Working and chronic migraine - National Migraine...

National Migraine Centre
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Working and chronic migraine


Hi all, I am really struggling at the moment and would love to see that I'm not alone.. I have suffered with chronic daily migraine for 12 years now and although trying new treatments (currently TMS machine) my migraines still get in the way of me having a normal working life. In the last year I have already lost two jobs due to being off sick regularly with migraine but I really want to be able to carry on having as normal life as possible. I am now working part time only and still struggling to keep my attendance high. It would be great to hear how other people cope with the balance and any tips to help me out as this is really getting me down now to the point I am now also being treated for depression. Thanks

14 Replies

Not much help Alice but sending you a very big hug. Migraines are no joke and they aren't just a headache. Unless you have had one you can,t possibly understand how debilitating they are. Hope you feel better soon.

Thank you Gilly. Unfortunately so many people use migraine as an excuse that many employers don't seem to take it very seriously. I am very much hoping this all comes to an end soon and I will be able to continue with a "normal" life at work. Thank you for the hug!

All my colleagues use migraine as a "pull a sicky" stunt. It really annoys me and the other annoyance is " it,s just a headache" .

Hey, i'm 13.

I have been suffering with migraines quite recently, about 3-4 months maybe?

anyway, this has been taking a huge toll on my social life, school work, and is a huge pain in the ass.

My symptoms start off with my vision, having a little blurry dot when I look at someone, then gets worse over time if I leave it, that blurry dot becomes bigger and then comes the migraine and sharp pains in the front of my head. I immediately recognise what is happening when my vision starts playing up, and go to the med room to get a paracetamol, make sure you drink lots of water because that helps a lot..

I also find that sleeping in a pitch black room gets rid of my migraine after about an hour and a bit.

I hope this helps.

When I was at a bombfire a few weeks ago I started getting a migraine, but just as we arrived I spotted an ambulance, I thought "Oh I feel a little safer now" I told my friends that I was getting a migraine and needed to sit down, when my sister said I should go to the ambulance and ask for a paracetamol, long story short, if you spot an ambulance they can help you but make sure if it gets bad to head home and get someone to drive you xx

in reply to Hattiefj13

Oh Hattie! I hope you manage to get your migraines under control soon. Unfortunately paracetamol no longer work for me but I do constantly carry around some painkillers to see if I can get them down before it all kicks off.

I have brought papers from my migraine clinic visit to prove that l am not "just pulling sickie" and l also showed my boss my migraine prescriptions when l get them from GP. it helps to make sure they know you are legit.

in reply to Pao_De

Yeah same here but it doesn't always seem to help! Specially since no one seems sure why I get the migraines or how to stop them.

Ok, now I have something that seems to be keeping my Migraines at bay!!!

For nearly two years I have suffered with Migraines and been on different medications etc., nothing like yours Alice, but enough so my work and personal life were suffering. I have been on 75mg of Nortriptilin for a year an 1/2.

Then I paid a visit to the National Migraine centre and they suggested Magnesium Malate 1,250mg. So, For about 6 months, I tried a combination of the two, which seemed to help a little. My migraines went from 3 a week to about 1 a week. So for me this was a great help.

About 8 weeks ago, my Cousin in America suggested I take Feverfew 100mg. So I gave it a try and in the past 8 weeks, and I can honestly say that I have had two migraines within this time.

There is nothing to loose by trying. But you do need to take each of these for about 6 weeks to know if it is helping.

I hope this helps

in reply to pjh42

Thanks for the advice! I can't try any new treatments for a few weeks now as just started with the machine but I shall definitely make a note of those few to discuss with neurologist at next meeting!

Does anyme get palpitations with a migraine?

in reply to Sukura

Hi Sukura, I get a pulsating behind my eye on occasion but nothing more than that. May be something worth discussing with doctor. Sorry I can't be of more help!

in reply to Sukura

It's common for the heartbeat to thud a lot with a migraine and then it will seem to pause, followed by a delayed thud, which in turn is followed by the most sickening thudding throb of pain in the head. This may happen every few minutes during the peak of an attack

Hi Alice, I fully understand what you are feeling.

I am 28, and I had a blood clot in my brain at age 20. And a haemorrhage behind my left eye the same time, which meant they could not operate.

Every single day of my life I am in pain in my head. It gets worse throughout the day, so by the time I get home from work I am in agony.

I drag myself through every day of work and I know I am depressed from it as it gets me so down being in this pain and trying to carry on as 'normal'. I often cry when driving home from work as the pain is bad.

I've suffered migraines for around 14 years, since age 14.

I also have a blood clotting disorder called Antiphospholipid syndrome and I take warfarin. They discovered this when I had the blood clot in the brain.

Last month I was hospitalised with the agonising pain.

And I've tried every migraine drugs possible (beta blockers, topiramate, amitriptyline, triptans, over the counter meds, various anti convulsants, and in September I had an occipital nerve block at the back of my head).

Since my discharge from hospital last month, they have put me on MST tablets 15mg every 12 hours (it's morphine sulphate) and I also take oramorph on top (7.5ml every 4 hours). The morphine sometimes helps to lower the pain but it never fully takes it away.

I am also on my 4th week of acupuncture.

I'm at the end of my tether and sometimes experience some really "down" thoughts about life as the pain gets so bad and with no answers and with nothing that can take the pain away. I feel like this tonight as I sit here crying typing this message, as the pain is horrendous again tonight.

I love my job but I am finding it so impossible to work and carry on.

These migraines are destroying my life.

I read an article last week about a device called Cefaly (it's expensive, but there's no price tag for being pain free!!)

I am carrying on with the acupuncture for a couple of months, as she reckons it will take around 8 sessions before I'll notice a difference.

If I am still in this horrendous pain after the 8 sessions then I'm going to invest in the Cefaly device.

It's all good and well people saying to go in a dark room and sleep, but unfortunately I spend every evening after work doing that as I have the pain every day, which means I have no life outside of work.

Another option I've heard of is Botox.

I'd see if you can get a referral to a pain clinic, which is where I was referred this year and there I had the occipital nerve block.

Please know that I can see how you feel and what you are going through.

Can I ask, are you seeing a neurologist? Or any specialist?

Migraine is no joke, it's so disabling.

Sending you warm wishes,


Hi Louise, thank you so much for your message. I really feel for you! I am seeing a specialist in London who has helped so so much but it seems they are just naturally worsening over time. I believe the cefaly is slightly similar to the TMS machine I am currently trailing so I will have to see how this goes. I also have tried most straightforward treatments but so far no good. Botox/ acupuncture are next in list if this one is no good so keep my updated on the acupuncture! I hope you manage to find some respite soon. Chronic pain really gets you down and gets in the way of life. X

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