A mother who has had debilitating migraines since giving birth to twins said she “got her life back” thanks to a new drug.
Jill Savidge, 62, said she experienced her first migraine almost immediately after giving birth to twins 20 years ago.
Jill said that she felt an incredible pain in her head that was accompanied by vomiting – something she had never experienced before.
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She has had migraines every month since then – a condition that has worsened since the menopause.
For the past 10 years, Jill, who lives in Chester, has been a patient at the Walton Center but no treatment she tried helped.
Jill told the ECHO, “After menopause, I got two of them every month and headaches instead of just one really bad one every month of three or four days in bed.
“Even after the pain subsided, I was exhausted and felt like I’d been hit with a sledgehammer.”
Jill described the symptoms of her migraines as extreme pain in her head that sometimes went into her jaw, making her feel like she had a bad toothache.
This pain was accompanied by vomiting for 24 hours and often left her bedridden and exhausted for days afterwards.
She added, “Some people get flashing lights at the onset of migraines, but I never got that.
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“Sometimes I got a stiff neck or a metallic taste in my mouth, or constant thirst and drinking water did not relieve the feeling of thirst.
“Nothing would work for me, I’ve tried about twenty different drugs over the years.
“It really got me down. I used to live in fear of the pain, the pain is so intense. I found it really hard to deal with.
“And nothing could alleviate the pain, so I knew I had to deal with it over and over again.”
In February of this year, Jill’s advisor at the Walton Center, Dr. Silver, she put her on a three-month study with a new migraine drug called Ajovy.
The once-monthly injection works by targeting the process by which proteins cause blood vessels in the brain to swell, leading to the symptoms associated with migraines.
Since prescribing the drug, Jill said for the first time in 20 years, she hadn’t experienced the debilitating migraines that affected her home, work, and social life.
(Image: Jill Savidge)
Jill said, “I don’t have to spend time in bed now. The really bad ones with the vomiting and the severe pain are all gone and I don’t experience them at all.
“Sometimes when I’m tired I get a headache in the evening, but I just go to bed and know that when I wake up in the morning I’ll be fine.
“In a way, you don’t know yourself. I’ve found people who invited me to do things and I thought, yes, I can do that now.”
Jill’s life has improved so much that she raised money for the Migraine Trust by cycling a marathon on the bikes at Nuffield Gym in Chester.
To donate to the Migraine Trust on Jill’s Go Fund me page, click here
According to information on the Walton Center website, migraine is recognized by the World Health Organization as the third most common disease in the world.
An individual attack is considered to be one of the most debilitating experiences anyone can have, affecting 5.85 million (one in seven) adults in the UK. Around 100,000 people miss school or work every day due to this disease.
Migraine attacks can be triggered or made more likely by other factors such as stress, weather changes, shift work, and the menstrual cycle.
In Jill’s case, her migraines were caused by postpartum hormonal changes that became more chronic after menopause.
More information and help for migraineurs can be found on the NHS website.
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