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It's all just a bit of a headache really......

I thought I'd shed some light on my often talked of "headaches" so you can understand how some days I'm a bit less coordinated than others 😂

In my late teens I suffered with migraines which was put down to the type of work I did at the time (checking negatives for faults, over a lightbox). They did pretty much completely disappear when I swapped jobs, but I always had and still have a sensitivity to light. You'll often find me in sunglasses, whatever the time of year, and I promise they're not because I think I look cool 😂 I don't think cool is ever a look I have achieved hehe. I even have to walk out of certain shops due to the lights they have being too bright for me.

So then I hit later adulthood...I'm not exactly sure when the first big headache hit me to be honest, it's been a good few years now, but it was very worrying and I honestly thought it something very sinister because it was just so bad. My eyes were swollen almost shut and I felt like someone was hitting me repeatedly with a sledgehammer. I visited the doctor as a second one hit me and thankfully they were able to see the effects!

I was referred quickly to the hospital for tests and an MRI , which showed thankfully it wasn't anything sinister. That was such a relief. The problem was the headaches were infrequent and had no rhyme nor reasoning? Sometimes right side, sometimes left and occasionally both together . So a further referral to opticians ruled out any eye issues and then finally to a consultant neurologist who diagnosed them as cluster headaches. He explained all my symptoms matched and they could try me on some nasal meds when they hit. It was good to get some answers (and some medication) but I have to say I was pretty horrified in the weeks to come when reading up on this type of headache. Some sufferers get it soooo much worse than thankfully, I've ever experienced, and some get no respite. I can't imagine how awful that must be. I won't even tell you the nickname this headache has! 😔

So, now I've been on these meds for years, although do try and only take when really bad as I only get issued 4 at a time, and well, you know the faff it is to get a repeat prescription! I carry them everywhere and have actually timed them as working in a rather speedy 7mins on occasions! Impressive! But, the fatigue lingers a few days after each cluster, not great when you're a naturally sleepy person anyways hehe!

I consider myself very lucky to be in the job I'm in. I can generally work round the headaches with medication and rest. Let's face it, I only generally have an hour or two to muddle through and my classes are used to confusion 😂 I use time in between to rest. It's what my body needs to recover and I'm in a very lucky position to be able to do it.

My classes know I try never to cancel sessions, so if I do, you know it's a doozer! And if you see me about with a black eye, swollen face or just generally looking a bit pants....chances are cluster headaches have flared up. They tend to be seasonal, and weirdly, come on about the same day(s) each year. My Google memories are a great way of showing this. October seems to be particularly bad for me with the change of seasons and also March/April. This year it's been almost daily 🥴 I feel a bit frazzled.

Here's a photo of me recovering from a particularly bad episode, so you can see the difference between cluster headaches, migraines and normal headaches. This was kinda how they started but luckily it's few and far between that they get this bad. I'm VERY thankful of that. Generally it hits me mostly on the right eye, very occasionally left and thankfully on rare occasions both. They seem to be worse on a full moon too.

So now you know why I always seem to have headaches, and why sometimes it looks like I've done a few rounds in the ring 🥊 and why sometimes I have my sh*t together and other times not so much hehe. I'm hoping they'll disappear as quickly as they came on, but, well....I was born on Friday the 13th so I'm not expecting too much.....

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