Fighting my Chronic Migraines by facing it head-on!
I am a 36 year old wife, mother of three, and author who suffers from Chronic Migraines so debilitating I haven’t driven in over a year. My migraines started when I was 10 and got exceedingly worse as a teenager. I use to black out from them and wake up not knowing where I was or how I even got there.
My neurologist gave me Imitrex injections to use at an onset of one and they worked wonders. For years I was able to rely on Imitrex until a few years ago they stopped helping me. I would just wait out my migraines; whether it be me going into work 2 hours late to sleep it off or hide in a dark room or closet until I could be around lights again.
This past year I woke up from the feeling of the room moving around me and my life hasn’t been the same ever since. I ended up in the ER having every test done imaginable only to get referred over to an ENT Specialist for a severe case of vertigo. Every test they ran on me came back perfectly fine. I was struggle to walk because my balance was off and so was my motor skills. I felt I was constantly on a merry-go-round with no way of getting off. My vision blurred or doubled while my head felt like someone was kicking or stabbing something into it. I slept 18-20 hrs a day because it was impossible to do anything else. I was nearing a mental breakdown and wanting to lock myself in my dark room to never resurface since being around people was the last thing I wanted.
It wasn’t until I attempted vestibular physical therapy to regain use of my balance and motor skills that my therapist concluded I had a different type of migraine. He got my ENT Specialist to refer me over to a Neurologist and I was diagnosed with Chronic and Vestibular Associated Migraines.
I then began taking a variety of meds thinking I would feel some kind of relief. Things only got worse from there on out. The troubling symptoms I had before made it worse for me to get around. People had to come check up on me during the day or stay with me because I was falling from my severe dizzy spells or terrible balance. I couldn’t cook unsupervised because I kept burning myself. I was beginning to feel useless and it was taking major emotional toll on me.
My pain levels were at a all time high. I wanted to throw in the towel, but my family, friends and readers always sent words of encouragement telling me to believe that I was going to get better.
I continued taking test after test. Changing the dosages of my migraine meds or changing the type of meds all together. Then one of my CT’s indicated a low level of blood flow in one side of my brain so I had a cerebral angioplasty to open up the blood vessels hoping that might help with some of my troubling symptoms. It didn’t and I was back to square one.
A month later my neuro suggested trying Botox because she felt I could actually benefit from the injections.I went for my first round in May and my second round in August. For the first time in 240 days I went 2 whole days without any migraines or the symptoms associated with them.
I finally felt like a part of my old self was back. My head wasn’t giving me as much grief as before and I was able to write again. My husband and kids were thrilled to see me getting around without holding on to objects to stop me from falling.
During this whole ordeal I somehow found the strength to keep going no matter how bad things were starting to get for me health wise. I joined several support groups and found more reasons to continue fighting to get better. I am now a advocate for migraine and headache disorders. I have big plans to help raise money for migraine/headache disorder foundations/organizations. If I can find ways to help raise money towards research then I will do whatever I can to make it happen.
I still have high pain days, but they are a day or two a week instead of everyday. Even my symptoms are starting to become much easier to handle. Because my health was much more cooperative now than it had been in he past, I was finally able to work with my editor on publishing a book I had to put on hold from last year.
I truly believe that botox is the answer for me and hope that others will benefit from this form of treatment just like I have.