Doing everything "right" and still getting a migraine

I’ve been taking pretty good care of myself lately: getting enough sleep, taking steps to reduce stress and anxiety, making and keeping doctor appointments, creating and (mostly) maintaining my to-do lists, and exercising several times a week.

Perhaps there’s a part of me that always feels betrayed by my body when I get a migraine, but that sense of betrayal, no matter how ill-founded or illogical, is sharpened when I have been exercising really good self-care.

Today will mark the fifth day in a row in which I actually stuck to my wake-up-and-exercise regime.  Recently I wrote about how incredibly helpful it’s been for me to write out my to-do list in a schedule format (rather than an unending list).  I’ve been waking before seven, which, to those who know me, is a miracle for me to do even one day, let alone five in a row! I’ve made coffee, sticking to my relatively strict one-cup-a-day regimen. I’ve fed the cat, I’ve gotten some writing done when my mind is fresh, I’ve put on comfortable clothes and sneakers, and I’ve been out the door for a 30-50 minute walk each day before 8:00am.

When I return from my walk, I get started on a daily smoothie for Jim and me and jump in the shower. And guess what? I’ve actually been taking my daily migraine preventives (200 mg of B2 and 250 mg of magnesium glycinate) after breakfast each day.

Sure, if I listen closely I can hear balls dropping all around me as I attempt to juggle my schedule each day, but I’m used to that—and there are fewer balls dropping this week than in the entire month that preceded it, and the sound of them falling seems less catastrophic the more I work to reduce stress and anxiety. With few exceptions, most of those dropped balls can be picked up and dusted off later when the main juggling act du jour has concluded.

All in all, I’ve been proud enough to pat myself on the back lately.  I feel like I'm on the cusp of making some real changes again, some lifestyle adjustments that are going to stick this time.  My husband seems to be getting on this bandwagon with me, too, and we’re eager to move into a new house (worry not—it’s in Athens and just a few blocks down the street) where we’ll have a nicely laid-out kitchen where we can cook healthy foods together.  I finally got myself a copy of The Forks Over Knives Plan: How to Transition to the Life-Saving, Whole Food, Plant-Based Diet in the hopes of weeding out a lot of the unhealthy products we consume.

So, with all my energy and happiness and positive changes and healthy choices and reduced stress WHY DID I WAKE UP WITH A MIGRAINE TODAY?

I have no words of wisdom at the moment, but I know I will soon (likely, after my morning walk) have a better perspective on this whole thing.  But right now I just wanted to vent.  I realize that migraine is complicated and there are so many factors and triggers I can’t control (today’s overcast and humid morning, for one), and I know that even with making all the positive changes in the world I will be living with this illness forever. But today I just want to complain. Today I want to shake my skinny fist in the air and say, “Why?!”

Do you ever have moments where you feel especially surprised or undeserving of a migraine (not that you ever, ever deserve one—read more on that here)? Do you ever feel like you’re doing everything in your power to take care of yourself only to be blindsided by an attack? How do you handle this type of situation, and what words of wisdom can you share with us?

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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