Acceptance

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.

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.

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