Photos from top to bottom are describe by Will. “The brace I sleep in when I have a migraine. Miami J Collar with the Occian Back. I need a new sleeping brace. It’s old. The second photo is brace I wear with my gel pack or out and about. My Aspen Vista TX. The third photo is the gel packs I keep in the freezer. Large in for my neck and the other one for my eyes.”
Learn about Chronic migraines here https://www.migrainetrust.org/about-migraine/types-of-migraine/chronic-migraine/
Find information on depression here https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/depression-signs-and-symptoms.htm
Join Will as he shares his story of living with chronic migraines and his journey with depression. Please be respectful of him and his journey.
My name is Will Randolph. I am 38 years old. I live in a small town in the south western corner of Colorado called Coretz.
I suffer from chronic migraines and depression. It all started when I was 28.
I used to be the rock, everyone could lean on. I was always dependable at home as well as work. The job I had the longest was seven years. In that seven years I called in seven times. I was always going out with friends to concerts or going camping and a bunch of other stuff.
After I started getting migraines all of the dependability slowed way down. I started having to cancel plans with friends and calling in sick at work. At first no one understood. I lost a few jobs because of my medical condition. I got lucky that I have not lost any friends. With calling in sick to work and losing jobs my home life went downhill. My wife and I both work and barely made ends meet when I was well. We struggled for two years trying to make things work. She got second developed a blood clot in her lungs that went to her heart. She passed away from that and took my unborn son with her. She left behind a daughter (from a previous marriage) her family and me. I soon started drinking heavily. I lose my wife and son. I lose my mind and everything else. My migraines got really bad. My aunt, uncle, and cousin took me in and helped me to stop drinking. By this time I lost three jobs. I had a few more jobs and girlfriends that I lost after that. Most recently I had a girlfriend for three years. I loved her more than life it’s self. She decided to leave me because she couldn’t handle everything that came with my migraines. She thought that Advil and Maxalt should be able to stop a Migraine. She swears that I am addicted to pain pills because I go through so many in a month. I average 17 migraines a month and that don’t count the days after the migraine starts. She also thinks that when I go hide from everything I was wanting to be lazy.
Most mornings I wake up with a headache. I start to move around and can tell if it’s going to get worse or better. If my pain scale is a 5 or below I will take my meds and set up and wait for it to go down and proceed with my day. If it’s 5-8 I will take my meds and put on cold gel packs. I have one for my neck and eyes. I also put on a neck brace. I have found it helps with my migraines. My neck will hurt really bad before and during a migraine. If it’s 8-10 on the pain scale I take my meds and head to the ER. The ER in my town is so slow that if I didn’t take my meds before going I think I would die before they can in to help me.
One of the hardest things I have found with chronic migraines is the depression. Having to stay away from noise and light and smells usually means you are alone. I have missed out on a lot of family time because of this as well as work. If I can be up working I have found I am a happier person. My doctor has me on antidepressants but that doesn’t help me missing my family and time with them at work.
If I could give any new camera to this disease seven device it would be this. Learn all you can about this and try to educate the people around you about it as well. This will help everyone be on the same page when it comes to having attacks. Try everything you can to prevent them from happening and try everything that helps. The more things you have that help you hopefully will lessen the pain you endure. Ask other people that suffer from migraines what helps them and what triggers them. I have yet to find anyone who suffers from any illness to not give advice and try to help their fellow person out.
The people who don’t suffer migraines I would try to tell them one thing. Be kind and compassionate. Don’t add to the stress and pain we already are suffering from. Granted everyone worries about money. We may worry more about it. Because there is not a lot we can do to help our situation. We already feel helpless don’t make it worse. Anyone who suffers from migraines will tell you they would rather have a long day at work then have a migraine. Also fighting a migraine is very taxing on your body and mind. We sleep more because were trying to recuperate from them when we are having a migraine attack and you ask us a question and we just can’t spit out the answer like a normal person does not mean that we are slow. No one can really think when they’re in a great deal of pain. Don’t tell us stuff like taking an Advil and you’ll be fine, or it can’t be that bad, or you don’t look sick or don’t dwell on the pain. You wouldn’t tell someone that who has a broken leg when are you can see is their face.
I have learnt a lot having this disease. The most important thing I have learned is to be kind and compassionate to everyone. When someone says they are in pain don’t dispute it. They may not have as high of pain threshold as you do in that area. Their pain is no less than yours.
Thank you Will for sharing your story. As a fellow migraine sufferer I do hope that your next migraine isn’t to bad. You are an overcomer, keep pushing forward.