Whoot-whoot! I’ve gone one year without a migraine headache!
Whoa, wait, what—I’m announcing that?
You betcha. If you’ve ever suffered even one of these horrific, demon, PAINFUL nuisances, then you’ll understand my joy.
Yes, they’re that bad. As in:
• land-me-in-the-emergency-room bad.
• no-sound-no-light-no-noise-no-movement bad.
• name-the-test-and-I’ve-had-it-done bad.
And, yes, I’ve experienced the pain of giving birth, a broken bone, and mononucleosis.
Migraines are ten times worse.
After six years, sessions with doctors and surgeons in five different specialties, in-depth discussions with three pharmacists, countless runs down the wrong rabbit hole, thousands of dollars in bundles of tests that insurance didn’t fully cover, and dozens of hours spent on the Internet researching, I still have no bonafide answer.
Yet, I’m one of the lucky ones—the most migraines I ever experienced in any one year was five. I’ve had many more headaches that have come quite close, but powerful meds kept me (mostly) functioning.
I can’t guarantee the migraines are gone for good, but I’m trusting they will be. And, I’m being faithful to the changes I’ve made.
So, in case any of my awesome readers, dear friends, and sweet loved ones suffer too, below are the steps I have taken. If you are a sufferer, they may or may not help. I’ve learned each person’s migraine differs from someone else’s, and there are hundreds (or thousands) of things that can trigger one. I sure hope my thoughts can help.
I don’t know if any of these are the answer. Perhaps collectively they are. My migraines were not frequent or patterned enough that I could isolate and test each change.
I just know that, with these changes, I’ve gone a year now, and I’m thankful for that.
- Prayer – Give it to God. Let Him have it, then believe that He will handle it (because prayer is only the first step). Meanwhile, keep doing your research. He might provide the answer through something you read!
Water – I consume 72 ounces a day. For a good start, I chug 16 ounces as soon as I climb from bed in the morning. For each cup of coffee (which is dehydrating) I consume, I drink an extra cup of water.
Gluten – I haven’t removed it entirely, but I avoid it. Research gluten and the brain, or gluten and inflammation, and you might avoid it too.
Potassium – I eat more bananas. Potassium ions are necessary for the function of all living cells. The transfer of potassium ions through nerve cell membranes is necessary for normal nerve transmission. You also can find potassium in avocados, cantaloupes, and many citrus fruits, too.
B-12 – Dr. Oz has called it the most important nutrient you aren’t thinking about. It is involved in the metabolism of every cell in the body. After seeing the results of one of my blood tests, I upped my intake.
Calcium – Granted, calcium is generally associated with bone health, but it also helps maintain heart rhythm, muscle function, and more. I’m more faithful about taking it.
Rest! – I am downright persnickety about getting eight hours of sleep per night, even if this means I have to leave the fun early or tolerate jokes about getting old. I’ve also slowed down my pace. I used to spin at a hundred miles a minute with a to-do list that was always longer than I was tall. No more.
Wine – Christ’s first miracle may have been changing wine into water, and for years I often had an evening date with a delicious glass of Moscato, but this wonderful beverage is just not for everyone. Wine has sulfites, tannins, and sugar. None of those, outright, have been found to cause migraines, but who knows about the combination? I just know that without wine, I’ve had fewer moments that felt like a migraine might be coming on. So, no more wine for me.
Vinegar – Yeah, I know, vinegar gets credit for solving just about everything, doesn’t it? So, I’ve jumped on the wagon. I combine a tablespoon each of vinegar and honey, with a cup of water (see #2), each day.
Neti Pot – Research shows links between certain migraines and sinus problems. Yet, I fought against using one. The thought of pouring water through my nostrils made me squeamish. However, I finally bought one and used it. Wow, what a difference. I can breathe much easier now.
Finally, a word about stress. Ever notice stress is the failsafe diagnosis for any ailment when the doctor doesn’t know what else to blame? I can’t list ‘removing stress’ as a step I’ve accomplished because it’s so hard to achieve. But, I do try to avoid situations that I know will bring on stress. I’m no longer a joiner, and I’ve learned to say “No.”
If you’re not a migraine sufferer, but have one in your family, be patient. Expecting him/her to function during the pain is unrealistic, even cruel.
If you have other suggestions that have worked for you, please share them!