I made it!
Last updated: May 2023
I'm 19 years old, and I have been a victim of migraines for 17 years now. When I was a child, my migraines were quickly passed off as headaches, 'minor' to everyone else. It wasn't until I was 15 that I was officially diagnosed with chronic migraines. From that point on I saw doctor after doctor, looking at my brain, ears, eyes, teeth, back, sinuses ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to find me the cure I so desperately needed.
Though all I got was either more tests or best wishes that someday somehow I'd grow out of it. I was so drugged up at this point I started to feel emotionally numb as this pain took over my life. Slowly at first, as I stopped going out with friends, and building speed until eventually I rarely went to school, I had quit all my sports and I lived in my bed. Then the depression set in, I was forced to see more doctors, still looking at my brain, trying to find the answers to all my pain. Maybe, they said, all this physical pain is just made up, maybe you're just sad. No one believed me that all my emotional pain was coming from my physical pain.
Migraines were not headaches, migraines were more than pain in my head, I was weak, tired, dizzy, and confused and nauseas, and this was NOT a headache. To try and find relief in all my pain, both emotional and physical, I soon turned to self-injury. At only 16 years old I believed that a life of chronic pain was not worth it. I wanted to end my life. Somehow I managed to stop myself every time, as I had an amazing support team. The next two years were very difficult; I was still suffering from chronic migraines and a lingering depression.
Soon I would be moving 1000 kilometers away to go to university. I was terrified, was I going to be able to fight this disease alone? Who would take me to the Emergency Room at 3 in the morning, who would take care of me doped up on Demerol? Would I be able to be happy and make it through the year? The summer before I left for university my migraines magically decreased from daily to about 10-15 a month. I started practicing yoga more, and crawling out of the deep dark hole of depression. I knew I'd have to take care of myself, and I needed to prove to my family that I could. I removed MSG from my diet, exercised more, and made sure I was getting plenty of water.
I then slowly came off all my daily medication, keeping only my prescription for Zomig, my emergency drug. I'm proud to say that now; 4 years later I am almost done my 1st year of university. I've had several attacks and some days I wanted to go home, so I didn't have to deal with the pain by myself. Some days it was still discouraging and seemed endless. Some days I still felt like quitting. However, I am here now, I'm healthy, happy, strong and just happen to have chronic migraine disease.
Are the family and friends you will be seeing this holiday season understanding about migraine?