My two-week reprieve from migraine

For a miraculous period in October, I went a full thirteen days without a migraine attack (or even a tension headache). For those of you not familiar with how many days there are in a week, that’s nearly two weeks—half a month!—with no migraine.

It was blissful.

There are many factors that contributed to this reprieve, I believe.  For one, I wasn’t on my period or PMSing—menstrual-related migraine is a vicious little beast I can’t ever seem to catch an ongoing break from.  Second, the transition from summer to fall seemed to be complete—this seasonal transition is difficult for my migraine brain, and once we were fully into autumn here in north Georgia, things were much better.  Third, the weather itself was tremendous: blue skies, no rain (meaning no dramatic changes in barometric pressure), and really pleasant temperatures.  Finally, I was managing stress at home and work really well and had hit a great stride with work.

You guys, I got so much done during those two weeks, and I did my tasks happily and thoughtfully. I spent time with my family, traveled to Pittsburgh for my baby cousin’s wedding, visited with some friends, had a lot of fun time with my husband, and even got a TON of work done for my bookshop. We were gearing up to celebrate the fourth birthday of Avid Bookshop, and I somehow avoided my “big event migraine” the day of our huge birthday bash.  This was a big deal: we had a really big party with tons of details to organize, three different musical performances, and a lot to orchestrate. And I had a migraine-free day.  It was amazing.

It’s been at least 10 months since I have had that many days in a row without a migraine.  The mental space it cleared for me was really astounding—can you believe I had forgotten what it was like to wake up and feel good, go to bed and feel good, and wake up again the next day and the next with the hope that I might feel healthy and productive all day?

Of course I knew it wouldn’t last forever, but I tried not to stress out too much about the inevitable migraine attacks that would be on their way soon.  Lo and behold, I got my telltale PMS migraine a couple of days before my period came the day after Halloween (10/31), and every day since then (I’m writing this on 11/6), I’ve had a migraine episode.  It sucks. A lot.

But I’m trying to remember how inspired I felt. I believe that, sometimes, I get so downtrodden and used to living with frequent migraines that I forget what it is like to be healthy.  I forget why I am taking vitamins and exercising and keeping up with my neurology appointments. I forget that it is possible to feel good.  So I’m grateful for my two-week spell of happy health. It has reminded me of what I’m fighting for when I continue to seek treatment and find new ways to manage my health. It reminds me that, though migraine will likely be with me the rest of my life, it doesn’t have to dictate my every day.

Have you ever had a reprieve from migraine episodes? How did that healthy period affect your behavior? Or are you still in that healthy period? Tell us how your life has changed! 

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Comments

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  • Colleen
    3 years ago

    I am currently in the midst of the longest reprieve I’ve ever had. Getting close to 4 weeks (dare I even say it??). I’m not exactly sure why, although I’ve made some med changes in the past few months (upped the dosage of one of my preventatives, Doxepin…I also take Propranalol daily…and have started treating my chronic diarrhea with daily Imodium per my GI doc. I’ve often wondered if the migraines and diarrhea were related since I’ve seen specialists for both for years, and no one can figure out a good reason for either of them. Although the migraine started about 2 years before the diarrhea. I have had a handful of 2 week reprieves, but never longer. And after those reprieves, I normally get a couple of weeks of daily or every other day migraine, so am a little nervous about what will happen after this reprieve is over. Of course I have that tiny hopeful voice in my head saying “What if this is it? What if you’ve figured it out?”. I usually push that voice away pretty quickly because the migraine has always returned in the past. Whether it returns or not, I’ve really enjoyed being “normal” for the past few weeks! It’s been heaven waking up in the morning without even a hint of pressure.

  • Luna
    3 years ago

    ” I forget why I am taking vitamins and exercising and…”
    I exercise and live healthily to have the strength to survive all the crazy phases of migraine that visits way too much.

  • Amybeth
    3 years ago

    The 2 week reprieve is fantastic. I remember one of the many neurologists I have seen telling me the goal is to go 10 days migraine free to avoid chronic migraines… or if chronic, to revert back to episodic. My son is chronic and can go two or more weeks migraine free (2 1/2 weeks after Botox injections he gets a long period of no headaches.) Problem is for him is that once he gets one, the abortives don’t always work and the migraine doesn’t shut off. (I suffer high frequency episodic migraines but Maxalt takes them away every time.) Is what my son experiences similar to what happens to you? Thanks so much for sharing. We do need some positive stories…they give other sufferers hope 🙂

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