Monday, June 27, 2016

June is Migraine Awareness month- a personal story

Picture from artist

The morning when you are having coffee and your husband carefully says, "How are you feeling?". This means are you still having a migraine and are you able to do some stuff that needs to be done? This also means, will this day end me in the emergency room with uncontrolled nausea and vomiting and unrelenting pain? I have had severe migraines since I was 5, diagnosed at 18 and continue to search for that elusive medication/treatment/trigger prevention/life altering help. Imitrex when it came out in 1996 was the first medication to abort a migraine if I caught it really quick. Imitrex is still in my life in a big way and still can abort/lessen a migraine if I am able to take it pretty quickly. I know every trigger, I know to stay cool and not overheat, I know to get sleep no matter what.

People who have severe, chronic migraines may do weird things to prevent or lessen an attack, may call off a family get together or holiday because they are just unable to even sit up or function. Jobs can get pissed off with you when you have to call in or get so very sick while at work. There are so many times I wished I could do the things I needed and wanted to do but just couldn't. Lots of guilt and shame go along with severe and chronic migraines.

Because people cannot see the migraine, only the vomiting or crying or other outward signs, they may think that you are trying to get out of doing something or to just lie down all the time. I would give anything to not have migraines and to function "normally". Whatever normal may mean!

I continue to do and research and try and move through day to day taking the very best of myself. I have some great things that work, I have backup plans, I am lessening the shame and guilt that I experience because I am not responsible for a migraine happening to me, I am responsible for how I act and decisions I make.

Last June 2015, I saw a new neurologist and she does Botox for severe, chronic migraines. I was skeptical but after hearing my insurance paid full for this treatment, I jumped. (Thank you to my husband who works his ass off for this insurance!) We started out with small doses and worked up to 100 units of Botox in my scalp, neck, throat, temples, forehead. With cautious optimism I have now had 3 doses 3 months apart and head for my 4th this coming Friday. It is not the be all end all and does NOT work against weather systems and heat/humidity. But I am able to thwart an oncoming migraine better. I will take it.

Yeppers, I have tried everything under the sun and will continue to try the weirdest and most sought after methods. But for today, I just do what I can, take care of myself the best I can and learn to make the best of migraine hell.

A personal post for sure, but a lot of people have severe chronic pain and illness and disease that aren't always seen. Take care of you today and reach out for help should you need it, everyone needs someone. Blessings, Sherry