2035+ days and counting….
I remember the exact date in February 2011 when I got a migraine that lasted 3 solid days at an 8 to 10 (out of 10) pain level. I had a short bout with migraines in my mid-20’s but, nothing since, and here I was 51 years old and life has never been the same since. Of course, the pain level fluctuates daily, often hourly, and has but on a few occasions dipped to a 4 on the pain scale, however, I consistently live at a 6. I am exhausted – physically, emotionally, energetically and spiritually.
I have lost everything to this disease, literally and figuratively, and still today do not have a workable solution for what I walk through each and every day.
I was a fully functioning adult at high levels – helped get start-up companies off the ground, ran medical clinics, did a few sailboat deliveries… I had friends, a well-paying job, was fairly healthy, and these past few years I’ve lost my integrity, self-esteem, health, ability to support myself, friends have gone away because I couldn’t show-up, family members don’t believe me nor are supportive, traditional health-care practitioners have been disrespectful, bordering on callous at times. Why would I make this up? Baffling. Anxiety, fear, depression, isolation, and shame are my companions.
I am very bright and have spent every last penny to ‘figure out’ what’s wrong with me and find a solution. I have taken every common migraine preventative and abortive Rx; none worked and most made me sicker with side effects. Then moved on to alternative practitioners and tried everything they had to offer – chiropractic, acupuncture, naturopathic and homeopathic remedies, cranial-sacral manipulations, essential oils, shamanic extractions, massage, Chinese herbs, food elimination diets, and the list goes on. Many modalities helped calm my nervous system and general health-wise were helpful, but none 'yet' have successfully decreased my frequency and severity of migraines. I still strongly believe there is a hormonal component – menopause induced – and am working on this piece.
So what do I do? I’ve found a few things help me get through my days… yoga, mild exercise, being in nature, deep tissue and trigger point massage (for my jammed up neck), consistent sleep and meals, relaxation / meditation CD’s and/or practice and the one thing that provides the most relief, even if temporarily, is Body Talk sessions with a practitioner. My sessions are remote, yet still profoundly affect my entire body, mind and spirit in a positive way.
Reality is… I don’t feel well most days. My head always hurts. My body hurts. I feel hopeless many days. I don’t know how to accept my limitations. I don’t know how to create a life for myself when each and every day is uncertain and therefore making commitments feels futile.
Here I am.
Doing my best to put one foot in front of the other.
Hoping the stigma will eventually change.
Hoping research dollars can be funneled into this devastating invisible illness.
Hoping one day, I can find relief.
Have you taken our Migraine In America Survey yet?