• Michelle Partington

Not today I have a headache.

So yesterday was spent mainly in bed trying to get through a migraine. One symptom of PTSD I like even less than the others is the one which affects me physically the most – a terrible headache which knocks me out for the day.

I normerly suffer from migranes once a month at a ‘specific’ time of the month which isnt great. However, the stress of the previous day was a trigger to this headache. My SSAFA case worker came to visit and we ended up talking in – depth about the tour. Then in the afternoon I had another visitor and spoke for almost 2 hours about MERT and my experiences. I feel the anxiety of the day just took its toll on me.

I got up on Friday morning with a little headache thinking I could get rid of it with a couple of paracetamol. How wrong was I?! I visited my nan & grandad which I do randomly in a morning after walking Mitsy. I made myself a cuppa, took one sip and suddenly had to rush to the loo mid – conversation to throw up! My head started pounding straight after this and I knew this was not going to be a good day. I managed to get back with Mitsy before throwing up again. I tried to take some more tablets but these shortly made a reappearance. I ended up lying in bed trying to sleep it off. Everytime I moved I felt sick it was awful. I got up to let my little girl out, threw up again and went back to bed. I took some more tablets and went to sleep. Thankfully by 5 ish I felt a little better so I got up. I fed my little girl then took her for a walk around the lake. When I got back I tried to unzip my coat but I couldn’t get it off and started panicking. Eventually I managed to pull it over my head then I sat down and cried. I had so many plans for Friday but the full day was a complete washout!

I looked at my phone for the first time yesterday evening and I had received my official medical discharge letter. It stated that my last day of RAF pay will be 31 Mar 15 and my last day of service is 1st Apr 15. Hmmmm random that considering it’s my birthday on 1st Apr, happy blooming birthday to me eh!!! It’s sad to know that my career is ending but I guess it’s the start of a new journey. I can start to work voluntarily for the Wigan and Leigh Hospice, as well as at the Centurion Centre for the Veterans.

What I find disappointing is that unfortunately the ‘system’ does not know how to manage ‘us with mental health issues’ and it’s left to charities to take up the slack sadly, which is why I want to give some time to them. I have served my country for 20 years yet the military, and I guess to some degree society, acknowledge the physically wounded but do not recognise those returning from war with invisible injuries. I am broken due to my operational role as a paramedic trying to save so many casualties yet it’s difficult to find anyone to help save my life. It shouldn’t be left to charities and loved ones, the system should recognise, acknowledge and provide any support needed.


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