The 20 Year Battle…

I’m tired you guys. I haven’t written here in a while, but I feel like I need to for my own sanity today. I’ve been pretty discouraged about my migraine situation lately and writing is cathartic for me. So here I am.

My journey with migraines started when I was 16 or 17. At least, that’s when I saw my first neurologist. He put me on preventative medication that seemed to work decently through college. For the most part, for the first ten years or so, I could manage my migraines with preventative medication, abortive meds like Imitrex, and NSAIDS like Excedrin.

They started to pick up in frequency and duration in my late 20s and early 30s and for the last 5 or so years they have been almost daily.

Here are all of the things I have tried, in no particular order:

migraine crap

(the above picture is only the things I could gather in 3 minutes and haven’t thrown away)

  • preventative medications (probably close to 15 different medications including beta blockers, anti-depressants, seizure medications, and muscle relaxers)
  • cutting out caffeine
  • acupuncture
  • various supplements including magnesium, feverfew, vitamin B, plexus, flaxseed, probiotics, etc.
  • cutting out gluten
  • massage
  • essential oils
  • cutting out dairy
  • using menthol in my body wash
  • cryotherapy
  • expensive eye drops
  • yoga
  • cutting out alcohol
  • the Cefaly band (electric impulses to the trigeminal nerve)
  • ketogenic diet
  • CBD oil
  • wearing a mouth guard (day and night)
  • craniosacral therapy (they “moved” the skull bones to allow for better swishing of my spinal fluid)
  • applied kinesiology (this one was super crazy)
  • physical therapy
  • wearing red sunglasses (this is a thing I promise)
  • drinking lemon juice and Himalayan salt (also a thing)
  • and the latest attempt – the Omega Procedure

During the trial of the Omega procedure (about a week) I was experiencing about 50% relief from the duration of the migraines. So we decided to move forward with the permanent procedure. Unfortunately, it hasn’t helped as much as it did in the trial. So I went down to Atlanta last month to visit a naturopath who took me off of all the good things (gluten, dairy, potatoes, corn, red meat, pork, carrots). I’ve been on that diet now for 3 or 4 weeks and taking his supplements. The rest of my body feels better, but my head still SUCKS.

Today I am going to see a neurofeedback specialist here in Memphis. I’ll be honest and say I’m feeling a little desperate for some answers and hope right now. I basically function in the spaces between debilitating headaches and those windows continue to shrink. I try not to let myself get too sad about it for too long, but last night I kind of had a breakdown. I’m just tired of missing so much with my family, my friendships, my life.

I literally have a headache almost 24/7 these days. It just varies in intensity and sometimes location. I have learned how to still be present and show up despite pain, but it’s getting harder honestly. I remind myself constantly that I am still VERY blessed and a “good day” doesn’t have to be pain free. But man, I’m ready for some days where I’m not constantly chasing pain management or figuring out exit plans if it gets too intense. It would be nice to make plans and be able to really look forward to them, not anticipating or worrying about migraines and the nausea that often accompanies them.  I told John last night that I kind of feel like a prisoner lately. I need parole. Desperately.

Thank you for listening and reading praying and asking and showing up. If this journey has shown me anything it’s that I have an unbelievable tribe that loves me well. Migraines are relentless, but so are my people.

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