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Chronic Runner with Chronic Migraines

It controls everything I do. It decides when I do things I enjoy and how I plan. Which, in turn, controls my family as well, which to me is the most unfair thing about this disease. Add in the aggravation of failed treatment, insurance that makes it impossible to try anything new, and walking out with another calcium channel blocker prescription and a handful of Maxalt, it is no wonder I am chronically grouchy. I am now working on my own treatment, various vitamins and Orajel smeared on my forehead to help reduce some of the pain, but I have yet to find anything that helps with Allodynia, hence the rat’s nest I often wear on my head. Cutting 5 inches off my hair recently seems to have helped a bit. It also looks better.

I enjoy running, especially running stairs. I have been planning for three years to enter in the Empire State Building Run Up that happens once a year. But I am guaranteed to have a migraine on that day, as over three weeks out of the month I am stuck in some form of migraine cycle. I do my best to run even when I have a migraine; hat, dark glasses, cold compress around my neck, 800 mg of Ibuprofen, Maxalt, and lots of water. I have a warm up ritual for bad days and a cool down ritual on bad days since I can’t go from extreme heat outside, into A/C or vice versa. Heat is probably my number one trigger. And unfortunately, I live in the deep south, where summer prevails 9 months out of the year. I am always terrified exercising after I take a triptan, somehow the two together spell out heart attack to me. I don’t know if this is true or not, it just makes me nervous. Cold days (I travel out of town in Jan to freezing weather) work great for me, at 7 degrees last January I had no migraine, and it was the best day ever. I sat outside the entire day. My face may have been frozen and for three days after that I was in hell when I returned to reality and the higher temperature. This winter I am going to Canada, hoping I can permanently freeze the mess out of it.

Onions, no onions, wine, no wine, do this, don’t do that. I am sick of keeping a journal (gee a constant reminder every day). I am tired of packing and planning around a stupid disease. I have had days when I had to delay driving my children to school or barely made it back into the house before running to the sink.

Weather is another fun adventure. The afternoons here in the summer consist of the thunderstorms/fronts moving in. I can pretty much set the clock and have better accuracy than the Weather Channel on predicting something coming. I am always thankful when the weather changes.

They can put a man on the moon (I wonder if migraines are better or worse there), but by golly, they can’t fix migraines. So much for modern technology. Unfortunately, this is an area without a migraine expert/clinic, and it was recently suggested I travel the 4.5 hours to the nearest one. Sure, I will be glad to drive with my eyes closed while puking. :O) It can’t be any worse than text and drive.

I love testing on myself-well if I have this beer, how will it be tomorrow? Please don’t cook onions, you will kill me. I didn’t realize I had an onion problem until a Chili Cookoff and race a couple years ago. I had gotten there early while everyone was cooking, and the smell set me off. I used to and still do, love onions, but for the first time, it was the most annoying smell ever. I ran the race and shortly before the finish line, it hit me-a wave of nausea and lights and I really thought I was going to die. I went home and cursed the darkness. I had everything checked, sinus cleaned out, eyeballs tested, allergies, and then got the big whammy. You have migraines. Please just shoot me and put me out of my misery already.

So here I am.. floundering in a sea of others, hanging out, waiting for something to work, or even better, a day when they just don’t come back. That would be a slice of heaven.

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.

Comments

  • Gmaw
    7 years ago

    Oksana….I love your comments about the gnat, wanting to wrap the stethoscope around the docs neck and the chick with the perfume! I agree with you about some people needing to experience a true migraine. Instead of rolling their eyes at us they could actually feel our misery.

  • Oksana author
    7 years ago

    I really think a lot of physicians don’t want to mess with it because it is time consuming, come here and here try another medication takes up a load of time where they could be ordering all kinds of tests for some poor soul. I personally feel it would be easier if they had a try A for three months, call in get script for B for three months, go to C for three months. It would have saved me a ton of time, gas, and aggravation. I saw on a show last night that a woman endured pain and headaches for 16 years. Good grief!!! How are you doing?

  • Theresa
    7 years ago

    All of us feel the anger of how Migraines affect our lives..The new Neuro asked me Thurs if I stay in the sun a lot. I answered no, I don’t venture out from my house unless I have to since I only get 9 Imitrex a month, I’m afraid I’ll get a migraine when I’m out & have to call upon someone to get me…I didn’t question him on why he asked if I got out in the sun a lot. Even though I’ve had migraines since 1986 sometimes no matter what, no sun, no onions, no triggers & I get a migraine! Ann commented how she had a doctor to roll his eyes at her when she was explaining her migraines.I also have had that to happen so many times with not only Drs but also others that have never had a migraine & don’t understand. Is it wrong of me to wish they would only have one migraine in their life so they can relate? I shouldn’t wish this pain on anyone but I feel if only for one day others could know what we were going thru then they would have more empathy & think twice b4 rolling their eyes or being so insensitive to all those that do. I want so bad to have my life back to at least half way normal..what ever that is. I also have DDD, & CRPS type 2. I miss working, biking, hiking, cave exploring, swimming, camping…some of the simple things in life like not having to worry about getting a migraine each time I leave the house. I pray you have a pain-free weekend! God bless

  • Oksana author
    7 years ago

    Thanks for the reply. I am a little behind on here. I have been taking Vit D since I don’t do the sun much either, oddly that seems to help. Sometimes I feel like Casper. No, I think everyone should experience it at least for a week, so they can get the full whammy, and then again the next month, to remember what it was like. I totally understand. Best to you, no pain. F

  • kyange
    7 years ago

    I think you could be my new best friend! I taught aerobics for 13 years and am pissed as hell by the mess I have become! I want nothing more than to go back to the loud, bright, people filled, hot gym…all of my triggers in one! Instead am I a couch/bed potato the thing I LOATHE! I love your anger…thank you for expressing it for so me too!!!

  • Oksana author
    7 years ago

    @ Ann-I can smell a gnat fart 30 miles down the road, I know what you mean. Oddly though, when I am in Manhattan where there are more smells that I know what to do with, it doesn’t bother me, like sensory overload. It is individual smells that do me in. I ditched the beta blockers too. No more pills. I hope you can find someone who is more in tune-I had one guy put his stethoscope on my neck and said I was fine. I wanted to wrap the thing around his neck and ask him if he felt fine. A compassionate doctor is hard to find. The evil migraine always pops back up, I figure that it gets used to whatever we take to rear up again. I wish I could figure that out once and for all. Keep your chin up Ann.

  • Oksana author
    7 years ago

    :O) I hate being stagnant. I have been back in the gym this week, scared to set it off, but so far so good. The Botox seems to help although I am still worried, which I am sure will take forever to get over. Now we need psych help for phobias from migraines. Sick. And pissed. I found out that spinning in the dim room as long as there aren’t flashing lights, the loud music doesn’t bother me. The chick’s perfume next to me makes me want to smack her. Gee that sounds bad….but do you know what I mean?

  • Ann
    7 years ago

    I enjoyed reading your story. So true all of it.I have a problem with all odors not only onions. I hate to say how many times I had to change rooms in hotels because of smoking odor (they claimed it was a smoke free room)or heaven forbid they just had new carpeting put down in the hallway and the glue smell was so strong that I smelled it even on another floor. I think a lot of migraine sufferers are hypersensitive. I know I am to odors, noise, food and most of all the triggers that are always mentioned. It must stem from our ancestors the women who had to guard the young ones in the cave while the men were away killing animals for supper. They had to be hypersensitive to odors, sounds and the like to protect the cave members. I just didn’t evolve I guess.

    Another thing, most doctors hate hypersensitive people. They think we’re hypocondriacs. I tried to explain it to my last doctor who rolled his eyes and increased my beta blocker dosage. By the way, it helped for about 6 months and then my evil migraine over rode the drug as usually happens and my migraines morphed into newer symptoms–ones I hadn’t had before. Now I’m stuck with abdominal migraines too. These are worse than the pain because I don’t get any releif at all as my doctor claims there’s nothing to be done for that if indeed it’s what I have (rolling eyes). You’ve heard of bullying–this is medical bullying in my mind. Who goes into a helping profession to torture and bully people?

    Thanks for sharing.

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