Don’t Give In to Desperation
Several years ago, I reached a point of desperation with migraine and decided on a course of action that could have ended in medical and financial disaster. I will be forever grateful that my plans failed. Left with no other options, I was forced to accept that the only path toward better migraine management would be the one I’d been avoiding.
I began my search for a true headache specialist and embraced the slow and steady approach of trial and error. I stopped focusing on simply aborting attacks as they occurred and started looking for patterns. That headache diary I had been keeping became a tool for unraveling the mystery of what factors actually triggered my attacks. I opened my mind to treatment possibilities I would have never considered before.
Prior to that change of heart, I would have readily embraced any number of wild internet “cures” without a second thought. I would have scoffed at the idea of using standard treatments by claiming, “Doctors are no help,” and “I’ve tried everything already.” Neither of those statements were actually true. Regardless, I had convinced myself that “nothing could help” and would not be swayed by the facts.
I was looking for a shortcut, a way to eliminate migraine forever. Ignoring the facts, I believed I could outwit migraine all on my own. My stubborn refusal to accept the truth delayed effective treatment for years and most likely contributed to the development of chronic migraine due to decades of untreated migraine. I nearly created irreversible damage to my body from surgical procedures that would have likely done more harm than good.
Since that time, I have been determined to share my story as a cautionary tale in the hopes that others will be spared a lifetime of pain and disability.
- Trust the experts. Believe what they say.
- Don’t give up hope. Keep working with a headache specialist to find just the right combination of treatments that will eventually make all the difference.
- Keep your expectations realistic. Migraine has no cure. There is simply no way to guarantee that you will never get another migraine attack. Accepting that some attacks will be part of your life makes it easier to gauge your progress.
- If you’re looking for a cure, you will be disappointed. It is reasonable to expect that a successful treatment will result in a 50% reduction of either frequency or severity of your attacks. Anything more is a happy accident. To insist on complete eradication of all attacks is a pipe dream that will only lead to bitter disappointment.
- Making peace with migraine and learning to accept its presence in your life is essential to any good treatment outcome. Fighting against it will only bring you frustration and depression.
We can limit its visits and reduce their impact on our lives, but migraine is here to stay.
How much has your migraine disease changed or evolved over time?