I Will Not Give up Hope
Last updated: December 2014
I have been an athlete my entire life - competitive swimmer, figure skater, runner, triathlete, rock climber and have taught all sorts of classes from spinning to aqua classes. When I was 30 (18 years ago), I was diagnosed with migraine. At that time, they would only hit me every few months and I would take a Ketorolac pill and it would go away. Eventually the migraines became more frequent and the Ketorolac stopped working. In time, all abortive migraine medications stopped working.
I have seen two regionally well known neurologists who specialized in headaches. In addition to practically every abortive medication available, I have tried Depakote, Topamax, Neurontin, Tofranil PM, various blood pressure medications, Reglan, Phenergan, Botox, bio-feedback, diet tracking and changes, birth control pills, nerve blocks, acupuncture, chiropractic care - to name a few. Some would work for a while then stop.
I am now seeing a pain doctor who is numbing and freezing nerves throughout my head on a regular basis. This works sometimes. As most people on this site I have been to the ER many times and more than not am treated as though I am drug seeking so I stopped going.
I cannot exercise regularly and this has been difficult for me. I recently had to quit doing hot yoga after doing it for years because it started triggering migraines. I would be lying if I said I don't have my share of pity parties but I haven't given up hope. I started looking in the realm of natural remedies, such as sacral-cranial massage, wearing a frozen cranial cap created for people who go through chemo, use of essential oils and meditation. I went gluten-free, although it hasn't helped the headaches it has aided with the nauseousness significantly. For me, these things have helped with the severity although I still have migraines more than not.
I am very fortunate to work for a company and have a boss who cares about me and my health and have been able to work with me. I started counseling and have been learning how to make self-care a priority in my life and have left toxic people and relationships behind and am embracing my friends and family members who support me and are healthy for me.
I am going to Cleveland Clinic in a few weeks. I have no idea if they will be able to help. The point is that I'm not giving up - I have developed realistic goals in my life given my chronic pain. I have learned that sometimes the best I can do is get through the day and to be ok with that. This website has been a good support for me because I know I am not alone in this painful and frustrating journey. So join me fellow migraineurs in supporting each other so we can all not give up hope.
Are the family and friends you will be seeing this holiday season understanding about migraine?