I've Tried Everything

“I’ve tried everything.” These words get used often by migraineurs. I absolutely use this phrase as a defense mechanism. As soon as I share with someone that I suffer from chronic migraines, they typically want to offer advice. Their cousin or their sister suffered for years and they are sure that if you just try this one thing you’ll be cured too. But I don’t want to hear it, so I cut them off with these three simple words, “I’ve tried everything.”

A long lists of migraine treatments and test

Sometimes it stops them from whatever miracle cure they think they are about to bestow upon me. But usually I need to go through the laundry list of treatments & tests I’ve endured, chasing a pain-free day: medication, Botox, acupuncture, Gluten free diet, meditation, allergy testing, MRI, CAT scans, yoga, thyroid testing, physical therapy, essential oils, chiropractor, massage therapy, dry needling, pain management class, nerve blocks, sleep study and change in sleep routine. It’s exhausting.

Cutting conversations about migraine short

I try to get out of these conversations as quickly as I can. Even if someone has the best intentions or actually does have a good idea, I will say thank you and continue on my way.

Trying everything for migraine

We’ve all been in this situation. We’ve put up our hands and said, “I’ve tried everything.” Most of the time, we believe it too. We’ve spent years chasing dead ends. It can be crippling when you spend the only energy you have on changing your diet wishing you’d find a new trigger. Or spending the little amount of money you have traveling to a new doctor you hope will have new ideas. When you come up empty-handed with no results to show for your efforts, you think why in the world do I keep trying?

The bad days of migraine

We all have dark days. We succumb to the pain. We wallow in it. We believe that there is nothing else to try. If our doctors aren’t offering up anything new, then I must be stuck this way because... “I’ve tried everything.”

But have I really tried everything for migraine?

But if I’m really honest with myself, there’s no way that I could have possibly tried everything. I've been on a lot of medications and a combination thereof, but there are plenty that I haven't tried. The Cefaly is brand new in the US and I haven’t tried it yet. My state allows medicinal marijuana and I just talked to my doctor about it last week. A neuro-stimulator is still option for me as well. I’ve radically changed my diet, but I’ve never done the total elimination diet.  I’m not consistent with meditation, so I don’t know if that could have a lasting impact if I practiced every day.

Migraine treatment is unique to the individual

Of course, there are personal choices to consider when looking into a new migraine treatment, drug or therapy. I think everyone has their own journey with their illness. You need to stay true to what is right for you, in your own time.

There are so many resources for migraine treatment

The good news is that there are new medications on the market all the time. New studies showing treatments we never realized were options before. Through this community, we can ask others who have tried something we may be considering. There are amazing resources for help and research.

Not letting migraine win

We’re allowed to be frustrated, upset and depressed, it comes with the territory. I’m sure I’ll keep saying, “I’ve tried everything,” in order to stop someone from telling me to stick my head in the freezer the next time I have a migraine. But what I won’t do, is believe that I’ve really tried everything. For me, that’s when the migraines win. I’ll continue to research, discuss and seek out new treatment options...as exhausting, painful and expensive as it may be. I only get one body, I guess I should take care of it.

If money and logistics weren’t an issue, is there one migraine treatment you haven’t tried that you are curious about? What’s holding you back?

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