Laura is a former elementary school teacher, blogger, poet, and jeweller living in Sussex, the United Kingdom. She's a mum to two teenage boys and has a very happy marriage with Joel McKee.
Laura is a chronic migraineur (a term for someone who lives with migraines). Sadly, she had to give up her 14-and-a-half-year teaching career when she developed a debilitating brain condition in 2014.
Looking for a purpose, she decided to pursue her life-long love of writing and started a blog. Initially created to document her journey with chronic illnesses, her blog has evolved into raising awareness for disabilities. She also writes extensively about the impact of chronic conditions on family life and mental health.
Laura also runs a Twitter account, which shares advice and articles from charities, researchers, and other bloggers from the UK and worldwide.
A great believer in hobbies, Laura has her own online jewelry business to distract herself from the pain. She also writes poetry to explore her mental health and wellbeing.
Though she doesn't believe in positivity for positivity's sake, Laura's natural warmth shines through in all her work. She wants her and her family to live their best lives, despite any challenges they may face. She hopes to inspire others to find their sense of purpose.
"In 2009, I was diagnosed with migraine after months of daily pain. With the right balance of treatments, I returned to everyday life as a young mum and teacher.
"Then, at 36, I was diagnosed with chronic migraine. A headache specialist confirmed that I'd lived with undiagnosed migraine since puberty.
"In 2014, I had what I thought was a migraine attack, but the pain was constant for weeks. Nothing my neurologists tried helped. A few months later, I noticed some new symptoms and found a specialist ENT surgeon in Cambridge. He diagnosed me with Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH), a rare brain condition. Sadly, though the illness is treatable, it's not curable.
"When my neurologists found out, they refused to treat me, even for migraines. They disagreed with the diagnosis, though I believe IIH is the cause of my ill health.
"Truthfully, my symptoms are atypical to IIH and more similar to the excruciating pain of my worst migraine attacks. However, my body knows the difference, even if I can't put my finger on it. My physical reaction to the headaches is different from usual migraine attacks.
"My condition deteriorated quickly, but I was too late for the Cambridge team's medical trial and had to wait 18 months for treatment. Along with my physical struggles, my mental health rapidly declined. I felt like I'd been left to rot by the medical industry. My GP was understanding, and they treated me for depression and anxiety.
"Was that enough? It didn't stop my pain. The situation was also tough on my husband and sons, as they'd become my primary caregivers. All our lives had been turned upside down.
"Despite six surgeries and some improvement, my conditions are still debilitating. I'm almost always bed-bound with constant pain. My cognitive function has improved, but my sense of balance is in poor shape. A wheelchair and stair-lift help me get around, and I have a caregiver come in every day.
My husband, sons, and hired caregiver have formed a team I'm glad to be a part of. Together, we support each other's wellbeing and ensure each day is filled with love and laughter."
NPS-ALL-NP-00568 APRIL 2022