From Chronic Migraineur to NYC Marathoner
Last updated: June 2023
My migraine story starts off like so many others. My first migraine came out of nowhere at the age of 17 with no obvious trigger preceding it. I spent the next 14 years in and out of doctors offices, physical therapy clinics, and emergency rooms. I searched desperately for answers and tried dozens of medications and alternative therapies.
Yet I struggled to find long-term relief. The best I could hope for was that my abortive medications (usually a cocktail of Excedrin Migraine and Imitrex Nasal Spray) were going to subdue the migraine enough that I fake my way through the rest of the day. I thought this strategy worked well until one day I hit a wall.
That wall, which occurred in 2014, came in the form of a 6-month stretch of non-stop migraines, for which no medication could interrupt. I basically stuck in an endless loop between long days locked in a dark room to trips to the ER. I was miserable and desperate for answers. I could barely work, yet I also couldn't do the things I loved, like make plans to meet up with friends or exercise. I had recently become an avid runner and I longed to lace up my sneakers and go for a run through the park near my house.
I went back to the drawing board and tried seeing new doctors. But when two popular medications caused horrible side-effects (weight gain and significant hair loss), I decided I was done medicating my symptoms. I knew at that I had to find a natural way to remedy the true cause of my migraines. And that's exactly what I did...
I decided to work with a nutritionist, who put me on an allergy-elimination diet. I thought it was a long-shot since I considered myself to be a pretty healthy eater, but I was glad to try something new. I know it will sound too good to be true, but I swear, after 2.5 months on this diet, my chronic migraines simply stopped! It was the closest thing to magic I had ever experienced.
I knew at that moment, with my newfound freedom, that I had to do something big to celebrate. So I decided to sign up for the NYC Marathon, which was an amazing race that I always wanted to run. The fact that for months, I couldn't get up and walk outside for a mere 10 minutes without getting a migraine made the goal of training 6 months in the summer heat to run 26.2 miles a little crazy. But I'm so thrilled to say that on Nov, 1st 2015, I ran the marathon and was completely migraine-free! It was one of my proudest moments.
After that experience, I thought about how migraines had severly limited my life and potential for so many years and how tragic it was that so many people suffer as I did but never get relief. So I decided in that moment that I had to make another big shift: I decided to become a migraine health coach to help migraine sufferers heal through food and lifestyle changes.
I wouldn't wish anyone to go through the pain I went through. But I am so thankful that I can use all the knowledge that I've accumulated over the years to help others find some relief.
In the past year, has insurance made it difficult to get your migraine treatment?