Never gone, but sometimes forgotten

I'm turning 27 this June and have suffered from chronic migraines most of my life. There was a period of time in my early 20s when I would have up to 3 migraines a week; they were simply part of who I was and I tried to learn ways to cope. I saw doctors, was part of different studies, and talked to pharmacists about my options. The cocktail that I came up with has probably killed my liver, but it kept me going through my college years.

In the last year I decided to take charge of another portion of my life: my physical health and wellness. I started training for a half marathon and have been eating as clean as possible (a greasy burger is just too tempting some days). By cutting out caffeine - a go to for my migraine cocktail - no sodas, sweets, or processed foods, I began to realize I was missing something in my life...migraines! I cried the day I realized I had made it a month without one. Now my migraines had definitely come a long way from the 3 a week days, and I have gotten better at early warning signs and pain management, but I could not believe what was happening. I was angry at myself for living unhealthy for so long that it had affected not only my physical body, but also my migraines.

There are probably many factors that go into my decrease in migraine frequency - because they are not going to go away completely - but through eating better and going to the gym 3 days a week, I have seen a dramatic change in my migraine patterns. Recently I threw away an expired, family-sized bottle of Tylenol that was still half-full. This was another tearful moment because I would have normally been able to use the entire thing in just a few months.

I will never be without migraines, and as Spring is upon us I am suffering much more because of the changes in weather and pressure, but I truly feel freed from the chains that were my constant, chronic migraines (as corny as that sounds). If I could walk away from the lifestyle I have been living for this past year with nothing else but the change in my migraine frequency, I would do it all again.

I never truly understood how what we put into our bodies really affects us on soooo many levels. Its hard to start and stick with it, and to be honest I felt like absolute sh@# the first week I gave up soda and coffee - It was a 4-day long migraine/hangover combo - but so worth it. I am no longer dependent on my pain killers, I no longer worry going out if one will hit. They do happen, but I can live a little lighter now. My migraines will never be gone, but sometimes I can forget them.

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