Finding Wonderful Relief!
Thinking back to when the pain began...it was 1995 and there were a few changes happening in my life. My cycles had become intolerable with cramping, so my doctor put me on birth control to help alleviate the pain, which it did. I noticed not long after that I started to get incredibly painful headaches...to the point of nausea, which was a first for me. Not long after I began planning a wedding. The stress of dealing with that did not affect the head pain I was having at the time, but as soon as the wedding was over a massive migraine attack hit making me so ill that I thought I had a virus. This was the first time I actually had vomiting due to an attack. From that point on, for almost 20 more years, the attacks worsened. Triggers would hit me from every direction. I could no longer walk out into the sunlight, smell any fabricated odor, eat certain favorite foods, clean anything properly, or work in a normal office setting without constant fear of another attack. I don't even know how many countless doctors and specialists I saw, only to have them all confirm I suffered from Chronic Migraine. Then came the medications, most tried and failed. The abortive medications would help the attacks, but the side effects were very undesirable. The only preventative that worked to a point and did not make me sick was Topamax. I really liked it, and lost some weight on it (great, right?). It was great until my hair started falling out in handfuls. NOT COOL, Topamax.
Fast forwarding to the recent past, I was still working, or trying to work a full time job. This was very stressful because my work environment bred multiple migraine triggers. I missed countless days of work and was only able to keep my job because of FMLA. I hated knowing I had so much potential, but had become basically useless as a dependable employee. We lived in the city close to a number of refineries. I was constantly breeding one type of infection or another in my body. On top of that, my duties as a housewife went down the toilet too. I couldn't clean properly, and when I did have a small window where I was pain-free and cleaned, the dust I kicked up and the cleaners I used sparked another attack. I was in a vicious circle of pain.
About 7 months ago my husband was laid off from his job. We had the decision to stay working in the city or move north to the country. My husband had a job interview about 3 1/2 hours north in the beautiful East Texas country. We decided that since we were given the chance to make a positive change, we would take it. I had become almost unable to work at all at this point, so we also decided that I would not work anymore. It has been a little stressful financially, but well worth it health-wise.
A few months ago I stopped taking my preventative and haven't had any abortive medicine for a long while. My attacks haven't completely stopped, but the changes in my life have lessened their severity greatly. If I even feel a twinge of pain I can now take a Goody's powder or Excedrin and rest and that usually does the trick. For years I had a fear of making such a drastic change in my life, primarily for financial reasons. I now realize that the gain is so much greater than any loss. I also decided mentally to not give Migraine so much emotional control over my life. I make a point to not live with dread and if I do have an attack, once it is over I don't think of it anymore.
Life is meant to be enjoyed, not feared, and I am constantly thankful for every thing in my life. I believe this change has helped as well. In my life, the focus I put on my attacks helped to breed future attacks. Triggers are numerous. If I have any advice to give, it is to eliminate the triggers one by one, know that there is no change that is impossible, and have a thankful heart.
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