Laura's Migraine Fight

Laura a 23 year old teaching assistant. has been struggling with chronic vestibular migraine since 2016, but was only diagnosed with migraine in 2017. Laura shares with us the impact vestibular migraine has had on her life and the reason she has chosen to fundraise for Migraine Action:

"I have chosen to raise money for Migraine Action as I believe that the more people are aware of the condition, the easier it may be for people to be diagnosed and understand chronic migraine. My migraine journey started in November 2016. I went to bed one night feeling completely normal and woke up feeling dizzy. When I say dizzy I don’t mean full blown vertigo (as if the room is spinning) it’s almost more of a floating feeling, like the walls around me shift when I’d walk. For a few weeks, I pushed through the dizziness, trying to get on with work and forget about the symptoms. I worked full time in a spa as a Therapist, driving 40 minutes to work and back and worked six days a week. I tried to get on with everyday life presuming that it would go overtime but I knew in the back of my mind that I didn’t feel like ‘me’.

It didn’t ‘go’. In fact, the dizziness increased drastically over time. It went from being there but sort of in the back ground, to being there all the time 24 hours a day. I visited the GP numerous times with my symptoms and was told that I could have vertigo, sinus infection, ear infection, fluid behind the ear drum, all sorts of things. I was given numerous amounts of medication from nose sprays to a course of steroids but nothing seemed to reduce the dizziness!! What was wrong with me!!?

Imagine feeling like you were always dizzy, bobbing on a rocking boat 24 hours a day, your ears stuffed with cotton wool and your eyes covered with denier tights, your head being squashed in vice, your skin so sensitive to touch, your legs too weak to move and then to be told you had an ear infection!!

After many trials on different vertigo medications, trips to A&E and an emergency trip to hospital in an ambulance, I went back to the GP and told them I needed to be referred to a specialist but wasn’t sure who. I was referred to ENT who checked me for a few things he sent me for balance function testing which ruled out any problems with the vestibular system. I had an MRI scan of my brain and inner ear which was clear – no scary tumours, liaisons or anything nasty – just a normal healthy brain. I was relieved, but sad. If my brain was ok, why did I feel so poorly and so dizzy?

“Now I have been diagnosed I am following a strict migraine diet, drinking LOTS of water and have just started some medication.”

Was I going crazy? I was also sent for blood tests – all were ok, apart from B12 deficiency. I now have B12 injections every three months and B12 Shots.

I visited an ENT privately and he presumed I had post-traumatic stress from a very stressful event in my life two years earlier. Was this affecting my vision? Not convinced with the diagnosis, I was determined to get an answer and I wasn’t giving up!! On the 10th April 2017, I visited a private neurologist who finally diagnosed me with chronic vestibular migraine – which made sense!! Finally, someone who believed me! What I was experiencing existed, it was physical, people have had it before!!

This horrible condition has had a huge effect on my life, my relationships, my work and lots of other things. I have felt extremely sad and frustrated as I’ve had to have time off work and stop doing things I usually did with ease. Now I have been diagnosed I am following a strict migraine diet, drinking LOTS of water, b12 supplements, magnesium baths and taking Topiramate 50mg. I am now able to leave the house, drive a car, go out on my own and most of all smile. I am not yet “cured” but... I am fighting! I will not let this beat me!!!

Please help me to raise money for this amazing charity by donating generously via my just giving page


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