A Life Not My Own

Starting at 17 years old migraines came into my life. I knew what it was and what I should do because I had watched my mom suffer with them most of my life. As horrible as I thought they were I had no idea what was in store for me as I got older. I could take a couple of Tylenol and go to bed. I'd wake up with no pain and go on with my life. I was able to hold down a job and be a functioning able body of society. When I got pregnant at 22 I didn't get any migraines the whole time. But after I gave birth they came back more frequently and stronger than before. The same thing happened with my second pregnancy. Having 2 very young babies I was trying to figure out how I was going to get through the day being my husband was at work.

My first experience with pain medication

My mother in law was coming to visit to see the babies. I was in a panic and remembered that my husband had a prescription for Tylenol 3 in the bathroom because he had hurt his back. I never took anything like that before and with 2 babies to care for I was a little scared. So I only took half. Within 15 minutes the pain was completely gone and I had the energy of 5 women. So I thought to myself that I had found the answer to these excruciating monsters. But after just a few short months I was totally addicted to them. Within a year I went from a half of a Tylenol 3 to 5-6 Fioricet with codeine just to get out of bed. It seemed the whole thing happened in the blink of an eye. Long story short nothing the neurologists were doing was doing any good because I had narcotics running through my veins 24/7. I tried everything under the sun for these migraines and also had been to multiple detox centers and rehabs for over 40 years. I just couldn't grasp sobriety and had no support from my husband when I would get home. It wasn't until after 18 years of marriage and divorce that I met a wonderful man in Narcotics Anonymous. After a few more attempts to get clean it finally clicked.

Getting past the guilt

I still had the migraines but now I didn't have to feel guilty about getting a migraine and having to go to bed. Guilt played a big role in my first marriage. My ex-husband was embarrassed by it and wanted me to be up and functioning every day no matter what. During the years I have tried just about everything that came out to prevent migraines and to get rid of one. Botox, acupuncture, biofeedback, medications, you name it I tried it. Absolutely nothing worked for me except IMITREX. It was like gold in a pill to me. Over the years I got addicted to that too. It goes without saying that I have an addictive personality and have to be extremely careful about taking anything. I was getting daily migraines so I was taking IMITREX on a daily basis. For years once again I tried over and over to stop taking them. I couldn't get past the first day due to the excruciating pain of the withdrawal.

My struggle with rebound headaches

Rebound headaches are debilitating and I suffered tremendously. I thought I was getting worse migraines but all I needed to do was get this IMITREX out of my system. At 63 years old I was finally able to do it. I am now taking Emgality once a month along with an occasional Ubrelvy. It's so much better than it was that's for sure but I still get slammed with a bad migraine every now and then. I am still always looking for a better answer and will try anything once. My migraines dictated my life in so many ways and still does to a point. Migraine disease didn't only affect me but every person in my life. I have had my share of people getting really upset with me for canceling plans last minute. Even those closest to me would sometimes think I was using migraines as an excuse to get out of something. I passed this disease onto my oldest son who got his first migraine when he was just 8 years old. Every time that image of him lying on his bed with his head buried in his pillow my heart breaks a little bit more. He's now in his forties and only gets an occasional attack. I have 4 grandchildren and I always pray that none of them get stricken with this horrific disease. I haven't been able to work since 1998 when I was approved for SSI. I would've loved to have worked but like I stated in my title my life is not my own. I truly believe that I will suffer from this until the day I die.

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