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Migraine during a lesson?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by im1190, May 21, 2012.

  1. I'm sorry if this isn't really in the right section - I just need some advice and hopefully reassuring words.

    I'm currently on the first year of a BEd Primary course and have a placement coming up next week. On my last placement I had to miss a day (thankfully only one) due to a migraine - and luckily I woke up with it, I'm just really worried what I'll do if I begin to have one in a lesson I'm teaching, or even in the school day at all?

    I've suffered with migraines since I was 12 and usually get horrible aura and visual disturbances, nausea often leading to me actually being sick, and a debilitating headache. In fact, every aspect of it is debilitating. Once I've got a migraine tablets such as Migraleve are pretty useless. It seems like I'll just definitely have to leave the school as soon as they'd allow me to as the only thing that helps is to sleep it off in a dark room, but I'm scared this will be humiliating and embarrassing - especially if I'm leading a session? What do I do in this situation?

    I only get them every few months (although recently have been getting them after exercise which is also worrying - PE????) and when stressed - so thankfully they are few and far between, but I'm really worried a couple could ruin my placement.

    How do you cope with it if you're in school? Are your headteacher and colleagues supportive? By the way, I do try hard to monitor what I'm eating, when I eat, my sleeping pattern and things.

    Thank you so much in advance for your replies :)

    ROSIEGIRL Lead commenter

    I can't help you with most of your post I'm afraid (I'm sure someone will) but I just wanted to say that the only time my daughter has had a migraine is after exercising on an empty stomach, so maybe that may be the answer to the PE issue and a quick snack beforehand might solve that one.
    Also, if you haven't already done so, post this on Health and Wellbeing too - you should get some good support there.

  3. tangerinecat

    tangerinecat New commenter

    I suffer from migraine, and thankfully haven't had one in my most recent school.
    Like you, I get the aura (I find this the worst aspect - more so than the headache), sickness and also numbness down my left side. Sometimes I forget the words for things.
    I know when it is going to come on in advance - partly because I burp a few times (weird, I know), partly I 'just know'. I take medication immediately, as this is often enough to hold it off until a later time. If I have Zomig - great, as generally this (for me) defeats it. Otherwise, it's Excedrin Migraine (from America) which will postpone the event for about 6 hours - long enough to get cover and drive safely home.
    I would visit your doctor, and see if there are any solutions that might work for you that s/he could help you with.
  4. tangerinecat

    tangerinecat New commenter

    Oh, my triggers are: flickering lights, tiredness, stress, low weather pressure - a combination of two or more of these.
    My friend (also a teacher) swears by eating something as soon as his comes on, which seems to lessen the effects enough for him to see the day through - doesn't work for me though.
  5. Other than taking tablets straight away there isn't a great deal you can do sadly :( If you get one just speak to someone straight away and they will sort something out- if you're on placement the class teacher will be around to cover for you if needs be! I've just about managed to last an afternoon with one- think the thought of having to look after the class allowed me to push through but I wouldn't recommend it at all!! Just remember- everyone gets ill and on a whole people are very understanding. If the migraines are becoming more regular it might also be worth speaking to your doctor about something preventative- you can take beta blockers and v low dosage anti depressants (specifically for that not depression). Hope you get on well :)
  6. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    my dad and uncle swear by eating something really stodgy like doughnuts as soon as they come on, then getting to bed asap. they say it helps with the feeling awful afterwards, too. i've not had a proper migraine for years, but i could never do anything about mine. one once came on in a nightclub - that was interesting with the lights and everything...
  7. lumpyloo

    lumpyloo New commenter

    I've always been supported and my mum was as well. There is always something a school can do to cover you. I've always felt them coming so can let SMT know straight away and then they have 15-20 minutes to sort something out - in my case they are lucky because if I rest I can go back in. Surely if they let you go home to rest you are more likely to be in the next day and they can avoid supply. I know if my colleagues had them I'd help them out.
    If you are ill you are ill. Most teachers work through bad colds, etc so SMT should understand if you say you cannot work you cannot work.
  8. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    I have urticaria (with allergy symptoms) which can be brought on with stress. Fortunately, I've only had to leave the classroom once because of it and I make sure I have my tablets and epi-pen to hand. Just make sure that SLT and mentors know about it so if you have to send for help then they will be prepared for why and how to help.
    If you don't get them too often then you'll be fine but do make sure that people know about it, so a care plan can be put into use for you!
  9. I don't remember a time in my life when i didn't get migrains although they have changed over the years.
    I always carry my tablets with me and take one at the very first sign - i always have abottle of water with me too. that means that i can carry on for a while and usually manage to get through the rest of the day and then have an early night. It's funny how what helps one person won't help another. eating or even the very thought of eating anything will have me running for the loo.
    I take sumatriptan from the doc or Imigran over the counter - they're the same except for the price!
    i always make sure i eat regularly, drink plenty of water, try to have a regular sleep pattern. what gets me is the stress part of the job - very often not even being aware of the stress. but ofr example i am extra careful if i have an obs coming up because i know it's stressful even if i don't feel it - that might sound odd but its true.
    if you are really prepared for it you should be fine.
    good luckwith your placement.
  10. Obviously every school is different but my experience in two different schools has been the same - very understanding.

    Has only happened to me twice in ten years of teaching, so don't panic too much. The last time was pretty quick and severe. It started while I was reading to the class and I realised I couldn't see part of the page! School were amazing, was helped downstairs to medical room, then one member of staff took me home while another drove my car home during the lunch hour. I am fortunate to work with some great colleagues.

    A migraine is the same as any illness which catches you out, food poisoning/stomach bug could come on during the day too. You would expect a school to allow you to go home then. Don't know how severe your migraine is but I can barely co-ordinate my limbs let alone teach.

    If you are not fit to work, you are not fit. Doesn't matter why. Most schools will be understanding.

    You will have enough to worry about, don't add this!
  11. I suffer with migraines and have had them start during lessons a couple of times. I do take pills but they only lessen the pain. Make sure you speak with your mentor and explain that it might happen and that you will have to leave. I've always told my headteachers so that they are prepared that it might happen. I've also always been upfront with the children I teach and explained that I sometimes get very poorly quickly and will need to go home to get better.
  12. upsadaisy

    upsadaisy New commenter

    Speak to your mentor. Try getting sumatriptan (drug name) it's one of the most effective drugs now for treating migraine, you can get nasal inhaler or tablets. I've tried at least 10 different medicines including IV drugs and this is the only one that works for me.
  13. alexanderosman

    alexanderosman Occasional commenter

    Not migraines but along a similar vein I'm asthmatic and have had to leave the classroom a couple of times due to an asthma attack. I think when it gets that bad that you can't carry on, the last thing you are worried about is what the school think etc. and I have just sent a child for an adult to come and take over, and told them I need to go and sit down. I can understand why you're worried about it, but there's really no need, you'll just ask for help at the time if you need it.
  14. Triptanes don't work well for everyone unfortunately =/
  15. upsadaisy

    upsadaisy New commenter

    I think you will find I said one of the most effective, not this is the cure for all migraine sufferers! I think the OP mentioned taking Migraleve, which is usually quite ineffective and can make things worse for migraine sufferers due to it containing codeine.

    I personally have found sumatriptan more effective than zolmitriptan.
  16. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    I would go to your GP and get a prescription for a drug to take as soon as your get first indicators. I have Maxalt, which works as long as I take it within the first hour of onset. It does tend to make me very dozy, and so I have to leave work as soon as I can to get home to bed. If the Maxalt hasn't worked within a couple of hours, I take Syndol (currently out of production, I'm afraid, but will be coming back soon). That knocks the pain on the head, but again, makes me very sleepy.
    For the record, I find eating a packet of plain salted crisps can stop a migraine in its tracks, as can drinking Lucozade.
    For me, the first sign is excessive yawning. Then I see the funny coloured spots and lines.
  17. Thank you everyone for your support, it means so much to know other people go through this and worry about this too! You're all right, if it's that bad I'll have no choice but to go. I can't teach a lesson, read a book, even sit down without being in excruciating pain so it's not even like I could just tone down the day and try and make it through, it would never work for me! I'm going to tell my class teacher about it so they are aware and then if it does happen one day I'll let my link tutor know too. Thank you all so much! I'm worrying myself when chances are I'll probably only get 1 in the whole of the 6 weeks due to the stress of starting!

    Thank you for your advice, all of you :) Unfortunately I've tried a lot of triptans and none of them have been very effective at all - and have much worse side effects that I would also feel unable to control in front of a class! I've had zolmitriptan (dissolvable tablets) which either does very little, or knocks me out completely for two hours (think it depends on whether I've eaten a lot, time of day etc). I've had almotriptan, made me absolutely uncontrollably sick - was very scary, and I've had sumatriptan in nasal spray form which lessened the pain slightly but made me extremely nauseous!

    Thank you so much for all of your reassuring words xx
  18. My warning sign is excessive yawning, I thought I was the only one !! I take sumatriptan too but sometimes when I have more than one migraine a week I'm a bit hesistant to take 2. I've found that once I start the yawning stage, a can of regular coke can stop the migraine. Its apparently to do with the caffeine. I think the caffeine dilates the blood vessels stopping the pain (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1275419/Best-cure-migraine-headaches-cup-coffee-two.html) Its the only things which seems to be able to stop them coming on. It doesn't always work but sometimes nothing does other than going home and getting into bed.Everything is worth a try !!
  19. Amazing - they say you learn something new every day!!
    As i said earlier I've had migraine for as long as i can remember. I yawn in th eearly stages and i find Sumatriptan really effective but ihave never heard of drinking coke. I will certainly give that a go - although to be honest i don't really like the stuff.
    thanks for the tip - worth a try [​IMG]

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