My name is Candice and I live in Dubuque, Iowa. I’ve been getting migraines for as long as I can remember, although I was not diagnosed until I was eleven. I wasn’t diagnosed with migraines though. I was diagnosed with cluster headaches and told that I wasn’t eating right. It wasn’t until a year or two later that I experienced my first migraine with aura and nausea. Doctors then diagnosed me (and my older brother!) with migraines, but offered no help with how to live with them. I was just told to take OTC medication.

When I get a migraine, the pain is often the very last thing to hit. I mostly suffer from aura and dizziness. I also find it very hard to complete my thoughts when I have an attack. Many times I lie flat on my back and the room around me is spinning like I’m on a merry-go-round. [Tweet this.] Often, the dizziness results in nausea and then an extreme throbbing pain that lasts for days.

I sometimes miss school and work because of my migraines, but I generally try to push through on even the worst days by continuing my normal activity. This usually results in my feeling very sick and being down for a few days, but I don’t know how else to live with my migraines. I cannot let them stop my life.

In the last five years however, I have experienced what I think may be hemiplegic migraines. They begin with aura or vertigo (sometimes both), and as the migraine progresses, I lose the feeling of my right limbs and right side of my face and tongue. I also experience paralysis in my fingers and wrist on my right hand. The migraine pain is always on the left side of my head behind my eyes and above my temple. Twice in the last eight months I’ve had migraines with paralysis and loss of sensation. Both times doctors blew me off and told me to go home to bed. They accused me of taking diet pills or caffeine-loaded drugs or of starving myself.

When I am seen by a doctor, I am not taken seriously. I’m a victim of ignorance about migraines. I need to educate myself since they won’t so I can better live with the attacks. I deal with migraines regularly, and I need to understand what is happening so I can possibly prevent some of the attacks. I have started researching migraines, and a lot of the information I’ve found says the same thing… there is no cure and no one really knows why people get migraines. I’m just tired of being pushed off as some doctor’s headache (no pun intended)! I love life and want to live it, but I can’t get out of bed when I have a migraine. I need to learn to cope with what I have, so I can live to the fullest. [Tweet this.]