3 years downhill

My life with chronic migraines

It all started 3 years ago after I began taking birth control. Before it hit, I was active I was a spinning instructor, worked full time and did personal training. Nothing slowed me down. I loved the loud music at the gym, going out with friends, looking to advance in my career and working on learning a new language.

Studies show women are more prone to migraines especially with hormonal changes. I keep wishing there was a reset button where I could go back in time, figure out I had a family history of migraines and some cautious gynecologist could warn me not to go on birth control. Maybe then my life would be filled with less pain.

I have been through all the usual preventative meds, antidepressants, anticonvulsants all of which wreak havoc on my body, I tend to have the most obscure side effects, doctors don't understand them or how to treat them. The treatment for these side effects is usually more medication. Which often worries me. I am an advocate for my care and always have been.

Today I checked my migraine buddy app and saw that I have had way more debilitating days than day's where I was functioning well. That's not a good sign. Clearly modern medicine is failing me, or I am failing it.

When I wake up each morning I pray the headache doesn't hit. I pop a few pills for prevention, deal with the side effects, blurry vision, feeling slow, insomnia, etc.

I walk to my bus stop passing the smokers, holding my nose hoping they don't trigger a migraine. I try to go to the gym on the few days I feel well enough, but this time the music is way too loud, I wear earplugs and plead with some instructors to lower the volume to no avail.

I have forced myself to like pilates and yoga, mediate and turn to shiatsu and other massages.

People keep saying everyone gets better eventually, but it's not always true. Some people live with the pain and don't find a cure. Will I be one of them?

I hate sitting at home in pain, with an ice pack on my head, missing work yet again, hoping tomorrow will be better but knowing my body is failing me.

My husband picks up the slack, my parents check in sadly trying to give me hope and support. My doctors work hard to be in touch and walk me through each step of the treatment plan as my condition worsens. I have a qualified team behind me but they have a limited number of tools at their disposal, and let's just go on and say it- treating neuropathic pain is no walk in the park. At the end of day I am the lab rat hoping something works.

Are all these meds helping or hurting? I don't know. Last time round, the withdrawal was hell. Now I know With my current heavy dosing of medications the withdrawal will be much much worse.

Will I be able to succeed in my career, have children one day? Get through life without such disability?

Doctors can't answer these questions.

To all the migraine sufferers - I hope the cure comes faster, and genetic testing becomes possible. Maybe then we can detect and prevent this debilitating disease from being passed on.

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