine food cravings as part of the Migraine Awareness Week Blog Challenge.

In between the nausea my belly rumbles for things like lasagne, Magnum ice creams, victoria sponge cake...and thankfully, chai tea. That stuff is a hug in a mug and the health benefits way outweigh those of hot chocolate - phew! The kind of migraine I suffer with doesn't have a trigger which is really annoying as its unavoidable, getting out of bed can cause it (like this morning). Thankfully the sickness goes no further than nausea, unlike most sufferers.

Read more about Migraine Awareness Week here

#MigraineAW2013
#MHAW2013