Migraines: Welcome to hell

I am a super outgoing and pretty upbeat gal, so unless you know me very well; you wouldn’t know that I suffer from absolutely debilitating migraines.

When I’m out and about I try so hard to be ‘on’ all of the time. The life of the party, the jokester, the connector- that it’s difficult to believe that sometimes I’m just going through the motions.

I’ve suffered from migraines since puberty, roughly 13 years now. It’s been a long journey of ups and downs. I remember when they first developed in high school and them being so unbelievably blinding that I’d have to pull over while driving home from school. I went on birth control and had a high dose painkiller for emergencies only. Both helped. For awhile they fell silent- until my first (and highly stressful) internship in college. They became so terrible I saw a neurologist– convince a tumor must be eating away at my brain. I was prescribed Relpax, and it worked for a bit. My internships came and went, my migraines adjusting with the flow of life- more stress? More migraines.

Later in college I started getting very serious about yoga– for a year or two I was practicing religiously, three times a week. Then even later got into a Bikram at a studio less than 2 blocks from my house. From what I remember, my migraines we’re nearly gone. Yoga cured my migraines. Maybe not yoga itself, but the constant stretching of my neck, back, and shoulder muscles made all the difference for the tension I would carry around in daily life. You see, I’m quite an anxious person by nature.

So, my headaches were under control and I just sort of forgot about them. I stopped checking in with a doctor, I stopped renewing my prescription, and I led life like a normal person.

Of course- life happened, like it always does. I couldn’t always go to yoga. I moved several times, had several jobs.. hell I had several lives. The migraines started creeping their way back into my life. They were just far enough spaced out that I let them happen. I told myself I could deal with it if I was completely dead to the world one night a month. Who cared? I needed a night in anyway.

Well here we are a bit later and with a totally different life and my migraines are killing me all over again. Lately I’ve been completely incapacitated an average of 3 times a week. No combination of Aleve, Excedrin, food, alcohol, or caffeine can stop them. They hit like clockwork towards the end of the work day and I’m left with little choice but to curl up in bed and SLEEP.

So you’re probably asking yourself, why doesn’t she just go back to yoga? Well trust me, I’d love to. But now I have a larger home to take care of, a boyfriend, a job with longer hours, and a new puppy to tend to. It’s hard to justify yoga when my puppy has been in a crate for 6-8 hours- a walk sounds much more reasonable. I’m fighting for time and energy. I know that fixing the migraines will fix some of my time issues, but I can’t seem to find something that works.

So- I’m ultimately writing because I need help. The internet answers all of my questions- so I’m hoping it can answer this: WHAT SHOULD I DO? I’ve thought through several solutions and I"m looking for advice, for crowd sourcing, for the secret.

I’ve thought about…

– More yoga (sucking it up- the puppy will be fine)

– More massages (relieving any tension on my neck truly helps)

– Acupuncture (I’ve yet to try it, so really looking for feedback here folks)

– Botox (same as above- haven’t done it…but if it works and it’s a quick fix, albeit temporary… I’m open to it) Hell… I’ll eventually put it in my forehead…why not the back of my head too?

– Other prescriptions… what do you take? what do you like?

– A lobotomy. (kidding.. sort of?) 

– Seeing another doctor (but who? A GP? A specialist? What kind?)

Thanks in advance for reading this lengthy post on my health issue. If you have migraines you know just how terrible they are. If you don’t- the only way I can describe it is like being held prisoner by your own body. You’re not sick, you feel fine, then BOOM. Your body takes over and leaves you helpless to lead a normal life.

I hope you can help me with all of this and point me in a new direction.

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