A mum-of-two has written an honest account of the painful reality of migraines, which has since gone viral after thousands of women related to the post.
Caitlin Fladager from Vancouver, British Columbia, became frustrated when friends and family couldn’t understand the seriousness of the pain she feels when suffering from a migraine.
Sick of hearing advice such as ‘drink more water‘ or ‘you just need more rest’, the 23-year-old has written a lengthy post which she has shared on Facebook to make her friends and family understand that ‘migraines are not headaches’.
Caitlin writes her post in three sections, each starting with the message that ‘migraines are not headaches’.
The young mum explains the terrible migraine symptoms she experiences, from being barely able to ‘open my eyes with feeling like throwing up’ and sometimes ‘crying from the pain’.
‘I can’t just ‘pop an Advil and be on with my day’. I can barely open my eyes with feeling like throwing up. Certain smells will make me feel nauseous.
‘I can’t be in a room with lights, let alone even look at my phone. I have to just lay there, in the dark, sometimes crying from the pain. I have to wear sunglasses if I’m in a bright place and suddenly feel a migraine coming.’
Migraines are not headaches. I can’t just “pop an Advil and be on with my day”. I can barely open my eyes without feeling like I’m going to throw up. Certain smells will make me feel nauseous. I…
Caitlin goes on to describe how sometimes she can ‘wake up in the morning, knowing I have one coming that night’.
‘I can even feel one is coming hours before it actually starts. Sometimes I wake up in the morning, knowing I have one coming that night. Saying to me ‘maybe you need to drink more’ or ‘you just need more rest and to drink more water’ is not helpful. Or saying ‘isn’t it just a little pain in your head, can’t you nap for 20 minutes then feel better??’ Is also not helpful.’
For this mum, it’s not just the physical pain that bothers her, it’s knowing that she has missed out on important events because of it.
‘I’ve missed many things because of it. Many moments, many important days. When I am invited to something that’s a few days away, I will think to myself ‘oh, I hope I don’t get a migraine that day.”
‘Normal sounds such as flushing a toilet, or a fork scraping on a plate, or a door shutting, all sounds like an earthquake is happening inside your head to someone with a migraine. It is not just a ‘little pain in your head’.’
Astonishingly, Caitlin even suffers from physical symptoms such as a visible vein on the front of her head.
Baby boy 💙✨
‘I cannot hide when I have a migraine. My vein will show you exactly where the pain is, my eyes will be watery from the lights around me, and I will be walking around holding my forehead trying to get some relief.’
‘I can’t just ignore it and get on with my day. It’s an all consuming pain, and I live with it, I deal with it the best I can, and I know I’m not alone.
Migraines are not headaches.’
Thousands of people have related to Caitlin’s post, which has now over 7,000 shares and over a 1,000 comments.
One Facebook user said, ‘Caitlin, my heart goes out to you. I have also suffered from many horrendous migraines with nauseating blurred vision at the onset. After menopause the headaches diminished but I still get blurred vision (known as ocular migraines) with very minor headaches.’
Another added, ‘This is so true. I can relate to everything except the forehead vein. That’s crazy. I will spend an entire day throwing up and unable to do anything. Sometimes I get migraines and have hardly any pain in my head but I always know when it’s a migraine.’