I remember well my first migraine. It was the summer between my sophomore and junior years of college. My best friend from high school was at my house and we were watching tv when a piercing pain shot through my head. After watching my mom suffer migraines for many years, I kind of figured that's what I had. I sent my friend home and went straight to bed.
I'm very fortunate that my migraines were very mild and infrequent during my time in college. Even for several years after college, my migraines were very manageable. It wasn't until this last couple years that they have become more severe and frequent. Before this last year, I went to the ER with a migraine maybe two or three times per year. Now I go about once a week.
I've learned a lot during these last couple of years. When I've been inpatient at the hospital in Chicago where my neurologists have a wing, I've been required to attend classes about migraines. I've learned what my food triggers are (aged cheese and caffeine) and I've learned how to be assertive without being aggressive about my pain. I've learned the most common food triggers and even if they don't trigger a migraine in me every time, I've started avoiding them. The most helpful "class" was a support group meeting. It was so nice to know there are other people that feel exactly like I do. Diamond Headache Clinic makes you really take advantage of every opportunity when they hospitalize you. As I've worked my way through different neurologists it's been frustrating, but I'm grateful for where I've landed.