I admit it: other people’s breakthroughs in migraine treatment sometimes make me envious

Pretty recently, one of my friends started getting what she believes to be migraine attacks. It sounds like this is most likely connected to perimenopause and the dizzying hormonal changes that accompany that time in life.  She posted about it on her Facebook page almost in passing, and I was so pleased to see several friends jump in to offer their support and encouragement. Of course several of the people mentioned that they had migraines themselves. So far no one has posted a link to some miracle “cure,” which is encouraging—I really feel that there’s more educational opportunities for patients out there nowadays, and more people are recognizing that there’s no easy-peasy solution you can buy online.

One fellow responded to my friend’s post by saying, “I suffered from migraines but haven’t had one in over 5 years. My triggers were artificial sweeteners and grapefruit. Quit those and my migraines were gone forever.”

Let me be totally honest: my first thought wasn’t to be entirely happy for him.  Instead I felt a rather uncomfortable mix of happiness and envy.  Why can’t I be someone whose triggers are that clear? Why can’t I simply take a couple of things out of my diet and be migraine-free?

If you’re reading this post, it’s because you’re already interested in learning more about migraine disease. And you likely know by now how different the illness presents itself person to person and episode to episode.

After my initial burst of not-quite-pure-happiness for him, I really did feel comfort and joy for this friend of a friend. How wonderful and encouraging it is to know that, for some people out there, there have been breakthroughs in treatment (or trigger avoidance) that allow them to have a migraine-free or migraine-light existence. Stories like this can discourage me and get me down when I’m in a really bad spell, but when I’m feeling good, as I am today, I see these stories as hopeful and inspiring instead.

I want to keep going. Even though my migraine frequency fluctuates and I have yet to find something that keeps them under much better control, it’s true that I do have phases where I’m mostly feeling better. I go through phases where the medications work and I can function pretty normally.  True that I also have really crappy times where I can’t get out of bed or stop throwing up, but memories of the good days assure me that there are improvements to be made.

As I age and the disease changes forms, it’s highly likely that I’ll uncover new triggers and find that certain tried and true preventive therapies no longer work for me. Bodies and brains are fascinatingly complicated and will continue to develop and shift, so there’s no sure bet when it comes to our heath.

Do you know anyone who has had an amazing migraine breakthrough? Have you yourself had a treatment (perhaps one that still works for you or has effects that have worn off over time) that reduced your migraine suffering dramatically? How did either situation make you feel?

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

Comments

View Comments (6)
  • rosie.smiles
    3 years ago

    Yes, I had a treatment that totally stopped my chronic intractable migraines (and most of my “regular” headaches): migraine surgery (nerve decompression surgery). I am so very happy to be feeling better and be living a more normal life. I’ve been migraine free for three months and it’s just incredible!!! I am so thrilled and thankful! 🙂

  • rosie.smiles
    3 years ago

    Thank you, DonnaFA! I have read those articles in the past and I found them very interesting and informative. Thanks for all you do…this site has been helpful, especially when I struggled with feeling alone and misunderstood, and dealing with the stigma of migraine (thankfully, now that I am doing better, those issues aren’t so relevant to me anymore). Thanks for all you do!

    Sincerely, Rosie.smiles

  • DonnaFA moderator
    3 years ago

    Hi, rosie.smiles! Thanks for sharing your success story with us, we’re glad to hear that you have had three migraine-free months! We do have a couple of articles that discuss this surgery, https://migraine.com/blog/curious-about-migraine-surgery/ and Migraine: Choosing Surgical Nerve Decompression Candidates, and it’s always wonderful to hear our members’ real life experience with treatment options.

    We’re glad you’re here! -All Best, Donna (Migraine.com team)

  • akilman
    3 years ago

    I have had several interventions that have reduced the number of migraines. The latest was a gluten free diet that we had to start for another family member (I got lucky and it helped me too). I have experienced a reduction in number of monthly migraines with different medical and lifestyle interventions, sometimes as much as half. But like Zeno’s arrow, I feel I will never reach my goal of zero headaches. Another factor working against me is that every time I reduce my headaches I increase my activity, which brings my headaches back up to where I started. This is progress, but still frustrating.

  • Colorado4Now
    3 years ago

    Unfortunately, I am in the latter category, where my treatment has recently stopped working for me. I began this treatment about 2 years ago and found a reduction in frequency of migraines from daily migraines to about 15 per month. There is a delay with changing up my treatment plan due to other medications complicating things, making for a discouraging time for me as I wait and am thrown back into what feels like a hopeless situation.

  • DonnaFA moderator
    3 years ago

    Hi Colorado4Now. So sorry to hear that your treatment protocol has stopped working and that you are experiencing a delay with initiating your new plan. Please know that we are here to provide support and information or just to listen. We’re glad that you’re here. -All Best, Donna (Migraine.com team)

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