The Time I Thought I Was Almost Cured
A few years back, when I first went to my amazing complementary care doctor for the first time and was a loyal patient, doing everything he recommended, I started to feel amazing.
At one point, I think I went nearly a month without a migraine.
And when migraines did come, they were not as severe or debilitating. I’d also learned to use mindfulness-based stress reduction to respond rather than react to the fact that I had a migraine. I handled them gracefully instead of getting upset. I gently asked them to leave with as much politeness as I could muster rather than battle them and fight.
I felt the best I had in years.
At one point, I thought about my blog. What if I was, in effect, almost completely cured of migraine disease? What’s the point of having a website with the name “The Migraine Girl” if the girl in question no longer is a frequent sufferer of migraine attacks?
Of course since then I’ve had lots of ups and downs, and I’ve tried to think of the entire trajectory of my disease as something that is part of my life rather than something I am constantly trying to fight. Watching my migraine frequency and severity wax and wane, going from chronic to episodic and back again, reminds me of why migraine, for many people, is a chronic, recurring disease. The entire nature of chronic illness is that it changes form as the years go on. As with autoimmune disorders (of which I have a couple), the disease can lie in wait in an almost-dormant state for months or years, only to resurface unexpectedly down the line, prompting you to reevaluate your life and your treatment regimen.
Right now I’m not in a great phase. I’m definitely closer to being mostly healthy than I am to being severely chronic (knock on wood), but I’m not doing as well as I wish I were. I’m trying to accept this, but it takes time and seemingly infinite patience.
How do you deal with the up-and-down nature of this illness? Have you had migraine-free periods of your life followed by long periods of frequent episodes? How do you cope?
Can you tell when a migraine attack is coming?