Thought it was over, I thought wrong

I started getting migraines when I was 11, following a horrific auto accident that left me hospitalized for many months, my mother as a double amputee, my older sister badly injured and my Dad with whiplash and a large gash on his head, along with terrified children and a wife who they didn’t know would survive. We all survived, but I wonder if it has led me to this place I am. I blamed my migraines on hormones, and thought they would end when I had a hysterectomy , but before I could tell if helped , I was rear ended by a young man who was not experienced in driving on ice. Since then I have 4-6 migraines a week along with suffering from fibromyalgia. I’ve been reading lately how these conditions are sometimes linked to a traumatic event and I’m really wondering about it for myself. I had to give up a very good job that I was very good at, an office manager for a very busy, understaffed physicians office. I now work part time in a small children’s boutique and am trying to get disability. No one wants to hire an office manager who becomes ill from stress. And, I know I can’t physically handle full time any longer. I have too many pain days, or days when I’m medicated too much to be an effective employee. Well, that’s my story, not very interesting, but it’s me. I cannot do everything I want to do, feel I’ve lost whole periods of my life, especially regret the days I was hurting to bad to enjoy my daughters as they were growing up. I pray I was a good mom, but I wanted to be a spectacular mom. I find myself in the same rut with my grandchildren, but they return my love so bountifully. I thank God everyday for my beautiful family and it’s my faith and their love that keeps me going. That in itself makes me so much more fortunate than most, and I work hard to never lose sight of my blessings,even while in pain.

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


View Comments (5)
  • TwistedRunes
    3 years ago

    Hi Tinlizzy,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences, knowing that we are not alone does help.

    I am usually loath to offer advice to people with chronic illnesses as I know how much stupid/unhelpful/hurtful/dangerous unsolicited advice we get from strangers. But your reply to Lisa really struck a cord with me and I felt moved to break my own rule and share my own experience with therapy.

    I resisted therapy for years and years. In part due to a terrible experience I had with a counsellor in my teens. This therapy involved me talking and talking but I felt nothing changed. I thought that talking about the past did nothing to change it and so why keep bringing it up! Now nearly twenty years, and a number of health issues impacted by stress and depression later I was convinced by my doctor to try again. My main reason for doing it was that here in Australia to access the more powerful migraine therapies you need to demonstrate that a number of other treatments have failed.
    So I went to see the psychologist it was a completely different experience from when I was younger. Instead of just talking and talking, the psychologist would explain what was happening in my brain, that is it wasn’t because I was ‘weak’. My psychologist and I have just started using a technique called EMDR or Eye Movement Desentisation and Reprocessing which is extremely effective at helping to treat trauma including PTSD. It actually helps to change your response to the trauma. The best thing is that it is much quicker than ‘normal’ talk therapy.
    Just recently there was a facebook post on Humans of New York, profiling a psycholigist who works with people with PTSD from military service. The one thing that really resonated with me was that he said “PTSD is not a life sentence, there is a cure and we know that EMDR saves lives” That statement helped me to realise that I didn’t need to accept that this is the way my life would be forever and there is hope.

    Obviously I understand that if the money isn’t there then it may not be possible, but at least you can look into it.

    There are some links below so you can look into it yourself.

    All the best

  • Mr FBP
    2 years ago

    I would back up what you say about EMDR. It is starting to be used across psychology services in the UK and the evidence base is very sound.
    I work in the UK health sector and over the last six months I have met quite a few professionals and patients using this technique to great effect for PTSD.

  • Lisa Robin Benson moderator
    3 years ago

    Twisted Runes,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and that resource. It is so great to see how we can help each other, at the very least knowing others understand. I’m glad you found help through EMDR.


  • Lisa Robin Benson moderator
    3 years ago

    Hi Tinlizzy,
    Thank you for sharing your story and I’m sorry to hear of all the trauma you’ve experienced. It must be difficult to share but I’m glad you did. I think a common question from many of us is what caused our migraines, and it’s frustrating to never have a definitive answer. Things like physical or emotional trauma, hormones, (all that you mention) are definitely linked, as well as family history of migraine.
    In my own personal journey, I often wondered why my migraines got very bad all of a sudden out of the blue. The WHY was all-consuming. In some ways, I blamed myself wondering if I had made bad choices that led to it. The “if onlys” dominated a lot of my thinking. I also have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I think it’s definitely important to ask the question and maybe even consider seeing a therapist to talk through some of it, especially in the case of past trauma. On the other side, I did personally find it a bit freeing to allow myself to let go of wondering why.
    I do hope that the future brings you less pain, and thanks again for sharing.

  • Tinlizzy257 author
    3 years ago

    Thank you for your response. I have thought about therapy to explore if my past trauma could be related to my fibromyalgia and migraines. But the truth is, it is cost prohibitive and it won’t solve anything. You are right, letting go would be better

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