Last updated: May 2023
I had my first migraine when I was 25. The following year I had one maybe every other month and they were horrible every time. Nothing I took could make them better and they would last for days. Then they started happening more frequently, at first maybe once or twice a month, then once or twice a week.
I finally went to my doctor and was referred to a neurologist. I was put on topamax and given a variety of triptans. I was still having migraines about once a week, but that was better than twice a week, and now I could make them go away relatively quickly when the came instead of days of pain. However, even with this relief, I was still grappling with the fact that this may never go away. I had lived 25 years with very few headaches and now all of the sudden I am having migraines that affect my work and social life.
I was determined that the migraines were not going to take over my life and leave me feeling disabled somehow. After every few days of not having a migraine, I would think, "maybe they're gone. Maybe I won't have anymore." Every time I had this feeling they were gone forever, I would almost certainly get one the next day. I would be so disappointed in myself. What did I do wrong? I was definitely in denial.
I tried to figure out the cause of my migraine. Was it the antidepressants I took a few years ago? Did they mess up my brain chemistry? I stopped drinking, I always kept a snack around, I drank TONS of water. I was determined to outsmart my migraine. At one point I decided it was all the preventative migraine medicine that was triggering my migraines, so I stopped taking it. Same with my birth control.
Go figure a few months later I was having up to 15 migraines a month (and I only get 12 triptans a month). It was at this point, when I had less medicine than migraines, that I turned a corner. I went back to my doctor and got back on preventative medicine. I accepted that this is going to part of my life now and instead of beating it I will work with it. I keep myself prepared. I always carry medicine and I know how to handle my day if a migraine does come. I can't control the migraine, but I can control how I react to it. Knowing that this is part of my life now and knowing that I can manage it, has made all the difference.
I'm not anxious about having migraines anymore. I just know it's a fact (of my) life.
Do you have a migraine toolbox for when an attack hits?
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