My Journey on the Migraine Roller Coaster
Last updated: October 2013
I am a 31-year old female who has been dealing with migraines for approximately six years now. There is a long line of migraine sufferers in my family stemming from my mother's side. My grandmother and just about all of my mother's siblings have suffered with migraines. Unfortunately, I have inherited the disease and have also been diagnosed with menstrual migraines. Thankfully for my mother, she no longer has to deal with migraines, after she entered menopause they have ceased to exist in her life and I am hoping for the same outcome. My neurologist believes that may just be the case for me as well, and let me say, my migraines will not be missed.
I am part of the migraine with aura sufferers. I remember the first time I suffered a migraine with an aura, and may I add it was a scary experience at first. One morning after taking a shower, out of nowhere, I lost my vision on the left side of my peripheral view. Thankfully, my boyfriend was home at the time and was there to comfort me. I feel very lucky that I have a partner that is very understanding of this disease, as some people just don't seem to get where we are coming from and the pain that we deal with.
About 15 minutes later the aura was gone. As soon as I experienced my first aura I went on my search for a neurologist and I came across the best neurologist I could've ever asked for. I am truly blessed to have found Dr. Horstmyer. My doctor and I have tried many preventative medications and while my migraines aren't as severe as before, we have yet to come across a treatment that works for me, at least the way we both would want it to work. We have a goal set on the most two or three migraines a month.
Recently I began thinking a lot about whether I would want to continue to take prescription medication since I have not had a baby yet and would not want to risk anything happening to my child should I become pregnant while on these medication, some of them may cause birth defects as most of you may know. So I made the decision to go the natural way. I was taking 500mg of Depakote extended release for six months at bed time and have now been weaned off of the medication, my last dose was this past weekend on Saturday (Yay!).
Before the Depakote I had tried a number of medications, so many that I can't remember all of the names of the medicines. I have begun taking a daily multivitamin, the herbal supplement feverfew (one tablet daily) along with eating very healthy and trying to exercise even though it is difficult to go to the gym when you aren't feeling well. While it is still too early to say that the new course of action is working I have hopes that going the natural way will make things much better and I will keep you all updated after my next visit to my neurologist in three months.
I decided to title this story "My Journey on the Migraine Roller Coaster" because that pretty much explains how I feel. I have good days and I have not so good days, it's an up and down kind of thing. One minute I feel great, like I'm on top of the world and the next minute I feel horrible, like I am down in the dumps. I must say that through it all I choose to remain positive. No matter how hard this journey may get, I refuse to let the migraines get the best of me. I have faith and hope that things will continue to get better and I will get through it one day at a time.
Are the family and friends you will be seeing this holiday season understanding about migraine?