It took 9 months to finally control my Migraines

The NHS website issues news points each day, and one, in particular, caught my attention.  The NHS is rolling out a headache-busting gadget across the country.   The gadget is designed to be held against the neck and delivers a low-level electric current to block pain signals, relieving pain from people suffering from 'cluster' headaches.

Pain Killers

Approximately 4 years ago, I was diagnosed with having cluster headaches, after being told I had flu every time I went to the doctors, to finally going private and being told I suffer from severe migraines, brought on by my monthly hormonal change and that I didn't have cluster headaches!

Nine months it took to get that diagnosis!  

I have always suffered from headaches, apparently, it is hereditary which makes sense, as I remember coming home from school as a teenager and my mother often being laid up in bed "with one of her heads".

When I was younger I would occasionally get a migraine, I'd just take some pain killers, which did nothing, and go to bed.

Over the years the migraines have got worse and more frequent.  I started to get blocked sinuses which then progressed into a migraine.  It got so bad that each time I got a migraine I was taking time off work, to the point that I set a trigger off with HR.  My boss called in me to inform me I'd set off a trigger (I'd had 3 days off in 3 months) and asked if there was an underlying issue, and it was then that I realised, I did in fact have a problem.

I started to monitor my headaches, I kept a food diary to see if that was the trigger, but what it actually showed was around the same time each month I'd get a headache.  I went to the doctors 4 times with blocked sinuses which would occur around 3/4 days before my period and every time the doctor told me I was suffering from flu.

I continued to track my symptoms and times and after another couple of months of migraines I went back to the doctor whilst I had a migraine, that was not an experience I'd like to repeat!  

I pulled out my diary so I wasn't accused of having flu, and the locum told me I had cluster headaches.  She gave me lots of information and I remembered that with my company I have private health care and so the locum referred me to get the help I needed for cluster headaches.

It's very strange, but to have a clear label and not being told I had blocked sinuses and flu, was such a relief, work was amazing as they also knew I was trying to sort this out.

I went to the neurologist at the private hospital and he ran several tests on me, checks and concluded there was nothing untoward with my brain (as we all go there when we have headaches don't we) and that I do indeed suffer from Migraines, which are being brought on by my hormonal change when I have my period!

What I knew 9 months ago!

Sumatriptan Tablets

My doctor has prescribed me Sumatriptan .  It is my understanding it narrows the blood vessels, stopping the pain signals from being sent to the brain.  This brings me back to the beginning of my post, this new gadget from the NHS.

 I wonder if it does the same thing?

Since having my migraines controlled I no longer set off triggers at work, I may need to go in an hour or so later when they are bad, to allow for the tablets to kick in, but I don't lose a whole day now.

So now I see this new device, I wonder if it will be opened up to those who have severe headaches, or just those diagnostics with cluster headaches, which according to the NHS website, is more commonly found in men.


  1. I think you are lucky to get your migraines sorted in 9 months, It took me 35 years! Mine were definitely hormonal and have improved since I had the menopause. I tried all the triptans and only zolmitriptan worked. It would knock me out for a couple of hours but a migraine would knock me out for a couple of days. If that new gadget works though it will be amazing, my niece suffered cluster headaches and had to have an operation on her neck to fix them.

    1. Sorry to hear that it took so long Anne. I just feel we are being fobbed off half the time. Your poor niece, did the operation get rid of the cluster headaches?


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