The Rainbow Lady with the Beautiful Smile – Hidden Away When Migraine Veils

To me the World Health Organization statement regarding migraines is only too true. Migraines can and often are a severely debilitating disorder. The World Health Organization says severe migraine attacks can be as disabling as quadriplegia. Migraine sufferers seek treatment that can prevent migraine attacks, make them less frequent, stop symptoms once they’ve started or at least make the migraine symptoms less severe.

I thought I was all alone with my symptoms. Smart doctors with their specialties smartly labeled in bold lettering behind their names gave evidence of their brilliance to their education and intellect. I was in good hands. I told my GP and neurologist my symptoms, numerous ones, and they had blank expressions on their faces. They did not know what to tell me about my symptoms. They had been trained and educated in the American schools of Medicine to help people and doctor them in their perspective fields.

I reported my symptoms to my doctors as they arose over the years. The doctors were reluctant to medicate me with medications and I was too. I stuck it out with over the counter medicines as I raised my children and my condition declined in the migraine arena. My GP tried the strong stuff, it didn’t work, so I went back to over the counter medicine. I got sicker.

My migraines and health problems increased, seemed to overlap, so isolating my condition became easy to dodge for my doctors. Symptoms went from bad to worse. Medicines went from one to another in the spectrum of acceptable migraine therapy. My system didn’t like medicines and resisted a lot of it. My sensitivity to drug therapy’s meant low dose medicines or none at all. Symptoms went from hemiplegic to basilar with a mix of the two.

I keep a journal of my health and to make it bearable I often abbreviate symptoms so that I don’t have to connect data to a symbol thus reliving that memory. In so doing, I have come to realize that, many of my migraines are associated with my spine. When muscle groups in my spine get pinched or tight, they move to other areas along my spine, and it has been shown via my journal that a migraine is often the effect from these muscle group attacks. I do have arthritis in my spine so this doesn’t help my migraines. If I hadn’t kept my journal, been brave enough to fill it, write in it regularly, then I would not have come to this conclusion about my spine and migraine connection so soon.

I had my first migraine when I was a teen, I thought it was the flu, and I didn’t know what to do. Later I knew what it was, years later…MIGRAINE!

Over the decades, migraines increased with my college load and jobs. I worked two and three jobs at a time and slowly but surely my migraines worsened, along with other health deterioration. I waited to have my children like Americans dreamed of doing. Go to school, get a college degree, worked my fingers to the bone, and then some.

Then I had my children just like I was supposed to in order to reach the American dream. I had done everything in order. I wanted everything right before I had my children with my husband so we could raise our kids the way we wanted to, and we did.

The thing is that my migraines never went away. They crept up on me from the start and trailed me like an unwanted shadow. It was more like the doom of the shadow of death really and I didn’t know it then, all those decades ago, as it weaved and wound it’s way in and around my life with me everywhere I went and whatever I did. It went away for a time, sometimes longer than others, but it always came back.

I spoke up about it with my doctors, all of them, and they looked concerned, very concerned. They didn’t like my migraines. They didn’t like to have a patient like me. They didn’t want to have me in their practice and it was a problem for us both.

I complained, it did no good, and I found other doctors. Over time things repeated. Nobody could help. RX’s were issued and didn’t seem to help me.

My system had been over driven and the medicine was not effective as it should be. I tried this, I tried that, needless to say I tried almost everything there is to try and I was not getting any better. The medicine was a band aid. The problem of the migraine was not addressed.

I went to the internet, I talked to caring friends and family, and I exhausted them all to no end. Nobody wants to talk about these things because it is sad and painful as well as uncomfortable. Chronic pain gets old fast. After braving up after decades of keeping my migraine pain to myself, I shared it, then I realized everyone was tired of it and so was I. I didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t want to think about it. I most of all didn’t want to feel the pain of it.

When the World Health Organization said severe migraine attacks can be as disabling as quadriplegia, I know how true this has been for me. My doctors got the messages and didn’t know what to do. They ignored my symptoms and brushed them off as fibromyalgia or nothing in particular. I noted this to the Board of Medicine in my state, and they were not concerned about it, which concerns me.

My doctors clearly took poor care of me and stated this in my records. This is sad for me. The thing is if I had not researched the mechanics of the brain on my own, and reaffirmed all of my findings on websites like helpforheadaches.com, then I would be indeed at a great loss. Helpforheadaches.com has helped me become aware of my condition, the importance of understanding the different kinds of symptoms I am undergoing, and realizing that I am not alone.

I tried many things to help my migraines other than medications. Positive thinking, yoga, walking when I can, music and relaxing therapy, physical therapy and other things. My husband has tried to distract my attention away from my pain and migraine with everything he could think of. He is the best friend I could hope to ever have. He has been very helpful but the migraines go on.

Now, after resisting a daily therapy for migraine prevention, I resorted to it. It is helping I must say, but there are a lot of migraines still. I recognize that yoga is good and helpful but it is Tai Chi. Tai Chi in a gentle manner is what I am working on in my life right now. It is an ancient old form of exercise, therapy, and medicine for good health. I love the foundations and ideas about breathing in the healing energy of God and exhaling the toxic elements in our tissues from pre-birth, all within a breathing exercise and gentle movements. The exercise and teacher for these Tai Chi therapies are very important and a doctor should guide your participation in this activity if you choose to do this. For me, I am doing it very gradually, and not over-doing anything as I know I am not to go past 80% of my capacity in any of the exercises I do myself to be safe for me. I am not a doctor.

I wake up in the morning with more hope now. I look forward to my Tai Chi after my morning prayer. I thank God for my wonderful family. No matter how bad I feel, I almost always join my family, to show them how much I love them and care for them, even when I can’t move because of my migraines.

To my family the migraine is old, older than time itself. They are sick of the migraines, they don’t want to see Mama with a migraine. They are sad to see their Mama not feel well.

It’s very strange to have myself be a motivational speaker, writer, and yet have my conditions in the health arena. I am an inspirational and professional fine artist, writer, photographer, video/producer and published author. I am a person first, mother and wife. These are my first important charges and things to care about in my life.

After I had my children, the Lord gifted me with inspirational painting and writing and launched me into an International effort to help make the world a green, sustainable, safe world for all earth inhabitants.

Due to my misadventure with chronic migraine, which led to chronic fatigue, as migraines tend to exhaust the entire body to no end! The energy level and ability to work on all the levels of life I want and need to work on are nearly impossible without the love and strength of God in my every breath.

Does my work come to a standstill?

Do I find myself in a jam more times than I’d like? Am I grateful for my fantastic family who rally around me decade in and decade out? You bet I do.

I don’t blame anybody for my condition but I sure thank God for all the things that do go right when they do.

I have a big family. Things are always going on and happening and it is always busy at my home with one thing and another. I am just lucky that I have all that I have in this beautiful life with my wonderful family who love me so much even though they are so frustrated with the migraines that I know what they’d like to do to the migraine once and for all! Wouldn’t it be great to give the migraine the boot out the door once and for all?

Many people have told me that migraines often go away for women when they are in their older age. Well if this is going to be true, it won’t be too bad to get old I suppose, time will tell.

Mean time, I will stick to my Tai Chi and yoga, and the good company of my family. And I will always keep hope, because hope floats, and makes dreams come true!

Laurel

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (7)
  • Debra Maloney
    7 years ago

    thank you

  • Joanna Scoby
    7 years ago

    When I was around 12 or 13, I was told that I had a curvature of my spine. It wasn’t very bad, so they just kept an eye on it and it got better. I’ve talked to doctors that also say I have a lot of arthritis in my neck. When I had a two-level cervical fusion in January, the doctor said that my spine is actually smaller than normal. Putting all of this together with what you wrote makes me wonder if anyone has ever done any research into spinal problems in correlation with migraines. Does anybody know? I have had migraines since I was 19, and almost 6 years ago I hit my head very hard which jammed down my neck. Since then, I’ve had chronic daily headache and chronic migraines. I definitely believe that chronic migraines are as disabling as quadriplegia, and sometimes even worse. At least quadriplegiacs can still get out of the house with a wheelchair and with help. Most of the time when I get one, I can’t even think about going outside because of the lights, sound, smells, etc.

  • Georgia Slesinger
    7 years ago

    I, too, have basilar migraines and arthritis in my neck and spine. The worst thing for me is the feeling of isolation migraines cause; feeling alone all the time even when I’m with people. Because when I have a migraine, even if I can stand a crowd, loud music and voices, lights, etc., the pain and confusion are a barrier between me and the people I love and the good time I’m supposed to be having. And no one wants to hear about it, especially the people who love you because it frustrates them that they can’t do anything about it. I’m so lucky to have a patient, loving husband who understands(most of the time) what I’m going through and how hard it is to live a normal life with this debilitating disorder.

    I’ve had these migraines since 1978 and only now have I noticed that they are less frequent and less severe. But, they still come. And all it takes is a flashbulb in my eyes, a crack of thunder, a change in the weather, a period of stress, sunlight through the trees or glaring off the water or just sleeping in a wrong position, to trigger a migraine. I left menopause behind years ago, but not the migraines. I suspect that it’s only people with menstrual migraines who lose them with age.

    I still work and emjoy my family as much as possible and try not to resent all the days I lose to migraine that I’ll never get back. Prayer and meditation are the only things I’ve found that help me at all. I am also extrememly sensitive to medications and can’t take what is offered.

    I’m glad you shared your story and that you mentioned Tai Chi; it’s something I will look into:) Thank you!

  • Sandra de Helen
    7 years ago

    I hope for you that migraines go away when you get older. Maybe there will be new and better treatment by then. For me they have not gone anywhere. I am almost 68. I have about 6 migraines per month. So, more good days than bad, and I don’t have to go out to work any more. That is a blessing. No judgments about my migraines. I enjoy my good days to the fullest. And I no longer care about what people think when I can’t do whatever it is I need to do because I have a migraine.

  • Lisa-Anne Ray-Byers
    7 years ago

    I had my first migraine at 9 years old when I got my period. They were awful! A migraine is not a headache it’s an attack on the body and after it’s gone your left exhausted! I didn’t go anywhere without a medication named Vanquis, it has the same ingredients as Excedrin. In college I thought I would lose my mind. The stress and not enough sleep of college was terrible and unavoidable if I wanted to finish college. Over the years I planned my life around trying to avoid migraines including foods, enough sleep, lights, repetitive sounds, smells and more. But as I entered peri-menopause at 40 I had one everyday! Neurologist said that happens either they get worse or better! Exercise has been my defense against migraines. After a combination of awful medications I gave up on them. Side effects were terrible. I now control them with taking Excedrin at the slightest sign of one, exercise, physical therapy and deep massage!

  • Bonnie Krisanda
    7 years ago

    It doesn’t aways go away as you get older. I hav been going through menopause and I still have very sevee migraines. Your story is similar to mine. Although my back pain does not contribute to my migraines. The changes in the barometruic pressure still causses me to have dibilitating migraines so bad that I am in bed in a dark room with a cold wet washclothe on my head for abut 72 hours. I take a migraine preventatiiive. And most of the time it helps. I take Imitrex for my migraines and sometimes it helps with just one dose and other times not even two will help and I end up in the ER and they give me a shot of something. It is not morphine, or demorrol but it wwwwwworks till thenext time I get a bad migraine.

  • Ellen Schnakenberg
    7 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I know many other patients will see themselves in what you wrote too.

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