A mother had to lock herself in dark rooms away from her young children for weeks due to her crippling migraines.
Kerry Spalding, 51, has suffered from debilitating migraines for 31 years and sometimes has bouts of terrible headaches bedridden for six weeks straight.
When she gets a migraine, she loses her vision, feels nauseated, and experiences photophobia – an extreme fear of light.
Ms Spalding had to spend days in the dark with no one speaking to her, including her children – Harvey, 17, and Amelia, six – and her husband, Richard, 52, an engineer.
Ms Spalding is now being treated with anti-CGRP, an antibody medication, and is receiving estrogen and nerve blocking injections which have reduced her migraine attacks from 25 days a month to five.
Kerry Spalding, 51, has suffered from debilitating migraines for 31 years and has bouts of terrible headaches
Mrs Spalding had to spend days in the dark with no one speaking to her, including her children, Harvey, 17, and Amelia, six, and husband Richard
Mrs Spalding, a hairdresser, from Hinckley, Leicestershire, said: ‘I experience extreme photophobia. I sat in the dark for three days with no one talking to me.
“When someone talks, it’s like a needle goes through my head.
‘It’s terrible. I finally got out of a really long fight and my kids had a four inch dress. It’s very depressing and isolating.
‘You can’t even sit in the garden. It’s not just a headache. I know it will end.’
Ms Spalding, a hairdresser, from Hinckley in Leicestershire, said: ‘I experience extreme photophobia’ during her attacks
She got her first migraine when she was 21, when she collapsed at a step class and had to be performed
Ms Spalding was seen by a doctor and immediately diagnosed with chronic migraine, meaning she spent more than eight days a month with symptoms
Mrs. Spalding first had a step-class assault when she was 21, when she collapsed and had to be carried.
“I had no idea what was going on. I felt a terrible pain in the top of my head like I was upside down on a rollercoaster.’
Ms Spalding was seen by a doctor and immediately diagnosed with chronic migraine – a condition in which a person suffers headaches for at least 15 days a month and eight of those with migraine symptoms.
Mrs. Spalding suffered from menstrual migraines, which coincided with her cycle, as well as vestibular migraines that caused dizziness and made her dizzy and nauseous.
Mrs. Spalding suffered from menstrual migraines, which coincided with her cycle, as well as vestibular migraines that caused vertigo
She also experiences abdominal migraines, which caused her to vomit.
Her symptoms forced her to give up her hair salon and now she can only work as a stylist once a week.
She said, “They can last up to six weeks. I have acute dizziness daily. Just walking can be difficult.
“If I suffer vision loss, it is not complete blindness. My vision is like looking through a mirror.’
Ms. Spalding says there are three phases to a migraine attack: the pre-stages where she craves carbohydrates, sugar and fatty foods, the attack phase where she experiences all of her symptoms, and the hangover phase.
She said, “The hangover phase is the most frustrating.
“It’s mild levels of pain and you become housebound. Everything will still be a huge trigger, so you need to rest to reduce the symptoms.”
Over the past two years, Mrs. Spalding has finally been able to find treatments that have eased her seizures.
She “begged” for Anti-CGRP, a common migraine drug, which reduced her attacks from 25 days a month to 10 bedridden.
Her symptoms forced her to give up her hair salon and now she can only work as a stylist once a week
Ms Spalding said she feels ‘blessed’ to have the support of her family and husband, who is also a care partner to her and hopes to run the London Marathon next year
With a combination of estrogen and nerve block injections, Ms. Spalding’s migraines have been reduced to five days a month and her vertigo symptoms have disappeared, allowing her to get outside more.
She said, “I feel great after 31 years.”
Ms Spalding said she feels “blessed” to have the support of her family and husband, who is also a care partner to her.
Next year she hopes to be healthy enough to run the London Marathon for the Migraine Trust – a charity that supports those affected by my migraines.
Mrs. Spalding said, “I wouldn’t be here without them.”