I just prepared my migraine calendar for my neurologist in March.
So after 4 years of not being able to work full time, I finally went back to a full-time role in September 2019 working as a learning support worker for a girl with special needs and also as a full time teaching assistant.
I had to give up my marketing career working on computers due to vision issues/a chronic vestibular disorder so I decided to try working with children instead.
My biggest triggers for a relapse are…..
❤️ Extreme stress
❤️ Bright Lights
❤️ Loud noises
❤️ Too much movement
Due to the nature of the job, I was doing 2 roles in one and also assisting with speech therapy, teaching 15 students to read, general TA work, supervising children with behavioral issues and also being an around the clock carer for another child, my migraines started to snowball.
( I wasn’t informed about the true nature of the work until my first day at the school! )
There is a migraine threshold so for example, you may be able to deal with all these triggers in one day and just about manage it, but to surround yourself with these triggers on 5 consecutive days, caused me to burn out and start to relapse again.
It’s really handy to keep a migraine calendar so you can see what your triggers are.
For me, working in an extremely stressful environment on a continuous basis was far too much. I am now back to 3 days a week working in different schools in my area.
I don’t want people to give up on thinking they can’t get their lives back or go back to full-time work. You just need to be aware of your triggers and also avoid stress as much as possible.
It’s been really hard to step back as I have come so far from basically being bedridden 4 years ago and learning to walk properly again, to being able to function almost normally, go out and drink, even go to clubs and dance. So this has been a big wake up call that it is a neurological disease and it is not something that can be cured, only managed.
When it comes to dizziness and exhaustion, I found this the hardest part as the more migraine attacks I was having, the more dizzy days I would have.
It got so severe that my eyes would swell up and the last few attacks I have had heavy nose bleeds too so don’t try and push through! I didn’t listen to my body, and it got to the stage in the morning the exhaustion was so severe it was hard to lift my arms, move my legs and I felt I had a run a marathon even though I was getting 9 hours consistent sleep.
It’s very hard not to feel a lot of guilt with this illness, and I still feel really bad at the moment that I have to go back to part-time, but this calendar has helped me put things into perspective and made me realize how bad things were getting again.
IMPORTANT – I have not gone back to where I was 4 years ago! I know that’s people’s biggest worry. It takes me about 4-5 days to recover from a bad attack and then I can function again until the next one.