National Migraine Centre

Hi im suffering from migraines and recurring vertigo atm .. I want to know how others manage with kids and these issues?

Ive been suffering from migraines since last September and recurring vertigo has just started recently .. I've been off sick more in the last 8 months than I have in my whole working life and I'm wondering if its worth leaving my job for the foreseeable future to make sure im healthy or do I carry on working and just try to manage? I have two kids amd never know when an attack is going to happen, I take amitrptyline before bed and sumatriptan tablets when a migraine strikes but they both floor me so I'm not much use to anyone :( .. is anyone going through the same as me?

5 Replies

Leanne, I have been there in the past with migraines and chronic pain. It is slightly easier now that the kids are old enough to get themselves home from school (and the older one can get to school as well) and entertain themselves until their dad gets in. Holidays can be harder as I feel a bit bad about not being able to take them places or do stuff with them if I'm having a bad week.

It was much harder when they were smaller and still at nursery. I once had to get the 2 year old to fetch the phone so I could ring for help because I couldn't get off the floor. I'm sure the other parents at school thought I was on something dodgy because of my crazy medicated eyes. I have also been very selective about volunteering for stuff at school, and often appeared less than enthusiastic at plays etc - but then it's bad enough listening to a recorder recital when you're well, let alone when your head is about to explode.

As for work, for the most part it has been a life-line, a welcome distraction, although trying to work through a migraine can be a nightmare. I work part time which means I can get a bit of rest on my days off. You say your migraines started last September - I bet this feels like forever, but it's not that long ago. There are still lots of medications you can try. Think carefully before you give up your job - it is not easy to find work at the moment.

It's hard, I don't know how I have muddled through it but we just do!


Sorry to hear you are suffering. I worked for 4yrs with severe chronic daily migraines. I then quit my job as I had hit the 20yrs mark. Was going to take a short break then look for another job. My migraines were still severe. I then fell pregnant unexpectly with my 2nd at 40yrs. My first was 14yrs at that time. My son is now 4yrs. My migraines never stop day & night. The last 4yrs have been so hard. At least him now being older is slightly easier sort of. I cant work as I am in so much pain non stop. Most days I am in tears but have to keep'going. My son needs a mum. I can certainly understand what you are going through to an extent. I wish I had the magic answer for you. Just being on this forum is helpful.


Hi there,

Firstly my heart goes out to you. Headaches and children together are incredibly hard and exhausting and life can feel sad and lonely.

My situation is different as I suffer from chronic cluster headaches but the same in that I find it hard to work and look after the children. Over the last 4 years I have realised that the time I spend with my kids is so valuable. They are five and seven. When a headache comes, I am not capable of looking after them so I have a corner with ready to go toys and activities that they know to go to when I am not well. Also the eldest knows how to work the DVD if all else fails. I have explained to them what happens and why sometimes they need to play alone. When I am well we make the most of every day and go on "adventures" together!

I cut from five to four days at work which helps with my rest - headaches make you so tired don't they? And it means I can be there after school one day a week. I wish I could afford more.

I think talking to your children and explaining a little of why you can't always be there is a good thing- it has helped my family. And trying to make sure they know what to do and have something to do when you are poorly.

No mum is perfect but we do the best we can and I'm sure you're doing brilliantly despite the very hard job you face daily with work, children and pain.

Good luck to you

All best wishes



I have had vertigo since last September and this seems to have become worse, the docs originally decided it was an ear problem but after endless (pointless) tests they have now decided it may be down to recurring severe migraines. The vertigo came first then migraines seemed to come in December. Does this sound similar to anyone else who has actually managed to get a diagnosis? Back to the GP this afternoon to start the reffering process all over again after hitting another dead end with ENT (who suggested migraines but wouldn't refer me to neurologist unless I took yet another day out of work for a 3rd hearing test!) Hows best to get to see a neurologist? All feedback extremely welcome!


ENT diagnosed my migraines. I'd been suffering from facial pain for years and put the dizziness and flashing lights and nausea down to pain medication side effects. But a GP thought I'd better go to ENT just for a check and they said it was migraine straight away, and that it's possible to get them without the headaches - I get both types. About an hour after the appointment I had the most dreadful headache (probably as a result of all their tests), and once I'd been reading up and keeping diaries, I realised that I'd had migraines for years. (and now I'm off the pain meds and still getting the strange symptoms it's obviously not that).

ENT just said to take migraleve and avoid cheese, red wine and chocolate. So I did all that and nothing happened - none of those things are my triggers! In the end I went back to my GP who started to sort things out.

It seems to differ around the country but where I live the hospital consultants can only make suggestions about referrals on to other departments. It's the GPs who pay for the referrals so they're the only ones who can make them. It's a bit inefficient for the patients, but it's just the game we have to play.

(I know those tests seem pointless but dizziness can be a symptom of all sorts of really nasty conditions so they always do them to rule them out).

Good luck.


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