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.

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