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Living with Migraine

When do you accept?

  • By noraaroo

    Hi. I have had migraines on and off for years, however, they had been very well controlled for about 7 1/2 years with amitryiptlye. Approx. one year ago I began having chronic daily migraines. I have tried a gamut of preventative medication, 3 rounds of Botox, and several varieties of pain medication. None of which have been able to lessen my symptoms. No change in location, duration, frequency or severity. I consider it a good day if I don’t go above a 4. The last “good” day was almost 4 weeks ago. So at this point I would settle for less headache days or anything. I have had MRI’s, blood work, a sleep study… I have an appointment with a headache center in mid June. I read an article on this site the other day about “Radical Acceptance.” My question is, at what point do you stop fighting and accept that this is your life now? How do you cope with that decision? These migraine monsters as I like to call them have already taken so much of my life and enjoyment away.

    Thank you.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi 68toh7,

    I’m so sorry you are having such a rough time right now. I can however, empathize with you – chronic migraine is frustrating, exhausting and down right depressing. Let me see what information I can give you to help.

    Migraine is both emotionally and physically exhausting. Continually searching for answers and treatments to end our pain can be a grueling existence. Despite this, there are proactive steps we can take to assist our journey – I call them the A, B, C’s of Migraine.

    Acknowledge. Acknowledging that migraine is a genetic neurological disorder is the first step. Dr. Richard Lipton, a world class migraine expert says “it’s not just an acute disorder, but a chronic disorder with episodic attacks.” Once we let this sink in, we can move forward in managing it.

    Be conscious of migraine. It’s not healthy to let migraine take over every aspect of our life, but it is necessary to be keenly aware of it. Being able to identify our triggers and learn how to manage them will have a positive impact on our life.

    Change. Changing any facet of our life is challenging but necessary component when we have migraine or any other chronic illness. Regulating our sleeping patterns, eliminating food triggers and staying hydrated may be difficult at first, but will go a long way to reduce the frequency and severity of our attacks.
    With the A, B, C’s of migraine, we can look past this chronic disorder, and take back lives.

    Acceptance does not mean we have to give up the fight, but come to terms with having a chronic illness. I find talking with a counselor who specializes in chronic illness extremely helpful.

    May I ask if you’ve been to see a ‘true’ migraine/headache disorder specialist? These doctors treat one condition, all day every day and that condition is migraine/headache. The thing is neurologists may be fine doctors, but have a hard time being experts in one area because they treat so many different conditions such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, epilepsy, Parkinson’s and others. Migraine/headache disorder experts are board certified in headache medicine, which is different than being certified in neurology. Take a look at these articles on how these doctors are special and how to find one; https://migraine.com/blog/how-are-migraine-specialists-different/ and https://migraine.com/blog/looking-for-a-migraine-specialist/.

    I hope that helps,
    Nancy

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  • By noraaroo

    Thank you Nancy. I do have an appointment at a headache center finally coming up next month, but it has been a long wait getting in. I am really hoping they can figure out how to get these under control for me. It has been another week of pretty much sitting in my office with the door closed and the light off all week. I have not done any legitimate work since I returned from lunch.

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