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Conditioned response to Migraines

I do not even remember when they started. I just called them headaches and knew they truly affected whatever I was doing at the time. You see, as an Infantryman in the military we are taught to overlook, dismiss, and work through any ailments, pains, and even major wounds. Mission First is our mantra. There is nothing more important than “Mission Accomplishment”. Fast forward twenty-five post-military and two civilian years and now I actually know that they’re called migraines. Something called triggers are beginning to slowly become apparent as I monitor my own health as close as I couldn’t (or didn’t) while on Active Duty. Big difference from: take two Motrins and get back to work! I am finding out a more gratifying life with Migraines is possible through self-identifying the triggers and staying on a continuous blocker. I am currently on Propanolol after years of different “triptans“. I even got emergency orally disintegrating tablets for those persistent unannounced episodes. You see, after continuous visits and many failed attempts, you just accept to “condition” your response in order to return to your “Mission”. All in all, I’m still learning and tolerating but more conscious of my response to Meds and can actually dedicate more effort to identifying and preventing triggers.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Katie M. Golden moderator
    4 years ago

    I’m so glad you are taking your health into your own hands. It must be frustrating that it’s taken this long to determine the problem and work on a cure. Now, your Mission is to take care of yourself! I just read that 30% of returning Vets experience Migraine. That needs to change!

    There are so many preventative meds (like propanolol) and abortives (like triptans) that it can take some time to find a mix that works for you. If you want to look into other treatment options, this is a good place to start:

    Best Wishes,
    -Katie Moderator

  • Sandy
    4 years ago

    Thank you. One of the most validating stories for me. I grew up in the country. Life was very simple. So were medical precedures. My dad wasnt a military career ma but ran our house like he was. U didnt go to dr for a really bad headache or stop working outside. Fastforward into adulthood, I had same work ethic to make a living for myself. Learning also to care for myslef, my migraine, and my triggers. And thank u for sharing

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